Ladies and gentlemen of the jury
I come before you to plead for the life of Leon McDuff
Ladies and gentlemen on the jury
I asking you to be the judge of when enough is enough

Now Leon McDuff has worked on his daddy's farm everyday since the day that he was born
Plowing in the fields and hoeing in the garden and helping pick the cotton and the corn
Then came the time of the Mississippi floods and all of his work went down the drain
The land was parched by the sun and blown by the wind and finally washed away by the rain

So he went to his friends to get some help from them but their crops and their money was all gone
So he went to the bank to mortgage his home but the bank wouldn't give Leon a loan
He could not decide how his family would survive with no crops and no money to buy food
And as he struggled with his hands to rework his land the notice came that said his land tax was due


Now in an air-conditioned office on the other side of town sat a government official with a frown
‘Cause he'd been trying for so long to find land to build a summer home but cheap river land could not be found
Then in the middle of his gloom his boss walked in the room and said I've got some real good news for the house you've planned
There's a farmer who's so poor and who's luck has run so sour that he can not pay the taxes on his land

So just you wait a week or two ‘til the money's over due then go to the cashier down the hall
With his deed in your hand pay the taxes on the land have the sheriff give Leon McDuff a call
Have him tell Leon to move by the last day of July because the taxes on his land are overdue
Tell him he has to move away ‘cause the taxes were not paid then all his river land belongs to you


Now in that air-conditioned office in about a week or two came the sheriff saying I've got some bad news
That Leon McDuff says he's had some bad luck and he'll try to get the money but he aint agonna' move
That official he jumped up and grabbed the sheriff by the arm he said we're going down to take that land today
So he and the sheriff drove down to Leon's farm to tell the McDuffs to move away

There stood Leon on his land with a shotgun in his hand, his eyes narrowed ‘neath the brim of his hat
He said “I've worked hard on this land as a boy and as a man I aint gonna lose it to no god damned bureaucrat.”
Well that bureaucrat got mad and grabbed the gun in Leon's hand and in the struggle an explosion cracked the air
And when the smoke and dust had cleared and the ringing left their ears, the sheriff lay a dying on the ground


Now on this table I will lay, this gun “Exhibit A” with two sets of fingerprints as you can see
But other hands were here unperceived by eye or ear that helped trigger off this awful tragedy
Now to me its still unclear just what really caused the problem here
There's much too much we've got to know before we know enough
So we can't find out today where all the guilt should lay but it shouldn't be on Leon McDuff


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