When hard times come they sit a spell,
Like kin folk come to stay
A-packin' troubles, pets an' kids
That always get ‘n your way.
It's drought an' flood, an' flood an' drought,
There ain't much in-between.
You work like hell to make ’em good,
But still they’re sorta lean.
The ranch went under late last year,
The drought got mighty tough.
The boss held-out a long, long time,
But finally said, "enough!"
So here I am dispatchin’ cops
An’ watchin’ felons sleep,
In Junction, at the county jail,
A job I’ll prob’ly keep.
The wife, she works at Leisure Lodge,
Where older people stay,
A-makin’ beds an’ moppin’ floors
To earn some ‘extra’ pay.
Though “extra pay‘s” the term I used,
It goes to payin’ rent,
An’ after all the bills are paid,
We wonder where it went.
We hocked my saddle, guns an' chaps,
An' then our weddin' rings;
Then when we couldn't pay the loan,
They sold the 'dad-blamed' things.
We felt real bad a day or two
But then we let it go,
Cause it got Christmas for the kids
When money got real slow.
When hard times come they sit a spell,
Don't matter who you are;
They'll cost ya things you've set aside,
An' clean your cookie jar.
You'll loose some sleep an' worry some,
Won't pay to moan an' groan;
But hang on to your happiness,
They'll finally leave ya 'lone.
We’ve shared the trail, kicked up some dust,
An’ stood a storm or two.
We’ve rode the plains, the wide frontier,
The easy trails were few.
You’ve listened like some wise old sage
To ever thing I’ve said,
An’ as a friend, supported me,
No matter where it led.
I wished I coulda carried you,
The times you were in pain;
Or rustled up some kinda shed
To turn the blowin’ rain.
I’ve come up shy with some your needs,
You gave me more’n you got,
But in your silence, seemed to know,
I needed you a lot.
Compadre, friend, amigo, pard;
I called you all them things,
But there’s been times, I swear to God,
You musta had some wings,
An’ He sent you to care for me
Like no one had before.
If you’as a man an’ not a horse,
I couldn’t a-loved you more.
We gave this ranch our sweat an’ blood,
It’s yours as much as mine,
An’ raised our young’uns through the years,
An’ Lord they’re doin’ fine.
They’re blazin’ trails an’ raisin’ dust,
They’re off an’ runnin’ free.
We’ve taught ‘em well an’ made ‘em strong;
Compadre, you an’ me.
I always knew the day would come
When we would fine’ly ride,
To join the Maker’s round-up time,
Up on the Great Divide.
I sorta hoped we’d share the trail
But this was not to be,
So, you go on, we’ll ride again;
Compadre, you an’ me.
We have been riding for ever so long;
Now our search for our freedom seems to be gone.
We only took; of that which we need;
And we had no tricks; hidden there up our sleeve.
For me it began when the banker came round;
And my daddy's ranch; was burned to the ground.
We were all wanted, with a price on our heads;
And we hoped if they found us, we’d fight till we're dead.
We lived life as outlaws, with weapons at hand;
And if time comes for hanging, we'll die like a man.
But we’re not alone, there are others around;
They're not hard to notice, they’re wearing a frown.
So they're building our gallows, nail by nail;
And we think hard about it, here in this jail.
But we made our choices; and then we got caught;
Yet we lived life as free men, never owned never bought.
From the view out the window, it's people I see;
They're tipping their hats; and smiling at me.
We may be convicted, but we're not disgraced;
And you won't see a tear, running down from our face.
So they plan to kill us, but our kind will not end;
There's cowboy’s now out there; who'll ride once again.
Me and the boys, we ran out of time;
But there will be others that come down the line.
So To all of you worms; who crawl in the dung;
You'll never stop hearing, the songs that we've sung.
You're hoping to change us, or get rid of us all;
But if we all ride as free men, perhaps you will fall.
You think you’re alone out on the range
Sittin’ silent under starry sky,
Just a marvelin’ at the universe
And wonderin’ ‘bout that ol’ question: why?
You shake your head at worlds of worry,
Knowin’ it ain’t often that you’ll find,
All the answers to your queries
Beneath the clear black sky and pine.
You wonder if we rose up from mud
And walked straight and tall upon this earth—
Or was it all created in a moment—
A conception that gave us true birth.
Are we all no more than those monkeys
Evolvin’ slowly down life’s long line?
Or is there more to earth and heaven
Touched by something truly sublime?
We keep on punchin’ clocks and cattle
And tryin’ to get through each new morn—
But is there more to life than dyin’
And will we somehow be reborn?
All the cattle know my hard proddin’
As I lead them along time’s sad way—
We live for but a flashin’ moment,
As we watch life go by in one short day.
So make the best of trails you ride, cowboy—
Each tomorrow is both yours and mine—
And gaze long at stars in that vast sky
Placed there by intelligent design.
Wearing Daddy's boots & cowboy hat & not much in between
Why, Momma, ain't she just about the prettiest baby you've ever seen?
