I was raised on a farm, just a carefree child,
My Mamma she was gentle, meek and mild;
But, my Daddy had a temper, and could sometimes be pretty mean.
When I think back on it, it becomes real plain,
That Daddy started causing me and Mama pain;
When the crops started failing, and the pickings 'round here were lean.
Our crops had failed three years in a row,
And Daddy grew restless, so to town he'd go;
He'd take a pig and sell it, and sometimes stay drunk for a week.
He started into fighting and wearing a gun,
Me and Mama was afraid he'd kill someone;
Cause Daddy never was the kind to turn the other cheek.
He'd come home hung over, all broke and sick,
His patience short, and his temper quick;
He'd start beating on Mama, and sometimes he'd slap me around.
I was just sixteen, when he broke the straw;
And I'll never forget what he done to Ma;
When I come in from the fields, she was bleeding there on the ground.
Well I knew right then, it was plain to see,
That me or Mama never would be free;
'Till I got me a pistol, and shot my Daddy dead.
I knew I had to practice, I had to be quick,
Cause at handling a pistol my Dad was slick
"I hit what I aim at", That's what my Daddy had said.
So, I bought me a pistol, and I strapped it on,
I practiced every day that Daddy was gone;
'Till I got so fast, that I really couldn't believe it was true.
I came in from work, with the setting sun,
I took me a bath, and I put on my gun;
Then I hugged my Mama, and told her what I was a‑fixin to do.
She begged and she pleaded, and she asked me to stay,
Said, "Son, I just know, there has to be a way;
To end this turmoil, without you having to take your Daddy's life."
She said, "I love you son, but I love him too,
And I can’t stand to think of what your planning to do;
I've stood by your Daddy, ever since I became his wife."
But I saddled my horse, and I road on to town,
I didn't take long for me to look around;
And I found my Daddy playing poker at the local salon.
I was really frightened, I could taste my fear,
But I walked right up, and said “Daddy I'm here”;
When I said I was gonna kill him, it got real quiet in the room.
He stood up a grinnin', and then he said:
"Better go home boy, 'fore I bust your head;
And give you a whippin', like you ain't never been whipped before!
I said, “No way Daddy, never again,
The way you treat Mama has got to be a sin;
And you ain't never gonna ever, beat me or my Mama no more.
I love you Daddy, but say good‑by,
For the time has come for you to die;"
And both our hands fairly streaked, as we reached for our guns.
We both cleared leather, but I was quicker,
Then off to the side I heard a snicker;
Then the loud explosion, of two shots almost as one.
I just stood there a shakin', and I couldn't stop,
I was just a waiting for my Daddy to drop;
Cause I knew I'd shot him, of that I had no doubt!
I looked at Daddy, and his hand was red,
He was still standing when he oughta be dead;
My hand was a hurtin', and everybody had started to shout!
Well, the room fell silent, not a sound could be heard,
And there stood Mama, not saying a word
She just stood there lookin', with a smoking gun in each hand.
She looked at Dad, then she looked at me,
She was madder than hell it was plain to see;
We knew she was serious, and she was finally making her stand.
"That's the end of the fightin", she quietly said,
It's a wonder that both you fools ain't dead;
Well, I've had enough, I ain't putting up with no more.
"So, don't say nothin', just shut your face,
Its time we all got out of this place;
Now drag your butts right on out through that door!
"There's some things about me that you never knew,
But it's time you did, cause it really is true;
I'm much faster with a gun than either of you could ever be!
“So I’m layin’ down some rules, that your gonna live by,
And don't ever break 'em, don't even try;
If you do, then your gonna have to answer to me."
Now everything's good, back on the farm,
Daddy don't ever do anybody no harm,
And I love him more and more, with each passing day.
Now Mama, she's happy, and smiling again,
Her and Daddy are back to lovers and friends;
And me, well I'm happy, so what more can I say?
Mama loved us both, deep down in her heart,
And there weren't no way she was gonna take part;
But she finally had to, so she dealt herself a hand.
When she fired them bullets that knocked away our guns,
She made quite an impression on both father and son;
And we finally found out that Mama was one hell of a man!
Robert C. Cline - April 1994