CowboyPoetry.com    Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

CHRIS MORTENSEN
Avon, Utah
About Chris Mortensen
Chris Mortensen's music

 

 

 

See Him See It  
1st Verse
It was Friday night at the Little Buckaroo rodeo
He sat behind the chutes and waited for his turn to go
And when that sheep exploded from the gate, the boy held on
He rode him for the full eight seconds and later learned he'd won
 
2nd Verse
He strode into the arena, so that he could claim his prize
A shiny new gold buckle, just for him, in jumbo size
And though he called me papa, for a moment I was sad
This was just the kind of moment that I'd wqnt to share with Dad
 
1st Chorus
And I wish he could have been there to see it
But then again, I think that he did
And I really wish somehow I could see him see it
And see the grin light up his face, just like the one on that kid
 
3rd verse
Well, that big new mutton bustin' buckle planted a seed
And a little boy got a little taste of what it feels like to succeed
He always did his best, he always tried and he tried
Today he's vowed to give all of his best to his new bride
 
2nd Chorus
And I wish that Dad was here now to see it
But then again, I think that he can
And I really wish somehow I could see him see it
And see the pride in his eyes as that boy becomes a man
 
Bridge
Now every grandpa has to face his setting sun
But it will shine on when that mutton buster holds his newborn son
 
3rd Chorus
And I hope that Dad will be there to see it
Somehow I just know that he will
And I really wish somehow I could see him see it
I guess I'll just have to wait until
My own sun sets to share that thrill
 
Tag
It was Friday night at the Little Buckaroo rodeo........

2010, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Chris comments: The inspiration for this song came at a local kid's rodeo, where my oldest grandson, Ethan, then 6, won the mutton bustin' competition. My father had passed away shortly prior to this event. I told my wife I wished he could have been there to see it. She replied that she wished she could see his face as he watched. I had to drive Ethan home, over 300 miles, the next day, and the lyrics came to me on the drive.

 


Old Hat

1st verse
I came home from work, sat down to supper, tuned in to watch the news
And in between bites, my ears picked up somethin' that left my poor heart feelin' bruised
I turned up the volume and hoped what the anchorman said somehow just wasn't true
Then tried to imagine what western music will be like without Chris LeDoux
 
2nd verse
He threw on the saddle, stepped in the stirrup, and swung on to take his last ride
And in a few moments, just maybe eight seconds, he managed to cross that divide
He played with the cards he was given, he never complained 'bout the deal
He cashed in his chips, and now he's a slidin' down the other side of the hill
 
1st chorus
But who's gonna sing to the cowboys, and tell of the rodeo ways
And sing of the life lived beneath western skies, ridin' broncs and gatherin' strays
Many will follow the hoofprints, one fact is sad, but it's true
No other will sing like the voice out from under the old hat of Chris LeDoux
 
bridge
Bang a drum for the Cadillac Cowboy and for all of the things he did best
For old Bareback Jack, and the one road man, who was tougher than all the rest
 
2nd chorus
But who's gonna sing to the cowboys, and tell of the rodeo ways
And sing of the life lived beneath western skies, ridin' broncs and gatherin' strays
And who's gonna head for the mountains to answer the call of the wild
And ride for a fall, be the voice of us all, every western child
Many will follow the hoofprints, one fact is sad, but it's true
No other will sing like the voice out from under the old hat of Chris LeDoux
No other will sing like the voice out from under the old hat of Chris LeDoux

2010, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Chris comments: One night, in March of 2005, I came home from work, sat down to supper, and heard of the death of Chris LeDoux on the news, just as the song says. I wrote most of the lyrics that night in the bathtub.

I had met Chris about 13 years earlier. My former band, Diamondback, was set to warm up for Chris LeDoux and Western Underground that night, at Utah State University. When Chris arrived for the sound check, he sat down and talked with me for about 15 minutes, just like we were old buddies. He was excited that night, because he had just been invited to record "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy" with Garth Brooks. I was much impressed with his down-to-earth manner and his genuine offer of camaraderie that night. His performance was also riveting, as always.

He was the real deal: a real cowboy, and a great songwriter and performer. He lived with a passion for the western way of life, and turned countless others on to the lifestyle we love with his signature "Rodeo Rock and Roll."

