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Cowboy History Poems | Cowboy Poems About History

These Cowboy History poems are examples of Cowboy poems about History. These are the best examples of Cowboy History poems written by international PoetrySoup poets

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Details | Cowboy | |

One of Texas's Best

“Back in my day” his stories all would start
I’d  lean in close to listen though I knew ‘em all by heart
He was a living legend, one of Texas’ best
Not just another lawman with a tin star on his chest

He fought along “RIP” Ford & John Coffee Hayes
When Texas was wooly & wild, back in the good old days
“One Riot, One Ranger” I’ve heard it said many times before
from fighting off Commanches to turning the tide of a range war

A Ranger never faltered, never imagined he could lose a fight
He’d  go hell bent for leather just to turn a wrong to right.
From Nueces to Salado Creek he patrolled the border land
Dealing out swift justice with a smoking Colt sitting easy in hand

Hardin, Iron Jacket & Sam Bass thought they could get away
The Rangers ran them down to ground, the stories still are told today
Great Granddad was a hero, one of Texas’s best
Not just another lawman with a tin star on his chest

He passed on the legacy & the stories I’ll now tell
as I hear his voice echo when I start off,  “ I remember well”
So tip your hat & raise your glass to the Rangers out there on patrol
and to all the Shadow Rangers, Rest in Peace, God rest your soul

Details | Cowboy | |

Cowboys and Indians

He pulls his hat down low against the chill of the storm,
The numb fingers that hold the reins forgot what it was like to be warm;

     On a grassy knoll silhouetted against the rising sun, 
     Astride his pinto pony sits a Native American son; 

The blowing snow and freezing rain steal his breath away,
But he knows that being a cowboy, it’s worth the price that you pay;

     A majestic, bronzed brave, feathers wafting in the breeze, 
     With arms uplifted in obeisance, the Great Spirit to appease! 

A worn out calf is stretched across his lap on either side,
Her head resting on his thigh just going along for the ride;

     He offers thanks to Him for the grandeur of creation, 
     And for the sun and moon from which he gathers inspiration;

Her momma just like him had been caught out in the gale,
It’s just another story to add to the cowboy’s tale;

     He asks the Great Spirit to bless his arrow and bow, 
     That with true aim he can fell life-sustaining buffalo;

His face is hard and beaten from too many days in the sun,
From early mornings and late nights workin’ til a job is done;

     A tear rolls down his cheek thinking of his ravaged, sacred land, 
     The broken treaties and those who dealt with deceitful hand; 

But being a working cowboy surely has its rewards,
Riding forgotten country that has never been explored.

     With a sad heart he lowers his arms and slowly turns away, 
     Determined that from the paths of his fathers he will not stray. 

By Tirzah Conway and Bob Hinshaw

The cowboy portion was written by Tirzah Conway and the Indian portion was written by Bob Hinshaw

Details | Free verse | |


A lone rider sits high in the saddle,
As the horizon's sunrise spreads across,
The open prairie.
Twin pearl handed pistols rest at his side,
As rusty spires clang against wooden planks,
At the deadwood saloon.
Legends cowboys whisper his name,
On the dry desert winds,
A giant of a man whom breathed
Life again into the legacy,
 Of the old west.
His side swagger's walk trademark
On the larger than a life screen.
The duke truly represents the great 
American hero on horse back.
Six shooters drawn at high noon's 
Count down,
John Wayne's the trail dusts equalizer,
He always remained on the right side,
Of tin stars law.
The tumble weeds rolls along a dirt path,
As tall cactus stand on an arried canvas,
Life here is harsh and mean,
Where only the strong survive.
Bold individuals with the inner
Strength against god's forbidden land.
Harden men whom lived by one simple,
Rule I will do what ever it takes
To stay alive.
He'll join the ghost riders,
Forever driving the lords herds
Across the grand divides vast
Prairie sky’s as the sunsets
In the old west.
Alone figure rides high in saddle,
Set against a legends back drop,
Hell bound for glory,
In a cloud of gun smokes fog,
Behold the duke emerges,
With his hat on straight
And gun at the ready.


Details | Free verse | |


Oh lord hear the lonesome cowboys lullaby, singing beneath
The vast prairie open sky.
Hush, do they not lull the restless cattle to sleep, by a soft
Undertones sweet melody.
Drifting plains men, singing of the sorrows broken hearted,
And dreaming visions of their beloved, they've left behind.
Guitar strumming minstrels, of the fire hearth, accented
By the lone harmonica, playing off in the distance
Amongst a sea of cows, and horses.
In harmonic rhythm is this grassroots orchestra, as the fiddler
Strikes up his bow to join in, and playing ever so gently along,
To harmony's rhythm.
On the rocky cliffs mixed in the sandy dunes, the heckling
Coyotes, give an eerie ambiance, to this old western chorus.
Do these desert whyly creatures, howl in perfections tune,
To the wrangler's musical beat, of these wide grassy expanses,
That they all call home.
The rattler shakes it's tail in defiance, against the munching
Prairie dog, whom got away at the last moment.
Listen closely to the sounds of the meadow-lands, does not the crickets,
And locusts, add a natural flavor by their clicking and chirping.
Near the rivers stream, as the winds do blow, along the waters edge,
Another elements assent, is bestowed by the forcing of the reeds, to
Bend hitting them against the hollow log, causing a thumping's,
Drumming, to this uniquest of bands.
As twilight's distant starlight, flickering in the vast
Blackness above, these rambling souls whom wander so.
Down these dusty trails long journey, yearn for nothing
More than to know the quite serenity, of their home
That seems so far away.
Let your music fill your emptiness, for one nights
Beautiful dream, and remember the memory as if it
Were real, a vivid vision of illusion, and rest
In complete bliss, good night my young
Cowboy of the open sky.


Details | Rhyme | |

The Lincoln County War

Billy the Kid was living an honest life as a ranch hand.
He was employed by John Tunstall, an immigrant Englishman.
Mr Tunstall gave Billy his own horse, rifle and full saddle gear.
When he presented them to the Kid, Billy held back his tears.
"What's wrong son?" Mr Tunstall asked Billy outright.
The Kid responded, "No one has ever given me anything ever in my life."
It appeared that Billy was finally going to live a good life for sure,
until the competition murdered Mr Tunstall, which sparked The Lincoln County War.

