Archive for the 'Cowboy' Category



Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie


h1 Thursday, September 1st, 2011

“Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie” is said to be the most famous cowboy song. It was derived from a sea lament called “The Sailor’s Grave” or “The Ocean Burial” which began with the line: “O bury me not in the deep deep sea.”

A number of popular performers have recorded versions of “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie” including Moe Bandy, Johnny Cash, Burl Ives, Tex Ritter and Roy Rogers. Some even turn the meaning around by saying “Bury Me Out On The Lone Prairie”

Lyrics:
(Capo on the 4th fret)
[C] “O bury me not on the lone prairie.”
These words came [Dm] low and [G7] [C] mournfully
[C] From the pallid lips of the youth who lay
On his dying [Dm] bed at the [G7] close of [C] day.

He had wasted and pined ’til o’er his brow
Death’s shades were slowly gathering now
He thought of home and loved ones nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

“O bury me not on the lone prairie
Where coyotes howl and the wind blows free
In a narrow grave just six by three—
O bury me not on the lone prairie”

“It matters not, I’ve been told,
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold
Yet grant, o grant, this wish to me
O bury me not on the lone prairie.”

“I’ve always wished to be laid when I died
In a little churchyard on the green hillside
By my father’s grave, there let me be,
O bury me not on the lone prairie.”

“I wish to lie where a mother’s prayer
And a sister’s tear will mingle there.
Where friends can come and weep o’er me.
O bury me not on the lone prairie.”

“For there’s another whose tears will shed.
For the one who lies in a prairie bed.
It breaks me heart to think of her now,
She has curled these locks, she has kissed this brow.”

“O bury me not…” And his voice failed there.
But they took no heed to his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three
They buried him there on the lone prairie.

And the cowboys now as they roam the plain,
For they marked the spot where his bones were lain,
Fling a handful o’ roses o’er his grave
With a prayer to God his soul to save.

Old Chisholm Trail


h1 Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

From Wikipedia:
The Chisholm Trail was a trail used in the later 19th century to drive cattle overland from ranches in Texas to Kansas railheads. The trail stretched from southern Texas across the Red River, and on to the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway in Abilene, Kansas, where the cattle would be sold and shipped eastward.

The trail is named for Jesse Chisholm who had built several trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma before the American Civil War. He died in 1868, too soon to ever drive cattle on the trail.

Today, most historians consider the Chisholm Trail to have started at the Rio Grande in Texas or at San Antonio, Texas. From 1867 to 1871, the trail ended in Abilene, Kansas. Later, Newton, Kansas, and Wichita, Kansas, each served as the end of the trail. From 1883 to 1887, the end of the trail was Caldwell, Kansas. Ellsworth, Kansas is also considered a major influence of the trail.

In Texas, there were hundreds of feeder trails heading north to one of the main cattle trails. In the early 1840s, most cattle were driven up the Shawnee Trail. The Chisholm Trail was previously used by Indian hunting and raiding parties; it went north from Austin through Waco and Fort Worth. The trail crossed into Indian Territory (present-day west-central Oklahoma) near Red River Station (in present-day Montague County, Texas) and entered Kansas near Caldwell. Through Oklahoma, the Chisholm Trail generally followed the route of US Highway 81 through present-day towns of El Reno and Enid.

On the long trips – up to two months – the cattlemen would face many difficulties. They had to cross major rivers like the Arkansas and the Red, and innumerable smaller creeks, plus the topographic challenges of canyons, badlands, and low mountain ranges. The weather was less than ideal. In addition to these natural dangers, there were rustlers and occasional conflicts with Native Americans if a trail boss failed to pay a toll of 10 cents a head to local tribes for the right to cross Indian lands (Oklahoma at that time was Indian Territory, governed from Fort Smith, Arkansas). Finally, there was the natural contrariness of the half-wild Texas longhorn cattle themselves, which were prone to stampede with little provocation.

Lyrics:

The Old Chisholm Trail

[G] Well come along boys and listen to my tale
Tell you ’bout my troubles on the Old Chisholm Trail
[D] Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay [G] yippie yay
[D] Ti-yi-yippie yippie [G] yay

I started up the trail October 23rd
Started up the trail with the 2U herd
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

Got a ten dollar horse a forty dollar saddle
Goin’ down to punch them Texas cattle
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

Woke up one morning on the old Chisholm Trail
Rope in my hand and a cow by the tail
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

I’m up in the morning before daylight
Afore I sleep the moon is shining bright
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

Old Ben Bolt he was a fine old man
You knowed there be whiskey wherever he’d land
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

It’s cloudy in the west a looking like rain
My long coat slicker’s in the wagon again
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

Feet in the stirrups and my seat on the saddle
Hung and rattled with them long horned cattle
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

The wind commenced to blow and the rain began to fall
Looked like we was gonna lose ‘em all
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

Well I jumped in the saddle grab ahold of the horn
The best balmed cowboy ever was born
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay
Come a ti-yi-yippie yippie yay yippie yay
Ti-yi-yippie yippie yay

