Nobody knew where he came from
They only knew he came in
Slowly he walked to the end of the bar,
and he ordered up one slug of gin

Well I could see that he wasn't a large man,
I could tell that he wasn't too tall
I judged him to be, about five foot three, and his voice was a soft, Texas drawl

Said he would work through the winter, for thirty a month and his board
I started to say where he might land a job
When this fella came in through the door

And I could tell he was lookin' for trouble,
by the way that he came stompin' in
He told me to leave Shorty there by himself
Come down and wait on a man

When the little man spoke, there was stillness,
He made sure that everyone heard
Slowly he stepped, away from the bar
And I still remember these words:

Well it's plain that you're a lookin' for trouble
Trouble's what I try to shun
If that's what you want, then that's what you'll get, 'cause cowboy, we're both packin' guns

His hand was already positioned,
his feet wide apart on the floor
I hadn't noticed, but there on his hip was a short-barreled, bad .44

It was plain he was a ready and waiting,
He leaned a bit forward and said:

When you call me "Shorty", say Mister my friend,
Maybe you'd rather be dead...

In the room was a terrible silence
As the big one stepped out on the floor
All drinking stopped, and the tick of the clock said death would wait ten seconds more,

He cursed once or twice in a whisper
And said with a snarl on his lips:
Nobody's Mister, to me little man
And he grabbed for the gun on his hip,

But the little man's hand was like lightning
The bad .44, was the same
The .44 spoke, and he said, lead and smoke, 17 inches of flame

For the big one had never cleared leather
Beaten before he could start
A little round hole had appeared on his shirt
The bullet went clear through his heart

The little man stood there a moment,
Then holstered the bad .44
It's always this way, so I never stay, slowly he walked out the door

Nobody knew where he came from, they won't forget he came by
They won't forget how a .44 gun, one night made the difference in size
As for me, I'll remember the sadness

Shown in the eyes of the man
If we meet someday, you can bet I will say:
It's me Mr. Shorty, your frrr-ieeennd.


Lyrics submitted by Tubbs, edited by RobRimmer

Mr. Shorty song meanings
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