Big Jim Cooley commanded respect, whatever he wanted he could get
The badge on his waistcoat shone in the sun
It ain't no lie, Big Jim was feared by everyone

In the saloon one evening Big took a bet with a rancher whose name I forget
He wanted a herd taken over the plain
He called Jim "yellow", he'll never do that again
He got mad!

He threw his badge on the floor and walked out
He's gonna give it a try, he left no doubt

"Must be mad, must be mad!"
The people wished him well, and good luck
"Hell, I don't need it!" He laughed, got on his horse and rode away

Over on the trail, Jim 'n' his crew of five
Were trying their best to keep the cattle alive
The weather was hard, but so were the men
Though I don't think even Jim will try this try again

His horses were edgy, sensing trouble ahead
But the trouble didn't start till the men were in bed
A-whooping and a-hollering and flashing their knives
Big Jim and his men were jumped by an all-star Indian tribe

He was scared, Big Jim was scared
Alive, they called him lucky, but not today
'cause he died like all good cowboys with his boots on next to his men

Big Jim, he won't lie down
For him the bet is still on
Some say he rides there, cursing still
Some say they've seen him


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by darlomunday, PDXGuy96

"Ballad of Big" as written by Phil Collins Anthony George Banks

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

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Ballad Of Big song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis is simply a cowboy legend song. I always thought it was strange, coming from three Brits until I learned that Phil Collins is a huge fan of the Alamo. There were several songs from "And then there were Three" with western themes. Even the cover art has three cowboys around a camp fire.

    Good music.
    jedidivemasteron March 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWrong lyrics.
    dacubsson August 16, 2012   Link

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