The Hegemon Saloon

For sixty years and more after World War 2, the United States was the world’s sheriff, keeping the peace, using force where necessary, all to prevent the world from collapsing into anarchy. Every aspiring writer is advised to shoot the sheriff in the first paragraph, in order to immediately engage the reader. It took a long time for the post WW2 narrative to unfold, but unfold it did, for in the final chapter the sheriff got shot. Shot in the back by Barack the Kid, shot in the back while playing cards in the Hegemon saloon, his winning hand fluttering to the floor, full house, aces up. Young Barack was elected sheriff, and all seemed well at first, until the Clanton gang rode into town.

I seen it all, the old man said
The Kid come down the street
He walked inside an’ shot him dead
His aces hard to beat
He walked through them there swingin’ doors
I follered just to see
I seen one had a pair of fours
The Kid’s gun hung real free
The barkeep follered with his eyes
But no one else took note
An’ then to everone’s surprise
The Kid pulled back his coat
His gun come out just sorta slack
Real slow as you might say
An’ shot the sheriff in the back
Then calmly walked away
Ain’t no one moved for quite some time
At least that’s how it seemed
The sheriff dead, a heenus crime
Just felt like we all dreamed
The Kid says he’s the Sheriff now
An’ all but me agrees
The Kid says we all have to bow
An’ he’ll do as he please
He made us give up all our guns
He says it’s hope and change
An’ says that ‘fore there’s many suns
That peace be on the range
Not long though till the church bells rang
An’ all come fallin’ down
‘Cause that’s the day the Clanton gang
Come ridin’ into town

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