I made a point to use some of his lines and song titles in the lyrics. One of my favorite Chris LeDoux songs will always be "Under This Old Hat." As the last line of my tribute to him says, "No other will sing like the voice out from under the Old Hat of Chris LeDoux."

And, as a side note, to anyone who reads this far: God bless Brenn Hill. He is, in my opinion, the greatest living songwriter of western music. Equine is a masterpiece! Go Team Briggs (teambriggs.org)!

[Ed. note: Learn more about Chris LeDoux at the official site, www.chrisledoux.com.]


 

 

Ridin' High

Chorus
Ridin' high up in the mountains
Feels so good I feel like shoutin'
Leave my cares in the valley far below
Ridin' high up in the mountains

1st verse
Load those ponies in the trailer
Watch that eastern sky grow paler
Race the daylight up the canyon
All my worries are abandoned

2nd verse
I just point old Blaze, he steps out walkin'
Ain't no sound, no need for talkin'
Just muffled hoofbeats on the game trail
And clean, fresh mountain air that we smell

chorus
When I'm ridin' high up in the mountains
Feels so good I feel like shoutin'
Leave my cares in the valley far below
Ridin' high up in the mountains

bridge
Ridin' high, ridin' high
Eye level with the eagle as she flies

3rd verse
Camp out underneath the stars
Ain't no sound from passin' cars
Just coyotes howlin' in the moonlight
I can't believe the stars are so bright

chorus
When we're ridin' high up in the mountains
Feels so good I feel like shoutin'
Leave my cares in the valley far below
Ridin' high up in the mountains

2010, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Chris comments:  "Ridin High" was inspired by one of my favorite pastimes; riding my horses in the mountains. Here in northern Utah there are countless good trails to ride on into the high country. I ride with friends for pleasure, to help move cattle, and to scout and hunt for elk and deer. I belong to the Backcountry Horsemen of America, an organization that is dedicated to perpetuating the use of horses and other pack animals on state and federal lands. BCHA promotes education, cooperation, and using these trails and lands with as little impact as possible. Members donate many hours for service projects, such as trail improvements and trailhead equine facilities.

 

 

Upon My Horse's Back

I walked into the auction barn,
  my expectations high
I got a number, took a seat,
  and wondered if I'd buy
I'd spent some time before the sale,
  all during the preview
Compiling notes, comparing mounts;
  I'd narrowed it to two
 
A big and strong young lineback dun
  had spirit, speed, and flash
The tobiano bay paint colt
  seemed worthy of my cash
The sale began, the gavel fell,
  the first horse soon was bought
For twenty seven hundred, man,
  it sure seemed like a lot
 
The lineback dun was fifth in line,
  he sold for seven grand
I hung my head and wondered
  how much more that I could stand
I knew the paint was kinda green,
  and just a three year old
But had a stellar pedigree,
  and soon he would be sold
 
Someone who had deeper pockets
  was sure to outbid me
I knew well what my limit was;
  I'd have to wait and see
But one thing in my favor,
  that I hoped would work out fine
Was the fact the bay paint gelding
  wore the number twenty nine
 
My thinking was, that most
  of the big spenders would be gone
And maybe I could really get
  what I was bidding on
He pranced into the ring
  and all the cowboys turned to look
A real eye catcher, better than
  the picture in the book
 
With perfect composition
  and the way he held his head
Was proud and strong, with soft, kind eye
  and flawlessly well bred
The bidding started at a grand,
  and quickly raised up higher
My hand went up repeatedly,
  so did another buyer's
 
And then I had an unforeseen
  occurrence of sheer luck
The beautiful paint gelding changed
  his trot into a buck
The other buyer chickened out,
  he sat on his right hand
I bought a green, young buckin' horse
  for just under two grand
 
I took him home and tried to ride him
  each and every day
We had some disagreements
  and some stress along the way
But soon I had a partner
  who would rarely give me flack
And I loved every moment spent
  upon my horse's back
 
We scouted alpine basins,
  far above the summer heat
Finding all the secret places
  big muley bucks retreat
Fall would come, and sometimes
 there were elk quarters to pack
Tied up in the panniers strapped
  upon my horse's back
 
