Sonora's Death Row
Tom Russell Lyrics

Well the Mezcal is free in Amanda's saloon
For the boys from the old Broken O
Saturday nights in the town of Sonora
Are the best in all Mexico
They've got guitars and trumpets and sweet senoritas
Who won't want to let you go
You'd never believe such a gay happy town
Had a street named Sonora's Death Row

Well inside Amanda's we were all dancin'
With all of Amanda's gals
I won some silver at seven card stud
So I was outdoin' my pals
But the whiskey and mezcal and peso cigars
Drove me outside for some air
Where somebody whispered "Your life or your money"
I reached but my gun wasn't there

I woke up face down in Amanda's back alley
Aware of the fool I had been
I rushed to my pony, I grabbed my Winchester
And I entered Amanda's Again
Where I saw my partners twirlin' my pistols
And throwin' my money Around
Blinded by rage, I pulled the trigger
And one of them fell to the ground

Well Amanda's grew silent like night in the desert
My friends stared in pure disbelief
Amanda was kneeling beside the dead cowboy
Plainly expressing her grief
And as I bowed my head, a tremble shot through me
My six-gun was there at my side
I felt in my pockets and there was my money
I fell to my knees and I cried

For a nightmare of mezcal was all that it was
No one had robbed me at all
I wish I was dreamin' the sound of the gallows
They're testin' just outside the walls
And the mezcal's still free in Amanda's saloon
For the boys from the old Broken O
And I'd give a ransom to drink there today
And be free of Sonora's Death Row
Yeah I'd give a ransom to drink there today
And be free of Sonora's Death Row


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Comments from YouTube:

patrick mcevers

I’ve listened to Michael Martin Murphy sing this hundreds of times. I’ve heard others try. I think this man sings it as well as Michael and is not trying to sound like Michael. Hats off to you


I have becomr enamoured, enchanted with Tom's incredible near euridite lyrics. I literally love this guy what a songwriter-indeed!


What a great story teller.

Mark Seeger



No doubt Tom Russell is one of the finest songwriters of our time.  Right there along with Gordon Lightfoot.  At this time and the wine I'm drinking doesn't much matter most who wrote what.  I am impressed and inspired deeply by the song writing abilities of both.


You are correct. pardon me.

David Towle

+geez louise This song was written by Kevin Blackie Farrell


I had this album on cassette, but lost it. Could you tell me the name. thanks

donna nash

I had it also on an album but it was a band called the moonlighters.. I've never found anything by them here

ed f

Kinda reminds me of the night my buddies and I walked into the El Paraiso Bar at Aqua Prieta's Zona Rosa and my old man was sitting at the bar with a prostitute on his lap. After some initial panic on his part, everything was cool, and he even introduced me to the prostitute.

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