Details | Epic | |

The Darkness at Noon

     The Darkness at Noon

Tombstone never looked so good
With doomsday coming down 
On the dusty Arizona town
The OK Corral near by 
The Clanton-McLaury gang on hand
With no one else about
The Earp boys in the wings
Thinking things out
Doc Holliday also in tow for the show
The darkness at noon began 
Guns rang out
30 seconds flew by and 30 shots fired
2 cowpokes fell to the ground expired
Justice prevailed that afternoon
Though darkness shadowed the mood
A legend began that cold dark day 
When noon turned into night 
In old Tombstone
                                                                                                                   (Darkness at noon contest en

Details | Cowboy | |

The Cowboy

The legacy of a Cowboy,
Can be written in a song;
About the misty mountain passes,
Where the Cowboy’s life belongs;

About the days spent in the saddle,
Punching cattle and mending fence;
At home with mother nature,
Living life in his defense;

All the nights spent under stars,
With the campfire burning low;
Riding range on shifty heifers,
In the rain and blowing snow;

Icicles hang from his mustache,
As he pulls his coat in tight;
Steam rolls off his horse’s flanks,
Disappearing into the night;

He works until the job is done,
And is up long before dawn;
See the legacy of a Cowboy,
Lives on long after he‘s gone.

Details | Dramatic Verse | |

The White man

He was young,
Had his guns on his hip.
Walkin the streets,
With a cigar on his lip.
The town folk were scared,
They knew what he could do.
They have seen what he done,
To a chosen few.
The leather he wore,
Was stained from the powder of his gun.
A sign of the battles,
That the slinger had won.
A family moved in,
That no one knew.
A white man,
And a wife that was sious.
The young man decided,
The lady would not survive.
Because of her color,
She would die.
In the street,
In the middle of town,
This is where the slinger,
Where he gunned her down.
The white man,
Anger in his eyes,
Decided to give the slinger,
A surmise.
Leave this town,
Be gone by noon at best,
Or feel a bullet from my gun,
Deep in you'r chest.
The slinger smiled,
I am too fast,
You are an ole man,
You'r time has past.
You'r time has come ole man,
Take you'r stand,
But I tell you now,
Better have a fast hand.
When the smoke cleared,
The slinger lay on the ground,
With the white man,
looking down.
The slinger had just one last request,
How did you learn to shoot that way?
The white man answered,
I'm the son of Doc Holiday.

Details | Rhyme | |

What Might Have Been Grand by Wee Luck Mc Gee

Well, Finn and Mc Gee 
Were riding along
Headed back home
When something looked wrong

So, Finn off his horse
Now looked all around
He said, "We are lost
But, there's something we've found"

"Look at this massive 
Whole in this plain
We'll never get home
This is insane"

"A canyon like this
What an unlucky find
We can't ride around it
We haven't the time"

"And we can't ride down through it
There isn't a way
If even there was
We'd be dead in a day"

So Mc Gee very calmly
with shovel in hand
Said "Well, we'd better get crackin'
And fill it with sand"

Details | I do not know? | |

WINCHESTER MODEL 73 the Gun that Won the West

          WINCHESTER MODEL 73 - The Gun that Won the West
Deputy why don't you leave that cowboy alone?
He ain't doin nothin, he's a long way from home.
Can't you see that Winchester by his saddle horn?
If you know what's good for you, you'll leave him alone.
Deputy why don't you let that cowboy ride on?
Do you think he carved them notches out just for fun?
Can't you see that Winchester by his saddle horn?
If you know what's good for you, you'll leave him alone.

You think that Winchester looks good to you.
But one more notch is all you'll be I'm warnin you.

Deputy why don't you let that cowboy ride on.
He won't even slow down unless you draw your gun.
Don't you know that Winchester's not there just for fun?
If you know what's good for you, you'll leave him alone.
© ron wilson aka Vee Bdosa the Doylestown Poet

Details | Rhyme | |

Jesse Evans and The Boys and the kid

Jesse Evans and The Boys earned much notoriety
during the old west's most untamed and wild history.
Raiding resturants and salloons they would drink and eat for free.
"Chalk it up!" they'd say to all of the merchants before they'd leave,
and riding along with them was one William H Bonney,
known as William Antrim formerly
and speaking Spanish fluently.
Three months earlier he was but a young boy of fifteen,
orphaned, scared, alone and in desperate need.
Now he was holding his own among outlaw killers and theives.
Such a feat for a small young boy of his stature wasn't easily achieved.
He was a prime target for this dangerous gang of thug bullies
who would often abuse him, make fun of and tease.
The kid was forced to face a very hard reality.
He could just take it and be miserable, or he could leave,
or show them all that he was a force to be respected and taken seriously.
He began practicing his shooting skills regularly,
hitting his target everytime and with lightening speed.
On his horse he would shoot at anything and everything,
whether he was stationary or whether he was moving
from every single possible concievable position
and always hit his target with such accurate precision.
Once for fun one outlaw shot the kid's hat off of his head.
The kid returned fire shooting the hat off of the outlaw's head.
Holding his pistol trained on his intended, the kid coldly said,
"I could kill you right now. I could kill you dead,
but I'm hungry and I would rather eat instead."
The kid returned to his meal and nothing more was done or said.
His message was crystal clear; Respect Me Or You're Dead
and from that moment on, respect him they all did.
Jesse Evans and The Boys now all took very seriously this Billy, this kid.

Details | Rhyme | |

A Doc Holiday Classic

The loudmouth cowboy was challenged by an inebriated Doc Holiday.
"Draw your weapon sir," slurred the doc, "I'm your huckleberry."
"You're drunk as a skunk," said the cowboy, "probably seeing double too."
Mr Holiday responded, "Yes sir, that is very true,
but I have two guns,.. one for each of you."

Details | Cowboy | |

In the Long Ago & Used to Be

What do you see when you look at his face
Weather beaten & etched by hard work’s steady pace?
You see a broken down drunken old fool
I see a vaquero, a cowboy old school
These cattle, those horses, this land are his life
They helped him provide for his children & wife

The Vail brothers, Escalantes, Leons, Acosta, Andrada
From the X-9 to Del Lago, Rincon Creek to La Posta Quemada
Lopez, Etheridge, De La Ossa & Daly, all hard working men
Holding strong to the traditions of a life from way back when
From the base of the Rincons, their cattle once freely roamed
These Cowboys are the lifeblood of this valley we call home

I looked up to these men & others like them when I was a youth
They taught me to work hard, stand tall & always speak the truth
They rail at the developers who never seem to keep their word
Praying that they’ll still have enough ground to run their herds
They watch as suburbia comes flooding into a valley once pristine
As ticky tacky houses turn good grazing lands into an urban scene

The word out on the city streets is that the cowboy way is gone
But as long as there are horses then the Cowboy will ride on
Somewhere up in New River, a cowboy still rides out tonight
To gaze out over a moonlit range, far from the city’s blight
In Cascabel, an Old Vaquero & his grandchild working the pen
Are doing their part to see that the cowboy way never ends

