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All songs words & music © Ed Pickford PRS/MCPS

The mist rolled slowly down the river  

The willow stood dark against the sky

And then he stepped straight into my pathway

And I know’d that one of us must die.

I’d trailed him here to do my lawful duty

So help me but I didn’t want to shoot

To some he was Fredrico de Ban-deed – o

But to me he was just Fred my crested newt.

As kids we’d walked these quiet woods together

We both were hunters in the grand old style  

But I’d grow’d up to be a lonesome law–man

And that was how I’d brung my friend to trial.

Then he broke jail one dusty summer’s evening  

The night before he was to meet his end

Some said, “Turn all the dogs out and let’s maul him.”

But I said, “No, I’ll shoot him – after all he is my friend.”  


I killed my pal I killed my pal

I killed my pal I killed my pal

His condition now is mort not petit mal

In life he played his part ‘til I broke his poor old heart

I killed my pal I killed my pal

I killed my pal

Go for your gun old pal now let’s draw quickly  

Let’s do what we both know now must be done  

I’m giving you more chance than you gave old Jeth–ro  

The man you killed even though I was his son.  

Fred drew his gun and I shot him without thinking  

When I saw the blood I know’d that he would die

Just where I hit him Lord knows I can’t tell you  

But when he spoke his voice was awful high

Rest easy friend farewell’s are not for buddies  

We’ll meet again across the Great Divide

Where we’ll hunt and shoot and fish in peace for-ev-er

Just a boy and his newt in glory side by side

You know someone once said this life is like a card game  

Fate deals the hand and an honest deal is rare

Some start flush and some have all the ac – es  

But all I have is just a little pair.

Ballad of the Crested Newt Flashback