SLS – “Big Iron” By Marty Robbins

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.


  • Written and performed by Marty Robbins.
  • Released as an album track on Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs in September, 1959.
  • Released as a single in February of 1960 with the song “Saddle Tramp” on the B-side.
  • Chosen as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time by members of the Western Writers of America.
  • Reached #5 on the US Hot Country Songs and #26 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
  • Michael Martin Murphy covered the song and put it on his 1993 album “Cowboy Songs III”. With the Robbins family blessings, the song was recorded as a duet with Marty Robbins.

“Big Iron”

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

19 Comments on “SLS – “Big Iron” By Marty Robbins

  1. Kudos to you Lisa! Keep em rolling out. Question, if I have a question or two about your page could I contact you here or would that be unethical on your comment page. I gave contacted support but they usually leave me more confused than when I contacted them. I want to post more but don’t want the main topic hurried at the bottom of future posts. Again, congrats you are an AWESOME BLOGGER with a wide variety of interesting and engaging content. Keep up the good work. I look forward to my notification of ‘Lisa posted about…..’
    Thanks for the good reads and content! Two thumbs up! 👍👍😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Charles. I appreciate your kind words. I’m not sure I can answer your questions, but would be glad to try. I just added a contact page to my site. You can go there and fill out your info and send me a message with your question. Go to then click on the contact tab. 😊


    • I read that somewhere a few weeks ago when I was doing SLS. I didn’t have the time to dive into his personal life and maybe I should have mentioned it anyway. 🙂 It is a pretty cool fact!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad I could provoke a special feeling for you. I often hear songs on the blogs that remind me of my mom and it is an awesome feeling. Especially if I haven’t heard them in a while. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your first video is George Jones singing Take Me, which I just heard a week or so ago in the documentary on Leon Russell. The 2nd video and song is good. I think there were a few of these cowboy outlaw songs out in this period. I remember Liberty Valance being good also.

    Liked by 1 person

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