What do you see when you look in his face?
Weather beaten & etched by hard work’s steady pace?
You see a tattered old man, shaky hands & blurry gaze
I see the heroes of my youth, hear the tales of the glory days
When cattle outnumbered people & Cowboys still roamed free
Back when the West was Wild, back in the long ago & used to be

Details | Rhyme | |

Duerme Bien Querido Guillermo

When you compare the facts with the tales of his legend,
you'll find that most stories of his life are pure fabrication.
He is known worldwide for his killer marksmanship with a gun,
but few know his reputation for helping the elderly, the poor and the young.
It's been said that he killed a man for every year of his life.
That would bring his total to about twenty one,
but nine would be a more accurate number according to historical documentation.
Although he killed, he was not at all a wanton killer outlaw.
If given a choice not to kill, that would have been his choice for sure.
He killed in self defense, he killed in an act of war,
he killed in the line of duty and then he killed once more.
He killed to escape his execution.
In all honesty,
I would have killed just like he
had I been placed in the same situations.
Billy Bonney was not at all your classic killer outlaw.
A poor victim of circumstance would accuratly describe his life more.
He experienced more violence in his short lifetime than today's war veterans.
He suffered personal loss that any one of us would find most horrifying,
yet he never lost his friendly, helpful and charming disposition.
In short, if you weren't his enemy, you couldn't help but love him.
His tragic, short and violent life had come to an end
when he was killed by the hand of a Judas who was once his friend.
He was shot in the dark without warning, he was unarmed.
An all night long candle lit vigil followed as everyone mourned.
He was already a legend back when the old west was still untamed and wild,
but legend doesn't portray the brutal harshness of the true life he had lived.
His was the tragedy of a promising young boy, 
forced to become a man while still a child
and all would one day know him as Billy, the Kid.

Duerme Bien Querido Guillermo

Details | Free verse | |

funny man on the moon

heres how i see it
and heres how it is
living in this world where half of it is advanced
with indoor plumbing
cell phones
and a huge chunk of the globe is not
part of the world still has a hole in the floor for a toilet
and we say ignorance is bliss
oh funny funny man on the moon
the joke you really meant in the Hollywood basement
of one giant step for man
and one leap for mankind

Have we not clued in yet?
Do we not live blind leading the blind?
Am i the only enlightened who realizes
that we were in space probably 70 years before we made it public to the world 
and Nasa is full of it
oh funny funny funny man on the moon
why is society so gullible to think
that the governments technology hits the mainstream market
before they use it for years and perfect it and work out all the bugs
and then hands us something that just looks faulty
and we fall for it hook line and sinker

give me a moment
funny funny funny us
half the world buries their waste
and we flush it away
half the world has technology and half of it is in the stone age
and yet we seem to think
that whoever invents these things has no ties
or affiliation to putting us under their thumb
i mean come on do the math
they landed on the moon
how they tell you they send sattelites into space is a truth within alie
they made up 50 years ago
and were falling for it today

let me play
i get it 
society is dumb
I'll write something yesterday
say i wrote it today
no one will know what to believe
I'll even put a cowboy hat on
I'm sure those cowboy western movies
they had just as many cameras and cellphones
but didn't release them in the market

consider yourself a fool
if you don't think they don't have something in their pocket full of tricks they are 
working on right now
they're going to sell to the future
and no one gets the famous joke
the man on the moon told to the mensa geniuses
but a hush fell over the crowd
and I'm sure there was consequences for laughing
and chances are even they were blinded by the bling
life and blind leading the blind
such an easy concept to grasp
and man on the moon
your a funny funny funny man!

Details | Cowboy | |

Outlaw McCurdy

Born in 1880 
to a single mom
back in Maine.
He volunteered
in the army 
after school.
He did many 
bank's and trains.
He stayed in Oklahoma 
but broke the law
in other states too.
His gang of jolly
men changed many times.
His demise 
came from train
he went to rob.
Two demijons
and a watch
is all he got.
Asleep in a loft
the city marshall 
and deputies came along.
Minutes pass by
but still alive.
Stinger Fenton got 
the shot that count
that silenced his gun. 
Being embombed 
his body was a side show
for all to see.
In California one day
in the show
being a mannequin
his arm tore
as all were in shock
to see the bone.
McCurdy in a hearse
with gun riders beside
taken to boot hill in Guthrie 
where he lay

Details | Cowboy | |

Turmoil on the prairie

Waking to a new day
pioneers go about their day
doing chores right away.
Buggy harnessed and ready 
children all a play.
Up on yonder hill 
not so far away
they see braves
in their bright array.
They sit and watch the family 
day by day
waiting for the day.
Mother hanging laundry
out to dry 
to her dismay 
sees fifteen braves 
start riding their way.
Yelling for her young ones
to come inside 
as she runs to the meadow
to find her love.

Running as fast as the wind
they here their cries of war.
Closer they ride 
faster on their mighty steeds .
Shutters closed 
guns in hand 
as they defend
their land.
Arrows fired
as they descend 
upon the land.
Riffle firing loud 
as he aims in dismay.
One down 
now two 
but they fight
as fierce braves 
they are.
Bullets flying across air
sending splinters into the air.
Children crying aloud
his wife shaking and crying aloud 
as the braves scream out loud .
Then the air is silenced
as they disappear 
off to the horizon 
they ride away.

Details | Cowboy | |


our,that we have..
these are our tools..weapons..instruments
and we just want to live..
put into a situation in wich we did not choose our roles..
some of us are the fans and the royalty
they watch people like me do what needs to be done...
people like me..we just want to live
so we use our weapons and do what we have to..
we didnt choose for it to be like this..
we watch the fortunate  crowd the seats of this coliseum called life..
and they watch us jump back and forth through shades of color..
they judge us...
but we just want to live

Details | Cowboy | |

Where The Buffalo Roam

There once was a time
During the long forgotten era
The frontier so majestic
In the age of the arrow

All the tools needed
The Earth would provide
Nothing went to waste
Considered creed to the tribe

A land vastly open
Natives once called it home
A place where the buffalo
Majestically once roamed

Free from democracy
Yet peace was achieved
Answering not to dictatorship
Acknowledging only self beliefs

Men were not kept in cages
They were not hung for display
The equality was unimaginable
Freedoms not experienced in the present day

The ignorance of our species
Is second to none
People actually follow rules
Placed in force by only one

Our industrial evolution
Has destroyed the land
 Our lust for prosperity
Has tarnished this sand

The buffalo once roamed the planes
Standing oh so bold and tall
The natives had foreseen
The inevitable rise to fall
Prosperity brought damnation
Of an entire generation
Now we are the ones 
Who try slowing immigration

The hypocrisy in our laws
Exposes the true foundation
Who are we to deny
Anyone into this nation

