Lone Hand Western - Old West History


Cowboy Songs 5

Sometimes it's hard to remember the lyrics for all those traditional old cowboy and Western songs no matter how hard we try.  Here are the words for some of the classic songs as well as the words for the songs you may not hear anymore.  New songs will be added on a regular basis.  If you are looking for the words for a particular song let me know and I will try to post them.  Happy Singing!

Cowboy Songs

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Cowboy Songs



My name is Joe Bowers,
I've got a brother Ike,
I came here from Missouri,
Yes, all the way from Pike.
I'll tell you why I left there
And how I came to roam,
And leave my poor old mammy,
So far away from home.

I used to love a gal there,
Her name was Sallie Black,
I asked her for to marry me,
She said it was a whack.
She says to me, "Joe Bowers,
Before you hitch for life,
You ought to have a little home
To keep your little wife."

Says I, "My dearest Sallie,
O Sallie, for your sake,
I'll go to California
And try to raise a stake."
Says she to me, "Joe Bowers,
You are the chap to win,
Give me a kiss to seal the bargain,"—
And I throwed a dozen in.

I'll never forget my feelings
When I bid adieu to all.
Sal, she cotched me round the neck
And I began to bawl.
When I begun they all commenced,
You never heard the like,
How they all took on and cried
The day I left old Pike.

When I got to this here country
I hadn't nary a red,
I had such wolfish feelings
I wished myself most dead.
At last I went to mining,
Put in my biggest licks,
Came down upon the boulders
Just like a thousand bricks.

I worked both late and early
In rain and sun and snow,
But I was working for my Sallie
So 'twas all the same to Joe.
I made a very lucky strike
As the gold itself did tell,
For I was working for my Sallie,
The girl I loved so well.

But one day I got a letter
From my dear, kind brother Ike;
It came from old Missouri,
Yes, all the way from Pike.
It told me the goldarndest news
That ever you did hear,
My heart it is a-bustin'
So please excuse this tear.

I'll tell you what it was, boys,
You'll bust your sides I know;
For when I read that letter
You ought to seen poor Joe.
My knees gave 'way beneath me,
And I pulled out half my hair;
And if you ever tell this now,
You bet you'll hear me swear.

It said my Sallie was fickle,
Her love for me had fled,
That she had married a butcher,
Whose hair was awful red;
It told me more than that,
It's enough to make me swear,—
It said that Sallie had a baby
And the baby had red hair.

Now I've told you all that I can tell
About this sad affair,
'Bout Sallie marrying the butcher
And the baby had red hair.
But whether it was a boy or girl
The letter never said,
It only said its cussed hair
Was inclined to be red.



The bawl of a steer,
To a cowboy's ear,
Is music of sweetest strain;
And the yelping notes
Of the gray cayotes
To him are a glad refrain.

And his jolly songs
Speed him along,
As he thinks of the little gal
With golden hair
Who is waiting there
At the bars of the home corral.

For a kingly crown
In the noisy town
His saddle he wouldn't change;
No life so free
As the life we see
Way out on the Yaso range.

His eyes are bright
And his heart as light
As the smoke of his cigarette;
There's never a care
For his soul to bear,
No trouble to make him fret.

The rapid beat
Of his broncho's feet
On the sod as he speeds along,
Keeps living time
To the ringing rhyme
Of his rollicking cowboy song.

Hike it, cowboys,
For the range away
On the back of a bronc of steel,
With a careless flirt
Of the raw-hide quirt
And a dig of a roweled heel!

The winds may blow
And the thunder growl
Or the breezes may safely moan;—
A cowboy's life
Is a royal life,
His saddle his kingly throne.

Saddle up, boys,
For the work is play
When love's in the cowboy's eyes,—
When his heart is light
As the clouds of white
That swim in the summer skies.


Come all you jolly cowmen, don't you want to go
Way up on the Kansas line?
Where you whoop up the cattle from morning till night
All out in the midnight rain.

The cowboy's life is a dreadful life,
He's driven through heat and cold;
I'm almost froze with the water on my clothes,
A-ridin' through heat and cold.

I've been where the lightnin', the lightnin' tangled in my eyes,
The cattle I could scarcely hold;
Think I heard my boss man say:
"I want all brave-hearted men who ain't afraid to die
To whoop up the cattle from morning till night,
Way up on the Kansas line."

Speaking of your farms and your shanty charms,
Speaking of your silver and gold,—
Take a cowman's advice, go and marry you a true and lovely little wife,
Never to roam, always stay at home;
That's a cowman's, a cowman's advice,
Way up on the Kansas line.

Think I heard the noisy cook say,
"Wake up, boys, it's near the break of day,"—
Way up on the Kansas line,
And slowly we will rise with the sleepy feeling eyes,
Way up on the Kansas line.

The cowboy's life is a dreary, dreary life,
All out in the midnight rain;
I'm almost froze with the water on my clothes,
Way up on the Kansas line.


In a rusty, worn-out cabin sat a broken-hearted leaser,
His singlejack was resting on his knee.
His old "buggy" in the corner told the same old plaintive tale,
His ore had left in all his poverty.
He lifted his old singlejack, gazed on its battered face,
And said: "Old boy, I know we're not to blame;
Our gold has us forsaken, some other path it's taken,
But I still believe we'll strike it just the same.

"We'll strike it, yes, we'll strike it just the same,
Although it's gone into some other's claim.
My dear old boy don't mind it, we won't starve if we don't find it,
And we'll drill and shoot and find it just the same.

"For forty years I've hammered steel and tried to make a strike,
I've burned twice the powder Custer ever saw.
I've made just coin enough to keep poorer than a snake.
My jack's ate all my books on mining law.
I've worn gunny-sacks for overalls, and 'California socks,'
I've burned candles that would reach from here to Maine,
I've lived on powder, smoke, and bacon, that's no lie, boy, I'm not fakin',
But I still believe we'll strike it just the same.

"Last night as I lay sleeping in the midst of all my dream
My assay ran six ounces clear in gold,
And the silver it ran clean sixteen ounces to the seam,
And the poor old miner's joy could scarce be told.
I lay there, boy, I could not sleep, I had a feverish brow,
Got up, went back, and put in six holes more.
And then, boy, I was chokin' just to see the ground I'd broken;
But alas! alas! the miner's dream was o'er.

"We'll strike it, yes, we'll strike it just the same,
Although it's gone into some other's claim.
My dear old boy, don't mind it, we won't starve if we don't find it,
And I still believe I'll strike it just the same."


On Buena Vista battlefield
A dying soldier lay,
His thoughts were on his mountain home
Some thousand miles away.
He called his comrade to his side,
For much he had to say,
In briefest words to those who were
Some thousand miles away.

"My father, comrade, you will tell
About this bloody fray;
My country's flag, you'll say to him,
Was safe with me to-day.
I make a pillow of it now
On which to lay my head,
A winding sheet you'll make of it
When I am with the dead.

"I know 'twill grieve his inmost soul
To think I never more
Will sit with him beneath the oak
That shades the cottage door;
But tell that time-worn patriot,
That, mindful of his fame,
Upon this bloody battlefield
I sullied not his name.

"My mother's form is with me now,
Her will is in my ear,
And drop by drop as flows my blood
So flows from her the tear.
And oh, when you shall tell to her
The tidings of this day,
Speak softly, comrade, softly speak
What you may have to say.

"Speak not to her in blighting words
The blighting news you bear,
The cords of life might snap too soon,
So, comrade, have a care.
I am her only, cherished child,
But tell her that I died
Rejoicing that she taught me young
To take my country's side.

"But, comrade, there's one more,
She's gentle as a fawn;
She lives upon the sloping hill
That overlooks the lawn,
The lawn where I shall never more
Go forth with her in merry mood
To gather wild-wood flowers.

"Tell her when death was on my brow
And life receding fast,
Her looks, her form was with me then,
Were with me to the last.
On Buena Vista's bloody field
Tell her I dying lay,
And that I knew she thought of me
Some thousand miles away."

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I love not Colorado
Where the faro table grows,
And down the desperado
The rippling Bourbon flows;

Nor seek I fair Montana
Of bowie-lunging fame;
The pistol ring of fair Wyoming
I leave to nobler game.

Sweet poker-haunted Kansas
In vain allures the eye;
The Nevada rough has charms enough
Yet its blandishments I fly.

Shall Arizona woo me
Where the meek Apache bides?
Or New Mexico where natives grow
With arrow-proof insides?

Nay, 'tis where the grizzlies wander
And the lonely diggers roam,
And the grim Chinese from the squatter flees
That I'll make my humble home.

I'll chase the wild tarantula
And the fierce cayote I'll dare,
And the locust grim, I'll battle him
In his native wildwood lair.

Or I'll seek the gulch deserted
And dream of the wild Red man,
And I'll build a cot on a corner lot
And get rich as soon as I can.


I am a Mormon bishop and I will tell you what I know.
I joined the confraternity some forty years ago.
I then had youth upon my brow and eloquence my tongue,
But I had the sad misfortune then to meet with Brigham Young.

He said, "Young man, come join our band and bid hard work farewell,
You are too smart to waste your time in toil by hill and dell;
There is a ripening harvest and our hooks shall find the fool
And in the distant nations we shall train them in our school."

I listened to his preaching and I learned all the role,
And the truth of Mormon doctrines burned deep within my soul.
I married sixteen women and I spread my new belief,
I was sent to preach the gospel to the pauper and the thief.

'Twas in the glorious days when Brigham was our only Lord and King,
And his wild cry of defiance from the Wasatch tops did ring,
'Twas when that bold Bill Hickman and that Porter Rockwell led,
And in the blood atonements the pits received the dead.

They took in Dr. Robertson and left him in his gore,
And the Aiken brothers sleep in peace on Nephi's distant shore.
We marched to Mountain Meadows and on that glorious field
With rifle and with hatchet we made man and woman yield.

'Twas there we were victorious with our legions fierce and brave.
We left the butchered victims on the ground without a grave.
We slew the load of emigrants on Sublet's lonely road
And plundered many a trader of his then most precious load.

Alas for all the powers that were in the by-gone time.
What we did as deeds of glory are condemned as bloody crime.
No more the blood atonements keep the doubting one in fear,
While the faithful were rewarded with a wedding once a year.

As the nation's chieftain president says our days of rule are o'er
And his marshals with their warrants are on watch at every door,
Old John he now goes skulking on the by-roads of our land,
Or unknown he keeps in hiding with the faithful of our band.

Old Brigham now is stretched beneath the cold and silent clay,
And the chieftains now are fallen that were mighty in their day;
Of the six and twenty women that I wedded long ago
There are two now left to cheer me in these awful hours of woe.
The rest are scattered where the Gentile's flag's unfurled
And two score of my daughters are now numbered with the world.

Oh, my poor old bones are aching and my head is turning gray;
Oh, the scenes were black and awful that I've witnessed in my day.
Let my spirit seek the mansion where old Brigham's gone to dwell,
For there's no place for Mormons but the lowest pits of hell.

A young cowboy.


Dan Taylor is a rollicking cuss,
A frisky son of a gun,
He loves to court the maidens
And he savies how it's done.

He used to be a cowboy
And they say he wasn't slow,
He could ride the bucking bronco
And swing the long lasso.

He could catch a maverick by the head
Or heel him on the fly,
He could pick up his front ones
Whenever he chose to try.

He used to ride most anything;
Now he seldom will.
He says they cut some caper in the air
Of which he's got his fill.

He is done and quit the business,
Settled down to quiet life,
And he's hunting for some maiden
Who will be his little wife,—

One who will wash and patch his britches
And feed the setting hen,
Milk old Blue and Brindy,
And tend to baby Ben.

Then he'll build a cozy cottage
And furnish it complete,
He'll decorate the walls inside
With pictures new and sweet.

He will leave off riding broncos
And be a different man;
He will do his best to please his wife
In every way he can.

Then together in double harness
They will trot along down the line,
Until death shall call them over
To a bright and sunny clime.

May your joys be then completed
And your sorrows have amend,
Is the fondest wish of the writer,—
Your true and faithful friend.


Come, all you bold, undaunted men,
You outlaws of the day,
It's time to beware of the ball and chain
And also slavery.
Attention pay to what I say,
And verily if you do,
I will relate you the actual fate
Of bold Jack Donahoo.

He had scarcely landed, as I tell you,
Upon Australia's shore,
Than he became a real highwayman,
As he had been before.
There was Underwood and Mackerman,
And Wade and Westley too,
These were the four associates
Of bold Jack Donahoo.

Jack Donahoo, who was so brave,
Rode out that afternoon,
Knowing not that the pain of death
Would overtake him soon.
So quickly then the horse police
From Sidney came to view;
"Begone from here, you cowardly dogs,"
Says bold Jack Donahoo.

The captain and the sergeant
Stopped then to decide.
"Do you intend to fight us
Or unto us resign?"
"To surrender to such cowardly dogs
Is more than I will do,
This day I'll fight if I lose my life,"
Says bold Jack Donahoo.

The captain and the sergeant
The men they did divide;
They fired from behind him
And also from each side;
It's six police he did shoot down
Before the fatal ball
Did pierce the heart of Donahoo
And cause bold Jack to fall.

And when he fell, he closed his eyes,
He bid the world adieu;
Come, all you boys, and sing the song
Of bold Jack Donahoo.


I'm a lonely bull-whacker
On the Red Cloud line,
I can lick any son of a gun
That will yoke an ox of mine.
And if I can catch him,
You bet I will or try,
I'd lick him with an ox-bow,—
Root hog or die.

It's out on the road
With a very heavy load,
With a very awkward team
And a very muddy road,
You may whip and you may holler,
But if you cuss it's on the sly;
Then whack the cattle on, boys,—
Root hog or die.

It's out on the road
These sights are to be seen,
The antelope and buffalo,
The prairie all so green,—
The antelope and buffalo,
The rabbit jumps so high;
It's whack the cattle on, boys,—
Root hog or die.

It's every day at twelve
There's something for to do;
And if there's nothing else,
There's a pony for to shoe;
I'll throw him down,
And still I'll make him lie;
Little pig, big pig,
Root hog or die.

Now perhaps you'd like to know
What we have to eat,
A little piece of bread
And a little dirty meat,
A little black coffee,
And whiskey on the sly;
It's whack the cattle on, boys,—
Root hog or die.

There's hard old times on Bitter Creek
That never can be beat,
It was root hog or die
Under every wagon sheet;
We cleaned up all the Indians,
Drank all the alkali,
And it's whack the cattle on, boys,—
Root hog or die.

There was good old times in Salt Lake
That never can pass by,
It was there I first spied
My China girl called Wi.
She could smile, she could chuckle,
She could roll her hog eye;
Then it's whack the cattle on, boys,—
Root hog or die.

Oh, I'm going home
Bull-whacking for to spurn,
I ain't got a nickel,
And I don't give a dern.
'Tis when I meet a pretty girl,
You bet I will or try,
I'll make her my little wife,—
Root hog or die.

An Arizona Cowboy

By Robideau

Hurrah for the buffalo hunters!
Hurrah for the cart brigade!
That creak along on its winding way,
While we dance and sing and play.
Hurrah, hurrah for the cart brigade!

Hurrah for the Pembinah hunters!
Hurrah for its cart brigade!
For with horse and gun we roll along
O'er mountain and hill and plain.
Hurrah, hurrah for the cart brigade!

We whipped the Sioux and scalped them too,
While on the western plain,
And rode away on our homeward way
With none to say us nay,—
Hurrah, hurrah for the cart brigade! Hurrah!

Mon ami, mon ami, hurrah for our black-haired girls!
That braved the Sioux and fought them too,
While on Montana's plains.
We'll hold them true and love them too,
While on the trail of the Pembinah, hurrah!
Hurrah, hurrah for the cart brigade of Pembinah!

We have the skins and the meat so sweet.
And we'll sit by the fire in the lodge so neat,
While the wind blows cold and the snow is deep.
Then roll in our robes and laugh as we sleep.
Hurrah, hurrah for the cart brigade! Hurrah!
Hurrah! Hurrah!


As I walked out in the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a poor cowboy wrapped up in white linen,
Wrapped up in white linen as cold as the clay.

"Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
Play the Dead March as you carry me along;
Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy,"
These words he did say as I boldly stepped by.
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story;
I was shot in the breast and I know I must die.

"Let sixteen gamblers come handle my coffin,
Let sixteen cowboys come sing me a song,
Take me to the graveyard and lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"My friends and relations, they live in the Nation,
They know not where their boy has gone.
He first came to Texas and hired to a ranchman,
Oh, I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"Go write a letter to my gray-haired mother,
And carry the same to my sister so dear;
But not a word of this shall you mention
When a crowd gathers round you my story to hear.

"Then beat your drum lowly and play your fife slowly,
Beat the Dead March as you carry me along;
We all love our cowboys so young and so handsome,
We all love our cowboys although they've done wrong.

"There is another more dear than a sister,
She'll bitterly weep when she hears I am gone.
There is another who will win her affections,
For I'm a young cowboy and they say I've done wrong.

"Go gather around you a crowd of young cowboys,
And tell them the story of this my sad fate;
Tell one and the other before they go further
To stop their wild roving before 'tis too late.

"Oh, muffle your drums, then play your fifes merrily;
Play the Dead March as you go along.
And fire your guns right over my coffin;
There goes an unfortunate boy to his home.

"It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing,
It was once in the saddle I used to go gay;
First to the dram-house, then to the card-house,
Got shot in the breast, I am dying to-day.

"Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin;
Get six pretty maidens to bear up my pall.
Put bunches of roses all over my coffin,
Put roses to deaden the clods as they fall.

"Then swing your rope slowly and rattle your spurs lowly,
And give a wild whoop as you carry me along;
And in the grave throw me and roll the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"Go bring me a cup, a cup of cold water,
To cool my parched lips," the cowboy said;
Before I turned, the spirit had left him
And gone to its Giver,—the cowboy was dead.

We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,
And bitterly wept as we bore him along;
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young, and handsome,
We all loved our comrade although he'd done wrong.


As William and Mary stood by the seashore
Their last farewell to take,
Returning no more, little Mary she said,
"Why surely my heart will break."
"Oh, don't be dismayed, little Mary," he said,
As he pressed the dear girl to his side,
"In my absence don't mourn, for when I return
I'll make little Mary my bride."

Three years passed on without any news.
One day as she stood by the door
A beggar passed by with a patch on his eye,
"I'm home, oh, do pity, my love;
Have compassion on me, your friend I will be.
Your fortune I'll tell besides.
The lad you mourn will never return
To make little Mary his bride."

She startled and trembled and then she did say,
"All the fortune I have I freely give
If what I ask you will tell unto me,—
Say, does young William yet live?"
"He lives and is true and poverty poor,
And shipwreck has suffered beside;
He'll return no more, because he is poor,
To make little Mary his bride."

"No tongue can tell the joy I do feel
Although his misfortune I mourn,
And he's welcome to me though poverty poor,
His jacket all tattered and torn.
I love him so dear, so true and sincere,
I'll have no other beside;
Those with riches enrobed and covered with gold
Can't make little Mary their bride."

The beggar then tore the patch from his eye,
His crutches he laid by his side,
Coat, jacket and bundle; cheeks red as a rose,
'Twas William that stood by her side.
"Then excuse me, dear maid," to her he said,
"It was only your love I tried."
So he hastened away at the close of the day
To make little Mary his bride.


Come all you young companions
And listen unto me,
I'll tell you a story
Of some bad company.

