Kenny Rogers

Ev'ryone considered him

the coward of the county.
He'd never stood one single time

to prove the county wrong.
His mama named him Tommy,

the folks just called him yellow,
But 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 is just begun.

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."

*There's someone for ev'ryone

 and Tommy's love was Becky.
In her arms he didn't have to

prove he was a man.

One day while he was workin'

the Gatlin boys came callin'.
They took turns at Becky.... n'

there was three of them!

Tommy opened up the door

and saw his Becky cryin'.
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 his tears fell on his daddy's face,

He heard these words again:




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! ol' yellow's leavin'."
But you coulda heard a pin drop

when Tommy stopped and locked The door.

Twenty years of crawlin'

was bottled up inside him.
He wasn't holdin' nothin' back;

he let 'em have it all.

When Tommy left the barroom

not a Gatlin boy was standin'.
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 done.
I've walked 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."

Ev'ryone considered him

the coward - of - the county.


Kenny Rogers


Ruben James
In my song you'll live again
And the phrases that I rhyme
Are just the footsteps out of time
From the time when I knew you
Ruben James

Ruben James,

all the folks around Madison County
Cussed your name
You're just a no-account, sharecropping colored man
Who'd steal anything he can
And everybody laid the blame

on Ruben James

Ruben James,

for you still walk the furrowed fields of my mind
Faded shirt, your weathered brow
Your caloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now,

Ruben James


Flora Grey,

the gossip of Madison County died with child
And although your skin was black
You were the one that didn't turn your back
On the hungry white child with no name

Ruben James

Ruben James,

with your mind on my soul
And a Bible in your right hand
You said turn the other cheek
For there's a better world awaiting for the meek
In my mind these words remain from

Ruben James

(Music goes up a half step in the upcoming last verse)

Ruben James

one dark cloudy day they brought you from the field
Until your lonely pinebox came
Or Unto your lonely pinebox came
Just a preacher and me in the rain
Just to sing one last refrain for

Ruben James


Kenny Rogers


You've painted up your lips And rolled

and curled your tinted hair
Ruby are you contemplating
Going out somewhere

The shadow on the wall
Tells me the sun is going down

Oh Ruby
Don't take your love to town

It wasn't me That started

that old crazy Asian war
But I was proud to go
And do my patriotic chore

And yes, it's true that
I'm not the man I used to be

Oh, Ruby

I still need some company


Its hard to love a man

Whose legs are bent and paralysed
And the wants and the needs of a woman your age
Ruby I realize,

But it won't be long i've heard them say

until I not around

Oh Ruby
Don't take your love to town

She's leaving now cause
I just heard the slamming of the door
The way I know I've heard it slamming
Some 100 times before

And if I could move I'd get my gun
And put her in the ground

Oh Ruby
Don't take your love to town

Oh Ruby

for God's sake turn around

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