It has yet been noticed
By the ignorant youth
The basis of history
Rarely holds truth

In a place so very near
The buffalo once roamed
The land filled with life
Now stripped to the bones

With the right kind of ears
You might catch the tone
Heard only by the damned
The sound of nature's wrathful moan 

Details | Cowboy | |

The Naked Gun

       The Naked Gun

Sound asleep at the jail
A young lad lifts both guns
From the unsuspecting law man
Who is already undressed in his dreams
With abandoned holsters
The lad takes off down the street
Yelling at passersby to sell the fire arms
To anyone for 2 bits
Someone comes up from behind
Taps the lad on the shoulder
Snake eyes to snake eyes the old man pierces the day
Holds the youth in his sights as he says
“Is 25 cents worth losing your life over boy?”
He drops the law mans naked guns
Runs forever for what he’s done

Details | Cowboy | |


I dress the way I do on stage
To transport you to another age
Where wild women of the west
Proved they stood among the best
They rode boot to boot along side the men
Riding broncs to hell & back again
They wore skirts, jodhpurs, flowers & frills
Had more than their share of thrills & spills

When you see me here, I hope you recall
Those women who rode proud & tall
Tad Lucas on Midnight, crow hopping & smiling
Fox Hastings, in feathers & flowers, beguiling
Mitzi Lucas Riley, her death defying grace
On galloping horse, a suicide drag, & mesmerizing face
Marge Greenough on Boxer, that gal could really fly
Nancy Sheppard with her spinning ropes, gravity defied

On the day to day, I wear a different look
Still different from those Cowboys you see in picture books
Dusty boots, faded jeans & a cowboy hat, of course
If I dressed the way I do on stage it would amuse my horse
I grew up in the Wild West, or what there is of it now
I learned to ride at an early age & know my way around a cow
I don’t have a need for wooly chaps, my shotguns work just dandy
If I wore woolies, the cactus would soon look like cotton candy

My childhood heroes included those dazzling rodeo gals
I spent many a Saturday morning as Roy & Dale’s Saddle Pal
But the role models that I still look up to today
Have quietly gone about their lives, living the Cowboy way
There’s Georgie Sicking, still going strong in Kaycee
As tough as they come, she always demands the best from me
Sister Bourne, her laughing eyes & ready wit
For forty years taught in one room schools, in her there was no quit

There are many others who have helped me along the way
Their stories are for another time, another place & day
Today I’ll weave for you a tapestry of Western Rhyme
Of rodeo’n, romanc’n & remember’n & a simpler time
There is magic in the West, I find it every where
It is that magic & my memories, that with you I will share
So settle in & enjoy the ride, for I know I have brought my best
As I stand here on this stage, a Wild Woman of the West

Details | Rhyme | |

The flying censor shipment

Unlike the newspeak of today                                                                                           the media rodeo plays the bull                                                                                         clowns chasing a scripted  delay                                                                                       boxed up and ready to go fast food for the loll                                                                   the upper end following the lower end                                                                            Yet political satire's even keel will transcend                                                              while the real bull gores the clowns                                                                                 He can be ornery when being contained                                                                            coming like a federal expess roaring down                                                                        newsmail bringing the letter restrained                                                                             the same package to every town the same                                                                        package of the willing consripts freight                                                                              in the End a older railing bull holds his own wieght

Details | Cowboy | |



                                              MICHAEL JAMES

Details | Cowboy | |

Forgotten Cowboy of the Sandhills

The Spade Ranch had the beef issue
For the Indians at Pine Ridge
And each time that he's take the herd
Mollie'd go along with Sid.

The Spade had been good to them
By now they numbered four,
The time had come for them to find
A ranch that was their own.

They took a homestead east of Gordon,
At last they had their chance.
And when Sid's brother joined them it became
The Irwin Brothers Ranch.

They later leased the Ross Ranch
And here was born child three,
A sickly little daughter
So delicate, so wee.

To complete their preemption
A homestead they did seek.
Southeast of Gordon near Lavaca,
Down by the Ol' Pole Creek.

Here a daughter and a son
Were added to their life,
Then fire struck and they were left
With hearts full of Strife.

For years they wandered here and there
Seeking out each lead
A hope or promise was all they asked
For their ailing daughters need.

Though the years were fruitless
And no cure was found
Their last child was born to them
A daugher in health abound.

Time took it's toil a short seventeen
Their daughter would laugh no more,
So many years they searched in vain,
And now their hearts were sore.

The long years over, at last they came home
To the hills so sandy and green
On a ranch south of Cody, down by the Niobrara,
So sparkling fresh and clean.

Sid first lost a son,
Then two weeks later his own Mollie too,
With two such blows he hung up his spurs
His cowboy days were through.

His life wasn't easy thought it was long
He died at age ninety-three
In the same sandy hills that a lad of fourteen
Once said, "You'll be home to me."

                                         Cile Beer

This poem first appeared in the Centennial Edition of the 
Nebraska Cattleman Magazine.

Details | Cowboy | |


It was at the National Finals Rodeo
The year was 1967, the place OKC
I had just turned three & 
was excited as could be
to be behind the chutes watching
a ride that could make history
Freckles Brown was the cowboy
loaded up in chute two
Tornado was the bull he'd drawn
a meaner ride he'd never face
and when they threw the gate
a tremendous roar filled the place
when that blessed buzzer sounded
and they announced his score
Freckles stood as World Champion
out on that arena floor
Every little buckaroo who watched
Freckle's & Tornado fight
went home and rode the legs 
off momma's kitchen chairs 
that sweet December night
Me, I swaggered round 
the back chutes & told
everyone who'd listen
That one day I'd ride like
the great Freckles Brown 
In momma's eye, was that
a tear that glistened?
For I'd said before 
that I'd ride one day
Did she think that I was fool'n?
Heck I might not be four yet
but I knew it was 
something worth doing 
So I tip my hat to Freckles Brown
and the rest of
The old timers, too
for they laid the path 
that I ride now
and taught us all
a thing or two

Details | Rhyme | |


Unlikely the explorers of the Wild West,
I'm bound for sheer adventure, not amazing discovery;
finding gold is far from any quest 
while this clanking, slow-moving stream locomotive
will take me to places so primitive... 
even a small ghost town has tales that conjure mystery!  

Whistle along train as your steam puffs...
reaching clouds and turning them into raindrops,
California is still a seeker's dream for the unhappy folks living 
in bustling cities enduring noise and pollution;
soundless are the canyons drifting
by without any fearless cowboy riding,
but the watchful coyotes will resent this intrusion...
whenever your whistle startles them when they are napping!