I was born in Pennsylvania
Among the beautiful hills
And the memory of my childhood
Is warm within me still.

I did not like my fireside,
I did not like my home;
I had in view far rambling,
So far away did roam.

I had a feeble mother,
She oft would plead with me;
And the last word she gave me
Was to pray to God in need.

I had two loving sisters,
As fair as fair could be,
And oft beside me kneeling
They oft would plead with me.

I bid adieu to loved ones,
To my home I bid farewell,
And I landed in Chicago
In the very depth of hell.

It was there I took to drinking,
I sinned both night and day,
And there within my bosom
A feeble voice would say:

"Then fare you well, my loved one,
May God protect my boy,
And blessings ever with him
Throughout his manhood joy."

I courted a fair young maiden,
Her name I will not tell,
For I should ever disgrace her
Since I am doomed for hell.

It was on one beautiful evening,
The stars were shining bright,
And with a fatal dagger
I bid her spirit flight.

So justice overtook me,
You all can plainly see,
My soul is doomed forever
Throughout eternity.

It's now I'm on the scaffold,
My moments are not long;
You may forget the singer
But don't forget the song.


Come all you good old boys and listen to my rhymes,
We are west of Eastern Texas and mostly men of crimes;
Each with a hidden secret well smothered in his breast,
Which brought us out to Mexico, way out here in the West.

My parents raised me tenderly, they had no child but me,
Till I began to ramble and with them could never agree.
My mind being bent on rambling did grieve their poor hearts sore,
To leave my aged parents them to see no more.

I was borned and raised in Texas, though never come to fame,
A cowboy by profession, C.W. King, by name.
Oh, when the war was ended I did not like to work,
My brothers were not happy, for I had learned to shirk.

In fact I was not able, my health was very bad,
I had no constitution, I was nothing but a lad.
I had no education, I would not go to school,
And living off my parents I thought it rather cool.

So I set a resolution to travel to the West,
My parents they objected, but still I thought it best.
It was out on the Seven Rivers all out on the Pecos stream,
It was there I saw a country I thought just suited me.

I thought I would be no stranger and lead a civil life,
In order to be happy would choose myself a wife.
On one Sabbath evening in the merry month of May
To a little country singing I happened there to stray.

It was there I met a damsel I never shall forget,
The impulse of that moment remains within me yet.
We soon became acquainted, I thought she would fill the bill,
She seemed to be good-natured, which helps to climb the hill.

She was a handsome figure though not so very tall;
Her hair was red as blazes, I hate it worst of all.
I saw her home one evening in the presence of her pap,
I bid them both good evening with a note left in her lap.

And when I got an answer I read it with a rush,
I found she had consented, my feelings was a hush.
But now I have changed my mind, boys, I am sure I wish her well.
Here's to that precious jewel, I'm sure I wish her well.

This girl was Miss Mollie Walker who fell in love with me,
She was a lovely Western girl, as lovely as could be,
She was so tall, so handsome, so charming and so fair,
There is not a girl in this whole world with her I could compare.

She said my pockets would be lined with gold, hard work then I'd leave o'er
If I'd consent to live with her and say I'd roam no more.
My mind began to ramble and it grieved my poor heart sore,
To leave my darling girl, her to see no more.

I asked if it made any difference if I crossed o'er the plains;
She said it made no difference if I returned again.
So we kissed, shook hands, and parted, I left that girl behind.
She said she'd prove true to me till death proved her unkind.

I rode in the town of Vagus, all in the public square;
The mail coach had arrived, the post boy met me there.
He handed me a letter that gave me to understand
That the girl I loved in Texas had married another man.

So I read a little farther and found those words were true.
I turned myself all around, not knowing what to do.
I'll sell my horse, saddle, and bridle, cow-driving I'll resign,
I'll search this world from town to town for the girl I left behind.

Here the gold I find in plenty, the girls to me are kind,
But my pillow is haunted with the girl I left behind.
It's trouble and disappointment is all that I can see,
For the dearest girl in all the world has gone square back on me.



O come cowboys and listen to my song,
I'm in hopes I'll please you and not keep you long;
I'll sing you of things you may think strange
About West Texas and the U-S-U range.

You may go to Stamford and there see a man
Who wears a white shirt and is asking for hands;
You may ask him for work and he'll answer you short,
He will hurry you up, for he wants you to start.
He will put you in a wagon and be off in the rain,
You will go up on Tongue River on the U-S-U range.

You will drive up to the ranch and there you will stop.
It's a little sod house with dirt all on top.
You will ask what it is and they will tell you out plain
That it's the ranch house on the U-S-U range.

You will go in the house and he will begin to explain;
You will see some blankets rolled up on the floor;
You may ask what it is and they will tell you out plain
That it is the bedding on the U-S-U range.

You are up in the morning at the daybreak
To eat cold beef and U-S-U steak,
And out to your work no matter if it's rain,—
And that is the life on the U-S-U range.

You work hard all day and come in at night,
And turn your horse loose, for they say it's all right,
And set down to supper and begin to complain
Of the chuck that you eat on the U-S-U range.

The grub that you get is beans and cold rice
And U-S-U steak cooked up very nice;
And if you don't like that you needn't complain,
For that's what you get on the U-S-U range.

Now, kind friends, I must leave you, I no longer can remain,
I hope I have pleased you and given you no pain.
But when I am gone, don't think me strange,
For I have been a cow-puncher on the U-S-U range.


Oh, I'm a good old rebel, that's what I am;
And for this land of freedom, I don't care a damn,
I'm glad I fought agin her, I only wish we'd won,
And I don't axe any pardon for anything I've done.

I served with old Bob Lee, three years about,
Got wounded in four places and starved at Point Lookout;
I caught the rheumatism a-campin' in the snow,
But I killed a chance of Yankees and wish I'd killed some mo'.

For I'm a good old rebel, etc.

I hate the constitooshin, this great republic too;
I hate the mouty eagle, an' the uniform so blue;
I hate their glorious banner, an' all their flags an' fuss,
Those lyin', thievin' Yankees, I hate 'em wuss an' wuss.

For I'm a good old rebel, etc.

I won't be re-constructed! I'm better now than them;
And for a carpet-bagger, I don't give a damn;
So I'm off for the frontier, soon as I can go,
I'll prepare me a weapon and start for Mexico.

For I'm a good old rebel, etc.


Bill Peters was a hustler
From Independence town;
He warn't a college scholar
Nor man of great renown,
But Bill had a way o' doing things
And doin' 'em up brown.

Bill driv the stage from Independence
Up to the Smokey Hill;
And everybody knowed him thar
As Independence Bill,—
Thar warn't no feller on the route
That driv with half the skill.

Bill driv four pair of horses,
Same as you'd drive a team,
And you'd think you was a-travelin'
On a railroad driv by steam;
And he'd git thar on time, you bet,
Or Bill 'u'd bust a seam.

He carried mail and passengers,
And he started on the dot,
And them teams o' his'n, so they say,
Was never known to trot;
But they went it in a gallop
And kept their axles hot.

When Bill's stage 'u'd bust a tire,
Or something 'u'd break down,
He'd hustle round and patch her up
And start off with a bound;
And the wheels o' that old shack o' his
Scarce ever touched the ground.

And Bill didn't low no foolin',
And when Inguns hove in sight
And bullets rattled at the stage,
He druv with all his might;
He'd holler, "Fellers, give 'em hell,
I ain't got time to fight."

Then the way them wheels 'u'd rattle,
And the way the dust 'u'd fly,
You'd think a million cattle,
Had stampeded and gone by;
But the mail 'u'd get thar just the same,
If the horses had to die.

He driv that stage for many a year
Along the Smokey Hill,
And a pile o' wild Comanches
Did Bill Peters have to kill,—
And I reckon if he'd had good luck
He'd been a drivin' still.

But he chanced one day to run agin
A bullet made o' lead,
Which was harder than he bargained for
And now poor Bill is dead;
And when they brung his body home
A barrel of tears was shed.


Come listen a while and I'll sing you a song
Concerning the times—it will not be long—
When everybody is striving to buy,
And cheating each other, I cannot tell why,—
And it's hard, hard times.

From father to mother, from sister to brother,
From cousin to cousin, they're cheating each other.
Since cheating has grown to be so much the fashion,
I believe to my soul it will run the whole Nation,—
And it's hard, hard times.

Now there is the talker, by talking he eats,
And so does the butcher by killing his meats.
He'll toss the steelyards, and weigh it right down,
And swear it's just right if it lacks forty pounds,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there is the merchant, as honest, we're told.
Whatever he sells you, my friend, you are sold;
Believe what I tell you, and don't be surprised
To find yourself cheated half out of your eyes,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there is the lawyer you plainly will see,
He will plead your case for a very large fee,
He'll law you and tell you the wrong side is right,
And make you believe that a black horse is white,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there is the doctor, I like to forgot,
I believe to my soul he's the worst of the lot;
He'll tell you he'll cure you for half you possess,
And when you're buried he'll take all the rest,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the old bachelor, all hated with scorn,
He's like an old garment all tattered and torn,
The girls and the widows all toss him a sigh,
And think it quite right, and so do I,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the young widow, coquettish and shy,
With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye,
But when she gets married she'll cut quite a dash,
She'll give him the reins and she'll handle the cash,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the young lady I like to have missed,
And I believe to my soul she'd like to be kissed;
She'll tell you she loves you with all pretence
And ask you to call again some time hence,—
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the young man, the worst of the whole.
Oh, he will tell you with all of his soul,
He'll tell you he loves you and for you will die,
And when he's away he will swear it's a lie,—
And it's hard, hard times.


Come, all you Mississippi girls, and listen to my noise,
If you happen to go West, don't you marry those Texian boys;
For if you do, your fortune will be
Cold jonny-cake and beefsteak, that's all that you will see,—
Cold jonny-cake and beefsteak, that's all that you will see.

When they go courting, here's what they wear:
An old leather coat, and it's all ripped and tore;
And an old brown hat with the brim tore down,
And a pair of dirty socks, they've worn the winter round.

When one comes in, the first thing you hear
Is, "Madam, your father has killed a deer";
And the next thing they say when they sit down
Is, "Madam, the jonny-cake is too damned brown."

They live in a hut with hewed log wall,
But it ain't got any windows at all;
With a clap-board roof and a puncheon floor,
And that's the way all Texas o'er.

They will take you out on a live-oak hill
And there they will leave you much against your will.
They will leave you on the prairie, starve you on the plains,
For that is the way with the Texians,—
For that is the way with the Texians.

When they go to preaching let me tell you how they dress;
Just an old black shirt without any vest,
Just an old straw hat more brim than crown
And an old sock leg that they wear the winter round,—
And an old sock leg that they wear the winter round.

For your wedding supper, there'll be beef and cornbread;
There it is to eat when the ceremony's said.
And when you go to milk you'll milk into a gourd;
And set it in the corner and cover it with a board;
Some gets little and some gets none,
For that is the way with the Texians,—
For that is the way with the Texians.


There was an old man who lived under the hill,
Chir-u-ra-wee, lived under the hill,
And if he ain't dead he's living there still,
Chir-u-ra-wee, living there still.

One day the old man went out to plow,
Chir-u-ra-wee, went out to plow;
'Tis good-bye the old fellow, and how are you now,
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, and how are you now.

And then another came to his house,
Chir-u-ra-wee, came to his house;
"There's one of your family I've got to have now,
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, got to have now.

"It's neither you nor your oldest son,
Chir-u-ra-wee, nor your oldest son."
"Then take my old woman and take her for fun,
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, take her for fun."

He takened her all upon his back,
Chir-u-ra-wee, upon his back,
And like an old rascal went rickity rack,
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, went rickity rack.

But when he got half way up the road,
Chir-u-ra-wee, up the road,
Says he, "You old lady, you're sure a load,"
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, you're sure a load.

He set her down on a stump to rest,
Chir-u-ra-wee, stump to rest;
She up with a stick and hit him her best.
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, hit him her best.

He taken her on to hell's old gate,
Chir-u-ra-wee, hell's old gate,
But when he got there he got there too late,
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, got there too late.

And so he had to keep his wife,
Chir-u-ra-wee, had to keep his wife,
And keep her he did for the rest of his life.
Sing chir-u-ra-wee, for the rest of his life.


Come all ye railroad section men an' listen to my song,
It is of Larry O'Sullivan who now is dead and gone.
For twinty years a section boss, he niver hired a tar—
Oh, it's "j'int ahead and cinter back,
An' Jerry, go ile that car!"

For twinty years a section boss, he niver hired a tar,
But it's "j'int ahead an cinter back,
An' Jerry, go ile that car-r-r!"

For twinty years a section boss, he worked upon the track,
And be it to his cred-i-it he niver had a wrack.
For he kept every j'int right up to the p'int wid the tap of the tampin-bar-r-r;
And while the byes was a-swimmin' up the ties,
It's "Jerry, wud yez ile that car-r-r!"

God rest ye, Larry O'Sullivan, to me ye were kind and good;
Ye always made the section men go out and chop me wood;
An' fetch me wather from the well an' chop me kindlin' fine;
And any man that wouldn't lind a hand, 'twas Larry give him his Time.

And ivery Sunday morni-i-ing unto the gang he'd say:
"Me byes, prepare—yez be aware the ould lady goes to church the day.
Now, I want ivery man to pump the best he can, for the distance it is far-r-r;
An' we have to get in ahead of number tin—
So, Jerry, go an' ile that car-r-r!"

'Twas in November in the winter time and the ground all covered wid snow,
"Come put the hand-car-r-r on the track an' over the section go!"
Wid his big soger coat buttoned up to his t'roat, all weathers he would dare—
An' it's "Paddy Mack, will yez walk the track,
An' Jerry, go an' ile that car-r-r!"

"Give my respects to the roadmas-ther," poor Larry he did cry,
"An lave me up that I may see the ould hand-car before I die.
Come, j'int ahead an' cinter back,
An' Jerry, go an' ile that car-r-r!"

Then lay the spike maul upon his chist, the gauge, and the ould claw-bar-r-r,
And while the byes do be fillin' up his grave,
"Oh, Jerry, go an' ile that car-r-r!"


Come all you old timers and listen to my song;
I'll make it short as possible and I'll not keep you long;
I'll relate to you about the time you all remember well
When we, with old Joe Garner, drove a beef herd up the trail.

When we left the ranch it was early in the spring,
We had as good a corporal as ever rope did swing,
Good hands and good horses, good outfit through and through,—
We went well equipped, we were a jolly crew.

We had no little herd—two thousand head or more—
And some as wild a brush beeves as you ever saw before.
We swung to them all the way and sometimes by the tail,—
Oh, you know we had a circus as we all went up the trail.

All things went on well till we reached the open ground,
And then them cattle turned in and they gave us merry hell.
They stampeded every night that came and did it without fail,—
Oh, you know we had a circus as we all went up the trail.

We would round them up at morning and the boss would make a count,
And say, "Look here, old punchers, we are out quite an amount;
You must make all losses good and do it without fail
Or you will never get another job of driving up the trail."

When we reached Red River we gave the Inspector the dodge.
He swore by God Almighty, in jail old John should lodge.
We told him if he'd taken our boss and had him locked in jail,
We would shore get his scalp as we all came down the trail.

When we reached the Reservation, how squirmish we did feel,
Although we had tried old Garner and knew him true as steel.
And if we would follow him and do as he said do,
That old bald-headed cow-thief would surely take us through.

When we reached Dodge City we drew our four months' pay.
Times was better then, boys, that was a better day.
The way we drank and gambled and threw the girls around,—
"Say, a crowd of Texas cowboys has come to take our town."

The cowboy sees many hardships although he takes them well;
The fun we had upon that trip, no human tongue can tell.
The cowboy's life is a dreary life, though his mind it is no load,
And he always spends his money like he found it in the road.

If ever you meet old Garner, you must meet him on the square,
For he is the biggest cow-thief that ever tramped out there.
But if you want to hear him roar and spin a lively tale,
Just ask him about the time we all went up the trail.


Come all of you, my brother scouts,
And join me in my song;
Come, let us sing together
Though the shadows fall so long.

Of all the old frontiersmen
That used to scour the plain,
There are but very few of them
That with us yet remain.

Day after day they're dropping off,
They're going one by one;
Our clan is fast decreasing,
Our race is almost run.

There were many of our number
That never wore the blue,
But, faithfully, they did their part,
As brave men, tried and true.

They never joined the army,
But had other work to do
In piloting the coming folks,
To help them safely through.

But, brothers, we are falling,
Our race is almost run;
The days of elk and buffalo
And beaver traps are gone.

Oh, the days of elk and buffalo!
It fills my heart with pain
To know these days are past and gone
To never come again.

We fought the red-skin rascals
Over valley, hill, and plain;
We fought him in the mountain top,
And fought him down again.

These fighting days are over;
The Indian yell resounds
No more along the border;
Peace sends far sweeter sounds.

But we found great joy, old comrades,
To hear, and make it die;
We won bright homes for gentle ones,
And now, our West, good-bye.


It's of those Texas cowboys, a story I'll tell;
No name I will mention though in Texas they do dwell.
Go find them where you will, they are all so very brave,
And when in good society they seldom misbehave.

When the fall work is all over in the line-camp they'll be found,
For they have to ride those lonesome lines the long winter round;
They prove loyal to a comrade, no matter what's to do;
And when in love with a fair one they seldom prove untrue.

But springtime comes at last and finds them glad and gay;
They ride out to the round-up about the first of May;
About the first of August they start up the trail,
They have to stay with the cattle, no matter rain or hail.

But when they get to the shipping point, then they receive their tens,
Straightway to the bar-room and gently blow them in;
It's the height of their ambition, so I've been truly told,
To ride good horses and saddles and spend the silver and gold.

Those last two things I've mentioned, it is their heart's desire,
And when they leave the shipping point, their eyes are like balls of fire.
It's of those fighting cattle, they seem to have no fear,
A-riding bucking broncos oft is their heart's desire.

They will ride into the branding pen, a rope within their hands,
They will catch them by each forefoot and bring them to the sands;
It's altogether in practice with a little bit of sleight,
A-roping Texas cattle, it is their heart's delight.

But now comes the rising generation to take the cowboy's place,
Likewise the corn-fed granger, with his bold and cheeky face;
It's on those plains of Texas a lone buffalo hunter does stand
To tell the fate of the cowboy that rode at his right hand.

Old cowboy play.


Away out in old Texas, that great lone star state,
Where the mocking bird whistles both early and late;
It was in Western Texas on the old N A range
The boy fell a victim on the old staked plains.

He was only a cowboy gone on before,
He was only a cowboy, we will never see more;
He was doing his duty on the old N A range
But now he is sleeping on the old staked plains.

His crew they were numbered twenty-seven or eight,
The boys were like brothers, their friendship was great,
When "O God, have mercy" was heard from behind,—
The cattle were left to drift on the line.

He leaves a dear wife and little ones, too,
To earn them a living, as fathers oft do;
For while he was working for the loved ones so dear
He was took without warning or one word of cheer.

And while he is sleeping where the sun always shines,
The boys they go dashing along on the line;
The look on their faces it speaks to us all
Of one who departed to the home of the soul.

He was only a cowboy gone on before,
He was only a cowboy, we will never see more;
He was doing his duty on the old N A range
But now he is sleeping on the old staked plains.


