The Martins and the Coys
© none
Author: Ted Werems and Al Cameron
Gather round me children, while I tell a story
Of the mountains in the days when guns was law.
When two families got disputin'
It was sure to end in shootin'
So just listen close, I'll tell you what I saw.

Oh, the Martins and the Coys,
They was reckless mountain boys,
And they took up family feudin' when they'd meet.
They would shoot each other quicker
Than it took your eye to flicker;
They could knock a squirrel's eye out at ninety feet.

All their fightin' started one bright Sunday morning,
When old Grandpa Coy was full of mountain dew;
Just as quiet as a church-mouse
He stole in the Martin's hen-house,
'Cause the Coys they needed eggs for breakfast too.

Oh, the Martins and the Coys,
They was reckless mountain boys,
And old Grandpa Coy has gone where angels live.
When they found him on the mountain
He was bleedin' like a fountain,
For they punctured him till he looked like a sieve.

So the Coys started right out to avenge him,
And they didn't even take time out to mourn.
They went out to do some killin'
Where the Martins was distillin',
And they found old Abel Martin makin' corn.

Oh, the Martins and the Coys,
They was reckless mountain boys,
And old Abel Martin was the next to go.
Though he saw the Coys a-comin'
He had hardly started runnin'
When a volley shook the hills and laid him low.

After that they started out to fight in earnest,
And they scarred the mountains up with shot and shell.
There was uncles, brothers, cousins -
Sure, they bumped 'em off by dozens;
Just how many bit the dust it's hard to tell.

Oh, the Martins and the Coys,
They was reckless mountain boys;
At the art of killin' they became quite deft.
Though they knowed they shouldn't do it,
Still before they hardly knew it
On each side they only had one person left.

Now, the one remaining Martin was a maiden,
And as pretty as a picture was this Grace,
While the one survivin' boy
Was the handsome Henry Coy -
And the folks all knew they'd soon meet face to f ace.

Oh, the Martins and the Coys,
They was reckless mountain boys,
And their shootin' and their killin' sure played hob.
For it didn't bring no joy
To know that Grace and Henry Coy
Both had sworn that they would finish up the job.

So at last they met upon a mountain pathway,
And Henry Coy he aimed his gun at Grace.
He was set to pull the trigger
When he saw her pretty figger -
You could tell that love had kicked him in the face.

Oh, the Martins and the Coys,
They was reckless mountain boys,
And they say their ghostly cussin' gives you chills,
For the hatchet sure was buried
When sweet Grace and Henry married
It broke up the best dern feud in these here hills.

Now you may think this is where the story ended,
But I'm tellin' you them ghosts don't cuss no more,
For since Grace and Henry wedded
They fight worse than all the rest did,
And they've carried on the feud just like before.

Ted Werems and Al Cameron