Wm Pollock's Pianobook

The Sky Above, The Mud Below

Tom Russell

    (Am)Two men rode in (C)from the south, A rainy autumn night(Asus2)
The Sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)They walked into the Dea(C)con's bar, they were Mexican by
sight(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)They (C)threw a horsehair (G)bridle down, We (D/F#)trade this for 
whis(F)key rounds.
The (Am)Deacon (G)slams a bot(G)tle down, (E)The two men start to 
drink(Asus2)in'

(Am)Their hair was long (C)and black, tied up behind their ears(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)Their faces were ident(C)ical, like one man beside a mirror(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)Then some(C)one whispered "That (G)beats all, their (D/F#)wanted
posters on (F)the wall
Twin bro(Am)thers (G)name of (F)Sandoval, (E)horse thieves from
Boquil(Asus2)las"

(Am)Now the bridle and the (C)belts they wore were braided gray and
black(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asu2)low
(Am)The color of a roan (C)horse once belonged to Deacon Black(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)The fast(C)est horse for miles (A)around, He'd (D/F#)been stolen from
the old (F)fairground a (Am)month a(G)go outside (F)of town
(E)We tracked and never found (Asus2)him

(Am)Now the Deacon was a (C)preacher who had fallen hard from 
grace(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)He owned the bar and a (C)string of quarter horses that he'd 
race(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)Yea, Dea(C)con he could drink (G)and curse, though (D/F#)he still quoted
sa(F)cred verse
He (A)was sher(G)iff, judge; he (F)owned the hearse, (E)A man you did not
an(Asus2)ger

Bridge - The (C)sky above, the (G)mud below, The (D/F#)wind and rain,
The (F)sleet and snow
(Am)Two horse (G)thieves from (F)Mexico (E)drinkin' hard and
sing(Asus2)in'

(Am)One brother he (C)spoke English, Deac inquires as to their work(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)The man says "Mister we (C)braid horsehair bridles, ropes and 
quirts(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)Yea, (C)that fine bridle (G)we did make, A (D/F#)roan horse killed by leg-(F)bone break
He's (Am)horsehair (G)rope (F)now; horse-meat steak, (E)We cleaned him to
the (Asus2)bone

(Am)Well these gentlemen they were (C)ignorant or didn't know just where 
they were(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)The Deacon's face (C)grew darker as he measured every word(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)"You (C)horsehair braidin' sons of (G)bitches stole (D/F#)my claim to 
earthly (F)riches.
Some(Am)one go (G)and dig (F)a ditch, (E)There may well be a hangin'(Asu2)

(Am)One brother reached inside (C)his shirt searching for his gun(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Aus2)low
(Am)Too late, for Deac had (C)whipped around his sawed off 
Remington(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)The (C)twins, they raised their hands (G)and sneered, Deac (D/F#)was
grinnin' ear (F)to ear
He (Am)says (G)"Court's in (F)session, hear ye hear, (E)Yours truly is 
presidin'"(Asus2)

(Am)Well the trial commenced and (C)ended quick, They didn't have a 
hope(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)Deac says "We'll cut your hair (C)now boys and you can braid yourselves a rope"(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)The (C) Old Testament, it says (G)somewhere 'Eye (D/F#)for eye and hair (F)for hair
Cov(Am)et not (G)thy neigh(F)bors mare', (E)I believe it's Revela(Asus2)tions

(Am)Now the fancy horsehair (C)bridle, it hangs on Deacon's wall(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)Next to that wanted (C)poster of the brothers Sandoval(Asus2)
The sky above (G)and the mud be(Asus2)low
(Am)And (C)the twisted rope so (G)shiny black, The (D/F#)artifact that broke
(F)their necks
Their (Am)craftsman(G)ship he (F)did respect, (E)They shoulda stuck to braid(Asus2)in'

Tag - The (C)sky above the (G)mud below, The (D/F#)wind and rain, the
(F)sleet and snow
(Am)The Dea(C)con's hearse is (F)rollin' show (E)in the first blue light 
light of morn(Asus2)ing(Am)


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Here's what I use - I figured it out myself, so it may not be what was intended: 
(Em)Two men rode in (G)from the south, one (D)rainy autumn (Em)night
(The sky a(D)bove, the mud be(Em)low)
They walked into the (G)Deacon's Bar, they was (D)Mexican by (Em)sight
(The sky a(D)bove, the mud be(Em)low)
They (G)threw a horsehair (D)bridle down, (Am)'We trade this for (Em)whisky rounds'
The (G)Deacon (D)slammed a (C)bottle (B7)down - the (Em)two men (D)started (Em)drinkin'

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So it's looking like what I've come up with is 
(Am)Two men rode in (C) from the south, one rainy autumn (Am)night
(The sky a(G)bove, the mud be(Am)low)
They walked into the (C)Deacon's Bar, they was Mexican by (Am)sight
(The sky a(G)bove, the mud be(Am)low)
They (C)threw a horsehair (G)bridle down, (Bm)'We trade this for (F)whisky rounds'
The (Am)Deacon (G)slammed a (C)bottle (Bm)down - the (Am)two men started drinkin'

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How is it played??? This is popular opinion. I changed it around a bit and I think it's how 
Tom Russell played it on Songs of the West.. 


(Am)Two men rode in (C) from the south, one rainy autumn (Am)night

(The sky a(G)bove, the mud be(Am)low) 

They walked into the (C)Deacon's Bar, they was Mexican by (Am)sight

(The sky a(G)bove, the mud be(Am)low) 

They(C)threw a horsehair(G)bridle down (Dm)we trade this for(Am) whisky rounds

The(C) deacon (G) slammed a (F) bottle (Em) down, 

The(Em) two men (Em/G)start to(Am) drinkin'