Rose of the West
Sweetheart of the workers on the rails,
They said she was part Pawnee, but it mattered not to me,
Seeking her embrace I traveled many trails.
Oh, you did your work all day, and when you got your pay,
You saw Rosie and you had to wait your turn,
She was the only girl for miles, and so she raked it in in piles,
She got every single penny I would earn.
Left and right, do-si-do, swing your bustle to and fro,
I know you like the wilder side of life,
But, Rosie, you’re as sweet to me as any one could ever be,
When I get rich, I’m makin’ you my wife.
She had a wooden leg, with carven foot and not a peg,
So she could wear her purty buckled shoes,
You could smell her French perfume before you came into her room
To find that sometimes she’d be passed out from the booze.
Shake ‘em up, shake ‘em down, every time they come to town,
Pour out the whisky for the house,
Rosie be my love, and this I swear by God above,
One day I will be makin’ you my spouse.
She’d take Mexicans to bed, Irish and darkies, it was said,
Both Polacks and Bohunks would be fine,
But she wouldn’t do Chinese for less than eighty cents apiece,
‘Cause somewhere Rosie had to draw the line.
Turn ‘em in, turn ‘em out, let ‘em see your roundabout,
Dance for all the cowboys far and wide,
Rosie’s got my heart, as well as every other part—
I swear that someday I’ll be makin’ her my bride.
She had teeth of pearly white, and they all came out at night;
She kept ‘em by her bedside in a jar,
Her hair was of a golden hue that sparkled like the mornin’ dew,
But every now and then, her roots was black as tar.
Take a turn, take a pass, I forget which eye is glass,
Powder and rouge your mystery,
Oh, Rosie, when your corset’s tight, your figger’s an amazin’ sight,
Someday I’ll take you home to live with me.
Rosie liked to laugh and joke, just the same as other folk,
It was worth the trip to town to see her grin,
But once you hung up your gun, and then you had your spot of fun,
In your arms she would weep tears of purest gin.
Now she twirls, now she hops; that piano never stops,
Just watch her dance and you’ll become her slave,
Rosie, will you marry me? I know that if you don’t agree,
Before too long, I’ll be a-lyin’ in my grave.