Whistle along train as your steam puffs,
I didn't bring along a single book to read not to be distracted by reality,   
only a huge map showing me historic towns...
where daily shootings were as common as drinking whiskey!
Imagine seeing the ghosts of Billy the Kid and Jesse James 
roam the dusty streets ready to start a gunfight;
see crowds gather and wait for the winner to shout...
it's like watching a Clint Eastwood's western movie drawing his guns!

Details | Cowboy | |

Forgottn Cowboy of the Sandhills part 1

Sidney Irwin, was his name,
From Texas he did come.
A lad of only fourteen years,
He's just begun to roam.

He joined his brother's cattle drive,
Along the Chisholm Trail
Pushing cattle to the North
To meet the shining rail.

Gently blew the knee deep grasses,
The waters crystal clear,
Though he was just a drover now,
He knew his heart was here.

His Mother back in Texas 
Depended on her son.
The youngest of eleven
He's make this land her home.

He brought her to the Sandhills
Where a homestead she did claim
Around the region where the Spade Ranch
Later won it's fame.

The Spade needed a foreman,
Sid tried and got the job.
Though he was young he knew his stuff
And showed them he was boss.

For seven years he bossed these men
A hard and steady job.
He kept an average of sixty-five
Busy all year long.

As years went by Sid met a girl
Mollie was her name.
With sparkling eyes and lilting laugh,
This cowboy's heart she claimed.

He took her home back to the Spade.
This day it was so grand
She became the first white woman
To set foot upon Spade land.

The chickens scattered at the sight 
Of skirts blown by the wind
Only the gentleness of her voice
Proved she was their friend.

She knew her work and did the job
Expected of Sid's wife,
And found the time to entertain 
The countless dudes that arrived.

Part 2 follows

Details | Cowboy | |

Yansa Sea

Tall Grass bends beneath
undulating waves of gray brown

Mystic energy pulses through
the crisp dawning sky

Smell of sweat & acrid fear
The sound of the hunt Cry

mixed with the thunderous crashing
of Buffalo waves on prairie sod shores

Pony & warrior riding the crest
Arrow loosed finds its mark

deep within Yansa chest
Hunter’s cry of triumph

In harmony with the last bellow of death
as the waves of the Yansa sea

ebb & flow across the Tall Grass plains

© June 2003

** Yansa is the Cherokee word for buffalo**

Details | Cowboy | |

Try and Stop Em

Try and Stop Em
Harold Roy Miller

The longhorns were getting hard to hold
as the thunderstorm came in fast and cold.
The dark black clouds were starting to hover
as the fretful steers made a sweep for cover.

The herd had started to drift asunder,
courtesy of the loud, clapping thunder.
The wailing wind sent up a deafening cry
as lightning streaked across the darkening sky.

The daring cowhand out riding lead
was trying to prevent a potential stampede.
The clashing horns validated his fears
as he tried to mill the leader steers.

Each pointer worked to keep the herd on course
with the expert help of his trusty horse.
And the panicked drovers who were riding swing
sent gunshots skyward  with a ping.

But the struggling crew worked in vain
as the beeves took flight across the plain.
The lightning cracked, the thunder boomed;
any fallen horse or rider  was doomed.

The buckaroos rode at breakneck speed
to escape the explosive, bawling stampede.
To the four winds the herd was scattered.
But life preservation was all that mattered.

It was a vivid, graphic scene
as I stared at the television screen.
Not wanting to see how many ended up dead,
I turned off the TV and went to bed.                           

Details | Cowboy | |


The work is hot,
 tired & nasty
sometimes you ride
your mount into the ground
some nights you can't sleep
for the desert chill 
or coyotes howl 

You chase them steers
come hail or hell
in pouring rain
cross river's swell
might lose a few steers
or a few good mounts
but if, at end of day,
every man still has his skin
That's what really counts 

Yes, we've buried 
a few compadres
and cursed many
a longhorn stampede
Saw fear & terror
and tasted death
as through the 
dark we raced 

So if you see
us Cowboys coming,
give us room
cut us some slack
We never meant 
to bow these legs
or stand here 
looking ragged 

We're chasing what
lies deep within
Wondering why we were
brought here too late
An old time cowboy
in the twentieth century
brought here by 
the hand of Fate 

Details | Cowboy | |

Bronc Buster Boogie

The Bronc Buster’s Boogie is danced every day
From Calgary & Cheyenne to way down Arizona Way

You size up your bucking partner & set your rigging right
Then settle in for a wild dance, make sure you hold on tight

That boogie begins with a 3/4 beat, as you & that bronc start to spin
Him with a mind to send you soaring & you with a mind to win

Three bone jarring leaps & a hoof tap tango, as that bronc heads for the sky
That bronc has a lot of fire & heart & that Cowboy, a lot of try

Your eyes are focused between his ears, every muscle tensed & strained
If you have to ask why its done, there ain’t no need to explain

You pitch & sway to a rhythm & a song only heard by the bronc & you
When that buzzer sounds, with a leap of faith, you soar in to the deep wide blue

So plays out the Bronc Buster Boogie in arenas big & small
The roar of the crowd after a winning ride is the sweetest music of all

Details | Couplet | |


The true story of the American west
Is one of killing field slaughters and 
The bison killers worked day and night
They were all busier than a kennel full 
of dogs in heat
The bison had never seen anything 
equaling this
And therefore knew nothing of how to 
Their bodies piled up on prairies by the 
While human beings continued their 
Humans had no thought about an animal's 
Mention of such would have laughed them 
into a slop bowl
This all points out a basic flaw in the nature 
of man
The evidence was there since man's time on 
earth began
Animals to Man are just mechanized bodies 
of meat and fur
Causing no lapse of conscience for killings 
humans incur
But human beings think to improve Mother 
Nature's rules
What they forget is this mother suffers no fools
When Man becomes comfortable in his unnatural 
Then mother will send earthquakes and floods to 
level Man flat 

Details | Cowboy | |

Ghost Dance

While the Ancestors worshipped 
   they shot them one and all. 
They thought they had stopped the dance 
   as they watched the Old Ones fall. 
But what they did not know 
   is that we do not die... 
Their bullets set us free 
   and sent our souls to fly.   
High above this shadow plain 
   where the spirit beasts do roam; 
We roost upon their sacred backs, 
    and the Buffalo carry us home. 
We dance for our lives 
   for the secrets of the Earth. 
We dance while they kill us 
   and through death find rebirth. 
We dance night and day, 
   to the drums thundering low. 
Singing medicine songs 
   to honor the Buffalo. 
Though we may not rise today 
   The People will not die; 
As long as we keep dancing, 
   the Ghosts...You...and I. 

We dance for the things for which we yearn; 
Grass covered plains, the Buffalo’s return. 
The fever of freedom forever will burn,  
While we’re dancing with the ghosts. 
For there is no time frame on prophesy, 
This is the Vision Great One gave to me, 
The Heart of The People will always be, 
Dancing with the Ghosts...

