Pistol Packin' Papa
Jimmie Rodgers Lyrics


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I'm a pistol-packin' papa, and when I walk down the streets
You can hear those mamas shouting "don't turn your gun on me"
Now girls, I'm just a good guy and I'm going to have my fun
And if you don't want to smell my smoke, don't monkey with my gun

Like a hobo when he's hungry, like a drunk man when he's full
I'm a pistol-packin' papa and I know how to shoot the bull
The whole of men don't hold me and they sure leave me be
I'm a pistol-packin' papa and I ramble where I please

Oh well, I have that funny feeling, that luring ramble's call
I swing aboard of some freight train and I shoot my pistol low
Sometimes one shot will do, near sometimes it takes four or five
And sometimes I shoot all around before I'm satisfied

When you hear my pistol puffin' you better hide yourself someplace
'Cause I ain't made for stoppin' and I come for a shootin' race
My sweetheart understands me, she says I'm her big shot
I'm her pistol-packin' daddy and I know I got to drop

You can hear my Newsport roadster, you can take my Hartford hat
But you can never take from me my silver-mounted gat




I'm a pistol-packin' papa and I'm going to have my fun
Just follow me and you will hear the barking of my gun

Overall Meaning

In Jimmie Rodgers's song Pistol Packin' Papa, the singer talks about himself as a pistol-packing father who carries his gun while walking down the streets. The women around him shout, "Don't turn your gun on me," but he maintains that he's just a good guy who wants to have his fun. He warns that if they don't want to smell his smoke, they shouldn't monkey with his gun. The singer compares himself to a hungry hobo who will do anything to satisfy his hunger, and he knows how to shoot the bull. He says that although the whole of men can't hold him, they leave him be, and he roams wherever he pleases.


The singer frequently goes on the road, taking the freight trains and swinging aboard them. He often shoots his pistol low, and sometimes one shot is enough, while other times, he shoots four or five shots. He also shoots all around to satisfy himself. He warns the listeners that when he starts shooting, they better hide because he's not made for stopping, and he comes for a shootin' race. However, his sweetheart understands him, and she says he's her big shot – her pistol-packin' daddy. He concludes by saying that while anyone can take his roadster or hat, no one can take his silver-mounted gat. The song ends with the singer calling the listeners to follow him and hear the barking of his gun.


Line by Line Meaning

I'm a pistol-packin' papa, and when I walk down the streets
I am a man who carries a gun, and when I am in public, people take notice.


You can hear those mamas shouting "don't turn your gun on me"
Women are afraid of me because they think I might turn my gun on them.


Now girls, I'm just a good guy and I'm going to have my fun
Ladies, I'm not going to hurt anyone, I'm just enjoying myself.


And if you don't want to smell my smoke, don't monkey with my gun
If you don't want to be around when I start shooting, then don't mess with my gun.


Like a hobo when he's hungry, like a drunk man when he's full
I am always in a state of readiness, like a homeless man who is always looking for food or a drunk man who is satisfied.


I'm a pistol-packin' papa and I know how to shoot the bull
I am an experienced shooter who is skilled in handling firearms.


The whole of men don't hold me and they sure leave me be
No one can contain me because I am a powerful and independent man.


I'm a pistol-packin' papa and I ramble where I please
I am a man with a gun who travels wherever he wants without anyone stopping him.


Oh well, I have that funny feeling, that luring ramble's call
I have an irresistible urge to travel and explore new places.


I swing aboard of some freight train and I shoot my pistol low
I jump onto trains and shoot my gun at low targets while I travel.


Sometimes one shot will do, near sometimes it takes four or five
Sometimes I hit my target with one shot, but other times it takes several shots.


And sometimes I shoot all around before I'm satisfied
I sometimes shoot in all directions until I feel satisfied with my shooting.


When you hear my pistol puffin' you better hide yourself someplace
If you hear my gun firing, you should hide because I am not going to stop shooting.


'Cause I ain't made for stoppin' and I come for a shootin' race
I am not someone who stops easily and I am always willing to engage in a shooting competition.


My sweetheart understands me, she says I'm her big shot
My girlfriend loves me and thinks I am the best.


I'm her pistol-packin' daddy and I know I got to drop
I am her gun-wielding father figure and I feel like I need to be prepared for any dangerous situations.


You can hear my Newsport roadster, you can take my Hartford hat
You can hear my car and you can take my hat, but you cannot take away my gun.


But you can never take from me my silver-mounted gat
You can never take away my gun, which has silver mountings.


I'm a pistol-packin' papa and I'm going to have my fun
I am a man with a gun who is going to enjoy himself.


Just follow me and you will hear the barking of my gun
If you follow me, you will hear my gun firing.




Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing
Written by: JIMMIE RODGERS, WALDO O'NEAL

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

moonknight79

This is my favorite artist of all time. No one my age understands this type of music or my reasoning for listening to it but I really enjoy old time country, especially when it's the singing brakeman.

Michael

This song would be great in Fallout New Vegas.

David H Walton

I have a new favorite song and artist. Jimmie Rodgers was a genius.

David H Walton

This is a good example of Hokum Blues.

richard brazzel

percursor to gangsta rap sang by a tubercular frail ex railroad hand.

Dulcimerist

Check out "Pistol Packin" by Gangstagrass. This song was their inspiration, and they sampled it.

James F.

@gammeltfossil It's because people who predominantly listen to rap want there to be as many connections as possible to attenuate their well-being. Rap is absolutely linked to this type of music, but Rap's main goal in modern times was to devoid itself of real instruments almost completely. This wasn't as true in the 90s, but it is definitely prevalent with autotune, and things like quantization. Rock is not dead; music is just dying in general.

gammeltfossil

Why are people obsessed about making arbitrary comparisons between old and modern music. Outlaw heroes have existed in cultures the world over since time immemorial. The link to gangsta rap is tenous at best.

James F.

sung*

Cedric Thompson

Real music

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