Cowboy Poetry
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Cowboy Poetry

  Songs men sing to their horses ...


Down in Texas was an old ghost town.
The only thing that stood was a shake, fallin' down.
'Till this one fine mornin' a young cowboy came to town.
Rode on his tall horse and kicked up dust till dusk.
A bad guy came in wantin' to fight,
and the cowboy laughed and said tonight.
He nodded his head and rode away, needed to pass the time today.
Night came and the two met.
"I'm gonna win and you know it," he bet.
Quick as lightnin' the cowboy had to draw
and win this battle once in for all.
Pulled out his gun, and won that duel.
That silly bad guy was such a fool!

-- Submitted by Jordan from Katy, Texas


I had to say I was sorry,
I cannot see you cry
Your teardrops always drown me
and I've never figured why!

Even though you treat me coldly,
and sometimes with disdain,
I want to tell you, sweetheart
I just never feel that pain.

We are going out tonight, my love
to a table just for two
with candlelight and violins
we have some talkin' to do.

We'll pledge to start things over
just like they were before,
we are goin' to set out even
and forget counting scores.

And we have to come out smiling,
and make this brand new start
baby, I know I mean this
I'm speaking from the heart.

You were my best friend, lady,
and I was good for you,
and thats how things will be once more
we'll bring back hapiness I'm sure,
and no more crying out no more,

My open arms await your entry
they'll lock and hold you tight
you'll give in to temptation
as loving goes on tonight.

We went out tonight, my love
to that table just for two
with candlelight and violins
we had some talkin' to do.

-- Submitted by Sorab Bhathena from Pune, Maharashtra India


There'll never be a last cowboy
As long as there's still some ole cows--
Who'd be crazy 'nuf to round 'em up
'Cordin' to how the law allows?

Ya can't do this, ya can't do that,
So sez that gall dern guv'ament--
It's like they thinks they know the best--
Don't they sees our predicament?

Though they near did in the farmer
And 'bout wrecked the ole family farm--
So long as they don't rile cowboys,
They won't be doin' too much harm.

As long as we's got our good hosses,
Cowboys will still be ridin' here--
Give us a long lonely prairie--
Sparklin' stars in a night that's clear.

-- Submitted by Glen Enloe from Independence, Missouri


The old man sat quietly in the corner of the bar,
As the young men talked of exploits they had,
Of rivers they'd crossed and wells gone dry,
And good days fewer than bad.

They yipped and howled about their lives as cowboys on the range
And slapped each other on the back,
Out-telling one another with stories of their fame,
Of tall tales there was no lack.

The old man, tired of listening, rose to take his leave,
When one young brag eyed him as he passed,
He tipped his hat in salute for he knew what he had seen,
A legend in this time that would not last:

He rangered down in Texas, drove cattle to the north,
Wagon bossed a train across the Great Divide,
He brought law to the west, bucked all that nature gave,
And in the hearts of cowboys never died.

The young man raised his glass as he stood up from his chair,
"Here's to all who came before, may they live forever in our minds,
They're the best that ever were,
'Cause good cowboys are mighty hard to find."

-- Submitted by Norman Edward Rourke from Beggs, OK


Them girls who made them patties
Were Pat and Dot and May
Them girls who made them patties
Won't feed on winter hay
The boss got in the buyer and
he sent the girls away
And now my wee pie makers
Are pies themselves today

Oh, I would rather they'd stopped
on the farm, y'know
But in a farm economy well,
that's the way things go, so
They'll show up in cling wrap on
some townie cafe tray
With sprigs of thyme and celery
and dots of mayonnaise.

Oh, Pattie was a cowgirl
Who'd take the chance to think
You'd often find her ruminatin'
Sippin' up her drink
Her mind was often busy
For hours in the day
Chewin' over cowie things while
pooin' out her hay, oh

I would rather they'd stopped
on the farm, y'know
But in a farm economy
well, that's they way things go.

