Western Song: Gunfight at the OK Corral
Gunfight at the OK Corral is a song from the 1957 American Western film of the same name. The film was loosely based on the shootout (1881) that made mythical heroes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
About the Gunfight at the OK Corral
The gunfire at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second shooting between lawmen led by a deputy U.S. Marshal and Tombstone, Arizona City Marshal Virgil Earp and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws called the Cowboys including Ike Clanton, that occurred on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, around 3:00 p.m in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, United States. It is generally considered the most popular shootout in American Wild West history.
The truth is, the gunfight did not take place in or next to the O.K. Corral as the name indicates, instead the shootout took place in a narrow lot on the side of C. S. Fly Photography Studio on Fremont Street, six doors west of the O.K. Corral’s rear entrance. According to American novelist Mary Doria Russell, to sum up the conflict, it very early on became the gunfight at the O.K. Corral since it takes way too long to say ‘the officer-involved shooting in the alley behind Fry’s Photography Studio near the corner of First and Fremont, a little north of the O.K. Corral.
About the Song
The song featured in the movie with the same name was composed and conducted by Russian-born American film composer and conductor Dimitri Tiomkin with lyrics by Ned Washington, sung by Frankie Laine. Members of the Western Writers of America included it in their list of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
Some artists who recorded the song include:
- Frankie Laine with Jimmy Carroll
- Tony Dallara Sings with The Rocky Mountains Ol’ Time Stompers
- Johnny Western
- Erich Kunzel – Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – Frankie Laine, Vocals
Listen (Frankie Laine Version)
Gunfight at the OK Corral Lyrics
O. K. Corral, O. K. Corral There the outlaw band, make their final stand O. K. Corral Oh, my dearest one must die Lay down my gun or take the chance Of losing you forever Duty calls My back's against the wall Have you no kind word to say Before I ride away, away? Your love, your love I need your love Keep the flame, let it burn Until I return From the gunfight at O. K. Corral If the Lord is my friend We'll meet at the end Of the gunfight at O. K. Corral Gunfight at O. K. Corral Boot Hill, Boot Hill So cold, so still There they lay side by side The killers that died In the gunfight at O. K. Corral O. K. Corral Gunfight at O. K. Corral