Sometimes there were cows to push
  we got to ride with Jay
And play the role of cowboy
  from a distant, bygone day
And herd the dogies through the sage
  and up the quakie draws
Or just take in the scenery
  when on a ridge we'd pause
 
He packed me through the Wind Rivers
  adventure at it's best
And sky high in the Uintas,
  up almost to their crest
He'd drag a dry, old fallen log
  to feed our nightly fire
He's always willing to go on;
  he never seems to tire
 
He doesn't mind it, when some pals
  of mine he's asked to pack
And they too, loved the time they spent
  upon my horse's back
Now, at twenty, he will stand
  while grandkids climb aboard
And walk real slow in the round pen;
  he's patient, never bored
 
I still can always trust his calm
  when we're in a tight spot
And he trusts me, a welcome change
  from other nags I've fought
And sometimes I think of that day,
  and of the bid I won
And can't help wonder how it might
  have turned out with the dun
 
There's no use dwelling on the past,
  considering what ifs
It's better to be thankful for
  life's never ending gifts
Of all the memories that I own,
  and I've got quite a stack
It seems the very best were made
  upon my horse's back
 
2011, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Chris comments
:  This poem is a true story about my favorite horse, Paleface Preacher. We have had many years of great rides together, and I hope for many more.
 

 

Guitars, Rifles, and Horses

chorus

Take guitars, rifles, and horses
They're three of the icons of the west
Give me guitars, rifles and horses
They're three of the things that I like best

1st verse

I love my jumbo Taylor, with a brand new set of strings
Tune her up, strum her hard, listen to her sing
With a neck that plays so easy, it almost plays itself
Can't leave her in the case for long, can't put her on the shelf

chorus

2nd verse

I love my Browning A-Bolt southpaw .270
She shoots real flat, right on the mark
But won't kick back at me
And way out in the desert
We have a lot of fun
My little .204 tips over rabbits on the run

chorus

He's shiny and he's sturdy
Just shy of sixteen hands
He's got a lot of motor
And he covers lots of land
And maybe he just likes me
Or maybe it's just luck
It's been at least five years now
Since Blaze has tried to buck

chorus

bridge

Put the rifle in the scabbard
Mount up before daylight
Hunt all day, play tunes around
The campfire's glow at night

chorus

Take guitars, rifles, and horses
They're three of the icons of the west
Give me guitars, rifles, and horses
They're three of the things that I like best
They're three of the things I love the best
 
2011, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

Chris comments:  "Guitars, Rifles, and Horses" was an easy song to write. Three of my favorite things are in the title. I love to play music, and have been playing in bands since I was a teenager. The past few years I have played numerous solo gigs as well, and have put more time and effort into songwriting. So far, over 50 songs! I have also been a hunter my entire life, and love to use horses to get far into the backcountry. An ideal evening is one spent high in the mountains swapping lies around the campfire. It's even better if I have room to take a guitar along, and sing some songs by the fire's glow.
 

 

Bear Lake is Still Blue

1st verse

A hot summer day
We were out for a drive
On the east shore of Bear Lake
We were so young and alive
We could hear the waves breaking
With the windows rolled down
Pulled off on the shoulder
Where there was no one around


2nd verse

She gave a smile and a wink
Said, "Let's go for a swim"
It was a matter of seconds
'Til we both had jumped in
To the cool azure water
Embraced by the blue
And the warm wind of summer
Back in seventy two


1st chorus

Green eyes, dark hair
Skin bronzed by the sun
Cool lake, warm lips
Strings of resistance undone
In too deep, over our heads
Back in seventy two
The Eagles on the radio
And Bear Lake was so blue


3rd verse

Ridin' high on a ridge
Slideout canyon below
She reins up beside me
In the new fallen snow
Trackin' elk through the timber
Takin' in the fall view
Lookin' down through the aspens
And Bear Lake is still blue


Bridge

Many years have gone by
Since that hot August day
Sometimes young love is fleeting
Sometimes it comes to stay


2nd chorus

Green eyes, dark hair
Still turnin' my head
True heart, warm lips
Stood by the vows that we said
Kept our heads above water
Since seventy two
Now she still wakes beside me
And Bear Lake is still blue
Now she still wakes beside me
And Bear Lake is still blue

2011, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

Chris comments: The first weekend of July of 2010, I was attending the Bear Lake Cowboy Gathering in Montpelier, Idaho. I signed up for a few "open mic" slots. While listening to some of the other performers, I was impressed with the beautiful backdrop behind the main stage. It was a panoramic view of Bear Lake, which straddles the Utah/Idaho border.