Ye sons of Columbia, your attention I do crave,
While a sorrowful story I do tell,
Which happened of late, in the Indiana state,
And a hero not many could excel;
Like Samson he courted, made choice of the fair,
And intended to make her his wife;
But she, like Delilah, his heart did ensnare,
Which cost him his honor and his life.

A gold ring he gave her in token of his love,
On the face was the image of the dove;
They mutually agreed to get married with speed
And were promised by the powers above.
But the fickle-minded maiden vowed again to wed
To young Warren who lived in that place;
It was a fatal blow that caused his overthrow
And added to her shame and disgrace.

When Fuller came to hear he was deprived of his dear
Whom he vowed by the powers to wed,
With his heart full of woe unto Warren he did go,
And smilingly unto him he said:
"Young man, you have injured me to gratify your cause
By reporting that I left a prudent wife;
Acknowledge now that you have wronged me, for although I break the laws,
Young Warren, I'll deprive you of your life."

Then Warren, he replied: "Your request must be denied,
For your darling to my heart she is bound;
And further I can say that this is our wedding day,
In spite of all the heroes in town."
Then Fuller in the passion of his love and anger bound,—
Alas! it caused many to cry,—
At one fatal shot killed Warren on the spot,
And smilingly said, "I'm ready now to die."

The time was drawing nigh when Fuller had to die;
He bid the audience adieu.
Like an angel he did stand, for he was a handsome man,
On his breast he had a ribbon of blue.
Ten thousand spectators did smite him on the breast,
And the guards dropped a tear from the eye,
Saying, "Cursed be she who caused this misery,
Would to God in his stead she had to die."

The gentle god of Love looked with anger from above
And the rope flew asunder like the sand.
Two doctors for the pay they murdered him, they say,
They hung him by main strength of hand.
But the corpse it was buried and the doctors lost their prey,
Oh, that harlot was bribed, I do believe;
Bad women to a certainty are the downfall of men,
As Adam was beguiled by Eve.


I thought one spring just for fun
I'd see how cow-punching was done,
And when the round-ups had begun
I tackled the cattle-king.
Says he, "My foreman is in town,
He's at the plaza, and his name is Brown,
If you'll see him, he'll take you down."
Says I, "That's just the thing."

We started for the ranch next day;
Brown augured me most all the way.
He said that cow-punching was nothing but play,
That it was no work at all,—
That all you had to do was ride,
And only drifting with the tide;
The son of a gun, oh, how he lied.
Don't you think he had his gall?

He put me in charge of a cavyard,
And told me not to work too hard,
That all I had to do was guard
The horses from getting away;
I had one hundred and sixty head,
I sometimes wished that I was dead;
When one got away, Brown's head turned red,
And there was the devil to pay.

Sometimes one would make a break,
Across the prairie he would take,
As if running for a stake,—
It seemed to them but play;
Sometimes I could not head them at all,
Sometimes my horse would catch a fall
And I'd shoot on like a cannon ball
Till the earth came in my way.

They saddled me up an old gray hack
With two set-fasts on his back,
They padded him down with a gunny sack
And used my bedding all.
When I got on he quit the ground,
Went up in the air and turned around,
And I came down and busted the ground,—
I got one hell of a fall.

They took me up and carried me in
And rubbed me down with an old stake pin.
"That's the way they all begin;
You're doing well," says Brown.
"And in the morning, if you don't die,
I'll give you another horse to try."
"Oh say, can't I walk?" says I.
Says he, "Yes, back to town."

I've traveled up and I've traveled down,
I've traveled this country round and round,
I've lived in city and I've lived in town,
But I've got this much to say:
Before you try cow-punching, kiss your wife,
Take a heavy insurance on your life,
Then cut your throat with a barlow knife,—
For it's easier done that way.


Well, mates, I don't like stories;
Or am I going to act
A part around the campfire
That ain't a truthful fact?
So fill your pipes and listen,
I'll tell you—let me see—
I think it was in fifty,
From that till sixty-three.

You've all heard tell of Bridger;
I used to run with Jim,
And many a hard day's scouting
I've done longside of him.
Well, once near old Fort Reno,
A trapper used to dwell;
We called him old Pap Reynolds,
The scouts all knew him well.

One night in the spring of fifty
We camped on Powder River,
And killed a calf of buffalo
And cooked a slice of liver.
While eating, quite contented,
I heard three shots or four;
Put out the fire and listened,—
We heard a dozen more.

We knew that old man Reynolds
Had moved his traps up here;
So picking up our rifles
And fixing on our gear
We moved as quick as lightning,
To save was our desire.
Too late, the painted heathens
Had set the house on fire.

We hitched our horses quickly
And waded up the stream;
While down close beside the waters
I heard a muffled scream.
And there among the bushes
A little girl did lie.
I picked her up and whispered,
"I'll save you or I'll die."

Lord, what a ride! Old Bridger
Had covered my retreat;
Sometimes that child would whisper
In voice low and sweet,
"Poor Papa, God will take him
To Mama up above;
There is no one left to love me,
There is no one left to love."

The little one was thirteen
And I was twenty-two;
I says, "I'll be your father
And love you just as true."
She nestled to my bosom,
Her hazel eyes so bright,
Looked up and made me happy,—
The close pursuit that night.

One month had passed and Maggie,
We called her Hazel Eye,
In truth was going to leave me,
Was going to say good-bye.
Her uncle, Mad Jack Reynolds,
Reported long since dead,
Had come to claim my angel,
His brother's child, he said.

What could I say? We parted,
Mad Jack was growing old;
I handed him a bank note
And all I had in gold.
They rode away at sunrise,
I went a mile or two,
And parting says, "We will meet again;
May God watch over you."

By a laughing, dancing brook
A little cabin stood,
And weary with a long day's scout,
I spied it in the wood.
The pretty valley stretched beyond,
The mountains towered above,
And near its willow banks I heard
The cooing of a dove.

'Twas one grand pleasure;
The brook was plainly seen,
Like a long thread of silver
In a cloth of lovely green;
The laughter of the water,
The cooing of the dove,
Was like some painted picture,
Some well-told tale of love.

While drinking in the country
And resting in the saddle,
I heard a gentle rippling
Like the dipping of a paddle,
And turning to the water,
A strange sight met my view,—
A lady with her rifle
In a little bark canoe.

She stood up in the center,
With her rifle to her eye;
I thought just for a second
My time had come to die.
I doffed my hat and told her,
If it was just the same,
To drop her little shooter,
For I was not her game.

She dropped the deadly weapon
And leaped from the canoe.
Says she, "I beg your pardon;
I thought you was a Sioux.
Your long hair and your buckskin
Looked warrior-like and rough;
My bead was spoiled by sunshine,
Or I'd have killed you sure enough."

"Perhaps it would've been better
If you'd dropped me then," says I;
"For surely such an angel
Would bear me to the sky."
She blushingly dropped her eyelids,
Her cheeks were crimson red;
One half-shy glance she gave me
And then hung down her head.

I took her little hand in mine;
She wondered what it meant,
And yet she drew it not away,
But rather seemed content.
We sat upon the mossy bank,
Her eyes began to fill;
The brook was rippling at our feet,
The dove was cooing still.

'Tis strong arms were thrown around her.
"I'll save you or I'll die."
I clasped her to my bosom,
My  long lost Hazel Eye.
The rapture of that moment
Was almost heaven to me;
I kissed her 'mid the tear-drops,
Her merriment and glee.

Her heart near mine was beating
When sobbingly she said,
"My dear, my brave preserver,
They told me you were dead.
But oh, those parting words, Joe,
Have never left my mind,
You said, 'We'll meet again, Mag,'
Then rode off like the wind.

"And oh, how I have prayed, Joe,
For you who saved my life,
That God would send an angel
To guide you through all strife.
The one who claimed me from you,
My Uncle, good and true,
Is sick in yonder cabin;
Has talked so much of you.

"'If Joe were living darling,'
He said to me last night,
'He would care for you, Maggie,
When God puts out my light.'"
We found the old man sleeping.
"Hush, Maggie, let him rest."
The sun was slowly setting
In the far-off, glowing West.

And though we talked in whispers
He opened wide his eyes:
"A dream, a dream," he murmured;
"Alas, a dream of lies."
She drifted like a shadow
To where the old man lay.
"You had a dream, dear Uncle,
Another dream to-day?"

"Oh yes, I saw an angel
As pure as mountain snow,
And near her at my bedside
Stood California Joe."
"I'm sure I'm not an angel,
Dear Uncle, that you know;
These hands that hold your hand, too,
My face is not like snow.

"Now listen while I tell you,
For I have news to cheer;
Hazel Eye is happy,
For Joe is truly here."
It was but a few days after
The old man said to me,
"Joe, boy, she is an angel,
And good as angels be.

"For three long months she hunted,
And trapped and nursed me too;
God bless you, boy, I believe it,
She's safe along with you."
The sun was slowly sinking,
When Maggie, my wife, and I
Went riding through the valley,
The tear-drops in her eye.

"One year ago to-day, Joe,
I saw the mossy grave;
We laid him neath the daisies,
My Uncle, good and brave."
And comrade, every springtime
Is sure to find me there;
There is something in the valley
That is always fresh and fair.

Our love is always kindled
While sitting by the stream,
Where two hearts were united
In love's sweet happy dream.


I was born in Boston City, a city you all know well,
Brought up by honest parents, the truth to you I'll tell,
Brought up by honest parents and raised most tenderly,
Till I became a roving man at the age of twenty-three.

My character was taken then, and I was sent to jail.
My friends they found it was in vain to get me out on bail.
The jury found me guilty, the clerk he wrote it down,
The judge he passed me sentence and I was sent to Charleston town.

You ought to have seen my aged father a-pleading at the bar,
Also my dear old mother a-tearing of her hair,
Tearing of her old gray locks as the tears came rolling down,
Saying, "Son, dear son, what have you done, that you are sent to Charleston town?"

They put me aboard an eastbound train one cold December day,
And every station that we passed, I'd hear the people say,
"There goes a noted burglar, in strong chains he'll be bound,—
For the doing of some crime or other he is sent to Charleston town."

There is a girl in Boston, she is a girl that I love well,
And if I ever gain my liberty, along with her I'll dwell;
And when I regain my liberty, bad company I will shun,
Night-walking, gambling, and also drinking rum.

Now, you who have your liberty, pray keep it if you can,
And don't go around the streets at night to break the laws of man;
For if you do you'll surely rue and find yourself like me,
A-serving out my twenty-one years in the penitentiary.

Everything for Guitarists, at the Best Prices in Town!


Come all you jolly fellows and listen to my song,
There are not many verses, it will not detain you long;
It's concerning some young fellows who did agree to go
And spend one summer pleasantly on the range of the buffalo.

It happened in Jacksboro in the spring of seventy-three,
A man by the name of Crego came stepping up to me,
Saying, "How do you do, young fellow, and how would you like to go
And spend one summer pleasantly on the range of the buffalo?"

"It's me being out of employment," this to Crego I did say,
"This going out on the buffalo range depends upon the pay.
But if you will pay good wages and transportation too,
I think, sir, I will go with you to the range of the buffalo."

"Yes, I will pay good wages, give transportation too,
Provided you will go with me and stay the summer through;
But if you should grow homesick, come back to Jacksboro,
I won't pay transportation from the range of the buffalo."

It's now our outfit was complete—seven able-bodied men,
With navy six and needle gun—our troubles did begin;
Our way it was a pleasant one, the route we had to go,
Until we crossed Pease River on the range of the buffalo.

It's now we've crossed Pease River, our troubles have begun.
The first damned tail I went to rip, Christ! how I cut my thumb!
While skinning the damned old stinkers our lives wasn't a show,
For the Indians watched to pick us off while skinning the buffalo.

He fed us on such sorry chuck I wished myself most dead,
It was old jerked beef, croton coffee, and sour bread.
Pease River's as salty as hell fire, the water I could never go,—
O God! I wished I had never come to the range of the buffalo.

Our meat it was buffalo hump and iron wedge bread,
And all we had to sleep on was a buffalo robe for a bed;
The fleas and gray-backs worked on us, O boys, it was not slow,
I'll tell you there's no worse hell on earth than the range of the buffalo.

Our hearts were cased with buffalo hocks, our souls were cased with steel,
And the hardships of that summer would nearly make us reel.
While skinning the damned old stinkers our lives they had no show,
For the Indians waited to pick us off on the hills of Mexico.

The season being near over, old Crego he did say
The crowd had been extravagant, was in debt to him that day,—
We coaxed him and we begged him and still it was no go,—
We left old Crego's bones to bleach on the range of the buffalo.

Oh, it's now we've crossed Pease River and homeward we are bound,
No more in that hell-fired country shall ever we be found.
Go home to our wives and sweethearts, tell others not to go,
For God's forsaken the buffalo range and the damned old buffalo.


Now come young men and list to me,
A sad and mournful history;
And may you ne'er forgetful be
Of what I tell this day to thee.

Oh, I was thoughtless, young, and gay
And often broke the Sabbath day,
In wickedness I took delight
And sometimes done what wasn't right.

I'd scarcely passed my fifteenth year,
My mother and my father dear
Were silent in their deep, dark grave,
Their spirits gone to Him who gave.

'Twas on a pleasant summer day
When from my home I ran away
And took unto myself a wife,
Which step was fatal to my life.

Oh, she was kind and good to me
As ever woman ought to be,
And might this day have been alive no doubt,
Had I not met Miss Hatty Stout.

Ah, well I mind the fatal day
When Hatty stole my heart away;
'Twas love for her controlled my will
And did cause me my wife to kill.

'Twas on a brilliant summer's night
When all was still; the stars shone bright.
My wife lay still upon the bed
And I approached to her and said:

"Dear wife, here's medicine I've brought,
For you this day, my love, I've bought.
I know it will be good for you
For those vile fits,—pray take it, do."

She cast on me a loving look
And in her mouth the poison took;
Down by her infant on the bed
In her last, long sleep she laid her head.

Oh, who could tell a mother's thought
When first to her the news was brought;
The sheriff said her son was sought
And into prison must be brought.

Only a mother standing by
To hear them tell the reason why
Her son in prison, he must lie
Till on the scaffold he must die.

My father, sixty years of age,
The best of counsel did engage,
To see if something could be done
To save his disobedient son.

So, farewell, mother, do not weep,
Though soon with demons I will sleep,
My soul now feels its mental hell
And soon with demons I will dwell.

The sheriff cut the slender cord,
His soul went up to meet its Lord;
The doctor said, "The wretch is dead,
His spirit from his body's fled."

His weeping mother cried aloud,
"O God, do save this gazing crowd,
That none may ever have to pay
For gambling on the Sabbath day."


Come all kind friends and kindred dear and Christians young and old,
A story I'll relate to you, 'twill make your blood run cold;
'Tis all about an unfortunate boy who lived not far from here,
In the township of Arcade in the County of Lapeer.
It seems his occupation was a sawyer in a mill,
He followed it successfully two years, one month, until,
Until this fatal accident that caused many to weep and wail;
'Twas where this young man lost his life,—his name was Harry Bale.

On the 29th of April in the year of seventy-nine,
He went to work as usual, no fear did he design;
In lowering of the feed bar throwing the carriage into gear
It brought him down upon the saw and cut him quite severe;
It cut him through the collar-bone and half way down the back,
It threw him down upon the saw, the carriage coming back.
He started for the shanty, his strength was failing fast;
He said, "Oh, boys, I'm wounded: I fear it is my last."

His brothers they were sent for, likewise his sisters too,
The doctors came and dressed his wound, but kind words proved untrue.
Poor Harry had no father to weep beside his bed,
No kind and loving mother to sooth his aching head.
He was just as gallant a young man as ever you wished to know,
But he withered like a flower, it was his time to go.

They placed him in his coffin and laid him in his grave;
His brothers and sisters mourned the loss of a brother so true and brave.
They took him to the graveyard and laid him away to rest,
His body lies mouldering, his soul is among the blest.


Come all you brave young shanty boys, and list while I relate
Concerning a young shanty boy and his untimely fate;
Concerning a young river man, so manly, true and brave;
'Twas on a jam at Gerry's Rock he met his watery grave;

'Twas on a Sunday morning as you will quickly hear,
Our logs were piled up mountain high, we could not keep them clear.
Our foreman said, "Come on, brave boys, with hearts devoid of fear,
We'll break the jam on Gerry's Rock and for Agonstown we'll steer."

Now, some of them were willing, while others they were not,
All for to work on Sunday they did not think they ought;
But six of our brave shanty boys had volunteered to go
And break the jam on Gerry's Rock with their foreman, young Monroe.

They had not rolled off many logs 'till they heard his clear voice say,
"I'd have you boys be on your guard, for the jam will soon give way."
These words he'd scarcely spoken when the jam did break and go,
Taking with it six of those brave boys and their foreman, young Monroe.

Now when those other shanty boys this sad news came to hear,
In search of their dead comrades to the river they did steer;
Six of their mangled bodies a-floating down did go,
While crushed and bleeding near the banks lay the foreman, young Monroe.

They took him from his watery grave, brushed back his raven hair;
There was a fair form among them whose cries did rend the air;
There was a fair form among them, a girl from Saginaw town.
Whose cries rose to the skies for her lover who'd gone down.

Fair Clara was a noble girl, the river-man's true friend;
She and her widowed mother lived at the river's bend;
And the wages of her own true love the boss to her did pay,
But the shanty boys for her made up a generous sum next day.

They buried him quite decently; 'twas on the first of May;
Come all you brave young shanty boys and for your comrade pray.
Engraved upon the hemlock tree that by the grave does grow
Is the aged date and the sad fate of the foreman, young Monroe.

Fair Clara did not long survive, her heart broke with her grief;
And less than three months afterwards Death came to her relief;
And when the time had come and she was called to go,
Her last request was granted, to be laid by young Monroe.

Come all you brave young shanty boys, I'd have you call and see
Two green graves by the river side where grows a hemlock tree;
The shanty boys cut off the wood where lay those lovers low,—
'Tis the handsome Clara Vernon and her true love, Jack Monroe.


I used to live on Cottonwood and owned a little farm,
I was called upon a mission that gave me much alarm;
The reason that they called me, I'm sure I do not know.
But to hoe the cane and cotton, straightway I must go.

I yoked up Jim and Baldy, all ready for the start;
To leave my farm and garden, it almost broke my heart;
But at last we got started, I cast a look behind,
For the sand and rocks of Dixie were running through my mind.

Now, when we got to Black Ridge, my wagon it broke down,
And I, being no carpenter and forty miles from town,—
I cut a clumsy cedar and rigged an awkward slide,
But the wagon ran so heavy poor Betsy couldn't ride.

While Betsy was out walking I told her to take care,
When all of a sudden she struck a prickly pear,
Then she began to hollow as loud as she could bawl,—
If I were back in Cottonwood, I wouldn't go at all.

Now, when we got to Sand Ridge, we couldn't go at all,
Old Jim and old Baldy began to puff and loll,
I cussed and swore a little, for I couldn't make the route,
For the team and I and Betsy were all of us played out.

At length we got to Washington; I thought we'd stay a while
To see if the flowers would make their virgin smile,
But I was much mistaken, for when we went away
The red hills of September were just the same in May.

It is so very dreary, there's nothing here to cheer,
But old pathetic sermons we very often hear;
They preach them by the dozens and prove them by the book,
But I'd sooner have a roasting-ear and stay at home and cook.