(Wado Waya Streeby for understanding.)

Details | Cowboy | |

Deadwood Hill

(At Wild Bill Hickok’s Grave)

Those bold Black Hills of South Dakota,
Darkly murmur of all your Badlands—
You have left now like the Lakota—
On that hillside your monument stands.

Hills pulse under Ponderosa pines—
Strong night breezes have yet much to say—
Legends linger on lips and pale shrines—
They know that Wild Bill once passed this way.

You sleep long in this last resting place,
That now overlooks sinful Deadwood—
It is here that we still see your face,
Yet ponder if you were bad or good.

They moved your petrified form it’s said—
Casket opened, though some thought it wrong—
Your dark face yet perfect, though long dead—
Your fair hair still so flaxen and long.  

Jane Cannary lays mute beside you—
A calamity that is no more—
As you study those cards in the blue—
Play that dead man’s hand from a far shore.

Saffron leaves and stern winds shape your grave—
And your name’s one that we all know still—
As you raise dark death’s ante and save,
One last red ace to trump Deadwood hill.

Details | Cowboy | |

Dear Charlie

I have thought of you often, found some paper tucked away,
I’m feeling sentimental and have some time today,
So with pen in hand I thought I would write a line or two,
Though I don’t know where your at or if this letter will get through.

Well the wire is now strung and the cowboys are fenced in,
The Indians that rode beside you will never be again. 
The long horns their now mulies a horn not a one,
I guess the wild west days have come and gone.

But Charlie I think you know there is a die hard breed.
There are still some out there that live the cowboy creed.
I know it’s not exactly the same as when you rode so bold,
But Charlie I wanted you to know that not all the saddles are sold.
For they wake each morning to the rising sun,
And know at the end of each day their work is still not done.
And they will gather around a fire to hear a yearn or two,
To see who tells the better tale of the things that they do.
And some paint a might good picture too, I have seen them at their best.
I guess there’s still a little wild out here in the west.

We think of you often and dream of a time 
When the range was open and the land was in its prime. 
When long horns ran high ridges and tested cowboy wit,
And even the best of the ponies would still challenge the bit.
So I thought I would write to let you know 
that you are thought of out here in what we do and where we go. 
And there still is hardcore buckaroos who still challenge change,
And they fight for the freedom to ride the range.

Well the fire has burned to embers and the crew is coming in
The quiet moment that I had, is now brought to an end,
So I will stoke the fire, put the coffee on and say goodbye for now,
Hoping you might get this letter some how.
Just remember your not for gotten Charlie and you will live on
And the cowboys and buckaroos are not completely gone.
And when I have more quiet time and paper that I might find,
I promise to write again, rest in peace my dear old friend.

Details | Cowboy | |

Some Place That Used to Be

It’s some place that used to be
Where all things would fall twixt—
A beat, battered, broken shell
Off old Route 66.

He rode a Silverado
That was a dusty gold,
His clothes were worn and ragged—
Their style was odd and old.

They watched him as he walked in
To Wally’s Waffle Place—
With silver spurs that jingled,
A hat that hid his face.

He strolled up to the counter
And placed two gold coins there—
“I’ll take a big heap,” he said,
“Of yer fine dinin’ fare.”

Well, he sat down on a stool—
Pulled makin’s from his vest—
“No smokin’!” growled the waitress,
“This here ain’t the Old West!”

Well, the stranger tipped back what
Looked like a cowboy hat
And then slowly rolled his smoke
And grinned just like a cat.

“I don’t mean no disrespect,
But this here’s open range—
Though I must of wandered off,
‘Cause you folks sure is strange.

“See, I had to leave my hawse
When he done pulled up lame—
Then found that hawseless carriage—
Got me here all the same.”

It’s some place that used to be
Where all things would fall twixt—
A beat, battered, broken shell
Off old Route 66.

“Seems some things has changed ‘round here—
They caught the James Gang, yet?
And how ‘bout Wild Bill Hickok?
He’s still real fast, I bet!

“And what ya hear of Custer
And all of his good friends?
Heard he’s clearin’ our country
Of all the Indians!

“Reckon I’m out of touch some—
Been ridin’ ‘round so long—
It feels like forever
And that now I don’t belong.”

The waitress stared – told the cook
To dial up 911—
She knew something was not right
With this old cowboy son.

“Now, we don’t want no trouble,”
She stated in soft words—
“But all I want is my grub,
‘Fore I rides to the herd.”

“Say, mister – you all right?” that
Waitress asked all concerned,
But then she saw his six gun—
“Well, now I’ll be goll-derned!”

Then that cowboy disappeared—
The Silverado gone—
With tire tracks toward the desert,
Lost in the purple dawn.

And so all the legends go—
But these are just the facts:
They say they found that old truck,
Then just a horse’s tracks.

So when you go to Wally’s—
If that’s what you must do—
You’ll find a deserted shack
Closed in 1992.

It’s some place that used to be
Where all things would fall twixt—
A beat, battered, broken shell
Off old Route 66.


Details | Cowboy | |

Mustang Band

Up in the pinion covered highlands,
I came upon a wild horse band. 
I counted six rangy horses, grazing there,
including the Stallion and the lead mare.

It was truly a range cowboy's delight.
there were four bays, a roan and one mostly white.
The  muscled stallion stood watchful up on a rise,
and followed my every move with his eyes.

Then the stallion somehow signaled the lead mare,
in a language only wild horses can share.
She led her charges up a winding trail,
and her movement broke my hypnotic spell.

I admired their surefootedness and their survival skills,
as they quickly ascended the rocky hills.
The Stallion was last, bringing up the rear,
It was self preservation, not nervous fear.

it was awe inspiring as I watched them flee,
but a melancholy wistfulness came over me.
The Mustang, like the cowboy,symbol of the west,
drifted into the sunset, and went over the crest.

Details | Cowboy | |

Waddie Peacock's Last New Year

(The real Waddie Peacock, described only as “an old L.S. cowpuncher,” had the 
distinction of being the first person buried in Logan, New Mexico’s first cemetery 
in 1910.) 

It seems a man rides restless when he’s alone on the rim—
No one to rein him in a bit, no one to bury him.

So Waddie Peacock sat astride his horse reassessin’—
Dreamin’ past those frozen plains, tryin’ to count each blessin’.

He’d been an ol’ L.S. cowpuncher since hard scrabble youth,
But with the years and creakin’ bowlegs, he now sought the truth. 

He didn’t go out ridin’ much on that December trail—
He holed-up in an ol’ line shack till wit and nerve did fail.