I have driven Logan Canyon literally hundreds of times, and I still marvel at the view of Bear Lake, from the Logan Canyon summit. The backdrop mural showed a cowboy on a horse, with the lake in the background, and puffy white clouds in a blue sky. I had the idea for the title ("Bear Lake is Still Blue") almost immediately, and wanted to convey in words, that while other things in the world are constantly changing, the azure blue beauty of Bear Lake is a constant thing.

The events outlined in the song lyrics are all based on my own real experiences. Thanks to Arden and Jan Gailey for hosting the Bear Lake Cowboy Gathering, for letting me perform and jam; and to my beautiful wife, Paulette, for being part of the inspiration for the song.
 

 

A Cowboy's Home Ain't Always on the Range

1st Verse

He pulled into the lonely truck stop diner
An F-350 and a Featherlite
With miles and miles of empty sage behind him
But overhead, a welcome neon light
She watched him stop and step down from the pickup
A quick check on his horses, and then he turned
And walked toward the front door of the cafe
And back across the bridge he thought he'd burned


Chorus

Half of him just wanted to keep runnin'
A cowboy's life is oh, so hard to change
The other half was pullin' like a magnet
A cowboy's home ain't always on the range


2nd Verse

She thought about the last time that he held her
His arms so strong, his gentle calloused hands
But she knew well, that four walls couldn't hold him
'Cause cowboys need to be out on the land
They came together like a force of nature
A love that time and distance couldn't change
A cowgirl always waits home for her cowboy
A cowboy's home ain't always on the range


Chorus

Half of him just wanted to keep runnin'
A cowboy's life is oh, so hard to change
The other half was pullin' like a magnet
A cowboy's home ain't always on the range
A cowgirl always waits home for her cowboy
A cowboy's home ain't always on the range

2011, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

Chris comments: I wrote this song as a vehicle for a duet with my singing partner, Mary Jo Hansen. She has a great, compelling voice. A key change in the second verse highlights her stellar vocals, and gives the female take on this fictional story. Bottom line: The cowboy is torn between his freedom and his relationship. The cowgirl is patiently waiting for him to settle down: A Cowboy's Home Ain't Always on the Range.

 

 

Sasquatch

It's a common nighttime topic, in the mountains, after dark
  About the time you've settled in, and the campfire throws no sparks.
Is there such a thing as Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, as they're known?
  Even those who think it's possible, won't admit it on their own.
There hasn't been an answer yet, to whether they exist.
  But here's my take, you might agree; this point is often missed.

To those who sleep in camp trailers, the thought is just absurd.
  They'll scoff and say it's ludicrous, won't hear another word.
But, if they're camping in a tent, they'll keep an open mind;
  At least admit it's possible for science yet to find.
But those who sleep under the stars will seldom voice resistance
  to such ideas; in fact, they might just swear to its existence.

Some claim they've seen the hairy beast, but won't divulge their names,
  not wanting all the ridicule, the laughter, and the shame.
But what about those plaster casts of giant five-toed feet
  found twenty miles back in the woods, anatomically complete?
Some tracks show minute detail, dermal ridges on the soles,
  and sweat pores showing on the cast as tiny little holes.

Would a hoaxer go in twenty miles to leave such detailed tracks,
  just to fool some hardy soul, so far in the outback?
And so, I tried these arguments one night on White Pine creek.
  Jim listened, sometimes nodded, but Bill had yet to speak.
With horses on a highline in a grassy alpine park,
  we built a roaring fire to make coals for after dark.

We tended the Dutch ovens, as they slowly simmered,
  then, checked the horses one more time, before we ate our dinner.
I kept the sasquatch talk a goin', then Bill blurted out,
  "You can't fool me, I know what this is really all about."
"You guys are nuts, you really think I'll buy that bunch of crap?"
  We let him rant and rave awhile, before we sprang the trap.

