To the town of Agua Fria rode a stranger one fine day
Hardly spoke to folks around him, didn't have too much to say
No one dared to ask his business, no one dared to make a slip
The stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip
Big iron on his hip

It was early in the morning when he rode into the town
He came riding from the south side, slowly lookin' all around
"He's an outlaw loose and runnin'", came a whisper from each lip
"And he's here to do some business with a big iron on his hip"
"Big iron on his hip"

In this town there lived an outlaw by the name of Texas Red
Many men had tried to take him and that many men were dead
He was vicious and a killer, though a youth of twenty four
And the notches on his pistol numbered one and nineteen more
One and nineteen more

Now the stranger started talkin' made it plain to folks around
Was an Arizona ranger, wouldn't be too long in town
He came here to take an outlaw back alive or maybe dead
And he said it didn't matter he was after Texas Red
After Texas Red

Wasn't long before this story was relayed to Texas Red
But the outlaw didn't worry, men that tried before were dead
Twenty men had tried to take him, twenty men had made a slip
Twenty one would be the ranger with the big iron on his hip
Big iron on his hip

Now the morning passed so quickly it was time for them to meet
It was twenty past eleven when they walked out in the street
Folks were watchin' from the windows
Every body held their breath
They knew this handsome ranger was about to meet his death
About to meet his death

There was forty feet between them
When they stopped to make their play
And the swiftness of the Ranger is still talked about today
Texas Red had not cleared leather for a bullet fairly ripped
And the ranger's aim was deadly, with the big iron on his hip
Big iron on his hip

It was over in a moment and the folks had gathered 'round
There before them lay the body of the outlaw on the ground
Oh, he might have went on livin' but he made one fatal slip
When he tried to match the ranger with the big iron on his hip
Big iron on his hip

Big iron, big iron
When he tried to match the ranger with the big iron on his hip
Big iron on his hip

Lyrics submitted by annazoff, edited by SkyOfAegis, danyoson24, Sysmec

Big Iron Lyrics as written by Martin Robinson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Big Iron song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentAwesome song, heard it on Fallout: New Vegas. It's really sad that music has gone from songs about justice and pride in officers of the law to what "music" is now- all about "killin' niggas, smackin' hos, and dealing drugs." Paradigm shifts like this happen and people still wonder why America, even more the world at large, is going down the toilet.
    taurip90on November 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIs a wonderfully evocative piece of widescreen Western myth-spinning,informed by tales told to the young Robbins by his Texas ranger grandfather.
    annazoffon September 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hate Country and Western, but I adore this song.

    It's probably because Marty Robbins tends to verge more towards folk than most popular country acts like The Louvin Brothers. I love folk.
    ThomYorkeGuyGarvey92on August 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes this song have anything to do with an old west bounty hunter I forgot his name but I know he was a black guy and he was after an escapee (outlaw) who has notches on his gun belt and one day the hunter went into town and his friend saw the guy going into a store,but the outlaw ran out and tried to kill the hunter and the hunter chased him down and lept off his horse and pulled a winchester rifle (a big iron?) and shot the outlaw,and as he approached the outlaw he leaned down and the outlaw gave him his guns and belt.This song sort of reminded me of this story and I'm wondering if the song is related to this event.
    MickeyN1on August 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOf all the story songs there are, this one ranks as one of the best. What great lyrics! One of my favorite lines in this song is when he totally describes the gun fight by saying "There was 40 feet between them when they stopped to make their play. And the swiftness of the Ranger is still talked about today." In a million years, I couldn't have come up with something so perfect, so simple, so descriptive, so cool...They are still talking about the Ranger....He uses three main characters in the song...THe Ranger, Texas Red and the townspeople...They are such a part of this song...ANd they are still talking about it today. I think this is one of the best crafted songs EVER!
    bluegrassdudeon July 25, 2015   Link

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