But here he was on New Year’s Eve watchin’ those lone star skies,
Knowin’ that each man’s life is short, before he ups and dies.

Come fall he’ll head his hoss out to Logan, New Mexico—
Say goodbye to the L.S. boys and then he’ll have to go.

Some say there’s silver down Logan way - he’ll pack up his gun—
A brand new town and way of life – a brand new risin’ sun.

But now ol’ Waddie Peacock waits the start of this New Year.
He pats his faithful horse and knows with life there is no fear.

Somewhere a cowboy clangs a bell and shoots into the air—
The New Year comes like all the rest – ol’ Waddie just sits there.

Somehow he feels this year’s his last, and that he’ll be called home—
And Logan’s where he’ll soon now rest beneath the land and stone.

Details | Cowboy | |

No God West of Ft. Smith

There is no Sunday west of St. Louis
And no God that’s west of Ft. Smith—
So says the frontier adage that’s truest
And confirms the last Old West myth.

Wild Bill Hickok had him a dead man’s hand—
They found John Ringo ‘neath a tree.
Billy the Kid was shot where he did stand—
They never found Butch Cassidy.

Jesse was shot unarmed by a young creep,
Belle Starr was shot-gunned in the back—
Wyatt Earp died years later in his sleep
And the Dalton boys all got whacked.

Dirty Dave Rutabaugh did lose his head,
Doc Holliday died of TB—
And Wyatt Earp shot Curly Bill stone dead,
But what became of “Buckskin” Leslie?

John Wesley Hardin was shot in a bar—
Frank James lived to a ripe old age.
Cole Younger wrote down most of his memoir,
Buffalo Bill soon was the range.

Now west of St. Louis Sundays do thrive
And west of Ft. Smith they’ve found God—
But the frontier is no longer alive
And the Old West is a smile and a nod.

Details | Cowboy | |

They Came

They came to us slowly 
          in ones and twos at first. 
They were men with good hearts 
and lived with earth as one; 
Lived as we live, one with the four legged, 
two legged – all the spirits of our world 

They brought many things to trade; 
knives of iron, that our women treasure, 
Thunder sticks that kill from 
further that an arrow can fly. 

They brought cloth of bright colors 
that our women sew into clothes for us. 
They brought sugar and tea to change 
our diet of buffalo and berries 

Then more came.   
They came with bad hearts. 

They brought firewater. 
Our minds were as dizzy as our steps 
and the earth danced before our eyes. 

The black robes came and gave us their religion. 
Strange since they do not practice his teachings. 

They brought the spotted sickness 
that kills our people. 
They came and killed the buffalo 
and left the bodies to rot on the earth. 

They came like a swarm of insects, 
devouring everything in their path. 
They came and took our land 
and gave us heartbreak. 

The sacred hoop is broken 
And I cannot go home… 

Copyright 2002

Details | Cowboy | |


     I’ve seen their spirits ride at night, 
In total darkness and clear moonlight, 
Souls that search for what is right, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     With open heart, determined face, 
Eyes that see a far away place, 
No eternal rest, 'til they run the race, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

    They search across history, 
To return our civil gentility, 
And the way  things ought to be, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     Nothing gets in their way, 
Honor bound by what they say, 
They pledge to bring it back one day, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     Promise made, I over-hear, 
From their mission, they’ll not veer, 
It’s their duty to find, the Lost Frontier, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I know their voices from my dreams, 
Calling me to come upstream, 
Perhaps, my life, to redeem, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I must make haste and decide, 
If on this quest, I will ride, 
With them, I know, I can’t backslide, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I pause...consider...hesitate... 
They ride on. It is too late. 
They leave me with my own mistake, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     Waking, as if, from a trance, 
I cry out for one more chance, 
But they have gone without a glance, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I realize they have come before, 
Blazing trails, opening doors, 
To Freedom, Salvation even more, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

    I know these men, I owe a debt, 
I should have gone.  It’s my regret. 
To this day I seek them yet, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

    So I search for their spirits, late at night, 
In total darkness and clear moonlight, 
And pray for the chance to set things right, 
With these men that they call Cowboys.                                    

Details | Cowboy | |

The Alamo

With his finger on the trigger
He pulled the hammer down
He waited for the orders
From the Colonel to come around

A small band of soldiers
Who were farmers just before
No emblems on their shoulders
No bright and shining swords

They had joined together
And would fight til the end
At a Mission down in Texas
They knew they must defend

They were well out numbered
A hundred to each one
Reinforcements ordered were on their way
But would never come

Five hundred men strong
Marching on their way
Were slaughtered at Goliad
They could not save the day

They held the enemy back
For three long days and nights
When they heard the word of Goliad
They knew they would lose the fight

They kissed their wives good bye
They sent them through the gates
Then they said prayer to the heavens
For their souls to take

They would not surrender
The courage of these men
At a place they called the Alamo
They would defend until the end

They were completely surrounded
The enemy in red
Then Santa Anna and his men
They raised the flag of death

The cannon fire it began
The battle it raged on
But as each one he lost his life
He knew he died, at home. 

Details | Cowboy | |

A Cowboy Remembers 9/11

Two proud peaks rise up from the range,
Like a dream we all have of heaven—
They soar above white clouds and sky—
A remembrance of 9/11. 

New York’s a far piece to ride to,
But folks all know what happened that day—
When those twin towers both came down
And there wasn’t much left then to say.

There’s always some that mean you harm,
Out on the range or down by the creek—
And there’s a time to take a stand
And not to just turn the other cheek.

There are those that only want talk—
And those that say we should cut and run—
But that ain’t my America—
Americans always get things done!

A strong purple haze is rising
From the plains and cities of the earth—
It’s called American spirit—
It now reclaims the rights of our birth.  

Two proud peaks rise up from the range,
Like a dream we all have of heaven—
They soar above white clouds and sky—
A remembrance of 9/11. 

Details | Cowboy | |

The Last Camp

As that new bunch drifted slowly into Deadwood,
Bill turned round in his saddle to Charley Utter—
Sadly told him something he’d always remember—
That which made the others smirk and weak hearts flutter:

“Charley, I feel this is going to be my last camp,”
Bill then softly said, “and I won’t leave it alive…”
Charley, Calam Jane and all the others just laughed—
But Wild Bill did not smile and he never replied. 

Even to that day, as Bill foretold his own doom
And wrote a letter to the wife he’d know no more: 
“Agnes… if such should be we never meet again…”  
Bill penned, “I will try to swim to the other shore.”

Next day, August second, eighteen seventy six,
Wild Bill Hickok went in that Saloon Number Ten—
And to this day, the rest they say is history—
Now that last Deadwood camp is still recalled by men. 