I am so awful weary I'm sure I'm almost dead;
'Tis six long weeks last Sunday since I have tasted bread;
Of turnip-tops and lucerne greens I've had enough to eat,
But I'd like to change my diet to buckwheat cakes and meat.

I had to sell my wagon for sorghum seed and bread;
Old Jim and old Baldy have long since been dead.
There's no one left but me and Bet to hoe the cotton tree,—
God pity any Mormon that attempts to follow me!


When fortune's blind goddess
Had fled my abode,
And friends proved unfaithful,
I took to the road;
To plunder the wealthy
And relieve my distress,
I bought you to aid me,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

No vile whip nor spur
Did your sides ever gall,
For none did you need,
You would bound at my call;
And for each act of kindness
You would me caress,
Thou art never unfaithful,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

When dark, sable midnight
Her mantle had thrown
O'er the bright face of nature,
How oft we have gone
To the famed Houndslow heath,
Though an unwelcome guest
To the minions of fortune,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

How silent you stood
When the carriage I stopped,
The gold and the jewels
Its inmates would drop.
No poor man I plundered
Nor e'er did oppress
The widows or orphans,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

When Argus-eyed justice
Did me hot pursue,
From Yorktown to London
Like lightning we flew.
No toll bars could stop you,
The waters did breast,
And in twelve hours we made it,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

But hate darkens o'er me,
Despair is my lot,
And the law does pursue me
For the many I've shot;
To save me, poor brute,
Thou hast done thy best,
Thou art worn out and weary,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

Hark! they never shall have
A beast like thee;
So noble and gentle
And brave, thou must die,
My dumb friend,
Though it does me distress,—
There! There! I have shot thee,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

In after years
When I am dead and gone,
This story will be handed
From father to son;
My fate some will pity,
And some will confess
'Twas through kindness I killed thee,
My Bonnie Black Bess.

No one can e'er say
That ingratitude dwelt
In the bosom of Turpin,—
'Twas a vice never felt.
I will die like a man
And soon be at rest;
Now, farewell forever,
My Bonnie Black Bess.


An ancient long-horned bovine
Lay dying by the river;
There was lack of vegetation
And the cold winds made him shiver;
A cowboy sat beside him
With sadness in his face.
To see his final passing,—
This last of a noble race.

The ancient eunuch struggled
And raised his shaking head,
Saying, "I care not to linger
When all my friends are dead.
These Jerseys and these Holsteins,
They are no friends of mine;
They belong to the nobility
Who live across the brine.

"Tell the Durhams and the Herefords
When they come a-grazing round,
And see me lying stark and stiff
Upon the frozen ground,
I don't want them to bellow
When they see that I am dead,
For I was born in Texas
Near the river that is Red.

"Tell the cayotes, when they come at night
A-hunting for their prey,
They might as well go further,
For they'll find it will not pay.
If they attempt to eat me,
They very soon will see
That my bones and hide are petrified,—
They'll find no beef on me.

"I remember back in the seventies,
Full many summers past,
There was grass and water plenty,
But it was too good to last.
I little dreamed what would happen
Some twenty summers hence,
When the nester came with his wife, his kids,
His dogs, and his barbed-wire fence."

His voice sank to a murmur,
His breath was short and quick;
The cowboy tried to skin him
When he saw he couldn't kick;
He rubbed his knife upon his boot
Until he made it shine,
But he never skinned old longhorn,
Caze he couldn't cut his rine.

And the cowboy riz up sadly
And mounted his cayuse,
Saying, "The time has come when longhorns
And their cowboys are no use!"
And while gazing sadly backward
Upon the dead bovine,
His bronc stepped in a dog-hole
And fell and broke his spine.

The cowboys and the longhorns
Who partnered in eighty-four
Have gone to their last round-up
Over on the other shore;
They answered well their purpose,
But their glory must fade and go,
Because men say there's better things
In the modern cattle show.


Fare you well, green fields,
Soft meadows, adieu!
Rocks and mountains,
I depart from you;
Nevermore shall my eyes
By your beauties be blest,
Nevermore shall you soothe
My sad bosom to rest.

Farewell, little birdies,
That fly in the sky,
You fly all day long
And sing your troubles by;
I am doomed to this cell,
I heave a deep sigh;
My heart sinks within me,
In anguish I die.

Fare you well, little fishes,
That glides through the sea,
Your life's all sunshine,
All light, and all glee;
Nevermore shall I watch
Your skill in the wave,
I'll depart from all friends
This side of the grave.

What would I give
Such freedom to share,
To roam at my ease
And breathe the fresh air;
I would roam through the cities,
Through village and dell,
But I never would return
To my cold prison cell.

What's life without liberty?
I ofttimes have said,
Of a poor troubled mind
That's always in dread;
No sun, moon, and stars
Can on me now shine,
No change in my danger
From daylight till dawn.

Fare you well, kind friends,
I am willing to own,
Such a wild outcast
Never was known;
I'm the downfall of my family,
My children, my wife;
God pity and pardon
The poor prisoner for life.

At the tai lof a chuckwagon.


There was a wealthy merchant,
In London he did dwell,
He had an only daughter,
The truth to you I'll tell.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

She was courted by a lord
Of very high degree,
She was courted by a sailor Jack
Just from the wars of Germany.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

Her parents came to know this,
That such a thing could be,
A sailor Jack, a sailor lad,
Just from the wars of Germany.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

So Polly she's at home
With money at command,
She taken a notion
To view some foreign land.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

She went to the tailor's shop
And dressed herself in man's array,
And was off to an officer
To carry her straight away.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

"Good morning," says the officer,
And "Morning," says she,
"Here's fifty guineas if you'll carry me
To the wars of Germany."
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

"Your waist is too slender,
Your fingers are too small,
I am afraid from your countenance
You can't face a cannon ball."
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

"My waist is not too slender,
My fingers are not too small,
And never would I quiver
To face a cannon ball."
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

"We don't often 'list an officer
Unless the name we know;"
She answered him in a low, sweet voice,
"You may call me Jack Munro."
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

We gathered up our men
And quickly we did sail,
We landed in France
With a sweet and pleasant gale.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

We were walking on the land,
Up and down the line,—
Among the dead and wounded
Her own true love she did find.
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

She picked him up all in her arms,
To Tousen town she went;
She soon found a doctor
To dress and heal his wounds,
Sing I am left alone,
Sing I am left alone.

So Jacky, he is married,
And his bride by his side,
In spite of her old parents
And all the world beside.
Sing no longer left alone,
Sing no longer left alone.


Come all you jolly freighters
That has freighted on the road,
That has hauled a load of freight
From Wilcox to Globe;
We freighted on this road
For sixteen years or more
A-hauling freight for Livermore,—
No wonder that I'm poor.

And it's home, dearest home;
And it's home you ought to be,
Over on the Gila
In the white man's country,
Where the poplar and the ash
And mesquite will ever be
Growing green down on the Gila;
There's a home for you and me.

'Twas in the spring of seventy-three
I started with my team,
Led by false illusion
And those foolish, golden dreams;
The first night out from Wilcox
My best wheel horse was stole,
And it makes me curse a little
To come out in the hole.

This then only left me three,—
Kit, Mollie and old Mike;
Mike being the best one of the three
I put him out on spike;
I then took the mountain road
So the people would not smile,
And it took fourteen days
To travel thirteen mile.

But I got there all the same
With my little three-up spike;
It taken all my money, then,
To buy a mate for Mike.
You all know how it is
When once you get behind,
You never get even again
Till you damn steal them blind.

I was an honest man
When I first took to the road,
I would not swear an oath,
Nor would I tap a load;
But now you ought to see my mules
When I begin to cuss,
They flop their ears and wiggle their tails
And pull the load or bust.

Now I can tap a whiskey barrel
With nothing but a stick,
No one can detect me
I've got it down so slick;
Just fill it up with water,—
Sure, there's no harm in that.

Now my clothes are not the finest,
Nor are they genteel;
But they will have to do me
Till I can make another steal.
My boots are number elevens,
For I swiped them from a chow,
And my coat cost dos reals
From a little Apache squaw.

Now I have freighted in the sand,
I have freighted in the rain,
I have bogged my wagons down
And dug them out again;
I have worked both late and early
Till I was almost dead,
And I have spent some nights sleeping
In an Arizona bed.

Now barbed wire and bacon
Is all that they will pay,
But you have to show your copper checks
To get your grain and hay;
If you ask them for five dollars,
Old Meyers will scratch his pate,
And the clerks in their white, stiff collars
Say, "Get down and pull your freight."

But I want to die and go to hell,
Get there before Livermore and Meyers,
And get a job of hauling coke
To keep up the devil's fires;
If I get the job of singeing them,
I'll see they don't get free;
I'll treat them like a yaller dog,
As they have treated me.

And it's home, dearest home;
And it's home you ought to be,
Over on the Gila,
In the white man's country,
Where the poplar and the ash
And mesquite will ever be
Growing green down on the Gila;
There's a home for you and me.


Come all of you people, I pray you draw near,
A comical ditty you all shall hear.
The boys in this country they try to advance
By courting the ladies and learning to dance,—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

The boys in this country they try to be plain,
Those words that you hear you may hear them again,
With twice as much added on if you can.
There's many a boy stuck up for a man,—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

They will go to their parties, their whiskey they'll take,
And out in the dark their bottles they'll break;
You'll hear one say, "There's a bottle around here;
So come around, boys, and we'll all take a share,"—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

There is some wears shoes and some wears boots,
But there are very few that rides who don't shoot;
More than this, I'll tell you what they'll do,
They'll get them a watch and a ranger hat, too,—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

They'll go in the hall with spurs on their heel,
They'll get them a partner to dance the next reel,
Saying, "How do I look in my new brown suit,
With my pants stuffed down in the top of my boot?"—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

Now I think it's quite time to leave off these lads
For here are some girls that's fully as bad;
They'll trim up their dresses and curl up their hair,
And like an old owl before the glass they'll stare,—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

The girls in the country they grin like a cat,
And with giggling and laughing they don't know what they're at,
They think they're pretty and I tell you they're wise,
But they couldn't get married to save their two eyes,—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

You can tell a good girl wherever she's found;
No trimming, no lace, no nonsense around;
With a long-eared bonnet tied under her chin,—

And they're down, down, and they're down.

They'll go to church with their snuff-box in hand,
They'll give it a tap to make it look grand;
Perhaps there is another one or two
And they'll pass it around and it's "Madam, won't you,"—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

Now, I think it's quite time for this ditty to end;
If there's anyone here that it will offend,
If there's anyone here that thinks it amiss
Just come around now and give the singer a kiss,—
And they're down, down, and they're down.

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Yonder stands a cottage,
All deserted and alone,
Its paths are neglected,
With grass overgrown;
Go in and you will see
Some dark stains on the floor,—
Alas! it is the blood
Of fair Fannie Moore.

To Fannie, so blooming,
Two lovers they came;
One offered young Fannie
His wealth and his name;
But neither his money
Nor pride could secure
A place in the heart
Of fair Fannie Moore.

The first was young Randell,
So bold and so proud,
Who to the fair Fannie
His haughty head bowed;
But his wealth and his house
Both failed to allure
The heart from the bosom
Of fair Fannie Moore.

The next was young Henry,
Of lowest degree.
He won her fond love
And enraptured was he;
And then at the altar
He quick did secure
The hand with the heart
Of the fair Fannie Moore.

As she was alone
In her cottage one day,
When business had called
Her fond husband away,
Young Randell, the haughty,
Came in at the door
And clasped in his arms
The fair Fannie Moore.

"O Fannie, O Fannie,
Reflect on your fate
And accept of my offer
Before it's too late;
For one thing to-night
I am bound to secure,—
'Tis the love or the life
Of the fair Fannie Moore."

"Spare me, Oh, spare me!"
The young Fannie cries,
While the tears swiftly flow
From her beautiful eyes;
"Oh, no!" cries young Randell,
"Go home to your rest,"
And he buried his knife
In her snowy white breast.

So Fannie, so blooming,
In her bright beauty died;
Young Randell, the haughty,
Was taken and tried;
At length he was hung
On a tree at the door,
For shedding the blood
Of the fair Fannie Moore.

Young Henry, the shepherd,
Distracted and wild,
Did wander away
From his own native isle.
Till at length, claimed by death,
He was brought to this shore
And laid by the side
Of the fair Fannie Moore.


By Markentura's flowery marge the Red Chief's wigwam stood,
Before the white man's rifle rang, loud echoing through the wood;
The tommy-hawk and scalping knife together lay at rest,
And peace was in the forest shade and in the red man's breast.

Oh, the Spotted Fawn, oh, the Spotted Fawn,
The life and light of the forest shade,—
The Red Chief's child is gone!

By Markentura's flowery marge the Spotted Fawn had birth
And grew as fair an Indian maid as ever graced the earth.
She was the Red Chief's only child and sought by many a brave,
But to the gallant young White Cloud her plighted troth she gave.

By Markentura's flowery marge the bridal song arose,
Nor dreamed they in that festive night of near approaching woes;
But through the forest stealthily the white man came in wrath.
And fiery darts before them spread, and death was in their path.

By Markentura's flowery marge next morn no strife was seen,
But a wail went up, for the young Fawn's blood and White Cloud's dyed the green.
A burial in their own rude way the Indians gave them there,
And a low sweet requiem the brook sang and the air.

Oh, the Spotted Fawn, oh, the Spotted Fawn,
The life and light of the forest shade,—
The Red Chief's child is gone!


My name is Stamford Barnes, I come from Nobleville town;
I've traveled this wide world over, I've traveled this wide world round.
I've met with ups and downs in life but better days I've saw,
But I've never knew what misery were till I came to Arkansaw.

I landed in St. Louis with ten dollars and no more;
I read the daily papers till both my eyes were sore;
I read them evening papers until at last I saw
Ten thousand men were wanted in the state of Arkansaw.

I wiped my eyes with great surprise when I read this grateful news,
And straightway off I started to see the agent, Billy Hughes.
He says, "Pay me five dollars and a ticket to you I'll draw,
It'll land you safe upon the railroad in the State of Arkansaw."

I started off one morning a quarter after five;
I started from St. Louis, half dead and half alive;
I bought me a quart of whiskey my misery to thaw,
I got as drunk as a biled owl when I left for old Arkansaw.

I landed in Ft. Smith one sultry Sunday afternoon,
It was in the month of May, the early month of June,
Up stepped a walking skeleton with a long and lantern jaw,
Invited me to his hotel, "The best in Arkansaw."

I followed my conductor into his dwelling place;
Poverty were depictured in his melancholy face.
His bread it was corn dodger, his beef I could not chaw;
This was the kind of hash they fed me in the State of Arkansaw.

I started off next morning to catch the morning train,
He says to me, "You'd better work, for I have some land to drain.
I'll pay you fifty cents a day, your board, washing, and all,—
You'll find yourself a different man when you leave old Arkansaw."

I worked six weeks for the son of a gun, Jesse Herring was his name,
He was six foot seven in his stocking feet and taller than any crane;
His hair hung down in strings over his long and lantern jaw,—
He was a photograph of all the gents who lived in Arkansaw.

He fed me on corn dodgers as hard as any rock,
Until my teeth began to loosen and my knees began to knock;
I got so thin on sassafras tea I could hide behind a straw,
And indeed I was a different man when I left old Arkansaw.

Farewell to swamp angels, cane brakes, and chills;
Farewell to sage and sassafras and corn dodger pills.
If ever I see this land again, I'll give to you my paw;
It will be through a telescope from here to Arkansaw.


It's Jim Farrow and John Farrow and little Simon, too,
Have plenty of cattle where I have but few.
Marking and branding both night and day,—
It's "Keep still, boys, my boys, and you'll all get your pay."
It's up to the courthouse, the first thing they know,
Before the Grand Jury they'll have to go.
They'll ask you about ear-marks, they'll ask you about brand,
But tell them you were absent when the work was on hand.
Jim Farrow brands J.F. on the side;
The next comes Johnnie who takes the whole hide;
Little Simon, too has H. on the loin;—
All stand for Farrow but it's not good for Sime.
You ask for the mark, I don't think it's fair,
You'll find the cow's head but the ear isn't there
It's a crop and a split and a sort of a twine,—
All stand for F. but it's not good for Sime.

"Get up, my boys," Jim Farrow will say,
"And out to horse hunting before it is day."
So we get up and are out on the way
But it's damn few horses we find before day.
"Now saddle your horses and out on the peaks
To see if the heifers are out on the creeks."
We'll round 'em to-day and we'll round 'em to-morrow,
And this ends my song concerning the Farrows.


Young Charlottie lived by a mountain side in a wild and lonely spot,
There was no village for miles around except her father's cot;
And yet on many a wintry night young boys would gather there,—
Her father kept a social board, and she was very fair.

One New Year's Eve as the sun went down, she cast a wistful eye
Out from the window pane as a merry sleigh went by.
At a village fifteen miles away was to be a ball that night;
Although the air was piercing cold, her heart was merry and light.

At last her laughing eye lit up as a well-known voice she heard,
And dashing in front of the door her lover's sleigh appeared.
"O daughter, dear," her mother said, "this blanket round you fold,
'Tis such a dreadful night abroad and you will catch your death of cold."

"Oh no, oh no!" young Charlottie cried, as she laughed like a gipsy queen,
"To ride in blankets muffled up, I never would be seen.
My silken coat is quite enough, you know it is lined throughout,
And there is my silken scarf to wrap my head and neck about."

Her bonnet and her gloves were on, she jumped into the sleigh,
And swiftly slid down the mountain side and over the hills away.
All muffled up so silent, five miles at last were past
When Charlie with few but shivering words, the silence broke at last.

"Such a dreadful night I never saw, my reins I can scarcely hold."
Young Charlottie then feebly said, "I am exceedingly cold."
He cracked his whip and urged his speed much faster than before,
While at least five other miles in silence had passed o'er.

Spoke Charles, "How fast the freezing ice is gathering on my brow!"
Young Charlottie then feebly said, "I'm growing warmer now."
So (p. 241) on they sped through the frosty air and the glittering cold starlight
Until at last the village lights and the ball-room came in sight.

They reached the door and Charles sprang out and reached his hands to her.
"Why sit you there like a monument that has no power to stir?"
He called her once, he called her twice, she answered not a word,
And then he called her once again but still she never stirred.

He took her hand in his; 'twas cold and hard as any stone.
He tore the mantle from her face while cold stars on it shone.
Then quickly to the lighted hall her lifeless form he bore;—
Young Charlottie's eyes were closed forever, her voice was heard no more.

And there he sat down by her side while bitter tears did flow,
And cried, "My own, my charming bride, you nevermore shall know."
He twined his arms around her neck and kissed her marble brow,
And his thoughts flew back to where she said, "I'm growing warmer now."

He took her back into the sleigh and quickly hurried home;
When he arrived at her father's door, oh, how her friends did mourn;
They mourned the loss of a daughter dear, while Charles wept over the gloom,
Till at last he died with the bitter grief,—now they both lie in one tomb.


It was down to Red River I came,
Prepared to play a damned tough game,—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!

I crossed the river to the ranch where I intended to work,
With a big six-shooter and a derned good dirk,—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!

They roped me out a skew-ball black
With a double set-fast on his back,—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!

And when I was mounted on his back,
The boys all yelled, "Just give him slack,"—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!

They rolled and tumbled and yelled, by God,
For he threw me a-whirling all over the sod,—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!

I went to the boss and I told him I'd resign,
The fool tumbled over, and I thought he was dyin',—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!

