Gun Fight at the OK Corral
Western Music
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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.

Popular Recordings

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

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