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A cowboy is turned avenging angel against the town that framed him and made him a criminal, locked him up and hanged him. The devil tempts him to join forces, but he resists and after he gets his revenge against the town, he challenges the devil himself to a final gunfight -- winner take all. The song is loosely based on the Clint Eastwood film "High Plains Drifter".
Story Behind the Song
I wanted to write a modern rock folk tale about a man who is wronged and gets his revenge against those who framed him. When the devil offers to help him in return for a stake in the land, the man is tempted, but then turns against the devil as well.
They made me a criminal, but I ain't going down
They caged me like an animal in this godforsaken town
They hanged me up by rope and nail, and left me there to die
With one foot in the underworld, I heard the devil cry
He shouted "Ride tall, hang if you fall
This is your final stand
Ride tall and shoot a hole in the wall
and take this devil's hand...together we will rule this land"
They rolled in like a thundercloud, they stormed in from the west
My guns, they blazed a thousand times, and laid that scum to rest
When everything was said and done, the devil made his pitch
I said I may not be an angel, lord...but I ain't no devil's bitch
I 'm gonna ride tall, balls to the wall
And make my final stand
Ride tall, and let the dominoes fall
I'll take no devil's hand
Alone I will rule this land
The devil came a ridin' through
I told him where to go
He said "I'll make a final bet with you...
The winner takes it all"
His draw was quick, his aim was true
His bullet pierced my heart
But when he came to claim his rightful due
I blew those horns apart
I shouted ride tall, winner takes all
That was your final stand
Ride tall, and now it's your turn to fall
The dead know who I am
An unforgiving man
And though I may be damned
Alone I rule this land
They made me a criminal...
Rock - General, Rock - Hard Rock
Tempo / Feel
Medium Slow (91 - 110)
Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton
1800 - 1899
||Rollin' and guitarist Vlad Kary