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The Death Of Dora Hand

Frank Turner

Dora Hand was a singer in the New York operetta
Born into Boston old money, and Paris trained
Dressed in black, she was a classic beauty, but cursed with constitution sickly
She ventured West to breathe the fresh air on the Plains
She ended up down in Dodge City, it was a cowtown, dry and ugly
She hid her past, took Fannie Keenan for a name
Took the stage as a Vaudeville singer at the Lady Gay and the Alhambra
The cowboys loved her and she quickly rose to fame

Sing a song, boys, for Dora Hand
She brought a little beauty to this hard and barren land
Doff your caps, boys, though saved or damned
For Dora Hand

Now to the Dodge folk she was an Angel, they called her "Lady Bountiful"
By day, and "Queen Of Fairy Belles" by night
She was bringing in good money, so she gave plenty to the needy
She sure could sing, but she sure knew her wrong from right
Now lovely Dora, she took the fancy of that mayor, James Dog Kelley
Like many a man before him he was heard to say
"That there Dora is a beautiful creature, she gives men a strange nostalgia
Dreams of finer things and better days"

So sing a song, boys, for Dora Hand
She brought a little beauty to this hard and barren land
Dream a dream, boys, of a promised land
Of Dora Hand

Now young Spike Kenedy came up from Texas on a rolling black thunder cloud
He was a-whooping and a-whoring and a-drowning in whiskey like a one-man bad luck crowd
One night he saw Dora singing at the Alhambra and he tried to slip the lady a kiss
Dog Kelley got angry and he knocked him on his belly with one flick of his Kansas wrist

Well now Spike, he got mad, he was looking out for blood, he was raging like the Devil's stepson
He rode out to the cabin which the mayor used for napping on a horse with a loaded six-gun
He fired in the dark, but he didn't hit his mark when the bullet went through that wall
Kelley wasn't in his bed, lying there in his stead, Dora Hand was killed

So the marshals, they raised a posse, and they caught up with young Spike Kenedy
His daddy bought him free, even though he confessed
All Dodge City wept for Dora, every bar closed as they buried her
Four hundred cowboys rode her to her rest

Sing a song, boys, with the funeral band
We won't see her like again in this hard and barren land
Wave her off, boys, to No Man's Land
Our Dora Hand

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