Dottie was a cowgirl
With wings upon her feet
She'd caper in the tussock grass
And sweetly pirouette (say p-row-eat)
And I think in her heart of hearts
That Dottie's one desire
Was to show up in a ballet (say belly)
In a ballet girl's attire, oh

I would rather they'd stopped
on the farm, y'know
But in a farm economy, well
that's the way things go.

Oh, May she were a cowgirl
A pretty little thing
With pretty little eyebrows
and eyelashes and things
The bull, well he was mad for May to
wear his wedding ring,
She prettily refused with
"It's a temporary thing..." oh

I would rather they'd stopped
on the farm, y'know
But in a farm economy, well
that's the way things go, so
they'll show up in cling wrap on some
townie cafe tray
No more recognisable as
Pat and Dot and May.

-- Submitted by Tracy Huirama-Osborne
from Clyde, Central Otago, New Zealand


 You might think it's strange
To ride
the range
But there's an ole cowboy
as he rides along
He always sings a song
He sings of days gone by
Sometimes his songs
make you cry
He is so frail
Still he rides
that trail
His voice is not as loud
But still that ole cowboy
Is mighty proud
Soon it will be the end of the trail
To heaven
his soul will sail
He has punched his last steer
He knows the
end is near
But sing he must
He will be found
In the trail's dust
He was a lonly cuss
Nothing like us
He was a loner
Yep. He is a goner.

 -- Submitted by Don Fraser from Vancouver, WA


 There ain't nothin phony
 About a cowboy's pony
 There is never any change
 When he carries that cowboy
 Across the range
 If the cowboy has any luck
 His pony will never buck
 Oh! you scoff
 It is not you
 That get's bucked off
The pony stands there, oh so loyal
 You think it is saying to that cowboy
 "You are a royal"
 But he lets that cowboy get back on
 The cowhboy spurs him
 And then they are gone
 Across the prarie they do fly
 A cowboy's pony
 Would never shy
 So if you want a pony that is true
 A cowboy's pony
 Would be the best for you.

 -- Submitted by Don Fraser from Vancouver, WA


There is an ole'cowboy from texas
But, he travels to and fro,
Meets lots and lots of women
We'll call them friends and foes

If ever he comes your way
With one of those crooked smiles,
Be leary of this boy's actions
Cause he's cock-eyed drunk and wild

He'll tell you that you're his gal
And whisper sweet nothings in your ear
But be careful, lady, you'll be waiting
While he enjoys his dancehall cheer

That ole' cock-eyed cowboy
Will leave you sittin' in the dust
Then come right back a smilin'
Hopin' for a little more of your trust

Some cowboys are just great
The kind you never want to forget
But until you've met this one
You ain't met a cock-eyed cowboy yet!

-- Submitted by Bobbie Barnes from Jacksboro, Texas


We sure did kick their asses,
when they came to take Manassas,
and we did the same again at Chickamaw,
at Gettysburg that night,
we showed them how to fight,
when those Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

We were fighting, we were killing,
we were so much more than willing,
when those Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,
we fought in the sand and mud,
soaked it with their Yankee blood,
when the Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

At Cooks Ferry and Hanover,
when they tried to run us over,
we were ready with the bayonet and the gun,
with a rousing rebel yell,
that seemed to come from Hell,
turned their blue coats into yellow and they run,

All we wanted was a country where we could live in peace,
like the southern gentlemen we really are,
but the blue coats wanted trouble,
so we gave it to them double,
when the Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

We were fighting, we were killing,
we were so much more than willing,
when those Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,
we fought in the sand and mud,
soaked it with their Yankee blood,
when the Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

They had all the best resources,
more men and guns and horses,
we were out numbered ten to every man,
but when our bullets were depleted,
and they thought we were defeated,
we charged right in and fought them hand to hand,

