Thursday, August 23, 2012

"...that dirty little coward"

I have a facination for the story about the outlaw Jesse James. I bet loads of kids had an obsession with a cowboy bandit.

This is one of the songs that were written about the murder of Jesse James by Robert Ford. The text in the song says that Jesse James had three childrens, but the truth is that he had only two.

In the film "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" Nick Cave plays a charakter who appears once, singing this song.

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man,
He robbed the Glendale train,
He stole from the rich and he gave to the poor,
He'd a hand and a heart and a brain.

Well it was Robert Ford, that dirty little coward,
I wonder how he feels,
For he ate of Jesse's bread and he slept in Jesse's bed,
And he laid poor Jesse in his grave.

Well Jesse had a wife to mourn for his life,
Three children, [now] they were brave,
Well that dirty little coward that shot Mr. [Mister] Howard,
He laid poor Jesse [Has laid Jesse James] in his grave.

Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
He'd never rob a mother or a child,
There never was a man with the law in his hand,
That could take Jesse James alive.

Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
He'd never see a man suffer pain,
And with his brother Frank he robbed the Chicago bank,
And stopped the Glendale train.

It was on a Saturday night and the moon was shining bright,
They robbed the Glendale train,
And people they did say o'er many miles away
It was those outlaws, they're Frank and Jesse James

Now the people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death,
And wondered how he ever came to fall
Robert Ford, it was a fact, he shot Jesse in the back
While Jesse hung a picture on the wall

Now Jesse went to rest with his hand on his breast,
The devil will be upon his knee.
He was born one day in the County Clay,
And he came from a solitary race.

Photo nr. 1 is the picture taken of Jesse James on his deathbed. Death-photographs was kinda ordinary in the late 19th century. Photo nr. 2 is a photo of Jesse James with his brother Frank James.