I shot the sheriff

I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy.
I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy.

All around in my home town
They're trying to track me down.
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy,
For the life of a deputy.
But I say

I shot the sheriff but I swear it was in self-defence.
I shot the sheriff and they say it is a capital offence.

Sheriff John Brown always hated me,
For what I don't know.
Every time that I plant a seed
He said, 'Kill it before it grows'.
He said, 'Kill it before it grows'.
But I say

I shot the sheriff but I swear it was in self-defence.
I shot the sheriff but I swear it was in self-defence.

Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town.
All of a sudden I see sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down
So I shot, I shot him down.
But I say

I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy.
I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy.

Reflexes got the better of me
And what is to be, must be.
Every day the bucket goes to well