SERMON ON THE MOUNT
The J-Bar-H boys, we all knew
were really, quite an ornery crew.
They’d chew tobacco, scratch and spit
and tended to carouse a bit.
They’d spend all week out on the range
then Saturday, wash up and change
and when they made it into town
all good sense would soon be drowned
and they’d spend Sunday, flat in bed
with one hellashish aching head.
They saw themselves as a dying breed
and didn’t really see the need
for folks who went to Sunday service.
Those folks always made ‘em nervous
by the way they shook their head and such,
looked down their nose and glared so much.
And you know that cowboys as a rule
will bow their backs just like a mule
when someone’s got em under tow
to places he don’t want to go.
Well, one day, out there, on the range,
all of that began to change.
When a parson, just a-riding through,
asked em if they’d spare some chew,
and he sat there silent on his mare
as those cowhands commenced to swear.
Well, them roughneck fellers were amazed
this Bible thumper wasn’t fazed
but laughed right with them at their jokes
just like he was common folks.
He asked if he could stay the night
and they said that’d be all right.
Round the cook fire they dished up some stew
and watched to see just what he’d do.
He closed his eyes and bowed his head
but they don’t know just what he said.
Then he looked up with a big old grin,
picked up his spoon and dug right in.
Next morning, he was set to go
but one cowpoke just had to know
why he would spend time with the crew
when that’s not what those church folks do.
That parson sat there on his mare,
and in his Bible, showed them where
God sent his Son to not cast blame
but love all peoples just the same.
Their lives were changed, those hands recount,
thanks to that “Sermon on the Mount”.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999