And it's to Arkansaw I'll go back,
To hell with Texas and the skew-ball black,—
Whoa! skew, till I saddle you, whoa!


There was a rich old rancher who lived in the country by,
He had a lovely daughter on whom I cast my eye;
She was pretty, tall, and handsome, both neat and very fair,
There's no other girl in the country with her I could compare.

I asked her if she would be willing for me to cross the plains;
She said she would be truthful until I returned again;
She said she would be faithful until death did prove unkind,
So we kissed, shook hands, and parted, and I left my girl behind.

I left the State of Texas, for Arizona I was bound;
I landed in Tombstone City, I viewed the place all round.
Money and work were plentiful and the cowboys they were kind
But the only thought of my heart was the girl I left behind.

One day as I was riding across the public square
The mail-coach came in and I met the driver there;
He handed me a letter which gave me to understand
That the girl I left in Texas had married another man.

I turned myself all round and about not knowing what to do,
But I read on down some further and it proved the words were true.
Hard work I have laid over, it's gambling I have designed.
I'll ramble this wide world over for the girl I left behind.

Come all you reckless and rambling boys who have listened to this song,
If it hasn't done you any good, it hasn't done you any wrong;
But when you court a pretty girl, just marry her while you can,
For if you go across the plains she'll marry another man.


Some time ago,—two weeks or more
If I remember well,—
I found myself in town and thought
I'd knock around a spell,
When all at once I heard the bell,—
I didn't know 'twas Sunday,—
For on the plains we scarcely know
A Sunday from a Monday,—

A-calling all the people
From the highways and the hedges
And all the reckless throng
That tread ruin's ragged edges,
To come and hear the pastor tell
Salvation's touching story,
And how the new road misses hell
And leads you straight to glory.

I started by the chapel door,
But something urged me in,
And told me not to spend God's day
In revelry and sin.
I don't go much on sentiment,
But tears came in my eyes.
It seemed just like my mother's voice
Was speaking from the skies.

I thought how often she had gone
With little Sis and me
To church, when I was but a lad
Way back in Tennessee.
It never once occurred to me
About not being dressed
In Sunday rig, but carelessly
I went in with the rest.

You should have seen the smiles and shrugs
As I went walking in,
As though they thought my leggins
Worse than any kind of sin;
Although the honest parson,
In his vestry garb arrayed
Was dressed the same as I was,—
In the trappings of his trade.

The good man prayed for all the world
And all its motley crew,
For pagan, Hindoo, sinners, Turk,
And unbelieving Jew,—
Though the congregation doubtless thought
That the cowboys as a race
Were a kind of moral outlaw
With no good claim to grace.

Is it very strange that cowboys are
A rough and reckless crew
When their garb forbids their doing right
As Christian people do?
That they frequent scenes of revelry
Where death is bought and sold,
Where at least they get a welcome
Though it's prompted by their gold?

Stranger, did it ever strike you,
When the winter days are gone
And the mortal grass is springing up
To meet the judgment sun,
And we 'tend mighty round-ups
Where, according to the Word,
The angel cowboy of the Lord
Will cut the human herd,—

That a heap of stock that's lowing now
Around the Master's pen
And feeding at his fodder stack
Will have the brand picked then?
And brands that when the hair was long
Looked like the letter C,
Will prove to be the devil's,
And the brand the letter D;

While many a long-horned coaster,—
I mean, just so to speak,—
That hasn't had the advantage
Of the range and gospel creek
Will get to crop the grasses
In the pasture of the Lord
If the letter C showed up
Beneath the devil's checker board.


Now list to my song, it will not take me long,
And in some things with me you'll agree;
A young man so green came in from Moline,
And enlisted a soldier to be.
He had lots of pluck, on himself he was stuck,
In his Government straights he looked "boss,"
And he chewed enough beans for a hoss.

He was a rookey, so flukey,
He was a jim dandy you all will agree,
He said without fear, "Before I'm a year
In the Army, great changes you'll see."
He was a stone thrower, a foam blower,
He was a Loo Loo you bet,
He stood on his head and these words gently said,
"I'll be second George Washington yet."

At his post he did land, they took him in hand,
The old bucks they all gathered 'round,
Saying "Give us your fist; where did you enlist?
You'll take on again I'll be bound;
I've a blanket to sell, it will fit you quite well,
I'll sell you the whole or a piece.
I've a dress coat to trade, or a helmet unmade,
It will do you for kitchen police."

Then the top said, "My Son, here is a gun,
Just heel ball that musket up bright.
In a few days or more you'll be rolling in gore,
A-chasing wild Goo Goos to flight.
There'll be fighting, you see, and blood flowing free,
We'll send you right on to the front;
And never you fear, if you're wounded, my dear,
You'll be pensioned eight dollars per month."

He was worried so bad, he blew in all he had;
He went on a drunk with goodwill.
And the top did report, "One private short."
When he showed up he went to the mill.
The proceedings we find were a ten dollar blind,
Ten dollars less to blow foam.
This was long years ago, and this rookey you know
Is now in the old soldiers' home.


My love is a rider and broncos he breaks,
But he's given up riding and all for my sake;
For he found him a horse and it suited him so
He vowed he'd ne'er ride any other bronco.

My love has a gun, and that gun he can use,
But he's quit his gun fighting as well as his booze;
And he's sold him his saddle, his spurs, and his rope,
And there's no more cow punching, and that's what I hope.

My love has a gun that has gone to the bad,
Which makes poor old Jimmy feel pretty damn sad;
For the gun it shoots high and the gun it shoots low,
And it wobbles about like a bucking bronco.

The cook is an unfortunate son of a gun;
He has to be up e'er the rise of the sun;
His language is awful, his curses are deep,—
He is like cascarets, for he works while you sleep.


I am a jolly shanty boy,
As you will soon discover.
To all the dodges I am fly,
A hustling pine woods rover.
A peavy hook it is my pride,
An ax I well can handle;
To fell a tree or punch a bull
Get rattling Danny Randall.

Bung yer eye: bung yer eye.

I love a girl in Saginaw;
She lives with her mother;
I defy all Michigan
To find such another.
She's tall and fat, her hair is red,
Her face is plump and pretty,
She's my daisy, Sunday-best-day girl,—
And her front name stands for Kitty.

Bung yer eye: bung yer eye.

I took her to a dance one night,
A mossback gave the bidding;
Silver Jack bossed the shebang
And Big Dan played the fiddle.
We danced and drank, the livelong night.
With fights between the dancing—
Till Silver Jack cleaned out the ranch
And sent the mossbacks prancing.

Bung yer eye: bung yer eye.


Come listen to a ranger, you kind-hearted stranger,
This song, though a sad one, you're welcome to hear;
We've kept the Comanches away from your ranches,
And followed them far o'er the Texas frontier.

We're weary of scouting, of traveling, and routing
The blood-thirsty villains o'er prairie and wood;
No rest for the sinner, no breakfast or dinner,
But he lies in a supperless bed in the mud.

No corn nor potatoes, no bread nor tomatoes,
But jerked beef as dry as the sole of your shoe;
All day without drinking, all night without winking,
I'll tell you, kind stranger, this never will do.

Those great alligators, the State legislators,
Are puffing and blowing two-thirds of their time,
But windy orations about rangers and rations
Never put in our pockets one-tenth of a dime.

They do not regard us, they will not reward us,
Though hungry and haggard with holes in our coats;
But the election is coming and they will be drumming
And praising our valor to purchase our votes.

For glory and payment, for vittles and raiment,
No longer we'll fight on the Texas frontier.
So guard your own ranches, and mind the Comanches
Or surely they'll scalp you in less than a year.

Though sore it may grieve you, the rangers must leave you
Exposed to the arrows and knife of the foe;
So herd your own cattle and fight your own battle,
For home to the States I'm determined to go,—

Where churches have steeples and laws are more equal,
Where houses have people and ladies are kind;
Where work is regarded and worth is rewarded;
Where pumpkins are plenty and pockets are lined.

Your wives and your daughters we have guarded from slaughter,
Through conflicts and struggles I shudder to tell;
No more well defend them, to God we'll commend them.
To the frontier of Texas we bid a farewell.

T Bar Ranch


Come all you melancholy folks and listen unto me,
I will sing you about the cowboy whose heart's so light and free;
He roves all over the prairie and at night when he lays down
His heart's as gay as the flowers of May with his bed spread on the ground.

They are a little bit rough, I must confess, the most of them at least;
But as long as you do not cross their trail, you can live with them in peace.
But if you do, they're sure to rule, the day you come to their land,
For they'll follow you up and shoot it out, they'll do it man to man.

You can go to a cowboy hungry, go to him wet or dry,
And ask him for a few dollars in change and he will not deny;
He will pull out his pocket-book and hand you out a note,—
Oh, they are the fellows to strike, boys, whenever you are broke.

You can go to their ranches and often stay for weeks,
And when you go to leave, boys, they'll never charge you a cent;
But when they go to town, boys, you bet their money is spent.
They walk right up, they take their drinks and they pay for every one.
They never ask your pardon, boys, for a thing that they have done.

They go to the ball-room, and swing the pretty girls around;
They ride their bucking broncos, and wear their broad-brimmed hats;
Their California saddles, their pants below their boots,
You can hear their spurs go jing-a-ling, or perhaps somebody shoots.

Come all you soft and tenderfeet, if you want to have some fun,
Come go among the cowboys and they'll show you how it's done;
But take the kind advice of me as I gave it to you before,
For if you don't, they'll order you off with an old Colt's forty-four.


Bob Stanford, he's a Texas boy,
He lives down on the flat;
His trade is running a well-drill,
But he's none the worse for that.

He is neither rich nor handsome,
But, unlike the city dude,
His manners they are pleasant
Instead of flip and rude.

His people live in Texas,
That is his native home,
But like many other Western lads
He drifted off from home.

He came out to New Mexico
A fortune for to make,
He punched the bottom out of the earth
And never made a stake.

So he came to Arizona
And again set up his drill
To punch a hole for water,
And he's punching at it still.

He says he is determined
To make the business stick
Or spend that derned old well machine
And all he can get on tick.

I hope he is successful
And I'll help him if I can,
For I admire pluck and ambition
In an honest working man.

So keep on going down,
Punch the bottom out, or try,
There is nothing in a hole in the ground
That continues being dry.


Another good cow-puncher has gone to meet his fate,
I hope he'll find a resting place within the golden gate.
Another place is vacant on the ranch of the X I T,
'Twill be hard to find another that's liked as well as he.

The first that died was Kid White, a man both tough and brave,
While Charlie Rutlage makes the third to be sent to his grave,
Caused by a cow-horse falling while running after stock;
'Twas on the spring round-up,—a place where death men mock.

He went forward one morning on a circle through the hills,
He was gay and full of glee, and free from earthly ills;
But when it came to finish up the work on which he went,
Nothing came back from him; for his time on earth was spent.

'Twasas he rode the round-up, an X I T turned back to the herd;
Poor Charlie shoved him in again, his cutting horse he spurred;
Another turned; at that moment his horse the creature spied
And turned and fell with him, and beneath, poor Charlie died.

His relations in Texas his face never more will see,
But I hope he will meet his loved ones beyond in eternity.
I hope he will meet his parents, will meet them face to face,
And that they will grasp him by the right hand at the shining throne of grace.


Come all you range riders and listen to me,
I will relate you a story of the saddest degree,
I will relate you a story of the deepest distress,—
I love my poor Lulu, boys, of all girls the best.

When you are out riding, boys, upon the highway,
Meet a fair damsel, a lady so gay,
With her red, rosy cheeks and her sparkling dark eyes,
Just think of my Lulu, boys, and your bosoms will rise.

While you live single, boys, you are just in your prime;
You have no wife to scold, you have nothing to bother your minds;
You can roam this world over and do just as you will,
Hug and kiss the pretty girls and be your own still.

But when you get married, boys, you are done with this life,
You have sold your sweet comfort for to gain you a wife;
Your wife she will scold you, and the children will cry,
It will make those fair faces look withered and dry.

You can scarcely step aside, boys, to speak to a friend
But your wife is at your elbow saying what do you mean.
With her nose turned upon you it will look like sad news,—
I advise you by experience that life to refuse.

Come fill up your bottles, boys, drink Bourbon around;
Here is luck to the single wherever they are found.
Here is luck to the single and I wish them success,
Likewise to the married ones, I wish them no less.

I have one more request to make, boys, before we part.
Never place your affection on a charming sweetheart.
She is dancing before you your affections to gain;
Just turn your back on them with scorn and disdain.


The sun had gone down
O'er the hills of the west,
And the last beams had faded
O'er the mossy hill's crest,
O'er the beauties of nature
And the charms of the fair,
And Amanda was bound
With her white bosom bare.

At the foot of the mountain
Amanda did sigh
At the hoot of an owl
Or the catamount's cry;
Or the howl of some wolf
In its low, granite cell,
Or the crash of some large
Forest tree as it fell.

Amanda was there
All friendless and forlorn
With her face bathed in blood
And her garments all torn.
The sunlight had faded
O'er the hills of the green,
And fierce was the look
Of the wild, savage scene.

For it was out in the forest
Where the wild game springs,
Where low in the branches
The rude hammock swings;
The campfire was kindled,
Well fanned by the breeze,
And the light of the campfire
Shone round on the trees.

The campfire was kindled,
Well fanned by the breeze,
And the light of the fire
Shone round on the trees;
And grim stood the circle
Of the warrior throng,
Impatient to join
In the war-dance and song.

The campfire was kindled,
Each warrior was there,
And Amanda was bound
With her white bosom bare.
She counted the vengeance
In the face of her foes
And sighed for the moment
When her sufferings might close.

Young Albon, he gazed
On the face of the fair
While her dark hazel eyes
Were uplifted in prayer;
And her dark waving tresses
In ringlets did flow
Which hid from the gazer
A bosom of snow.

Then young Albon, the chief
Of the warriors, drew near,
With an eye like an eagle
And a step like a deer.
"Forbear," cried he,
"Your torture forbear;
This maiden shall live.
By my wampum I swear.

"It is for this maiden's freedom
That I do crave;
Give a sigh for her suffering
Or a tear for her grave.
If there is a victim
To be burned at that tree,
Young Albon, your leader,
That victim shall be."

Then quick to the arms
Of Amanda he rushed;
The rebel was dead,
And the tumult was hushed;
And grim stood the circle
Of warriors around
While the cords of Amanda
Young Albon unbound.

So it was early next morning
The red, white, and blue
Went gliding o'er the waters
In a small birch canoe;
Just like the white swan
That glides o'er the tide,
Young Albon and Amanda
O'er the waters did ride.

O'er the blue, bubbling water,
Neath the evergreen trees,
Young Albon and Amanda
Did ride at their ease;
And great was the joy
When she stepped on the shore
To embrace her dear father
And mother once more.

Young Albon, he stood
And enjoyed their embrace,
With a sigh in his heart
And a tear on his face;
And all that he asked
Was kindness and food
From the parents of Amanda
To the chief of the woods.

Young Amanda is home now,
As you all know,
Enjoying the friends
Of her own native shore;
Nevermore will she roam
O'er the hills or the plains;
She praises the chief
That loosened her chains.


Tom Hight is my name, an old bachelor I am,
You'll find me out West in the country of fame,
You'll find me out West on an elegant plain,
And starving to death on my government claim.

Hurrah for Greer County!
The land of the free,
The land of the bed-bug,
Grass-hopper and flea;
I'll sing of its praises
And tell of its fame,
While starving to death
On my government claim.

My house is built of natural sod,
Its walls are erected according to hod;
Its roof has no pitch but is level and plain,
I always get wet if it happens to rain.

How happy am I on my government claim,
I've nothing to lose, and nothing to gain;
I've nothing to eat, I've nothing to wear,—
From nothing to nothing is the hardest fare.

How happy am I when I crawl into bed,—
A rattlesnake hisses a tune at my head,
A gay little centipede, all without fear,
Crawls over my pillow and into my ear.

Now all you claim holders, I hope you will stay
And chew your hard tack till you're toothless and gray;
But for myself, I'll no longer remain
To starve like a dog on my government claim.

My clothes are all ragged as my language is rough,
My bread is corn dodgers, both solid and tough;
But yet I am happy, and live at my ease
On sorghum molasses, bacon, and cheese.

Good-bye to Greer County where blizzards arise,
Where the sun never sinks and a flea never dies,
And the wind never ceases but always remains
Till it starves us all out on our government claims.

Farewell to Greer County, farewell to the West,
I'll travel back East to the girl I love best,
I'll travel back to Texas and marry me a wife,
And quit corn bread for the rest of my life.


When I think of the last great round-up
On the eve of eternity's dawn,
I think of the past of the cowboys
Who have been with us here and are gone.
And I wonder if any will greet me
On the sands of the evergreen shore
With a hearty, "God bless you, old fellow,"
That I've met with so often before.

I think of the big-hearted fellows
Who will divide with you blanket and bread,
With a piece of stray beef well roasted,
And charge for it never a red.
I often look upward and wonder
If the green fields will seem half so fair,
If any the wrong trail have taken
And fail to "be in" over there.

For the trail that leads down to perdition
Is paved all the way with good deeds,
But in the great round-up of ages,
Dear boys, this won't answer your needs.
But the way to the green pastures, though narrow,
Leads straight to the home in the sky,
And Jesus will give you the passports
To the land of the sweet by and by.

For the Savior has taken the contract
To deliver all those who believe,
At the headquarters ranch of his Father,
In the great range where none can deceive.
The Inspector will stand at the gateway
And the herd, one by one, will go by,—
The round-up by the angels in judgment
Must pass 'neath his all-seeing eye.

No maverick or slick will be tallied
In the great book of life in his home,
For he knows all the brands and the earmarks
That down through the ages have come.
But, along with the tailings and sleepers,
The strays must turn from the gate;
No road brand to gain them admission,
But the awful sad cry "too late."

Yet I trust in the last great round-up
When the rider shall cut the big herd,
That the cowboys shall be represented
In the earmark and brand of the Lord,
To be shipped to the bright, mystic regions
Over there in green pastures to lie,
And led by the crystal still waters
In that home of the sweet by and by.


When slumbering In my convict cell my childhood days I see,
When I was mother's little child and knelt at mother's knee.
There my life was peace, I know, I knew no sorrow or pain.
Mother dear never did think, I know, I would wear a felon's chain.

Clink, clink, clink, clink, clink,
Ah, don't you hear the clinking of my chain?
Clink, clink, clink, clink, clink,
Ah, don't you hear the clinking of my chain?

When I had grown to manhood and evil paths I trod,
I learned to scorn my fellow-man and even curse my God;
And in the evil course I ran for a great length of time
Till at last I ran too long and was condemned for a felon's crime.

My prison life will soon be o'er, my life will soon be gone,—
May the angels waft it heavenward to a bright and happy home.
I'll be at rest, sweet, sweet rest, there is rest in the heavenly home;
I'll be at rest, sweet, sweet rest, there is rest in the heavenly home.

Clink, clink, clink, clink, clink,
Ah, don't you hear the clinking of my chain?
Clink, clink, clink, clink, clink,
Ah, don't you hear the clinking of my chain?


O Mollie, O Mollie, it is for your sake alone
That I leave my old parents, my house and my home,
That I leave my old parents, you caused me to roam,—
I am a rabble soldier and Dixie is my home.