I Know Where I’m Going


h1 Sunday, June 1st, 2008


Song page from the Old Town School of Folk Music circa 1957

The picture above tells the whole story. I learned this song at the Old Town School of Folk Music in the late 50s. If you right click (ctrl click for Apple) and save the image you’ll have a full scan of the page from the book I got at the Old Town School complete with notes and chords. I’m doing it in the key of F# instead of C. It’s a pretty love song for June.
Lyrics:

I know where I’m going
I know who’s going with me
I know who I love
But Dear Lord knows who I’ll marry

I have stockings of silk
Shoes of bright green leather
Combs to buckle my hair
And a ring on every finger

Feather beds are soft
And painted rooms are bonny
But I would leave them all
For my handsome winsome Johnny

Some say he’s bad
And I say he’s bonny
Fairest of them all
Is my handsome winsome Johnny

I know where I’m going
I know who’s going with me
I know who I love
But Dear Lord knows who I’ll marry

Red River Valley


h1 Thursday, September 1st, 2005

leadingpony.gif

I remember watching Roy Rogers when I was a Chicago cowboy in the 1940s. Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers sang Red River Valley in a movie by the same name. This song always reminds me of my childhood fantasies of riding the range with a cowboy hat and a good chestnut mare.
Lyrics:
Red River Valley

[G] From this valley they say you are going
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile [D]
[G] For they say you are taking the [C] sunshine
That has [D] brightened our path for a [G] while

Come and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
But remember the Red River Valley
And the cowboy who loved you so true

Won't you think of the valley you're leaving
Oh how lonely, how sad it will be?
Oh think of the fond heart you're breaking
And the grief you are causing to me

As you go to your home by the ocean
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley
And the love we exchanged mid the flowers

Repeat first verse

Streets of Laredo


h1 Saturday, September 1st, 2001

Laredo.jpg

The first time I heard this song, I was six years old, living in Tarrytown New York. My parents had an old friend named Jack Morris who had just gotten remarried, and they were coming over for dinner that night. Jack's new wife was pretty, with long black hair. She played guitar and sang. Her name was Ruby Norris-Morris.

Ruby noticed that I was into cowboys from the way I was dressed and all the cowboy paraphernalia in my room. She asked if I'd like to hear a real cowboy song. 'Yes,' I said, not knowing quite what to expect. By the time she got to the second verse, a lump the size of an apple formed in my throat and I began to cry. It was such a beautiful melody and the story was so sad.

I recorded this in Sundance Utah, at the famous Robert Redford multi-purpose facility, on our way to Salt Lake City for a concert.

Lyrics:
E A E B7
As I walked out on the streets of Laredo,

E A E B7
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
E A B7 E
I spied a young cowboy all wrapped in white linen
E A B7 E
Wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay.

'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.'

'Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin,
Get six pretty maidens to sing me a love 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.'

'It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing
Once in the saddle I used to go gay,
First down to the dram-house and then to the card house
Got shot in the breast, I am dying today.'

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.

Colorado Trail, The


h1 Sunday, April 1st, 2001

A cowboy love song. All sources point to a cowboy from Duluth, MN whose name is unknown. He was brought to the hospital after being thrown and trampled by what he called 'a terribly bad hoss.' A surgeon, Dr. T.L. Chapman, treated the wrangler for 'bones of both upper and lower legs broken, fractures of the collar bone on both sides, numerous fractures of both arms and wrists, and many scars from lacerations.'

As the unknown cowboy convalesced and his strength returned, he sang across the hospital ward in a mellowed tenor voice, and the other patients always called for more. One of the songs he sang was Colorado Trail.

Camilla and I have added two new verses to the traditional first verse. I chose this song because we'll be driving from Florida to Colorado in April to play a concert at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Auraria Campus, in Denver on April 5th.

Lyrics:
D G D

Eyes like a morning star

G D

Cheeks like a rose

D G D

Laura was a pretty girl

G A

Everybody knows

D G D

Weep all you little rains

G D

Wail, winds, wail

D G D G

All along, along along

Em D

The Colorado trail.

Saddle up my dapple-gray

The sky still red with dawn

Keep a steady pace all day

Singing my sweet song

Riding through the purple hills

Just like Roy and Dale

All along, along along

The Colorado trail.

Im going to find a silver mine

Then Ill stake my claim

Send it all to Laura

Shower her like rain

Hurry back on home to her

Speeding oer the rail

All along, along along

The Colorado trail.