“Charley, I feel this is going to be my last camp,
And I won’t leave it alive….” Utter heard Bill say—
Or so he, Calam and Agnes long remembered
And his spirit grows all the stronger to this day.  

Details | Cowboy | |

Billy the Kid

A cold-blooded killer or a kind hearted man,
Searching for justice with a gun in his hand
He escaped many times indeed he did,
He is known as Billy the Kid

A charming young man, with a heart-breaking smile,
He rode across the desert, he rode many miles.
He is known for the things that he did,
He is known as Billy the Kid

Chased by lawmen, bandits, and thieves,
Billy is dead now and many are relieved,
Shot by Pat Garrrett, his so-called friend
Murdered and betrayed, enemies in the end

Could history be wrong?
A lie have been told,
Could Billy have died at ninety years old,
In a small town in Texas, a place called Hico

Brushy Bill Roberts,
A man growing old,
Stories of his life,
Many have been told

He claims a life of killing,
A life of revenge,
He wants to be pardoned,
He is nearing his end

"Do you have any proof that you are who you say?"
Does Billy the Kid still live today?

These questions were asked,
By an attorney of law,
Then Brushy revealed his scars,
Many wounds he saw

The truth has been told,
It's finally out,
Was Brushy "The Kid?"
I have no doubt

Details | Cowboy | |

All Alone

Walking up a sandy draw-
Out in the desert land...
An oddity is what I saw,
Have buried in the sand.

“Saddlebags!” is what I thought,
“Dried up, and nearly gone.”
I wondered how they came to be,
Here in the sage and stone.

I dug them up, but underneath,
I caught a glimpse of bone.
And realized that it was, here,
Some traveler died alone.

Rotted cloth, a rusted gun,
Among the grim remains.	
“He almost made it,” mocked the the wind,
“His payback for his pains.”

I peeled apart the rotten bags,
And in my search I found-
A journal wrapped in oilcloth,
And it was leather bound.
I opened it, began to turn,
The pages I did bend-
“Where to start?” I asked myself,
Then started toward the end.

“Phoenix, May, of eighty-one-
Charley Wade, and me-
And when we pick the Pima up,
Our total will be three.”

He wrote about the journey,
Southeast, toward Mexico...
He spoke of virgin silver...
Of which, the three did know.

Apaches did for Charley-
Not far from Kitchen’s Well.
Buried near a watershed,
They left him where he fell...

The Pima died of snakebite,
The man was left alone...
Yet still the silver beckoned,
The fortune lured him on.

“I broke my leg at sundown-
And now my horse has run.
If Apaches do not get me first,
I just might eat my gun!

“Thirsty!” was what he wrote next-
“Ah, God, the sun is hot!
And I keep seeing water-
In places that it’s not!

Buzzards keep a circling-
I guess my race is run...
A shame a Tennessean.
Has to die here ‘neath this sun!”

I left him as I found him,
Half buried by the sand-
And realized that men like him,
Had founded our great land.

The guts to saddle up and go,
Where no one else has gone,
And fortitude, if need be,
To die there all alone.

Details | Cowboy | |

Cowboy Diplomacy

Some say a cowboy’s ways is just too dramatic—
That he has a tough time bein’ diplomatic!
He may be ornery and a bit wild, ol’ son—
Unlike the UN or congress – he gets things done!

Liberals say with sneers that cowboys ain’t PC—
That bein’ honest is cowboy diplomacy.
But I’d rather be cowboy and speak my own mind,
Than a pile of what politicians leave behind!

I’m tired of hearin’ that anything cowboy’s bad—
We uphold fine traditions – that’s what makes me sad.
Ol’ cowboys and the West will never die away—
As long as cowboy diplomacy saves our day!

Details | Cowboy | |

The Songs of Campfires

So sing the songs of campfires
And sing them without fail—
Sing them now among the pyres
And sing them on the trail.

Tell of things that used to be,
Tell of those gone before—
Make them stop now and just see,
Our heritage and lore.

And let them not forget us
Or all the things we’ve done—
We may brag and fight and cuss,
But we sure had some fun!

Don’t let those campfires burn out—
We got stories to spin!
The West is what we’re about—
We must remember when.

So sing them now all your days
And sing them to the Lord—
Sing them now a hundred ways
Before you cross that ford.

So sing the songs of campfires
And sing them without fail—
Sing them now among the pyres
And sing them on the trail.


Details | Cowboy | |

Ma James

All them folks ‘round here keep tellin’ me my boys ain’t no good.
They might be a tad bit wild, but they is jest misunderstood.
Ya see their paw died afore they got ta even know him—
Me raisin’ ‘em as a single mother made their chances slim.

But I did best I could; made ‘em live by the golden rule.
I knows they was doin’ more wrong than right, I ain’t no fool.
Then them Pinkertons sneaked ‘round here ta do ‘em some harm—
Killed their simple half-brother and done clear blew off my arm!

It’s not that I is bitter, but I wished down the wrath of God
When Bob Ford killed my Jesse and I laid ‘em in this sod.
They weren’t ‘bout ta steal my baby and put ‘em on display
Like they did them other gun men that had lived past their day.

So me and Frank tend ta Jesse who at last is at his rest,
I’m growin’ old and feeble and will soon past like the West.
So we’ll move Jess ta a proper place, let him sleep in peace—
Jesse always was the wild one, jest like the southward geese.

Details | Cowboy | |

The Way It Was In the West

He’d read all the dime novels ‘bout each famous old outlaw,
Their fancy shots and darin’ deeds in the West that was raw.
But now they’d shot a cowpoke robbin’ the bank that fine morn,
And he lay dead and stinkin’, face down in the dust all forlorn.

Some said he was a nobody, a tramp that needed cash,
Some said his folks lived ‘round these parts and were white trash.
Others said he once rode with the Youngers and Jesse James—
While some said he robbed with the Daltons and made other claims.

But there he was plum dead – all still and just a drawin’ flies,
As someone called the tintype man to photograph their prize.
And as they rearranged him, leanin’ stiff upon that board,
They took one final picture as he smiled and met the Lord. 

Details | Cowboy | |

Buffalo Thunder No More

(Chief White Buffalo speaks) 

Long knives turn dark the west sky,
Bring big iron horse on rails that roar—
My people now starve and die,
Where buffalo thunder no more.

Their bones turn red, then pure white
As pale hunters stack them in piles—
Their praise we chant in the night,
Our stories like smoke travel miles.

They give us cattle for meat
And tell us now to end our hunt—
But no red man is complete
As we just nod and meekly grunt.

They take sacred land for gold
And give us less food and more lies—
Our Great Father has grown old
And will not gaze upon sunrise.

The long knives bring many things:
Baubles, sickness, wonder and war—
But he takes more than he brings—
And buffalo thunder no more.