Jack o' diamonds, Jack o' diamonds,
I know you of old,
You've robbed my poor pockets
Of silver and gold.
Whiskey, you villain,
You've been my downfall,
You've kicked me, you've cuffed me,
But I love you for all.

My foot's in my stirrup, my bridle's in my hand,
I'm going to leave sweet Mollie, the fairest in the land.
Her parents don't like me, they say I'm too poor,
They say I'm unworthy to enter her door.

They say I drink whiskey; my money is my own,
And them that don't like me can leave me alone.
I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry,
And when I get thirsty I'll lay down and cry.

It's beefsteak when I'm hungry,
And whiskey when I'm dry,
Greenbacks when I'm hard up,
And heaven when I die.
Rye whiskey, rye whiskey,
Rye whiskey I cry,
If I don't get rye whiskey,
I surely will die.
O Baby, O Baby, I've told you before,
Do make me a pallet, I'll lie on the floor.

I will build me a big castle on yonder mountain high,
Where my true love can see me when she comes riding by,
Where my true love can see me and help me to mourn,—
I am a rabble soldier and Dixie is my home.

I'll get up in my saddle, my quirt I'll take in hand,
I'll think of you, Mollie, when in some far distant land,
I'll think of you, Mollie, you caused me to roam,—
I am a rabble soldier and Dixie is my home.

If the ocean was whiskey,
And I was a duck,
I'd dive to the bottom
To get one sweet sup;
But the ocean ain't whiskey,
And I ain't a duck,
So I'll play Jack o' diamonds
And then we'll get drunk.
O Baby, O Baby, I've told you before,
Do make me a pallet, I'll lie on the floor.

I've rambled and trambled this wide world around,
But it's for the rabble army, dear Mollie, I'm bound,
It is to the rabble army, dear Mollie, I roam,—
I am a rabble soldier and Dixie is my home.

I have rambled and gambled all my money away,
But it's with the rabble army, O Mollie, I must stay,
It is with the rabble army, O Mollie I must roam,—
I am a rabble soldier and Dixie is my home.

Jack o' diamonds, Jack o' diamonds,
I know you of old,
You've robbed my poor pockets
Of silver and gold.
Rye whiskey, rye whiskey,
Rye whiskey I cry,
If you don't give me rye whiskey
I'll lie down and die.
O Baby, O Baby, I've told you before,
Do make me a pallet, I'll lie on the floor.


At midnight when the cattle are sleeping
On my saddle I pillow my head,
And up at the heavens lie peeping
From out of my cold, grassy bed,—
Often and often I wondered
At night when lying alone
If every bright star up yonder
Is a big peopled world like our own.

Are they worlds with their ranges and ranches?
Do they ring with rough rider refrains?
Do the cowboys scrap there with Comanches
And other Red Men of the plains?
Are the hills covered over with cattle
In those mystic worlds far, far away?
Do the ranch-houses ring with the prattle
Of sweet little children at play?

At night in the bright stars up yonder
Do the cowboys lie down to their rest?
Do they gaze at this old world and wonder
If rough riders dash over its breast?
Do they list to the wolves in the canyons?
Do they watch the night owl in its flight,
With their horse their only companion
While guarding the herd through the night?

Sometimes when a bright star is twinkling
Like a diamond set in the sky,
I find myself lying and thinking,
It may be God's heaven is nigh.
I wonder if there I shall meet her,
My mother whom God took away;
If in the star-heavens I'll greet her
At the round-up that's on the last day.

In the east the great daylight is breaking
And into my saddle I spring;
The cattle from sleep are awakening,
The heaven-thoughts from me take wing,
The eyes of my bronco are flashing,
Impatient he pulls at the reins,
And off round the herd I go dashing,
A reckless cowboy of the plains.


The cow-bosses are good-hearted chunks,
Some short, some heavy, more long;
But don't matter what he looks like,
They all sing the same old song.
On the plains, in the mountains, in the valleys,
In the south where the days are long,
The bosses are different fellows;
Still they sing the same old song.

"Sift along, boys, don't ride so slow;
Haven't got much time but a long round to go.
Quirt him in the shoulders and rake him down the hip;
I've cut you toppy mounts, boys, now pair off and rip.
Bunch the herd at the old meet,
Then beat 'em on the tail;
Whip 'em up and down the sides
And hit the shortest trail."



I'm a howler from the prairies of the West.
If you want to die with terror, look at me.
I'm chain-lightning—if I ain't, may I be blessed.
I'm the snorter of the boundless prairie.

He's a killer and a hater!
He's the great annihilator!
He's a terror of the boundless prairie.

I'm the snoozer from the upper trail!
I'm the reveler in murder and in gore!
I can bust more Pullman coaches on the rail
Than anyone who's worked the job before.

He's a snorter and a snoozer.
He's the great trunk line abuser.
He's the man who puts the sleeper on the rail.

I'm the double-jawed hyena from the East.
I'm the blazing, bloody blizzard of the States.
I'm the celebrated slugger; I'm the Beast.
I can snatch a man bald-headed while he waits.

He's a double-jawed hyena!
He's the villain of the scena!
He can snatch a man bald-headed while he waits.


Drink that rot gut, drink that rot gut,
Drink that red eye, boys;
It don't make a damn wherever we land,
We hit her up for joy.

We've lived in the saddle and ridden trail,
Drink old Jordan, boys,
We'll go whooping and yelling, we'll all go a-helling;
Drink her to our joy.

Whoop-ee! drink that rot gut, drink that red nose,
Whenever you get to town;
Drink it straight and swig it mighty,
Till the world goes round and round!


I'd rather hear a rattler rattle,
I'd rather buck stampeding cattle,
I'd rather go to a greaser battle,
Than to—
Than to fight—
Than to fight the bloody In-ji-ans.

I'd rather eat a pan of dope,
I'd rather ride without a rope,
I'd rather from this country lope,
Than to—
Than to fight—
Than to fight the bloody In-ji-ans.


Come, all you old cowpunchers, a story I will tell,
And if you'll all be quiet, I sure will sing it well;
And if you boys don't like it, you sure can go to hell.

Back in the day when I was young, I knew a man named Hods;
He wasn't fit fer nothin' 'cep turnin' up the clods.

But he came west in fifty-three, behind a pair of mules,
And 'twas hard to tell between the three which was the biggest fools.

Up on the plains old Hods he got and there his trouble began.
Oh, he sure did get in trouble,—and old Hodsie wasn't no man.

He met a bunch of Indian bucks led by Geronimo,
And what them Indians did to him, well, shorely I don't know.

But they lifted off old Hodsie's skelp and left him out to die,
And if it hadn't been for me, he'd been in the sweet by and by.

But I packed him back to Santa Fé and there I found his mules,
For them dad-blamed two critters had got the Indians fooled.

I don't know how they done it, but they shore did get away,
And them two mules is livin' up to this very day.

Old Hodsie's feet got toughened up, he got to be a sport,
He opened up a gamblin' house and a place of low resort;

He got the prettiest dancing girls that ever could be found,—
Them girls' feet was like rubber balls and they never staid on the ground.

And then thar came Billy the Kid, he envied Hodsie's wealth,
He told old Hods to leave the town, 'twould be better for his health;
Old Hodsie took the hint and got, but he carried all his wealth.

And he went back to Noo York State with lots of dinero,
And now they say he's senator, but of that I shore don't know.


I am fur from my sweetheart
And she is fur from me,
And when I'll see my sweetheart
I can't tell when 'twill be.

But I love her just the same,
No matter where I roam;
And that there girl will wait fur me
Whenever I come home.

I've roamed the Texas prairies,
I've followed the cattle trail,
I've rid a pitching pony
Till the hair came off his tail.

I've been to cowboy dances,
I've kissed the Texas girls,
But they ain't none what can compare
With my own sweetheart's curls.


O boys, we're goin' far to-night,
Yeo-ho, yeo-ho!
We'll take the greasers now in hand
And drive 'em in the Rio Grande,
Way down in Mexico.

We'll hang old Santa Anna soon,
Yeo-ho, yeo-ho!
And all the greaser soldiers, too,
To the chune of Yankee Doodle Doo,
Way down in Mexico.

We'll scatter 'em like flocks of sheep,
Yeo-ho, yeo-ho!
We'll mow 'em down with rifle ball
And plant our flag right on their wall,
Way down in Mexico.

Old Rough and Ready, he's a trump,
Yeo-ho, yeo-ho!
He'll wipe old Santa Anna out
And put the greasers all to rout,
Way down in Mexico.

Then we'll march back by and by,
Yeo-ho, yeo-ho!
And kiss the gals we left to home
And never more we'll go and roam,
Way down in Mexico.

Everything for Guitarists, at the Best Prices in Town!


A nice young ma-wa-wan
Lived on a hi-wi-will;
A nice young ma-wa-wan,
For I knew him we-we-well.

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

This nice young ma-wa-wan
Went out to mo-wo-wow
To see if he-we-we
Could make a sho-wo-wow.

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

He scarcely mo-wo-wowed
Half round the fie-we-wield
Till up jumped—come a rattle, come a sna-wa-wake,
And bit him on the he-we-weel.

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

He laid right dow-we-wown
Upon the gro-wo-wound
And shut his ey-wy-wyes
And looked all aro-wo-wound.

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

"O pappy da-wa-wad,
Go tell my ga-wa-wal
That I'm a-goin' ter di-wi-wie,
For I know I sha-wa-wall."

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

"O pappy da-wa-wad,
Go spread the ne-wu-wus;
And here come Sa-wa-wall
Without her sho-woo-woos."

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

"O John, O Joh-wa-wahn,
Why did you go-wo-wo
Way down in the mea-we-we-dow
So far to mo-wo-wow?"

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

"O Sal, O Sa-wa-wall,
Why don't you kno-wo-wow
When the grass gits ri-wi-wipe,
It must be mo-wo-woed?"

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

Come all young gir-wi-wirls
And shed a tea-we-wear
For this young ma-wa-wan
That died right he-we-were.

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

Come all young me-we-wen
And warning ta-wa-wake,
And don't get bi-wi-wit
By a rattle sna-wa-wake.

To my rattle, to my roo-rah-ree!

By Rolette

Hurrah for the great white way!
Hurrah for the dog and sledge!
As we snow-shoe along,
We give them a song,
With a snap of the whip and an urgent "mush on,"—
Hurrah for the great white way! Hurrah!

Hurrah for the snow and the ice!
As we follow the trail,
We call to the dogs with whistle and song,
And reply to their talk
With only "mush on, mush on"!
Hurrah for the snow and the ice! Hurrah!

Hurrah for the gun and the trap,—
As we follow the lines
By the rays of the mystic light
That flames in the north with banners so bright,
As we list to its swish, swish, swish, through the air all night,
Hurrah for the gun and the trap! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Hurrah for the fire and cold!
As we lie in the robes all night.
And list to the howl of the wolf;
For we emptied the pot of the tea so hot,
And a king on his throne might envy our lot,—
Hurrah for the fire and cold! Hurrah!

Hurrah for our black-haired girls,
Who brave the storms of the mountain heights
And follow us on the great white way;
For their eyes so bright light the way all right
And guide us to shelter and warmth each night.
Hurrah for our black-haired girls! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!


Through progress of the railroads our occupation's gone;
So we will put ideas into words, our words into a song.
First comes the cowboy, he is pointed for the west;
Of all the pioneers I claim the cowboys are the best;
You will miss him on the round-up, it's gone, his merry shout,—
The cowboy has left the country and the campfire has gone out.

There is the freighters, our companions, you've got to leave this land,
Can't drag your loads for nothing through the gumbo and the sand.
The railroads are bound to beat you when you do your level best;
So give it up to the grangers and strike out for the west.
Bid them all adieu and give the merry shout,—
The cowboy has left the country and the campfire has gone out.

When I think of those good old days, my eyes with tears do fill;
When I think of the tin can by the fire and the cayote on the hill.
I'll tell you, boys, in those days old-timers stood a show,—
Our pockets full of money, not a sorrow did we know.
But things have changed now, we are poorly clothed and fed.
Our wagons are all broken and our ponies most all dead.
Soon we will leave this country, you'll hear the angels shout,
"Oh, here they come to Heaven, the campfire has gone out."


Oh, the cow-puncher loves the whistle of his rope,
As he races over the plains;
And the stage-driver loves the popper of his whip,
And the rattle of his concord chains;
And we'll all pray the Lord that we will be saved,
And we'll keep the golden rule;
But I'd rather be home with the girl I love
Than to monkey with this goddamn'd mule.
. . . . . . . . . . .


I've beat my way wherever any winds have blown,
I've bummed along from Portland down to San Antone,
From Sandy Hook to Frisco, over gulch and hill;
For once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.

I settles down quite frequent and I says, says I,
"I'll never wander further till I comes to die."
But the wind it sorta chuckles, "Why, o' course you will,"
And shure enough I does it, cause I can't keep still.

I've seed a lot o' places where I'd like to stay,
But I gets a feelin' restless and I'm on my way.
I was never meant for settin' on my own door sill,
And once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.

I've been in rich men's houses and I've been in jail,
But when it's time for leavin', I jes hits the trail;
I'm a human bird of passage, and the song I trill,
Is, "Once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still."

The sun is sorta coaxin' and the road is clear
And the wind is singin' ballads that I got to hear.
It ain't no use to argue when you feel the thrill;
For once you git the habit, why, you can't keep still.


From way down south on the Rio Grande,
Roll on steers for the Post Oak Sand,—
Way down south in Dixie, Oh, boys, Ho.

You'd laugh fur to see that fellow a-straddle
Of a mustang mare on a raw-hide saddle,—
Way down south in Dixie, Oh, boys, Ho.

Rich as a king, and he wouldn't be bigger
Fur a pitchin' hoss and a lame old nigger,—
Way down south in Dixie, Oh, boys, Ho.

Ole Abe kep' gettin' bigger an' bigger,
'Til he bust hisself 'bout a lame old nigger,—
Way down south in Dixie, Oh, boys, Ho.

Old Jeff swears he'll sew him together
With powder and shot instead of leather,—
Way down south in Dixie, Oh, boys, Ho.

Kin cuss an' fight an' hold or free 'em,
But I know them mavericks when I see 'em,—
Way down south in Dixie, Oh, boys, Ho.


I was on the drive in eighty
Working under Silver Jack,
Which the same is now in Jackson
And ain't soon expected back,
And there was a fellow 'mongst us
By the name of Robert Waite;
Kind of cute and smart and tonguey
Guess he was a graduate.

He could talk on any subject
From the Bible down to Hoyle,
And his words flowed out so easy,
Just as smooth and slick as oil,
He was what they call a skeptic,
And he loved to sit and weave
Hifalutin' words together
Tellin' what he didn't believe.

One day we all were sittin' round
Smokin' nigger head tobacco
And hearing Bob expound;
Hell, he said, was all a humbug,
And he made it plain as day
That the Bible was a fable;
And we lowed it looked that way.
Miracles and such like
Were too rank for him to stand,
And as for him they called the Savior
He was just a common man.

"You're a liar," someone shouted,
"And you've got to take it back."
Then everybody started,—
'Twas the words of Silver Jack.
And he cracked his fists together
And he stacked his duds and cried,
"'Twas in that thar religion
That my mother lived and died;
And though I haven't always
Used the Lord exactly right,
Yet when I hear a chump abuse him
He's got to eat his words or fight."

Now, this Bob he weren't no coward
And he answered bold and free:
"Stack your duds and cut your capers,
For there ain't no flies on me."
And they fit for forty minutes
And the crowd would whoop and cheer
When Jack spit up a tooth or two,
Or when Bobby lost an ear.

But at last Jack got him under
And he slugged him onct or twict,
And straightway Bob admitted
The divinity of Christ.
But Jack kept reasoning with him
Till the poor cuss gave a yell
And lowed he'd been mistaken
In his views concerning hell.

Then the fierce encounter ended
And they riz up from the ground
And someone brought a bottle out
And kindly passed it round.
And we drank to Bob's religion
In a cheerful sort o' way,
But the spread of infidelity
Was checked in camp that day.


Way out in Western Texas, where the Clear Fork's waters flow,
Where the cattle are a-browzin' and the Spanish ponies grow;
Where the Northers come a-whistlin' from beyond the Neutral Strip;
And the prairie dogs are sneezin', as though they had the grip;
Where the coyotes come a-howlin' round the ranches after dark,
And the mockin' birds are singin' to the lovely medder lark;
Where the 'possum and the badger and the rattlesnakes abound,
And the monstrous stars are winkin' o'er a wilderness profound;
Where lonesome, tawny prairies melt into airy streams,
While the Double Mountains slumber in heavenly kinds of dreams;
Where the antelope is grazin' and the lonely plovers call,—
It was there I attended the Cowboy's Christmas Ball.

The town was Anson City, old Jones' county seat,
Where they raised Polled Angus cattle and waving whiskered wheat;
Where the air is soft and bammy and dry and full of health,
Where the prairies is explodin' with agricultural wealth;
Where they print the Texas Western, that Hec McCann supplies
With news and yarns and stories, of most amazing size;
Where Frank Smith "pulls the badger" on knowing tenderfeet,
And Democracy's triumphant and mighty hard to beat;
Where lives that good old hunter, John Milsap, from Lamar,
Who used to be the sheriff "back east in Paris, sah"!
'Twas there, I say, at Anson with the lovely Widder Wall,
That I went to that reception, the Cowboy's Christmas Ball.

The boys had left the ranches and come to town in piles;
The ladies, kinder scatterin', had gathered in for miles.
And yet the place was crowded, as I remember well,
'Twas gave on this occasion at the Morning Star Hotel.
The music was a fiddle and a lively tambourine,
And a viol came imported, by the stage from Abilene.
The room was togged out gorgeous—with mistletoe and shawls,
And the candles flickered festious, around the airy walls.
The wimmen folks looked lovely—the boys looked kinder treed,
Till the leader commenced yelling, "Whoa, fellers, let's stampede,"
And the music started sighing and a-wailing through the hall
As a kind of introduction to the Cowboy's Christmas Ball.

The leader was a feller that came from Swenson's ranch,—
They called him Windy Billy from Little Deadman's Branch.
His rig was kinder keerless,—big spurs and high heeled boots;
He had the reputation that comes when fellers shoots.
His voice was like the bugle upon the mountain height;
His feet were animated, and a mighty movin' sight,
When he commenced to holler, "Now fellers, shake your pen!
Lock horns ter all them heifers and rustle them like men;
Saloot yer lovely critters; neow swing and let 'em go;
Climb the grapevine round 'em; neow all hands do-ce-do!
You maverick, jine the round-up,—jes skip the waterfall,"
Huh! hit was getting active, the Cowboy's Christmas Ball.

The boys was tolerable skittish, the ladies powerful neat,
That old bass viol's music just got there with both feet!
That wailin', frisky fiddle, I never shall forget;
And Windy kept a-singin'—I think I hear him yet—
"Oh, X's, chase yer squirrels, and cut 'em to our side;
Spur Treadwell to the center, with Cross P Charley's bride,
Doc Hollis down the center, and twine the ladies' chain,
Van Andrews, pen the fillies in big T Diamond's train.
All pull your freight together, neow swallow fork and change;
Big Boston, lead the trail herd through little Pitchfork's range.
Purr round yer gentle pussies, neow rope and balance all!"
Huh! Hit were gettin' active—the Cowboy's Christmas Ball.