Well, Jim would put his size to use, when we had gone to bed,
  And Bill was snuggled in his blankets, cozy and well fed.
Jim was six foot six, three hundred pounds, his hair was long and shaggy.
  A few years back, he'd started at left tackle for the Aggies.
We ate our meal, rolled bedrolls out, the fire slowly fading,
  then came a splash from in the creek, like somebody was wading.

"What's that!", yelled Bill, now bolt upright, his eyes the darkness searching.
  He saw a shape behind a tree, a swaying and a lurching.
Well, Jim and I had used some caution with our wicked fun.
  We'd made sure Bill was unarmed, 'cause real soon he'd want a gun!
"Okay", Bill said, "Where's Jim, are you guys trying to scare me?"
  "I saw something, or someone, go and hide behind that tree."

Bill had no clue, but that was Dick, dressed in a black ape suit.
  He was even bigger than Jim was, and quite muscular, to boot.
About this time, Jim ran in from the woods, the other way
  from where Bill had been pointing, his face was ashen gray.
"Did you see that!" Jim whispered, now Bill was really scared.
  He had to ask Jim something, but he hardly even dared!

"Where have you been? I thought that what I saw had to be you!"
  Jim said, "Well, mother nature called, and then I saw it too!"
"So you weren't over there, just now, wading in the creek?"
  "NO" said Jim, "I saw a SQUATCH, it really made me freak!"
I acted like I just woke up, said "Hey, what's going on?"
  Bill's eyes were fixed upon the tree, his mouth was tight and drawn.

"Did you see that!" he said, wide eyed, with terror on his face.
  "See what?" I said, "A UFO, and visitors from space?"
"Behind the tree!" hissed Bill in fright, "I think he just peeked out!"
  If Bill was skeptical before, we'd now erased all doubt.
Dick played his role with expertise, made me and Jim both proud.
  Just swaying there behind the tree, moon hidden by a cloud.

The darkness did the rest, a man became a frightened boy,
  not knowing Dick was Sasquatch, and that Jim was the decoy.
Bill ran back to the highway in the dark for seven miles,
  and flagged down the first car he saw, hysterical all the while.
We tried real hard to catch him, it was to no avail.
  I'm not sure how we missed him, but his tracks weren't on the trail.

Now, looking back, I guess we maybe went a bit too far.
  Bill left a big brown racing stripe on the front seat of that car.
The driver of the car, and Bill, enrolled in therapy
  for post-traumatic stress syndrome, from a beast they didn't see.
Bill never went back to the woods, he never was the same.
  And Jim, and Dick, myself, the dark, and Sasquatch are to blame.

2011, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

Chris comments:  This poem is loosely based on a prank one of my friends pulled years ago. I wasn't there, but after hearing about it, I decided it would make good cowboy poetry material. My grandkids love to watch "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet. Whatever your personal view, the question of the existence of Sasquatch does make for interesting campfire discussions. And, as described in the first few lines, most folks' level of skepticism decreases in direct proportion to the security level of their camping quarters.
 

 

 

Return of the Wolf

They shot him, and they poisoned him
They caught him in their snares
They killed his pups inside the den
And no one seemed to care
For many years, his haunting song
Was silenced in the west
And most folks thought a landscape
Without wolves was for the best

Biologists and politicians
Arguments and rants
They signed the papers and they gave
The wolf another chance
Then through the Arch of Roosevelt
From Canada they came
To their new home in Yellowstone
With numbers, but no names

He's a hero, he's a villain
He's a blessing and a curse
Now the ranchers and the outfitters
Are fearing for the worst
And some who thought they knew it all
Found they had a lot to learn
Since that winter day back in '95
When the wolf made his return

In Idaho, the hunters
Are now careful with their hounds
A lion dog inside the wolf's domain
Will be cut down
They'll rip him into pieces
And they'll feed on the remains
The ecosystem is complete
But the west is not the same

A powder keg of controversy
Follows in his tracks
You love him, or you hate him
But he's definitely back
His mournful cry will follow him
Wherever he may roam
But now he won't be safe
Outside the lines of Yellowstone