They used blockades I remember,
in the hope that we'd surrender,
they had Ironclads close to every shore,
then they burnt down our plantations,
drove us pretty near starvation,
when the Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

In every confrontation,
that we fought throughout the nation,
we left the blue coats were their bodies fell,
and as their bodies hit the sand,
we stole the rifles from their hands,
then rode off with a rousing rebel yell,

And we were fighting, we were killing,
we were so much more than willing,
when those Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,
we fought in the sand and mud,
soaked it with their Yankee blood,
when the Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

Well, we lost the war, I guess,
but God knows we done our best,
and the Yanks are counting still their men that died,
and though General Lee surrendered,
the south will be remembered,
for it's guts, determination, and it's pride,

For we were fighting for our honour,
while the Yanks fought for a dollar,
and we them more than they bargained for,
well, they came to take our land,
we left them laying in the sand,
when the Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war,

Because we sure did kick their asses,
when they came to take Manassas,
and we did the same again at Chickamaw,
at Gettysburg that night,
we showed them how to fight,
when those Yankee's took us good ol' boys to war.

-- Submitted by Steve Ralph from London, England


Well, Old Pard, it hurts to have to put you down this way,
No better mount have I had in my day.
You are more than my horse, you've been my best friend.
I'll see you in heaven, don't quite know when.

You'll be young and frisky, ready to ride,
tearing through the clouds with wings on your side.
No more aches, no more pains, no more nights in the cold.
A saddle made of angel's wings and a bridle made of gold.

You deserve all of this, cause you've just been "the best".
Sorry.....Old Pard, had to get this off my chest.
When I hear the thunder of a midsummer's storm,
I'll know that's your hoofbeats, just by the sound.

Strong and steady, thundering by,
waiting for me to be by your side.
That day will long, old friend.
Till we meet in heaven, you've been "the best."

-- Submitted by Susan A. VanAmburg from Prattsburgh, New York


I'm ashamed to admit but I always thought that
They were, well, kinda silly -- them strings on yer hat.

Almost none of us rides all that hard nowadays
'Ceptin' maybe the ones what still rides for their pay.

Besides, if a hat fits ya, it shouldn't come off.
It should take a twister to launch it aloft.

I saw stampede strings as a small affectation
Used mostly for looks to maintain reputation.

So I never wore 'em, me bein' a cynic,
Then one day while ridin' a mulemanship clinic

Somethin' just happened that turned me around.
A friend of mine's hat left his head and flew down

Til it lit 'neath the nose of his big molly mule.
She snorted, set back and quite promptly left school.

Her ears went to twitchen, her eyes rolled around
When she bowed up her back all four feet left the ground

Right down the arena she bucked and crow hopped
On into the chutes where she finally got stopped

But not before leavin' my friend in the dirt
Where his pride and backside was both quite rightly hurt.

That set me to thinkin', and I figured out that
I might not bet my neck on the fit of my hat!

And I guess I got company cause next thing I seen
Was most a my friends sportin' new stampede strings.

-- Submitted by Connie Rossignol from Los Lunas, NM


When it comes to cookin' I eat mostly my own
But once in a while for a change I leave home
And go out to eat on some special occasion
Or under influence of friendly persuasion.

 And that's what I'm talking about in this verse
The grub costs a fortune but there's somethin' worse.
Instead of a cafe or bistro it seems
All the restaurants these days gotta have 'em a theme.

You can't get a pizza or sandwich without
A mechanical Elvis or big clockwork mouse
Cavortin' an' singin' with fake flapper jaws
That resemble a turkey with sand in her craw.

Why even in places that court the elite
You get out back steak with Crocodile Dundee!
I don't want to dine as if I'm on a ship
Or under the big top or takin' a trip

I just want to go in and sit down and eat
With cloths on the table and napkins all neat
And just for good measure I sure wouldn't grumble
To have a nice waiter instead of George of the Jungle!

