The   Town Called Hell

There is a legend of a town called Hell
I hardly know to tell it well.

Jake Cotter was a peaceful man,
A kind and loving Gentle man
And he loved the fair Bonnie Christina

The fair the frail and lovely,
The lady named Bonnie Christina

It is important to know
In this tale of woe
That fair and frail and lovely
Was the lady named Bonnie Christina
And Jake Cotter was a peaceful man
A kind and loving Gentle man,
Who loved the fair Bonnie Christina

Christina lived in a town called Hell
That town, it was named exceedingly well

Hot desert winds they stabbed the eye
And parched the punishing merciless sky
The sun with unrelenting beat
Oppressed with all the desert heat
That beats upon the tired brain
And can very well drive man insane.

Lance Bowie lived in the town called Hell
He was a rich man, truth to tell
With fist and whip and firebrand
He ruled the place with an iron hand

He owned the water in the only well
That fed the people in the town called Hell.

One morning through the dust and heat
Was heard the hoof beats rhythmic beat

Through the waving bending rays
That make mirage and mental daze

Almost like a dream he rode
Alone and silent against the sky

Jud Barth caught him with his eye.

Jud was a just and righteous man
With leathered skin and desert tan
He’d lived in Hell for many a year
He hated the paralyzing fear
That filled the hearts of the people near.

He knew that someday a thing would be
Some outsider would come and see
Of Lance Bowie’s fabled tyranny
And would somehow set the people free

Around the campfires he’d often tell
His impossible dream for the town called Hell.

As the stranger came to clearer sight
Jud’s weary eyes they saw a light
He offered the stranger a drink of water
The gentle man that was called Jake Cotter

Refreshed, the stranger told his heart,
As brother to new-found brother’s heart
“I’ve crossed this desert, dry and wide,
To find myself a loving bride”

“There’s one in this town, worthy and fair,
Who smiles and loves with gentle flair
She has flowing golden hair
The lady named Bonnie Christina”

Love came swift and love came sure
For Christina could scarcely more endure
The cruel hearts that I hate to tell,
Were living in the town called Hell

Jud Barth took Christina’s hand
“In all this lonely desert land,
You’ll never find a love more true,
Than this Jake Cotter offers you”

Jake and Christina, their hearts took flight, 
As they whispered love’s plans to the summer’s night
But in their love they were left alone,
For the townspeople’s hearts had become as stone.

And one looked on with hatefulled sneer,
With angry, murderous, lust filled leer,
Lance clenched his teeth and spit on the floor
And strode angrily through the tavern door

Who was this stranger, could anyone say,
Who walked freely among them night and day?

It was in the square one sweltering day
A terrible fight in the public way
For Lance had threatened to stop the well
And kill all the people of the town called Hell

The well was in the middle of town, 
Where weary women let buckets down,
Then, in tribute to tyranny’s way,
The men of the town were forced to pay

Jake Cotter was a gentle man
He sat on the well and held her hand
And asked what  a strange thing this could be
That the people did not get their water free.

“Lance owns the land,”  her voice a tear
He’s owned it for many, many a year
He dug the well with his own hand
He dug it out of the desert sand

One by one, as people came,
He’d treat them equally the same
My land, my water, my property,
You just don’t drink if you won’t pay me

And no one has dared dig another well,
Nearby to this, in this town called Hell

So in the square, that sweltering day
Came a terrible fight  in the public way
Lance’s whip lashed sharp and deep
But Jake had a promise yet to keep

His loving Blood fell to the sand
As Lance’s whip did rip his hand

With strength of love
His hand stained red,

He smote Lance Bowie’s
Proud-filled head

The stone cold heart 
At last was dead

The earth it shook with a sudden roar
And rolling and turning of the sandy floor.
In every corner of the town
The walls came falling helpless down.

The howling wind blew it all away
Desolate to this very day,
No passing stranger could ever tell
That this was the place of the town called Hell.

The sun shone bright on a brand new day,
And my heart can gladly say,

Jud, Jake and Christine rode swift away
To a land of bright and endless day

(c) 1998  2011 "Christina Walden Ehn"