Coward of the County Lyrics

Kenny Rogers


publisher: ©Universal Music Publishing Group
writers: Billy Ed Wheeler, Roger Dale Bowling
album: Track 11 in album Kenny
release date: 1979
popularity : 20 users have visited this page.
genres: Folk, World, & Country
styles: Country
length: 4:21
lead vocals: Kenny Rogers
writer: Roger Bowling, Billy Edd Wheeler

Cover Art

Kenny Rogers Kenny cover art
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Everyone considered him the coward of the county
He'd never stood one single time to prove the county wrong
His mama named him Tommy, but folks just called him yellow
Something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong

He was only ten years old when his daddy died in prison
I looked after Tommy, 'cause he was my brother's son
I still recall the final words my brother said to Tommy
"Son, my life is over, but yours has just begun"

"Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man"

There's someone for everyone, and Tommy's love was Becky
In her arms, he didn't have to prove he was a man
One day while he was working, the Gatlin boys came calling
They took turns at Becky, n'there was three of them

Tommy opened up the door, and saw his Becky crying
The torn dress, the shattered look was more than he could stand
He reached above the fireplace, and took down his daddy's picture
As the tears fell on his daddy's face, he heard these words again

"Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can
Now, it won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man"

The Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked into the barroom
One of them got up and met him halfway 'cross the floor
When Tommy turned around they said, "hey look, old yeller's leaving"
But you could've heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked the door

Twenty years of crawling was bottled up inside him
He wasn't holding nothin' back, he let 'em have it all
When Tommy left the barroom, not a Gatlin boy was standing
He said, "this one's for Becky, as he watched the last one fall

(And I heard him say) "I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you've done
I walk away from trouble when I can
Now please don't think I'm weak, I didn't turn the other cheek
And papa, I sure hope you understand
Sometimes you gotta fight when you're a man"

Everyone considered him the coward of the county


Track Listing


Vinyl 1
  • 1 You Turn the Light On
  • 2 You Decorated My Life
  • 3 She's a Mystery
  • 4 Goodbye Marie
  • 5 Tulsa Turnaround
  • 6 I Want to Make You Smile
  • 7 Santiago Midnight Moonlight
  • 8 One Man's Woman
  • 9 In and Out of Your Heart
  • 10 Old Folks
  • 11 Coward of the County