So this is one of those stories that I find funny but has no real point to it.

One day, one of the guys at work came in with a red-and-pink plaid shirt. Everyone gave him crap for wearing a pink shirt. He’d got it at a western store in Missouri: the shirt cost $25, unless you bought a $10 bag of chicken feed, in which case, you got it for free, so he bought the feed and put it out for the birds. And you know, if the worst that a bunch of conservatives can make fun of you is for a shirt that you got for free with a batch of chicken feed at a bona fide western store, you’re pretty well off.

Anyway, I kept thinking of that Peter S. Beagle book, I See By My Outfit:

“I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.”
“I see by your outfit you are a cowboy too.”
“We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys.
If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy too.”

So I looked it up and found out the name of the song was “Streets of Laredo.”

I sent him the link without reading the whole thing, and he said, “Thanks — so you think I’m going to die of a sexually transmitted disease, huh? I can read between the lines.”

And, sure enough, in the original lyrics:

Had she but told me when she disordered me,
Had she but told me of it at the time,
I might have got salts and pills of white mercury,
But now I’m cut down in the height of my prime.

Turns out the version I was thinking of was the Smothers Brothers.

Anyway, turns out Johnny Cash covered it at one point. I couldn’t find the actual Smothers Brothers version, but here’s a cover of their cover.