The dust riz fast and furious; we all jes galloped round,
Till the scenery got so giddy that T Bar Dick was downed.
We buckled to our partners and told 'em to hold on,
Then shook our hoofs like lightning until the early dawn.
Don't tell me 'bout cotillions, or germans. No sir-ee!
That whirl at Anson City jes takes the cake with me.
I'm sick of lazy shufflin's, of them I've had my fill,
Give me a frontier break-down backed up by Windy Bill.
McAllister ain't nowhere, when Windy leads the show;
I've seen 'em both in harness and so I ought ter know.
Oh, Bill, I shan't forget yer, and I oftentimes recall
That lively gaited sworray—the Cowboy's Christmas Ball.


I am a vaquero by trade;
To handle my rope I'm not afraid.
I lass' an otero by the two horns
Throw down the biggest that ever was born.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Pinto, whoa!

My name to you I will not tell;
For what's the use, you know me so well.
The girls all love me, and cry
When I leave them to join the rodero.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Pinto, whoa!

I am a vaquero, and here I reside;
Show me the broncho I cannot ride.
They say old Pinto with one split ear
Is the hardest jumping broncho on the rodero.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Pinto, whoa!

There strayed to our camp an iron gray colt;
The boys were all fraid him so on him I bolt.
You bet I stayed with him till cheer after cheer,—
"He's the broncho twister that's on the rodero."
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Pinto, whoa!

My story is ended, old Pinto is dead;
I'm going down Laredo and paint the town red.
I'm going up to Laredo and set up the beer
To all the cowboys that's on the rodero.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Pinto, whoa!


A Texas cowboy lay down on a bar-room floor.
Having drunk so much he could drink no more;
So he fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream that he rode on a hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp
And was brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp;
An imp, for fuel, was shoveling bones,
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with lager beer
And the devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were a most motley crew,—
Church member, atheist, Gentile, and Jew,

Rich men in broadcloth, beggars in rags,
Handsome young ladies, and withered old hags,
Yellow and black men, red, brown, and white.
All chained together,—O God, what a sight!

While the train rushed on at an awful pace,
The sulphurous fumes scorched their hands and face;
Wider and wider the country grew,
As faster and faster the engine flew.

Louder and louder the thunder crashed
And brighter and brighter the lightning flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became
Till the clothes were burnt from each quivering frame.

And out of the distance there arose a yell,
"Ha, ha," said the devil, "we're nearing hell!"
Then oh, how the passengers all shrieked with pain
And begged the devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced for glee
And laughed and joked at their misery.
"My faithful friends, you have done the work
And the devil never can a payday shirk.

"You've bullied the weak, you've robbed the poor;
The starving brother you've turned from the door,
You've laid up gold where the canker rust,
And have given free vent to your beastly lust.

"You've justice scorned, and corruption sown,
And trampled the laws of nature down.
You have drunk, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied,
And mocked at God in your hell-born pride.

"You have paid full fare so I'll carry you through;
For it's only right you should have your due.
Why, the laborer always expects his hire,
So I'll land you safe in the lake of fire.

"Where your flesh will waste in the flames that roar,
And my imps torment you forever more."
Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high.

Then he prayed as he never had prayed till that hour
To be saved from his sin and the demon's power.
And his prayers and his vows were not in vain;
For he never rode the hell-bound train.


Come all of you, my brother scouts,
And listen to my song;
Come, let us sing together
Though the shadows fall so long.

Of all the old frontiersmen
That used to scour the plain
There are but very few of them
That with us yet remain.

Day after day they're dropping off,
They're going one by one;
Our clan is fast decreasing,
Our race is almost run.

There are many of our number
That never wore the blue,
But faithfully they did their part
As brave men, tried and true.

They never joined the army,
But had other work to do
In piloting the coming folks,
To help them safely through.

But brothers, we are failing,
Our race is almost run;
The days of elk and buffalo
And beaver traps are gone—

Oh, the days of elk and buffalo!
It fills my heart with pain
To know these days are past and gone
To never come again.

We fought the red-skin rascals
Over valley, hill, and plain;
We fought him in the mountain top,
We fought him down again.

These fighting days are over.
The Indian yell resounds
No more along the border;
Peace sends far sweeter sounds.

But we found great joy, old comrades,
To hear and make it die;
We won bright homes for gentle ones,
And now, our West, good-bye.


Round the 'dobe rank sands are thickly blowin',
Its ridges fill the deserted field;
Yet on this claim young lives once hope were sowing
For all the years might yield;
And in strong hands the echoing hoof pursuin'
A wooden share turned up the sod,
The toiler brave drank deep the fresh air's brewin'
And sang content to God.
The toiler brave drank deep the fresh air's brewin'
And sang content to God.

A woman fair and sweet has smilin' striven
Through long and lonesome hours;
A blue-eyed babe, a bit of earthly heaven,
Laughed at the sun's hot towers;
A bow of promise made this desert splendid,
This 'dobe was their pride.
But what began so well, alas, has ended—,
The promise died.
But what began so well alas soon ended—,
The promise died.

Their plans and dreams, their cheerful labor wasted
In dry and mis-spent years;
The spring was sweet, the summer bitter tasted,
The autumn salt with tears.
Now "gyp" and sand do hide their one-time yearnin';
'Twas theirs; 'tis past.
God's ways are strange, we take so long in learnin',
To fail at last.
God's ways are strange, we take so long in learnin',
To fail at last.


You may call the cowboy horned and think him hard to tame,
You may heap vile epithets upon his head;
But to know him is to like him, notwithstanding his hard name,
For he will divide with you his beef and bread.

If you see him on his pony as he scampers o'er the plain,
You would think him wild and woolly, to be sure;
But his heart is warm and tender when he sees a friend in need,
Though his education is but to endure.

When the storm breaks in its fury and the lightning's vivid flash
Makes you thank the Lord for shelter and for bed,
Then it is he mounts his pony and away you see him dash,
No protection but the hat upon his head.

Such is life upon a cow ranch, and the half was never told;
But you never find a kinder-hearted set
Than the cattleman at home, be he either young or old,
He's a "daisy from away back," don't forget.

When you fail to find a pony or a cow that's gone a-stray,
Be that cow or pony wild or be it tame,
The cowboy, like the drummer,—and the bed-bug, too, they say,—
Brings him to you, for he gets there just the same.


He leaves unplowed his furrow,
He leaves his books unread
For a life of tented freedom
By lure of danger led.
He's first in the hour of peril,
He's gayest in the dance,
Like the guardsman of old England
Or the beau sabreur of France.

He stands our faithful bulwark
Against our savage foe;
Through lonely woodland places
Our children come and go;
Our flocks and herds untended
O'er hill and valley roam,
The Ranger in the saddle
Means peace for us at home.

Behold our smiling farmsteads
Where waves the golden grain!
Beneath yon tree, earth's bosom
Was dark with crimson stain.
That bluff the death-shot echoed
Of husband, father, slain!
God grant such sight of horror
We never see again!

The gay and hardy Ranger,
His blanket on the ground,
Lies by the blazing camp-fire
While song and tale goes round;
And if one voice is silent,
One fails to hear the jest,
They know his thoughts are absent
With her who loves him best.

Our state, her sons confess it,
That queenly, star-crowned brow,
Has darkened with the shadow
Of lawlessness ere now;
And men of evil passions
On her reproach have laid,
But that the ready Ranger
Rode promptly to her aid.

He may not win the laurel
Nor trumpet tongue of fame;
But beauty smiles upon him,
And ranchmen bless his name.
Then here's to the Texas Ranger,
Past, present and to come!
Our safety from the savage,
The guardian of our home.

Bob Ford, killer of Jesse James.


Yes, muster them out, the valiant band
That guards our western home.
What matter to you in your eastern land
If the raiders here should come?
No danger that you shall awake at night
To the howls of a savage band;
So muster them out, though the morning light
Find havoc on every hand.

Some dear one is sick and the horses all gone,
So we can't for a doctor send;
The outlaws were in in the light of the morn
And no Rangers here to defend.
For they've mustered them out, the brave true band,
Untiring by night and day.
The fearless scouts of this border land
Made the taxes high, they say.

Have fewer men in the capitol walls,
Fewer tongues in the war of words,
But add to the Rangers, the living wall
That keeps back the bandit hordes.
Have fewer dinners, less turtle soup,
If the taxes are too high.
There are many other and better ways
To lower them if they try.

Don't waste so much of your money
Printing speeches people don't read.
If you'd only take off what's used for that
'Twould lower the tax indeed.
Don't use so much sugar and lemons;
Cold water is just as good
For a constant drink in the summer time
And better for the blood.

But leave us the Rangers to guard us still,
Nor think that they cost too dear;
For their faithful watch over vale and hill
Gives our loved ones naught to fear.


Oh, the prairie dogs are screaming,
And the birds are on the wing,
See the heel fly chase the heifer, boys!
'Tis the first class sign of spring.
The elm wood is budding,
The earth is turning green.
See the pretty things of nature
That make life a pleasant dream!

I'm just living through the winter
To enjoy the coming change,
For there is no place so homelike
As a cow camp on the range.
The boss is smiling radiant,
Radiant as the setting sun;
For he knows he's stealing glories,
For he ain't a-cussin' none.

The cook is at the chuck-box
Whistling "Heifers in the Green,"
Making baking powder biscuits, boys,
While the pot is biling beans.
The boys untie their bedding
And unroll it on the run,
For they are in a monstrous hurry
For the supper's almost done.

"Here's your bloody wolf bait,"
Cried the cook's familiar voice
As he climbed the wagon wheel
To watch the cowboys all rejoice.
Then all thoughts were turned from reverence
To a plate of beef and beans,
As we graze on beef and biscuits
Like yearlings on the range.

To the dickens with your city
Where they herd the brainless brats,
On a range so badly crowded
There ain't room to cuss the cat.
This life is not so sumptuous,
I'm not longing for a change,
For there is no place so homelike
As a cow camp on the range.


He was little an' peaked an' thin, an' narry a no account horse,—
Least that's the way you'd describe him in case that the beast had been lost;
But, for single and double cussedness an' for double fired sin,
The horse never came out o' Texas that was half-way knee-high to him!

The first time that ever I saw him was nineteen years ago last spring;
'Twas the year we had grasshoppers, that come an' et up everything,
That a feller rode up here one evenin' an' wanted to pen over night
A small bunch of horses, he said; an' I told him I guessed 'twas all right.

Well, the feller was busted, the horses was thin, an' the grass round here kind of good,
An' he said if I'd let him hold here a few days he'd settle with me when he could.
So I told him all right, turn them loose down the draw, that the latch string was always untied,
He was welcome to stop a few days if he wished and rest from his weary ride.

Well, the cuss stayed around for two or three weeks, till at last he was ready to go;
And that cuss out yonder bein' too poor to move, he gimme,—the cuss had no dough.
Well, at first the darn brute was as wild as a deer, an' would snort when he came to the branch,
An' it took two cow punchers, on good horses, too, to handle him here at the ranch.

Well, the winter came on an' the range it got hard, an' my mustang commenced to get thin,
So I fed him some an' rode him around, an' found out old Freckles was game.
For that was what the other cuss called him,—just Freckles, no more or no less,—
His color,—couldn't describe it,—something like a paint shop in distress.

Them was Indian times, young feller, that I am telling about;
An' oft's the time I've seen the red man fight an' put the boys to rout.
A good horse in them days, young feller, would save your life,—
One that in any race could hold the pace when the red-skin bands were rife.


'Twas the end of round-up, the last day of June,
Or maybe July, I don't remember,
Or it might have been August, 'twas some time ago,
Or perhaps 'twas the first of September.

Anyhow, 'twas the round-up we had at Mayou
On the Lightning Rod's range, near Cayo;
There were some twenty wagons, more or less, camped about
On the temporal in the cañon.

First night we'd no cattle, so we only stood guard
On the horses, somewhere near two hundred head;
So we side-lined and hoppled, we belled and we staked,
Loosed our hot-rolls and fell into bed.

Next morning 'bout day break we started our work,
Our horses, like 'possums, felt fine.
Each one "tendin' knittin'," none tryin' to shirk!
So the round-up got on in good time.

Well, we worked for a week till the country was clean
And the bosses said, "Now, boys, we'll stay here.
We'll carve and we'll trim 'em and start out a herd
Up the east trail from old Abilene."

Next morning all on herd, and but two with the cut,
And the boss on Piute, carving fine,
Till he rode down his horse and had to pull out,
And a new man went in to clean up.

Well, after each outfit had worked on the band
There was only three head of them left;
When Nig Add from L F D outfit rode in,—
A dictionary on earmarks and brands.

He cut the two head out, told where they belonged;
But when the last cow stood there alone
Add's eyes bulged so he didn't know just what to say,
'Ceptin', "Boss, dere's something here monstrous wrong!

"White folks smarter'n Add, and maybe I'se wrong;
But here's six months' wages dat I'll give
If anyone'll tell me when I reads dis mark
To who dis longhorned cow belong!

"Overslope in right ear an' de underbill,
Lef' ear swaller fork an' de undercrop,
Hole punched in center, an' de jinglebob
Under half crop, an' de slash an' split.

"She's got O Block an' Lightnin' Rod,
Nine Forty-Six an' A Bar Eleven,
T Terrapin an' Ninety-Seven,
Rafter Cross an' de Double Prod.

"Half circle A an' Diamond D,
Four Cross L and Three P Z,
B W I bar, X V V,
Bar N cross an' A L C.

"So, if none o' you punchers claims dis cow,
Mr. Stock 'Sociation needn't git 'larmed;
For one more brand more or less won't do no harm,
So old Nigger Add'l just brand her now."


Come all you melancholy folks wherever you may be,
I'll sing you about the cowboy whose life is light and free.
He roams about the prairie, and, at night when he lies down,
His heart is as gay as the flowers in May in his bed upon the ground.

They're a little bit rough, I must confess, the most of them, at least;
But if you do not hunt a quarrel you can live with them in peace;
For if you do, you're sure to rue the day you joined their band.
They will follow you up and shoot it out with you just man to man.

Did you ever go to a cowboy whenever hungry and dry,
Asking for a dollar, and have him you deny?
He'll just pull out his pocket book and hand you a note,—
They are the fellows to help you whenever you are broke.

Go to their ranches and stay a while, they never ask a cent;
And when they go to town, their money is freely spent.
They walk straight up and take a drink, paying for every one,
And they never ask your pardon for anything they've done.

When they go to their dances, some dance while others pat
They ride their bucking bronchos, and wear their broad-brimmed hats;
With their California saddles, and their pants stuck in their boots,
You can hear their spurs a-jingling, and perhaps some of them shoots.

Come all soft-hearted tenderfeet, if you want to have some fun;
Go live among the cowboys, they'll show you how it's done.
They'll treat you like a prince, my boys, about them there's nothing mean;
But don't try to give them too much advice, for all of them ain't green.


Where the Pecos River winds and turns in its journey to the sea,
From its white walls of sand and rock striving ever to be free,
Near the highest railroad bridge that all these modern times have seen,
Dwells fair young Patty Morehead, the Pecos River queen.

She is known by every cowboy on the Pecos River wide,
They know full well that she can shoot, that she can rope and ride.
She goes to every round-up, every cow work without fail,
Looking out for her cattle, branded "walking hog on rail."

She made her start in cattle, yes, made it with her rope;
Can tie down every maverick before it can strike a lope.
She can rope and tie and brand it as quick as any man;
She's voted by all cowboys an A-1 top cow hand.

Across the Comstock railroad bridge, the highest in the West,
Patty rode her horse one day, a lover's heart to test;
For he told her he would gladly risk all dangers for her sake—
But the puncher wouldn't follow, so she's still without a mate.


Through rocky arroyas so dark and so deep,
Down the sides of the mountains so slippery and steep,—
You've good judgment, sure-footed, wherever you go,
You're a safety conveyance, my little Chopo.

Chopo, my pony, Chopo, my pride,
Chopo, my amigo, Chopo I will ride.
From Mexico's borders 'cross Texas' Llano
To the salt Pecos River, I ride you, Chopo.

Whether single or double or in the lead of the team,
Over highways or byways or crossing a stream,—
You're always in fix and willing to go,
Whenever you're called on, my chico Chopo.

You're a good roping horse, you were never jerked down,
When tied to a steer, you will circle him round;
Let him once cross the string and over he'll go,—
You sabe the business, my cow-horse, Chopo.

One day on the Llano a hailstorm began,
The herds were stampeded, the horses all ran,
The lightning it glittered, a cyclone did blow,
But you faced the sweet music, my little Chopo.


While you're all so frisky I'll sing a little song,—
Think a little horn of whiskey will help the thing along?
It's all about the Top Hand, when he busted flat
Bummin' round the town, in his Mexican hat.
He's laid up all winter, and his pocket book is flat,
His clothes are all tatters, but he don't mind that.

See him in town with a crowd that he knows,
Rollin' cigarettes and smokin' through his nose.
First thing he tells you, he owns a certain brand,—
Leads you to think he is a daisy hand;
Next thing he tells you 'bout his trip up the trail,
All the way to Kansas, to finish out his tale.

Put him on a hoss, he's a handy hand to work;
Put him in the brandin'-pen, he's dead sure to shirk.
With his natural leaf tobacco in the pockets of his vest
He'll tell you his California pants are the best.
He's handled lots of cattle, hasn't any fears,
Can draw his sixty dollars for the balance of his years.

Put him on herd, he's a-cussin' all day;
Anything he tries, it's sure to get away.
When you have a round-up, he tells it all about
He's goin' to do the cuttin' an' you can't keep him out.
If anything goes wrong, he lays it on the screws,
Says the lazy devils were tryin' to take a snooze.

When he meets a greener he ain't afraid to rig,
Stands him on a chuck box and makes him dance a jig,—
Waves a loaded cutter, makes him sing and shout,—
He's a regular Ben Thompson when the boss ain't about.
When the boss ain't about he leaves his leggins in camp,
He swears a man who wears them is worse than a tramp.

Says he's not carin' for the wages he earns,
For Dad's rich in Texas,—got wagon loads to burn;
But when he goes to town, he's sure to take it in,
He's always been dreaded wherever he's been.
He rides a fancy horse, he's a favorite man,
Can get more credit than a common waddie can.

When you ship the cattle he's bound to go along
To keep the boss from drinking and see that nothing's wrong.
Wherever he goes, catch on to his name,
He likes to be called with a handle to his name.
He's always primping with a pocket looking-glass,
From the top to the bottom he's a bold Jackass.


List all you California boys
And open wide your ears,
For now we start across the plains
With a herd of mules and steers.
Now, bear in mind before you start,
That you'll eat jerked beef, not ham,
And antelope steak, Oh cuss the stuff!
It often proves a sham.

You cannot find a stick of wood
On all this prairie wide;
Whene'er you eat you've got to stand
Or sit on some old bull hide.
It's fun to cook with buffalo chips
Or mesquite, green as corn,—
If I'd once known what I know now
I'd have gone around Cape Horn.

The women have the hardest time
Who emigrate by land;
For when they cook out in the wind
They're sure to burn their hand.
Then they scold their husbands round,
Get mad and spill the tea,—
I'd have thanked my stars if they'd not come out
Upon this bleak prairie.

Most every night we put out guards
To keep the Indians off.
When night comes round some heads will ache,
And some begin to cough.
To be deprived of help at night,
You know is mighty hard,
But every night there's someone sick
To keep from standing guard.

