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Big Iron Tab

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Artist:  Johnny Cash
Song: Big Iron
Album: American 4

All of these chords are bass strummed.  I have tabbed out the way Cash does this at the bottom.


# = Strum slowly

   C              Am                   F

C	                    Am
To the town of Aqua Fria rode a stranger one fine day
C					Am
Hardly spoke to folks around him didn't have too much to say
F				C
No one dared to ask his business no one dared to make a slip
C				Am
For the stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip
F		C
Big iron on his hip

It was early in the morning when he rode into the town
He came riding from the south side slowly looking all around
He's an outlaw loose and running came the whisper from each lip
And he's here to do some business with the big iron on his hip
Big iron on his hip

In this town there lived an outlaw by the name of Texas Red
Many men had tried to take him and that many men were dead
He was vicious and a killer though a youth of twenty four
And the notches on his pistol numbered one and nineteen more
One and nineteen more

Now the stranger started talking made it plain to folks around
He was an Arizona Ranger wouldn't be too long in town
He came here to take an outlaw back alive or maybe dead
And he said it didn't matter he was after Texas Red
After Texas Red

The morning passed so quickly it was time for them to meet
It was twenty past eleven when they walked out on the street
Folks were watching from their windows everybody held their breath
They knew this handsome ranger was about to meet his death
Was about to meet his death

There was forty feet between them when they stopped to make their play
And the swiftness of the ranger is still talked about today
Texas Red had not cleared leather when a bullet fairly ripped
And the ranger's aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip
The Big iron on his hip
Big iron Big iron

C                                                             Am
When he tried to match the ranger with the Big iron on his hip
F	          C
Big iron on his hip


C	Csus2	C

Walk down from C to Am:

   C               Am

You can reverse this to use it from Am to C.

Walk down from Am to F:

   Am                F

Bass Strumming on C:

h = hammer on/pull off
^ = Upstroke

           ^            ^         ^           ^

Bass Strumming on Am:

         ^            ^        ^      ^

Occasionally, you will hear Cash doing this on the Am:


Bass Strumming on F:


If you have any suggestions, queries or need help e-mail me on lsmith70@gmail.com
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12 comments total. Showing first comments. show 1 bad comment
+2 reply
THE BULGE 576 wrote on July 23 2008, 07:58 am

great tab and you explained the walking bass chords so well. thank you.

0 reply
Marcolistic 12 wrote on January 31 2013, 05:31 pm

I'm having a little trouble finding out how the switch between C and F goes, can anyone help me out here? :) Other than that I love this tab, beautiful work.

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