Guitar Chords and Lyrics for Young Rebel: The Ballad of Sam Davis

Ross Moore, on his album Southern Son, has a fine collection of music. This is an album you should purchase if you love Southern Rebel music. You can purchase it here:  I particularly enjoyed his song, “Young Rebel: The Ballad of Sam Davis.” You can read the story of Sam Davis here:  I listened to the song and transcribed the lyrics and wrote down the chords for anyone who would ike to learn the song. Here they are:

“Young Rebel” by Ross Moore

Em                                          D           Am

On a cold November morning back in 1863

C                  Am                  C                     B7
The Kansas Jayhawkers were camped in Tennessee

Em                                                                      D             Am
When a Union scout came riding in and you could hear him cry

C        Am                     C                                                Em
There’s gonna be a hanging boys, we’ve captured us a spy.

They towed the prisoner through the camp amid the jeers and shouts
For the rebel they caught in the Tennessee hills was one of the Coleman scouts

Am                              Em
Young rebel, you’re in quite a spot

Am            B7                                     Em
Will you speak or will you swing from the hangman’s knot

The commander turned and faced him, this day would bring no joy
Sam Davis was his name they said, but this spy was just a boy
Sam’s face was pale, his hands shook too, you could tell he was afraid,
But if he spoke a word he knew many more would die that day.

For what the Yankees did not know, and Sam would never tell
Coleman and his band of scouts were locked up in their jail,
Helpless and imprisoned they could only watch and wait
For in his hands Sam Davis held their fate.


Sam squared his shoulders, shook his head and looked him in the eye
I can’t betray my countrymen, Sir, I’m prepared to die
(Next two lines Moore speaks)
Sam’s words rang out for all to hear,
“If I had a thousand lives, I’d give them all rather than betray a friend,”

Although Sam died that fateful day, the legacy lives on,
In Southern hearts that are still attuned to the cause he called his own.

Young rebel, you did not die in vain,
Coleman’s men all lived to ride again.