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The Reverend Mr. Black

This song is by Tex Ritter and appears on the compilation album Love You Big as Texas (1969).

He rode easy in the saddle, he was tall and lean
And at first you thought nothing but a streak of mean
Could make any man look so down right strong
But one look in his eyes and you knowed you was wrong

He was a mountain of a man, and I want you to know
He could preach hot hell or freezin' snow
He carried a Bible in a canvas sack
And folks just called him the Reverend Mr. Black

He was poor as a beggar
But he rode like a king
Sometimes in the evenin'
I could hear him sing

I gotta walk that lonesome valley
I got to walk it by myself
Nobody else can walk it for me
I got to walk it by myself

If ever I could have thought this man in black
Was soft and had any yellow up his back
I gave that notion up one day
A lumberjack came in and it wasn't to pray

He kicked open the meeting house door
And he cussed everybody up and down the floor
Then, when things got quiet in the place
He walked up and cussed in the preacher's face

He hit that reverend like the kick of a mule
And to my way of thinkin' it took one pure fool
To turn the other cheek to that lumberjack
But that's what he did, The Reverend Mr. Black

He stood like a rock, a man among men
Then he let that lumberjack hit him again
And then with a voice as kind as could be
He cut him down like a big oak tree when he said

You got to walk that lonesome valley
You got to walk it by yourself
Nobody else can walk it for you
You got to walk it by yourself

It's been many years since we had to part
And I guess I learned his ways by heart
I can still hear his sermon's ring
Down in the valley where he used to sing

I followed him, yes siree, and I don't regret it
I hope I will always be a credit
To his memory 'cause I want you to understand
The Reverend Mr. Black was my old man

And I gotta walk that lonesome valley
I got to walk it by myself
Nobody else can walk it for me
I got to walk it by myself

I gotta walk that lonesome valley...

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