the high hawk knows where the rabbit goes
and the buzzard marks the kill
but few there be with eyes to see
the tall men riding still
we hark in vain on the speeding train
for an echo of hoofbeat thunder
and the yellow wheat is a winding sheet
for cattle trails plowed under

hoofdust flies at the low moon's rise
and the bullbat's lonesome whir
is an echoed note from the longhorn throat,
a steer as it were
inch by inch, time draws the cinch,
till the saddles creak no more
and they the lords of the cattle hordes
shall tally a final score

oh the tall men riding
under the phantom moon
oh the tall men riding
hoofbeats like hammers of doom

this is the song that the night birds sing
as the phantom herds trail by
horn by horn where the long plains throw
flat miles to the sky
and this is the song that the night birds wail
where the Texas plains lie wide
over the dust of a ghostly trail
where the phantom tall men ride

“Under the Phantom Moon” lyrics based on a traditional poem by Omar Barker (b.1894)