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Johnny Cash
"Mean As Hell" lyrics

Mean As Hell

The devil in hell
We're told was chained
A thousand years
He there remained
He neither complain
Nor did he groan
But was determined to start
A hell of his own

Where he could torment
The souls of men
Without being chained
In a prison pen
So he asked the Lord
If he had on hand
Anything left
When he made this land

The Lord said, "Yes
There's a plenty on hand
But if I left it down
By the Rio Grande
The fact is, old boy
The stuff is so poor
I don't think you could use it
As the hell anymore"

But the devil went down
To look at the truck
And said if he took it
As a gift he was stuck
For after looking that over
Carefully and well
He said, "This place
Is too dry for a hell"

But in order to get it
Off his hand
The Lord promised the devil
To water the land

So trade was closed
And deed was given
And the Lord went back
To his home in heaven
And devil said
"Now I got all what's needed
To make it good hell"
And he succeeded

He began by putting thorns
All over the trees
He mixed up the sand
With millions of fleas
He scattered tarantulas
Along the road
Put thorns on cactus
And horns on toad

Lengthened the horns
Of the Texas steer
Put an addition
To the rabbits ear
Put a little devil
In the bronco steed
And poisoned the feet
Of the centipede

The rattlesnake bites you
The scorpion stings
The mosquito delights you
With his buzzing wings
The sunburst are there
And so the ants
And if you sit down you'll need
Have soles on your pants

The wild boar rooms
On a black chaparral
It's a hell of a place
That he has for hell
The heat in the summers
Are hundred and ten
Too hot for the devil
Too hot for men

The red pepper grows
Upon the banks of the brook
The Mexican use it
In all that he cook
Just dine it with one of them
And you're bound to shout
"I've hell on the inside
As well as it out"

My hands are calloused
July to July
I use a Big Dipper
To navigate by
Fight off the wolves
To drink from my well
So I have to be mean as hell

A sheep herder came
And put up the fence
I saw him one day
But I ain't seen him since
But if you're needing mutton
We've got mutton to sell
We're cowpunchers
And we're mean as hell

Neither me nor my pony's
Got a pedigree
But he takes me where
I'm wanting to be
I'll ride him to death
And when he is fell
I'll get me another one
Mean as hell

I shot me a calf
And I cut off her head
Cause the boys in the bunkhouse
Are waiting to be fed
They rise in chime
With the five thirty bell
And the best one of any of them
Is mean as hell