I'm sure wishing she was talking, reading her mind is quite a trick
And she's sure getting awful heavy, I hope she's walking quick
Whoa there, sassy, Momma look at her running wild
Why I am not sure there ever was a more rambunctious child
Life sure was a picnic when we could just bundle her up & go
Now I get tuckered just watching her, she's a pint size dynamo
Waist length braids, a gap tooth grin & freckled face
That's our girl, Momma, her calf just took first place
How old is she now, six? No, she can't possibly be eight
Seems she is growing up faster than I'd anticipate
Well I'll be, look at her standing on the stairs
in a fancy gown, heels & make up putting on womanly airs
this young girl looking back at me, yesterday she was only seven
Now there's a young buck staring at her like he's just seen heaven
Wearing a cap & gown, her diploma held high
Look, Momma, there's our girl, getting ready to give her wings a try
Wasn't it just yesterday she was afraid of the monsters under the bed?
Now she's off to college, her own path to tread
Wearing Grandma's pearls & a gown of antique white
Now, Momma, don't start fussing, everything will be all right
Wasn't it just yesterday, I was wishing she was talking?
Now the music is playing & down the aisle we're walking
Wearing Grandpa's boots & cowboy hat & nothing in between
Why Grandma ain't that the prettiest grandbaby you've ever seen?
Now listen, Sassy, don't go wishing for her to grow up so fast
Treasure each & every moment, create a memory to last
Be mindful of what you wish for when your babes are small
For in just the blink of an eye, they won't be small at all
You dream of turning back the clock & know you never will
For time flies, just as surely as you wish it would stand still
I’ll go a ridin’ no more through blue stem or chaparral,
Just lead my horse to pastures of green.
I’ll watch those rose ruby suns ease on past the ol’ corral—
Think back on the things I’ve done and seen.
Oh, you can’t go on a ridin’ for all your livelong days—
You’ve got to know when to settle down.
You’ll gently pet your ol’ horse as you put her out to graze
And soon life won’t seem so bad in town.
But when blue bonnets and the high plains send their callin’ card,
Your restless feet start to feel that itch.
Then it don’t matter if you’re stove-up or your butt is lard—
That feelin’ calls to the poor and rich.
Just once more I’ll go a ridin’ in the sorrel and sage—
Testin’ my ol’ horse for all it’s worth.
And I know that time cannot stop me, even at my age,
From ridin’ free of the reins of earth.
holding tight the dream
a million tomorrows
each held the promise,
was too many lost
traded for today
be the watcher as life fades
wear the creases from photograph's
like old movies played often.
Time calls me away
with echo's of love no longer returned
so where too ....now?
Ah done cum frum tha ol' times
Whar we's jist roams free
I's gots a gun, a hoss un grub
'Un bedroll 'neath a tree.
Sum times ah jist works fer grub
An theys the tother times
Ah's jist watches tha stars 'bove
An sleeps un tha moons light.
Don't likes ridin' un tha rain
When lighten flies 'bouts
T'ain't safe ta be's board youse hoss
If'n youse tha tallest thin 'round.
Seed sum thin tother day
Done made me's feels so small
War a cowboy on 'is knees
An 'is hoss with head bowed low.
Tha cowboy held hat un han
Un front a wood cross
He war prayin ta tha Lord 'bove
Fer all tha pards we's loss.
Theys air up thar, that I's knows
Bacause las night I's seed
Ma frien Charlie ridin herd
Next ta ma pa, Reed.
One days I's 'll be up thar
An sum one down balow
Will looks an watches tha stars shine
Un sleeps 'neath tha moons glow.
When the campfire’s out and you try to sleep,
But things don’t seem just right—
You toss and turn on that ol’ hard bedroll
And see faces in the night.
It just may be dreams or a sense of guilt
That now keeps you wide awake—
It may be bad stew or a wrong you did--
A friend you had to forsake.
You shut your eyes tight and let darkness come—
Pray those faces don’t appear—
But they always come and silently speak
To your conscience and your fear.
You see father’s face like it was those days
And wish you’d both had more time—
To ease all the things that then stood between
Before he died in his prime.
And then there’s the face of your bother Tom,
Who worshipped you like a God—
Till he had fever and you laughed if off—
Then buried him in the sod.
But night always brings another dim face
Of the girl that you loved first—
Before she went and married someone else,
And how your heart about burst..
So when the dawn comes to strike you awake,
And with tired relief you rise—
You still see those faces in sun’s red glare
And know part of you yet dies.
Too soon again bright campfires now burn low,
As the sunset still brings fright—
For you know that sleep is not a good friend
And brings faces in the night.
No one knows where the longhorn goes,
When his breed is scattered and few—
He once was king of the cattle ring,
But his time in this world is through.
We all must go where longhorns go,
When the bone moon falls from the sky—
We will not hide when we ride no more
And the longhorn goes off to die.
Our land must be where longhorns live—
Where we all seek our destiny—
This once was land still full of sand
With longhorns far as you could see.
We all must dream what cowboys dreamt
When they looked out upon the West—
We all should lead the life we need
As we follow the trail that’s best.
We all must go where longhorns grazed
On a ride through the green grass sea—
We all must lead and protect our creed—
But most of all, we should be free.
The path is hard, but we will climb
Up that hill where the longhorn goes—
Though the trail is long, it is not wrong,
When we know what the longhorn knows.