Tales of vagabonds and outlaw men with a burning lust for gold
But of all those men with all their sins the worst there’s ever been
Was a man in white who showed up one night in the town of Abilene.
For Fernando McGraw of Statler Hall, it was the best day of his life
He’d waited six years and now through tears he made Marie his wife
Two hundred guests merrily processed behind the bride and groom
With hurrying feet through the rain-filled street to Winchester’s Saloon.
The dancing went on till midnight when the fiddler set down his bow
Said, “I’ve played my best, let’s give it a rest and everyone go home.”
A man of the cloth, he feared God’s wrath if he kept not the Sabbath day
But with angry eyes and wild cries Marie ran up on stage.
“Oh, no you don’t!” she hollered out, her face with fury marred
“Before anyone goes, you pick up that bow and play your fiddle hard.”
But refusing to play, he went on his way and she whispered to herself,
“On the grave of my mother I’ll find another, though he come from blackest hell!”
Just then the man in white swept in, none knew from where or how
He played that fiddle with lightning speed, and fire flared from his brow
He played a tune so hard and fast his bow could scarce be seen
And with riotous delight they danced that night in festive Abilene.
Weary, Fernando paused to rest, but was suddenly back on his feet
Hard as he resisted, his legs insisted on tapping the fiddler’s beat
“We have to leave,” he told Marie, and together they searched for the door
But the exits were gone, and the fiddler played on, and no one left the floor.
The faster he played, the faster they danced, and none could break the spell
And early that morning as day was dawning he bowed and returned to hell
The dancing went on without a song, and when the police came at noon,
Grinning and spinning, two hundred skeletons twirled through the darkened saloon.
There are tales they tell in Texas that would freeze your flowing blood
Of nights when darkness stalks the plains and sin the sky enfolds
But of all those tales and all those hells, the worst there’s ever been
Was the night when the devil led the revels in the town of Abilene.