Early one morning with time to kill
I borrowed Jeb's rifle and sat on the hill
I saw a lone rider crossing the plain
I drew a bread on him to practice my aim
My brother's rifle went off in my hand
A shot rang out across the land
The horse he kept running the rider was dead
I hung my head, I hung my head
I hung my head, I hung my head

I set off running to wake from the dream
My brother's rifle went into the stream
I kept on running into the salt lands
And that's where they found me, my head in my hands
The sheriff he asked me "Why had I run"
Then it came to me just what I had done
And all for no reason, just one piece of lead
I hung my head, I hung my head
I hung my head, I hung my head

Here in the courthouse, the whole town is there
I see the judge high up in his chair
"Explain to the courtroom what went through your mind
And we'll ask the jury what verdict they find"
I said "I felt the power of death over life
I orphaned his children I widowed his wife
I beg their forgiveness I wish I was dead"
I hung my head, I hung my head
I hung my head, I hung my head

Early one morning with time to kill
I see the gallows up on the hill
And out in the distance a trick of the brain
I see a lone rider crossing the plain
He's come to fetch me to see what they done
We'll ride together 'til Kingdom come
I pray for God's mercy for soon I'll be dead
I hung my head, I hung my head
I hung my head, I hung my head

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

I Hung My Head Lyrics as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Hung My Head song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentSting wrote the song, if I'm not mistaken, but Cash did an infinitely better job as translating it from lyrics into a song. No offense to Sting, but this is a sound best sung as a Country song, not a pop song. Cash's version is better.
    jimboa18on July 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite 'story' songs of Mr. Sumner's collection of works. A tragic song about someone accidently killing another human being and being resolved to the consequences. The chorus, "I hung my head" takes on new meaning at the end of the song.
    dagger29on June 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's also the extra significance of the opening line "Early one morning with time to kill."
    SuiSamuraion July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is covered by Cash
    CAMeyeon September 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe chorus of 'I Hung My head' can be connected to many things.

    He's hanging his head in sorrow and shame, his head in his hands, or he's hanging his head in prayer for God's mercy.

    But by the end it's clear... he's hanging his head by a rope in the gallows.
    degree7on December 08, 2009   Link

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