Then they're always talking of what they've got,
And what they're going to do;
Some will say they're content,
For I've got as much as you.
Others will say, "I'll buy or sell,
I'm damned if I care which."
Others will say, "Boys, buy him out,
For he doesn't own a stitch."

Old raw-hide shoes are hell on corns
While tramping through the sands,
And driving jackass by the tail,—
Damn the overland!
I would as leaf be on a raft at sea
And there at once be lost.
John, let's leave the poor old mule,
We'll never get him across!


I've been upon the prairie,
I've been upon the plain,
I've never rid a steam-boat,
Nor a double-cinched-up train.
But I've driv my eight-up to wagon
That were locked three in a row,
And that through blindin' sand storms,
And all kinds of wind and snow.

Goodbye, Liza, poor gal,
Goodbye, Liza Jane,
Goodbye, Liza, poor gal,
She died on the plain.

There never was a place I've been
Had any kind of wood.
We burn the roots of bar-grass
And think it's very good.
I've never tasted home bread,
Nor cakes, nor muss like that;
But I know fried dough and beef
Pulled from red-hot tallow fat.

I hate to see the wire fence
A-closin' up the range;
And all this fillin' in the trail
With people that is strange.
We fellers don't know how to plow,
Nor reap the golden grain;
But to round up steers and brand the cows
To us was allus plain.

So when this blasted country
Is all closed in with wire,
And all the top, as trot grass,
Is burnin' in Sol's fire,
I hope the settlers will be glad
When rain hits the land.
And all us cowdogs are in hell
With a "set" joined hand in hand.


One pleasant summer day it came a storm of snow;
I picked my old gun and a-hunting I did go.

I came across a herd of deer and I trailed them through the snow,
I trailed them to the mountains where straight up they did go.

I trailed them o'er the mountains, I trailed them to the brim,
And I trailed them to the waters where they jumped in to swim.

I cocked both my pistols and under water went,—
To kill the fattest of them deer, that was my whole intent.

While I was under water five hundred feet or more
I fired both my pistols; like cannons did they roar.

I picked up my venison and out of water came,—
To kill the balance of them deer, I thought it would be fun.

So I bent my gun in circles and fired round a hill.
And, out of three or four deer, ten thousand I did kill.

Then I picked up my venison and on my back I tied
And as the sun came passing by I hopped up there to ride.

The sun she carried me o'er the globe, so merrily I did roam
That in four and twenty hours I landed safe at home.

And the money I received for my venison and skin,
I taken it all to the barn door and it would not all go in.

And if you doubt the truth of this I tell you how to know:
Just take my trail and go my rounds, as I did, long ago.


Come all you wild rovers
And listen to me
While I retail to you
My sad history.
I'm a man of experience
Your favors to gain,
Oh, love has been the ruin
Of many a poor man.

When you are single
And living at your ease
You can roam this world over
And do as you please;
You can roam this world over
And go where you will
And slyly kiss a pretty girl
And be your own still.

But when you are married
And living with your wife,
You've lost all the joys
And comforts of life.
Your wife she will scold you,
Your children will cry,
And that will make papa
Look withered and dry.

You can't step aside, boys,
To speak to a friend
Without your wife at your elbow
Saying, "What does this mean?"
Your wife, she will scold
And there is sad news.
Dear boys, take warning;
'Tis a life to refuse.

If you chance to be riding
Along the highway
And meet a fair maiden,
A lady so gay,
With red, rosy cheeks
And sparkling blue eyes,—
Oh, heavens! what a tumult
In your bosom will rise!

One more request, boys,
Before we must part:
Don't place your affections
On a charming sweetheart;
She'll dance before you
Your favors to gain.
Oh, turn your back on them
With scorn and disdain!

Come close to the bar, boys,
We'll drink all around.
We'll drink to the pure,
If any be found;
We'll drink to the single,
For I wish them success;
Likewise to the married,
For I wish them no less.


'Tis life in a half-breed shack,
The rain comes pouring down;
"Drip" drops the mud through the roof,
And the wind comes through the wall.
A tenderfoot cursed his luck
And feebly cried out "yah!"

Yah! Yah! I want to go home to my ma!
Yah! Yah! this bloomin' country's a fraud!
Yah! Yah! I want to go home to my ma!

He tries to kindle a fire
When it's forty-five below;
He aims to chop at a log
And amputates his toe;
He hobbles back to the shack
And feebly cries out "yah"!

He gets on a bucking cayuse
And thinks to flourish around,
But the buzzard-head takes to bucking
And lays him flat out on the ground.
As he picks himself up with a curse,
He feebly cries out "yah"!

He buys all the town lots he can get
In the wrong end of Calgary,
And he waits and he waits for the boom
Until he's dead broke like me.
He couldn't get any tick
So he feebly cries out "yah"!

He couldn't do any work
And he wouldn't know how if he could;
So the police run him for a vag
And set him to bucking wood.
As he sits in the guard room cell,
He feebly cries out "yah"!

Come all ye tenderfeet
And listen to what I say,
If you can't get a government job
You had better remain where you be.
Then you won't curse your luck
And cry out feebly "yah"!


If you'll listen a while I'll sing you a song,
And as it is short it won't take me long.
There are some things of which I will speak
Concerning the stage on the road to Cook's Peak.
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
Concerning the stage on the road to Cook's Peak.

It was in the morning at eight-forty-five,
I was hooking up all ready to drive
Out where the miners for minerals seek,
With two little mules on the road to Cook's Peak—
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
With two little mules on the road to Cook's Peak.

With my two little mules I jog along
And try to cheer them with ditty and song;
O'er the wide prairie where coyotes sneak,
While driving the stage on the road to Cook's Peak.
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
While driving the stage on the road to Cook's Peak.

Sometimes I have to haul heavy freight,
Then it is I get home very late.
In rain or shine, six days in the week,
'Tis the same little mules on the road to Cook's Peak.
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
'Tis the same little mules on the road to Cook's Peak.

And when with the driving of stage I am through
I will to my two little mules bid adieu.
And hope that those creatures, so gentle and meek,
Will have a good friend on the road to Cook's Peak.
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
Will have a good friend on the road to Cook's Peak.

Now all kind friends that travel about,
Come take a trip on the Wallis stage route.
With a plenty of grit, they never get weak,—
Those two little mules on the road to Cook's Peak.
On the road to Cook's Peak,���
On the road to Cook's Peak,—
Those two little mules on the road to Cook's Peak.


'Twas a calm and peaceful evening in a camp called Araphoe,
And the whiskey was a running with a soft and gentle flow,
The music was a-ringing in a dance hall cross the way,
And the dancers was a-swinging just as close as they could lay.

People gathered round the tables, a-betting with their wealth,
And near by stood a stranger who had come there for his health.
He was a peaceful little stranger though he seemed to be unstrung;
For just before he'd left his home he'd separated with one lung.

Nearby at a table sat a man named Hankey Dean,
A tougher man says Hankey, buckskin chaps had never seen.
But Hankey was a gambler and he was plum sure to lose;
For he had just departed with a sun-dried stack of blues.

He rose from the table, on the floor his last chip flung,
And cast his fiery glimmers on the man with just one lung.
"No wonder I've been losing every bet I made tonight
When a sucker and a tenderfoot was between me and the light.

Look here, little stranger, do you know who I am?"
"Yes, and I don't care a copper colored damn."
The dealers stopped their dealing and the players held their breath;
For words like those to Hankey were a sudden flirt with death.

"Listen, gentle stranger, I'll read my pedigree:
I'm known on handling tenderfeet and worser men than thee;
The lions on the mountains, I've drove them to their lairs;
The wild-cats are my playmates, and I've wrestled grizzly bears;

"Why, the centipedes can't mar my tough old hide,
And rattle snakes have bit me and crawled off and died.
I'm as wild as the horse that roams the range;
The moss grows on my teeth and wild blood flows through my veins.

"I'm wild and woolly and full of fleas
And never curried below the knees.
Now, little stranger, if you'll give me your address,—
How would you like to go, by fast mail or express?"

The little stranger who was leaning on the door
Picked up a hand of playing cards that were scattered on the floor.
Picking out the five of spades, he pinned it to the door
And then stepped back some twenty paces or more.

He pulled out his life-preserver, and with a "one, two, three, four,"
Blotted out a spot with every shot;
For he had traveled with a circus and was a fancy pistol shot.
"I have one more left, kind sir, if you wish to call the play."

Then Hanke stepped up to the stranger and made a neat apology,
"Why, the lions in the mountains,—that was nothing but a joke.
Never mind about the extra, you are a bad shooting man,
And I'm a meek little child and as harmless as a lamb."


I have been thinking to-day,
As my thoughts began to stray,
Of your memory to me worth more than gold.
As you ride across the plain,
'Mid the sunshine and the rain,—
You will be rounded up in glory bye and bye.

You will be rounded up in glory bye and bye,
You will be rounded up in glory bye and bye,
When the milling time is o'er
And you will stampede no more,
When he rounds you up within the Master's fold.

As you ride across the plain
With the cowboys that have fame,
And the storms and the lightning flash by.
We shall meet to part no more
Upon the golden shore
When he rounds us up in glory bye and bye.

May we lift our voices high
To that sweet bye and bye,
And be known by the brand of the Lord;
For his property we are,
And he will know us from afar
When he rounds us up in glory bye and bye.


It was on a cold and stormy night
I saw and heard an awful sight;
The lightning flashed and thunder rolled
Around my poor benighted soul.

I thought I heard a mournful sound
Among the groans still lower down,
That awful sight no tongue can tell
Is this,—the place called Drunkard's Hell.

I thought I saw the gulf below
Where all the dying drunkards go.
I raised my hand and sad to tell
It was the place called Drunkard's Hell.

I traveled on and got there at last
And started to take a social glass;
But every time I started,—well,
I thought about the Drunkard's Hell.

I dashed it down to leave that place
And started to seek redeeming grace.
I felt like Paul, at once I'd pray
Till all my sins were washed away.

I then went home to change my life
And see my long neglected wife.
I found her weeping o'er the bed
Because her infant babe was dead.

I told her not to mourn and weep
Because her babe had gone to sleep;
Its happy soul had fled away
To dwell with Christ till endless day.

I taken her by her pale white hand,
She was so weak she could not stand;
I laid her down and breathed a prayer
That God might bless and save her there.

I then went to the Temperance hall
And taken a pledge among them all.
They taken me in with a willing hand
And taken me in as a temperance man.

So seven long years have passed away
Since first I bowed my knees to pray;
So now I live a sober life
With a happy home and a loving wife.


I am a wild and roving lad,
A wild and rambling lad I'll be;
For I do love a little girl
And she does love me.

"O Willie, O Willie, I love you so,
I love you more than I do know;
And if my tongue could tell you so
I'd give the world to let you know."

When Julia's old father came this to know,—
That Julia and Willie were loving so,—
He ripped and swore among them all,
And swore he'd use a cannon ball.

She wrote Willie a letter with her right hand
And sent it to him in the western land.
"Oh, read these lines, sweet William dear.
For this is the last of me you will hear."

He read those lines while he wept and cried,
"Ten thousand times I wish I had died",
He read those lines while he wept and said,
"Ten thousand times I wish I were dead."

When her old father came home that night
He called for Julia, his heart's delight,
He ran up stairs and her door he broke
And found her hanging by her own bed rope.

And with his knife he cut her down,
And in her bosom this note he found
Saying, "Dig my grave both deep and wide
And bury sweet Willie by my side."

They dug her grave both deep and wide
And buried sweet Willie by her side;
And on her grave set a turtle dove
To show the world they died for love.

Everything for Guitarists, at the Best Prices in Town!


I'll sing you a song that has often been sung
About an old Mormon they called Brigham Young.
Of wives he had many who were strong in the lungs,
Which Brigham found out by the length of their tongues.
Ri tu ral, lol, lu ral.

Oh, sad was the life of a Mormon to lead,
Yet Brigham adhered all his life to his creed.
He said 'twas such fun, and true, without doubt,
To see the young wives knock the old ones about.
Ri tu ral, lol, lu ral.

One day as old Brigham sat down to his dinner
He saw a young wife who was not getting thinner;
When the elders cried out, one after the other,
By the holy, she wants to go home to her mother.
Ri tu ral, lol, lu ral.

Old Brigham replied, which can't be denied,
He couldn't afford to lose such a bride.
Then do not be jealous but banish your fears;
For the tree is well known by the fruit that it bears.
Ri tu ral, lol, lu ral.

That I love one and all you very well know,
Then do not provoke me or my anger will show.
What must be our fate if found here in a row,
If Uncle Sam comes with his row-de-dow-dow.
Ri tu ral, lol, lu ral.

Then cease all your quarrels and do not despair,
To meet Uncle Sam I will quickly prepare.
Hark! I hear Yankee Doodle played over the hills!
Ah! here's the enemy with their powder and pills.
Ri tu ral, lol, lu ral.


Now Brigham Young is a Mormon bold,
And a leader of the roaring rams,
And shepherd of a lot of fine tub sheep
And a lot of pretty little lambs.
Oh, he lives with his five and forty wives,
In the city of the Great Salt Lake,
Where they breed and swarm like hens on a farm
And cackle like ducks to a drake.

Oh Brigham, Brigham Young,
It's a miracle how you survive,
With your roaring rams and your pretty little lambs
And your five and forty wives.

Number forty-five is about sixteen,
Number one is sixty and three;
And they make such a riot, how he keeps them quiet
Is a downright mystery to me.
For they clatter and they chaw and they jaw, jaw, jaw,
And each has a different desire;
It would aid the renown of the best shop in town
To supply them with half they desire.

Now, Brigham Young was a stout man once,
And now he is thin and old;
And I am sorry to state he is bald on the pate,
Which once had a covering of gold.
For his oldest wives won't have white wool,
And his young ones won't have red,
So, with tearing it out, and taking turn about,
They have torn all the hair off his head.

Now, the oldest wives sing songs all day,
And the young ones all sing songs;
And amongst such a crowd he has it pretty loud,—
They're as noisy as Chinese gongs.
And when they advance for a Mormon dance
He is filled with the direst alarms;
For they are sure to end the night in a tabernacle fight
To see who has the fairest charms.

Now, if any man here envies Brigham Young
Let him go to the Great Salt Lake;
And if he has the leisure to enjoy his pleasure,
He'll find it a great mistake.
One wife at a time, so says my rhyme,
Is enough,—there's no denial;—
So, before you strive to be lord of forty-five,
Take two for a month on trial.


I am an old man some sixty years old
And that you can plain-li see,
But when I was a young man ten years old
They made a stable boy of me.

I have seen the fastest horses
That made the fastest time,
But I never saw one in all my life
Like that old gray mule of mine.

On a Sunday morn I dress myself,
A-goin' out to ride;
Now, my old mule is as gray as a bird,
Then he is full of his pride.

He never runs away with you,
Never cuts up any shine;
For the only friend I have on earth
Is this old gray mule of mine.

Now my old gray mule is dead and gone,
Gone to join the heavenly band,
With silver shoes upon his feet
To dance on the golden strand.


When gold was found in forty-eight the people thought 'twas gas,
And some were fools enough to think the lumps were only brass.
But soon they all were satisfied and started off to mine;
They bought their ships, came round the Horn, in the days of forty-nine.

Then they thought of what they'd been told
When they started after gold,—
That they never in the world would make a pile.

The people all were crazy then, they didn't know what to do.
They sold their farms for just enough to pay their passage through.
They bid their friends a long farewell, said, "Dear wife, don't you cry,
I'll send you home the yellow lumps a piano for to buy."

The poor, the old, and the rotten scows were advertised to sail
From New Orleans with passengers, but they must pump and bail.
The ships were crowded more than full, and some hung on behind,
And others dived off from the wharf and swam till they were blind.

With rusty pork and stinking beef and rotten, wormy bread!
The captains, too, that never were up as high as the main mast head!
The steerage passengers would rave and swear that they'd paid their passage
And wanted something more to eat beside bologna sausage.

They then began to cross the plain with oxen, hollowing "haw."
And steamers then began to run as far as Panama.
And there for months the people staid, that started after gold,
And some returned disgusted with the lies that had been told.

The people died on every route, they sickened and died like sheep;
And those at sea before they died were launched into the deep;
And those that died while crossing the plains fared not so well as that,
For a hole was dug and they thrown in along the miserable Platte.

The ships at last began to arrive and the people began to inquire.
They say that flour is a dollar a pound, do you think it will be any higher?
And to carry their blankets and sleep outdoors, it seemed so very droll!
Both tired and mad, without a cent, they damned the lousy hole.


I'm a happy miner,
I love to sing and dance.
I wonder what my love would say
If she could see my pants
With canvas patches on my knees
And one upon the stern?
I'll wear them when I'm digging here
And home when I return.

So I get in a jovial way,
I spend my money free.
And I've got plenty!
Will you drink lager beer with me?

She writes about her poodle dog;
But never thinks to say,
"Oh, do come home, my honey dear,
I'm pining all away."
I'll write her half a letter,
Then give the ink a tip.
If that don't bring her to her milk
I'll coolly let her rip.

They wish to know if I can cook
And what I have to eat,
And tell me should I take a cold
Be sure and soak my feet.
But when they talk of cooking
I'm mighty hard to beat,
I've made ten thousand loaves of bread
The devil couldn't eat.

I like a lazy partner
So I can take my ease,
Lay down and talk of golden home,
As happy as you please;
Without a thing to eat or drink,
Away from care and grief,—
I'm fat and sassy, ragged, too,
And tough as Spanish beef.

No matter whether rich or poor,
I'm happy as a clam.
I wish my friends at home could look
And see me as I am.
With woolen shirt and rubber boots,
In mud up to my knees,
And lice as large as chili beans
Fighting with the fleas.

I'll mine for half an ounce a day,
Perhaps a little less;
But when it comes to China pay
I cannot stand the press.
Like thousands there, I'll make a pile,
If I make one at all,
About the time the allied forces
Take Sepasterpol.

Branding time at the XIT.


There's no respect for youth or age
On board the California stage,
But pull and haul about the seats
As bed-bugs do about the sheets.

They started as a thieving line
In eighteen hundred and forty-nine;
All opposition they defy,
So the people must root hog or die.

You're crowded in with Chinamen,
As fattening hogs are in a pen;
And what will more a man provoke
Is musty plug tobacco smoke.

The ladies are compelled to sit
With dresses in tobacco spit;
The gentlemen don't seem to care,
But talk on politics and swear.

The dust is deep in summer time,
The mountains very hard to climb,
And drivers often stop and yell,
"Get out, all hands, and push up hill."

The drivers, when they feel inclined,
Will have you walking on behind,
And on your shoulders lug a pole
To help them out some muddy hole.

They promise when your fare you pay,
"You'll have to walk but half the way";
Then add aside, with cunning laugh,
"You'll have to push the other half."


My country, 'tis of thee,
Land where things used to be
So cheap, we croak.
Land of the mavericks,
Land of the puncher's tricks,
Thy culture-inroad pricks
The hide of this peeler-bloke.

Some of the punchers swear
That what they eat and wear
Takes all their calves.
Others vow that they
Eat only once a day
Jerked beef and prairie hay
Washed down with tallow salves.

These salty-dogs
To pull them out the grave
Just one Kiowa spur.
They know they still will dine
On flesh and beef the time;
But give us, Lord divine,
One "hen-fruit stir."

Our father's land, with thee,
Best trails of liberty,
We chose to stop.
We don't exactly like
So soon to henceward hike,
But hell, we'll take the pike
If this don't stop.

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