Like this place with an Amazon kinda refrain
That had holes in the roof to let in the fake rain
And taped animal sounds all those growls and groans
I paid extra for this? Shoot! I got this at home!

-- Submitted by Connie Rossignol from Los Lunas, NM


Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirrin' - includin' my spouse.
The stockings weren't hung and the tree wasn't trimmed
On the floor muddy footprints was strung end to end.

I in my apron with vacuum in hand,
Was wipin' the mud up and suckin' up sand.
When out on the pasture up at the north end,
Come such runnin' and brayin' as ever has been

I flung on my coat and quick run out to check
What I saw by all counts was one heck of a wreck.
It was some kind of vehicle.. sleigh or a sled..
And the teamster was howlin' and holdin' his head.

His whiskers was white and he wore a red suit
Turned out it was Santa...tiny reindeer to boot!
And tiny is right - them reindeer were so small
My donk's took 'em for dogs. (They don't like dogs at all.)

They'd been chasin' the reindeer, and chousin' 'em 'round
Til the traces come loose and was draggin' the ground.
The lines were a tangle, a breechin' had busted
And Santa by now was completely disgusted.

To say he looked mad is a tad understated
So I figured I'd best get this crisis abated.
With a bucket of sweet feed for donkey attention
And the Saint usin' words that... well... I just won't mention

I quick caught my donkeys, he gathered reindeer
Got 'em "fix hitched"and loaded--didn't leave nothin' here..
But I heard him exclaim as he took to the air
"You want presents, you pen up them donkeys next year!"

-- Submitted by Connie Rossignol from Los Lunas, NM


I got home from work and there the guys sat
Just eatin' a pizza and chewin' the fat
They were quite unaware of the fracas out back
Caused, it turns out, by my neighbor's old jack

Now, I don't really know 'em, they live to the north
But we wave on the road as we go back and forth
They're passable neighbors in most other senses
Except for this jack and their not so hot fences

The jack is a pet, or that's what I guess
Since I've never seen anyone work him much less
Ride him or drive him or Saints please preserve us!
Perish the thought they would stand him for service!

'Cause his pedigree's vague, his past convaluted
His gene pool, suffice it to say, is polluted.
He's not very big and his rough coat is thin
In front he toes out and in back he hocks in.

He's pig-eyed and roof rumped and ewe necked to boot
Why this jack is just too hard to look at to shoot!
So, it figures, he would find my place quick as any
Especially what with my three right nice jennys.

Yep, he had homed in and was doin his best
He'd been chasin' 'em round til they worked up a sweat
At last they'd retreated, holed up in a bunch
As scared and uptight as a gambler's hunch

But the jack was undaunted, the amorous brute
Had forsaken the jennys and turned his pursuit
This misguided missle of jackass affection
Now romanced my gelding and from all directions

I hollered and harrassed and bribed him with grain
Til I got him penned up but he never refrained
From lamenting his plight by wheezes and roars
In a voice reminiscent of nails on chalkboards

His protest persisted throughout the long night
Far into the morning and on past first light
Since I never slept I was already up
So I brewed some strong coffee and poured a big cup

Then I got in the truck and went down to the neighbors
To ask if they'd possibly do me the favor
Of fixin' their fences to keep in their jack.
The door never opened so I come on back

I know they were home cause their trucks were all there
But they just wouldn't answer, why -- didn't they care
That their wandering Romeo bred all my jennys?
If they felt remorse they have yet to show any!

The best I can hope is that timing was wrong
When Old knucklehead answered his own siren song.
Here's hoping next Spring won't bring long eared reminders
That if neighbors were keepers I wouldn't be finders!

-- Submitted by Connie Rossignol from Los Lunas, NM


He was right on time that wandering jack
When he come to my place some 12 months back

And to tell you the truth and while he sure made me mad
But thinkin' back now, was he really that bad?