2001 McGuinn Music Traditional / New lyrics by

C. McGuinn, R. McGuinn

Lilly of the West


h1 Saturday, April 1st, 2000

Lilly.gif

I don't know the origin of this song, but it has the same basic tune as The Buffalo Skinners. It's a sad tale of betrayal and a crime of passion. In France, I'm told they have different penalties for such crimes. The photo is of a Bulgarian Bluegrass musician who's named her latest CD after the title of this song. Click her picture to learn more.
Lyrics:
Am C G
When first I came to Louisville
F Am
Some pleasure there to find
C F G
A damsel there from Lexington
Am
Was pleasin' to my mind
Am C G
Her ruby lips her rosy cheeks
Am
Like arrows pierced my breast
Am C G
The name she bore was Flora
F Am
The Lilly of the West

I courted lovely Flora
Some pleasure there to find
But she turned onto another man
Which sore distressed my mind

She stole away my liberty
Deprived me of my rest
Then go my lovely Flora
The Lilly of the West

Way down in yonder shady grove
A man of low degree
Conversin' with my Flora there
It seemed so strange to me

The answer that she gave to him
It sore did me oppress
I was betrayed by Flora
The Lilly of the West

I stepped up to my rival
My dagger in my hand
I seized him by the collar
And I boldly bade him stand

Be mad to desperation
I pierced him in his breast
Then go my lovely Flora
The Lilly of the West

And then I had to stand my trial
I had to make my plea
They put me in the criminal box
And then commenced on me

Although she swore my life away
Deprived me of my rest
Still I love my faithless Flora
The Lilly of the West

Traditional / Arr. Roger McGuinn (C) 2000 McGuinn Music

Get Along Little Dogies


h1 Thursday, July 1st, 1999

Wy1.jpg

During a recent Western concert tour, traveling
through Wyoming, I remembered this song. It’s one that I loved when I
was six years old, and a sidewalk cowboy in Chicago. The recording was
done on location in Wyoming. The picture above is from the grounds of
the original Fort Bridger on the Oregon Trail.
Lyrics:
G D G
As I walked out one morning for pleasure
G D G
I spied a young cowboy a-ridin’ along
G D G
His hat was pulled back and his spurs was a-jinglin’
G D G
And as he approached me a-singin’ this song

D G
Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
D C G
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
D G
Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
D C G
For you know Wyoming will be your new home

It’s whoopin’ and yellin’ and a-drivin’ them dogies
Oh how I wish that you would go on
It’s a-whoopin’ and a-yellin’ and a-punchin’ them dogies
For you know Wyoming will be your new home

Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
For you know Wyoming will be your new home

Some boys goes up the trail for pleasure
But that’s where you get it most awfully wrong
For you haven’t any idea the trouble they give us
While we go drivin’ them dogies along

Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
For you know Wyoming will be your new home

Your mother she was raised down in Texas
Where the jimson weed and sand-burrs grow
Now we’ll fix you up on prickly pear and cholla
Till your ready for the trail to Idaho

Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopee ti yi yo git along little dogies
For you know Wyoming will be your new home

� 1999 McGuinn Music / Roger McGuinn

Old Texas


h1 Monday, March 1st, 1999

cowboy.gif

I first heard this song at the Latin School of
Chicago. It was an autumn afternoon and my music teacher, Ms. Ganter and
I were discussing folk music. She had her guitar with her and showed me
this simple but lovely chord pattern. It’s in the key of F, but is
played in the D position with a capo on the third fret. The D chord is a
D6 with the open B string and the A7 is played with the open G string.
Lyrics:
D6
I’m going to leave Old Texas now
A7 D6
They got no place for the long horned cow

They’ve roped and fenced all over the range
A7 D6
And the people there are all so strange

I’ll take my horse and I’ll take my rope
I’ll hit the trail upon a lope
I’ll bid adios to the Alamo
I’ll turn my face down to Mexico

I’m going to leave Old Texas now
They got no place for the long horned cow
They’ve roped and fenced all over the range
And the people there are all so strange

� 1999 McGuinn Music – Roger McGuinn

Brazos River, The


h1 Friday, January 1st, 1999

Brazos.jpg

Frank Hamilton, and his wife Mary stopped by the house to say hello. I hadn't seen Frank since the mid 60's in Los Angeles, and we had a great time catching up, although we barely scratched the surface.

Frank had taught me to play guitar, and banjo at the Old Town School of Folk Music, in Chicago, from 1957 to 1960.

He showed me a song that he'd performed with the Weavers, and said that Pete Seeger had bemoaned the fact that this song hadn't been published in Singout, and that it was in danger of getting lost. That makes it an ideal candidate for the Folk Den.

Here are Frank and Mary Hamilton singing The Brazos River, with me playing 12-string and banjo backup.

Lyrics:
A D A
The cool Angelina runs lofty and gliding
A F#m B7 E
The crooked Colorado runs weaving and winding
A F#m D A
The Red River runs rusty, the Wichita clear
A F#m E A
But Down by the Brazos, I courted my dear

A D A E
I la lie lee lee lee give me your hand
A D A E A
I la lie lee lee lee give me your hand
A D A E
I la lie lee lee lee give me your hand
A D E A
There's many a river that waters the land

She hugged me and she kissed me
And she called me her dandy
The Brazos is muddy,
And sometimes quick sandy

She hugged me and she kissed me
And called me her own
But down by the Brazos
She left me alone

Now the girls of them rivers
They're plump and they're pretty
The Supine and the Sulfur
Have many a beauty

I may wander the rivers
And many a shore,
But down by the Brazos
I'll wander no more

I la lie lee lee lee give me your hand
I la lie lee lee lee give me your hand
I la lie lee lee lee give me your hand
There's many a river that waters the land X2