The singer warns the sheriff not to bother "Captain Old Blue." The song describes the various outlaws who work in the Snake River area
Captain Old Blue Partial text(s) *** A *** From correspondence forwarded by David Wahl. It's not absolutely clear who was the original informant. "Tis not long since I've learned, by the laws of our land, Our law-abiding citizens have taken in hand, By a well known desperado and horse-trader too, He is known on the trails as our Captain, Old Blue. Now Blue, he is an outlaw, and the sheriff he stands With a pair of cocked pistols gripped tight in each hand. Go take a walk, Tommy, I'm telling you true, Take a walk for your health and bother Old Blue. There is Homar, the ranger, he sails on the trails, Equipments are graceful, he uses horsehide for sails, He is fond of wild life and a bold buckaroo, By life or by death, he will stay with Old Blue. (Stanzas 1, 3, 5 of 9)
David Wahl sent me a copy of this text, along with discussion by those who knew it. It does not appear to have been published in any collection, but apparently made it into oral tradition in eastern Oregon and Idaho.
Newell Stubblefield wrote to the _Idaho Farmer_ magazine about the piece, saying that it was written by the father of one John Bare.
"Old Blue" was apparently an outlaw named Bruce Evans, who was active in Wallowa County, Oregon in the 1880s. He committed several murders, was apprehended, but escaped from prison and was not found again. - RBW