Brenn Hill/1997 Red Cliffs Press Music (BMI)
We were trailin' cattle down the blue fork to the river
One hot, dry, sunny August afternoon
It hadn't rained for days and the heat was unforgivin'
The cattle needed water soon
We heard the horses whinny at a new scent on the air
It came rollin' off the sagebrush on the ridge
It was a ghostly, driftin', burnin' breath of death that made us rein up there
And see flames engulf the Curtis River Bridge
And we yelled, "Ride for the river, boys!
Run for your lives!
Stampede these cattle, or leave 'em here to die
There's hellfire runnin' on the mercy of the wind
So ride like you will never ride again."
The canyon roared like thunder as we crashed down through the pines
A half a hundred cows and all our crew
As the flames ate up the meadow we'd left just a mile behind
We knew that there was nothin' we could do
But break for that blue river at the bottom of the draw
And pray the wind was slower than our horses
It was each man for himself, spurrin' flanks 'til they were raw
Headin' hell-for-leather down each of their courses
Like a blessing, we all whooped and crashed and splashed into the water
As the smoke filled up the canyon above
And through the haze we counted off and with every man allotted
We turned to see what is become what was
A whole canyon's worth of pasture gone in seconds of the wind
Now only ashes scar what little grass remains
A blistered, smokin' eyesore of the beauty that had been
Too long without the healin' summer rain
"Ride, or you may never ride again."
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