Course he did hock in but (they most all do)
And his neck was right thin but not really a "ewe"

And I coulda been wrong 'bout his feet toen' out
It could be a trim mighta brung 'em about

And his eyes? They wuddn't so awful small
And his rump just wuddn't that "roofy" a'tall

In fact, I could quite rightly say -
That mighta been my lucky day

Why what with colts from a jack that nice
I maybe oughta raise my price!

-- Submitted by Connie Rossignol from Los Lunas, NM


Oh, there we were one lonely anxious morinin'
Everyone one was up but me, I was a snorin'
I said to my wife there's a calf out there
So we went for a look without a care

As I grabbed my boots I whooped and hollered
hopin' for some fresh churned butter
But the only thing we found out there was Sergeant Cutter
Oh, Cutter was a wounded all on the back of his head
When we first took a lookin' we thought he was dead

Until we saw his gun
He pulled that trigger straight up to the mornin' sun
We thought we were safe until it came back down
His smile turned into a frown
Oh, that was the last we saw of him

-- Submitted by Makenzie Arnold from Austin,Texas


Cowboy's are just good ole boys wearin' cowboy hats
longing for a beautiful girl to love.
Cowgirls know what it takes to make a cowboy's heart
turn soft as a well-worn saddle;

Love on the range is a kinda special love and
stronger than my feelin' for my horse or pick-up truck;
Only a real cowboy knows how to love on the range
and keep the feelings warm during cold winter nights and lonely ole times.

Now this ain't no country song, and the poetry here don't really rhyme,
but the feelin's are as real as the sky.
Country stars are poets longing for a song to sing
and cowboys are way too shy to express emotions so openly

We'd much rather sing a song that recite poetry.
And no song would be complete without something about
your eyes and smile
so here it is:

Your eyes are as blue as the sky
and everytime I look at the sky I think about you;
Your smile is like the bright sunshine
and it brightens my day everytime you smile.

-- Submitted by Glen from Tulsa, Oklahoma


Wrapped in my bedroll, I look up at stars
colder than any woman I have known.
I need a break from towns and streets and bars.
I need to be out here and on my own.

There's something in these waves of rock and space
that I can learn to call on, I expect;
Someone -- and I might never see His face --
who'll know my need to center and connect.

I keep on riding, day by night by hour,
not knowing what's ahead, what rocks I'll climb,
praying for some connection with a Power
that I can ride with, down this trail of time.

-- Submitted by Norman M. Davis from Blue Island, Illinois


His legs were bowed, his back was bent, his skin was leather brown.
No one knew how old he was, seem he's always been around.
His hands were scared, his fingers gnarled from working with a pick.
Either digging in a mountain side or panning in a creek.
He came to town looking for a stake, to try and find the mother lode.
He knew it had to be very close to one of the trails he rode.
He hasn't found his fortune yet, perhaps he never will.
It won't be because he didn't try, he's out there digging still.
You see, the fortune that he seeks, is not in the finding of the gold.
The searching is worth so much more than all the mother lode.

-- Submitted by Owen Woodard from Grand Forks, ND


Have you ever sat around a campfire and sang a song.
About a lonely cowboy who had gone wrong.
A cowboy that loved a maiden so trim and fair,
but wanted much more than this poor cowboy could spare.
He planned a bank robbery so he could get money,
to buy pretty things for the one he called honey.
But something went wrong on that terrible night.
For he shot a man and had to take flight.

Across the dessert he rode in a flurry.
His horse had been strong, but now it grew weary.
It started to slow, then stumble and fall.
In a race that was lost, he had given his all.
The cowboy jumped up and took off on the run,
but something hit him hard and around he spun.
When the posse arrived he just smiled and said,
"Tell Rose I love her", and then he was dead.

No more would he ride and sing a love song.
For the love of a maiden, he had gone wrong.
And now he rides for that ranch in the sky,
and we hope he finds his Rose in the sweet bye and bye.

-- Submitted by Owen Woodard from Grand Forks, ND




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