The Story Behind The Song

Written while on vacation in Lake Placid, upstate New York. I was out looking at the snow on the mountains. Feeling the frost in the air. Thinking this would have been mighty hard country to tame and build a life in many years ago.

Remembering the novel, Big Sky, and thinking about mountain men, and trappers, and fur traders, and Indian killers, and wolves and coyote roaming the high country in search of food, and how hard men were needed in hard times to open up the country, and create the New World – not matter what the cost to life and limb. And I kept repeating, over and over…
Snow on the mountain.
Frost in the air.
Listen to coyote howling over there.

Blood On The Mountain
© 2008. Jim Lesses. All Rights Reserved.

Am                          C                                    F           G7    Am
Trapper Dan was a mountain man, and he liked to live alone.
Am                            C                            F             G7         E
Back in the days of ’49, you know the mountain was his home.
Am                       C                        F        G7            Am
Trapping fox and beaver, for the finest pelts and fur,
Am                C                                 F         G7              Am
Even killed a bear or two, it didn’t matter what they were.

Danny laid his traps out; they were made of toughened steel,
Never stopped to think what kind of pain God’s creatures feel.
Until the day he stumbled, and got caught in his own trap,
But all he did was grunt, and curse, when he felt his leg bone snap!

F                      G7              F                   G7
Blood on the mountain. Frost in the air.
F                     G7                         E                      E7
Snow on the ground and wild coyote everywhere.

The trapper left a woman on the highlands far away,
Always planned to send for her, and wed her one fine day.
But plans are meant for dreamers; and for those with time to live,
The trapper’s time was running out, and he had no more to give.


For three long days and weary nights, he held the pack at bay,
But with his powder almost gone, the time had come to pray.
Coyote broke from cover as he fell onto his knees,
No-one was there to hear his last shot echo through the trees.


Blood on the mountain…



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