This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing songs involving Big | Large | Little | Small | Tall | Tiny for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday.
I chose “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins which is a song that tells a story about an Arizona Ranger’s duel with a 24 year old outlaw named Texas Red. Texas Red had killed many men and thought quite a bit about his drawing ability and wasn’t worried about a ranger. It proved to be the death of him when the ranger swiftly pulled his gun and shot Texas Red with that big iron on his hip.
The song was inspired by a firearm built by Andy Anderson in his Fast Draw Holster shop from parts consisting of a 12″ barrel made from an 1892 Winchester rifle barrel that chambered a .44 Magnum round. He put an original Colt 1860 Army grip on this gun. Anderson was 6’4″ with large hands and therefore “Big Iron” was created.
Marty Robbins was in the shop the day a customer purchased the gun. The customer was also a large man and Marty was fascinated by his fast drawing the Colt Buntline Special which is a single action Army revolver. A week after Marty was in the shop, Andy Anderson received a record in the mail of “Big Iron”.
The gun currently resides in a private collection.
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 was 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 twenty 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 Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Marty Robbins Big Iron lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management