The Hustler


The Hustler

Lyrics By Kyle Evans


I was decked out in my Wranglers and my best cowboy shirt,

Wearin' Justins and a Bailey shaped just right.

I was mounted to the hilt on the best calf horse I owned;

He was quick and seasoned, really tuned up tight.


Not a big money ropin', just a jackpot among friends,

Tho they took all comers-most of them I knew.

I was checkin' out the cattle on the back side of the pen,

When I saw the strangest sight come into view.


Was an old battered truck built some thirty years ago;

It rattled as it pulled into the gate.

The old side boards were bangin'as the dust rolled out behind;

They were drivin' like they thought they would be late.


There were 5 kids in the cab, ridin' in the middle,

With mom and dad sittin' by the doors.

I thought this kinda funny but it really tickled me

When I saw the kid back ridin' with the horse.


While the stranger got his horse out, the wife and kids unloaded

And sat together quietly on the ground.

Then the cowboy saddled up and quickly hung his rope,

And I watched him as he slowly rode around

His shirt and jeans were dirty and they'd seen their better days;

His hat was rolled and greasy on the brim.

On his feet were leather work shoes-the kind a farmer wears;

They were tied with twine and wearin' mighty thin.


His horse reminded me of horses that I'd seen

At an auction headed for their final ride.

A tall, big-headed thoroughbred all scarred up on the nose

With ribs a-showin' clearly through his hide.


His feet were big as pancakes, and nearly just as flat,

I noticed that he's real cow-hocked behind.

And anyone who'd rope on him, I'm thinkin' to myself,

Is either green or had to lost his mind


I walk up to the lady, who's taken entry fees,

And I pull a roll of 20's from my shirt.

As I handed her the cash, I heard a cowboy sayin'

"I just hope this greenhorn stranger don't get hurt."


Well, the ropin' started right on time-16 of us entered;

The score was long, the calves were runnin' fools.

The cowboys turnin' in the times down in the lower teens;

The stranger's watchin' stayin' mighty cool.


My cinch is pulled, I'm powdered up, my string's beneath my teeth,

And I ride into the box cause it's my turn.

If these cowboys think a 13 flat is good enough to win,

Then these cowboys got an awful lot to learn.


I nod and ride and rope him though we use a little ground;

I don't mind runners if they're runnin' true.

I flank him quick and tie him tight and mount back up again.

The judge says good the timer says "10-2".


Now I'm knowin' that I've got it won and I'm feelin' mighty good,

Tho I'm tryin' hard not to let it show.

The only thing between me, and a pocket full of cash,

Is the stranger and he's the last to go.


As he slowly rides into the pen, I'm thinkin' what a sight,

Then all at once a change is takin' place.

The horse that looked so down and out has lit himself on fire,

And the stranger's got a smile upon his face.


He rides into the ropin' box and turns his mount around,

The horse backs to the corner on his own.

The smile is gone, there's sheer determination on his face.

The likes of which I guess I've never known.


He nods his head and holds his horse and never makes a move

'til the calf's completely cleared out of the gate.

A move that's really pleasin' me as I watch from the fence,

'cause I know this cowboy's comin' way too late.


But I've never seen a calf horse fire the way that pony fired-

Runnin' low, his belly on the deck.

They're really closin' up the gap when the stranger takes his shot,

And from 15 feet he ropes him round the neck.


The horse sets low and sends him like a shotgun to the calf;

He flanks and ties him up like a machine.

He rides from the arena as the timer yells "9 flat",

And I'm tryin' to believe what I've just seen.


With my paycheck in his pocket, he puts his horse away,

While I'm still sittin' stunned upon the fence.

He quietly loads his family and leaves without a word,

And no one around here has seen him since.


Well I don't know much about him and I prob'ly never will;

I just know at hustlin' calves he's number one.

So if you ever run into him and decide to take him on,

Then friend you better rope him just for fun.


So if you ever run into him and decide to take him on,

Then friend you better rope him just for fun.