Ballad of Belle Star live on KRFC

from Rocky Mountain High: Live on KRFC by Amy Annelle



"Ballad of Belle Star" music by Amy Annelle, lyrics after Woody Guthrie's "Belle Star" with additional lyrics by Amy Annelle


Belle Star, Belle Star
tell me where have you gone?
since old Oklahoma's
Sand Hills you did roam
eight outlaws they say
knew your bitter refrain
Bandit Queen, Terror of the Plains

Cole Younger was your first
and the father of your girl
sweet Rosie Lee
but you called her Pearl
Cole did twenty for robbery
went free on parole
Pearl Starr did life
in an Arkansas bordello

'tis said that you loved
William Clarke Quantrill
that bushwhacker struck
from the Missouri hills
he burned Lawrence, Kansas
so much blood was spilled
that when he rode out
two hundred laid killed

you took Jim Reed
to your warm wedding bed
and from out of your love
was born the boy Ed
a friend shot old Jim
by the dark of the moon
and Ed was cut down
in a drunken saloon

your Cherokee lover
Sam Starr was his name
wed you in the Sandhills
before your great fame
I heard he stopped a bullet
in 18 and 85
so you married his brother
the young Jim July

then there was Bob Younger
you loved him well
he rode with the James boys
down the outlaw trail
the holdup in Northfield (Minnesota)
didn't go so well
and he died of TB
in a Stillwater jail cell

They that you could have
they whisper you might
have loved Frank James
on a couple of nights
in WInston, Missouri
he robbed the Rock Island Line
many died by his hand
but he never did time

they say that it could be
they say maybe so
that you loved Jesse James
that desperado
he married Zerelda
although she was kin
a Ford Brothers' gunshot
is what did him in

Belle Star Belle Star
your time's gettin' late
but what of Jim Younger?
did you hear his fate?
Jailed and paroled
despite all he'd done
blowed his own brains out
in nineteen-and-one

Belle Star Belle Star
met a terrible end
a shotgun blast to the back
down at Younger's Bend
eight outlaws they say
knew your bitter refrain
Bandit Queen, Terror of the Plains
Bandit Queen, Terror of the Plains


from Rocky Mountain High: Live on KRFC, released July 12, 2010


all rights reserved



Amy Annelle Austin, Texas

A prolific writer and interpreter of songs, Amy Annelle maps out the farther reaches of American music, while conjuring visions of our restless musical past. Over the course of ten albums & thousands of miles logged on the road, Annelle has cultivated a rarified voice and repertoire that "blooms with open-hearted, lustful vulnerability and a harrowing naturalistic solitude”(Crawdaddy). ... more

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