He's a hero, he's a villain
He's a legend and a ghost
To the diehards with their spotting scopes
He's the one they love the most
And those who thought they knew it all
Found they had a lot to learn
Since that winter day, back in '95
When the wolf made his return

2012, Chris Mortensen
This song may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Chris comments: I have always gone to Yellowstone in the spring and fall to photograph wildlife. It's been interesting to see how the return of the wolf to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other parts of the west has had both positive and negative impacts. I love to see them, listen to their howls, and watch their complex social hierarchy in action, and try to document these things on film. Wolves, like politics, are a very polarizing topic. You love them or you hate them.

In this song (poem), I try to take a neutral stance on the issue. I believe there's a place for wolves (national parks, wilderness areas) ,but I think management should be left to the individual states. I feel that having wolf hunting seasons and quotas is necessary to keep their population stable and sustainable. It works for lions and bears. I feel for the ranchers and outfitters who have suffered at the expense of the wolf; but I also realize that depredations and stories of attacks are often exaggerated.

I would also like to be able to protect and defend my own stock and pets from wolves. The line in the song, "Those who thought they knew it all, found they had a lot to learn, since that winter day back in '95, when the wolf made his return", applies to both sides, the lovers and the haters. A wolf howling from a ridge top in Yellowstone is a lot different from a wolf feeding on a newborn calf. I will remain neutral until I have a good reason to change.

 

 

Cowboy Limerick

There once was a cowboy named Frederick
Who wanted to lasso a limerick
But he failed at the sport
'Cause his loop was too short ...

2013, Chris Mortensen
This limerick may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Chris says of his limerick that "...the listeners usually 'get it,' after a short delay."

 

 

The Belgian Browning

A few days after my dad died, my mom gave me a call
She asked me to come over; it was early in the fall
My older brother met me there; we came for the same reason
Becoming heirs to firearms, for now it was their season

Craig chose a German Luger pistol, brought back from the war
I opted for a Mauser rifle, I'd borrowed twice before
A sleek bolt action beauty, chambered in .270
A finely crafted firearm made by the enemy

And though Dad fought against them, part of him always knew
His adversaries were still men, and sons, and fathers, too
Now, guns are no more dangerous than any other tool
'Cept in the hands of mercenaries, murderers, and fools

We both had three more choices, I went home with four guns
But, one to me was special, far above the other ones
A Browning made in Belgium, also know as Auto Five
Just holding it in my two hands made memories come alive

It took me back to simple days, spent hunting with my dad
No young boy in the universe, a better mentor had
Seems every pheasant we got up, fell to the Auto Five
He never missed, his marksmanship had helped keep Dad alive

He hunted clad in hip boots, as he waded 'cross the river
And packed me on his sturdy back, just like an arrow quiver
The Belgian Browning at the ready, in his calloused hands
I held on to his neck and shoulders, until we hit dry land

So, now that I've got on in years, I never will forget
The current and the slippery rocks, yet, never getting wet
I've tried to carry my two boys, to reach a distant shore
I only hope that if they fall, they'll try to cross once more

I hope that something that I've done will somehow plant a seed
To grow into their consciousness, and help in time of need
I hope some moments that we shared are treasured ones of theirs
And something I pass on will make them proud and worthy heirs

That gun was such a part of Dad, it's now a part of me
Cradled in my calloused hands, like it was meant to be
And when I shoot the Auto Five, I feel what my dad felt
The recoil in my shoulder of a twelve gauge magnum belt

Holding what my dad once held, when pheasants fly this fall
The flush, the swing, the follow through, the ringnecks' cackling call
The memories come flowing back, when I pick up that gun
The chill of cold November days,...a father...with his son

2014, Chris Mortensen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.



Chris told us, "My dad served as a first scout in the army infantry under General Patton. He didn't talk about the war much. But he was a great marksman, a great man. and a great example. He always made time to take me hunting in the fall, and I developed a passion for the outdoors. Hearing a poem titled 'The Randall Knife' inspired me to write this poem. I hope to pass on that Browning shotgun to one of my boys some day."
 

 

Shawn Wayne

Born in the saddle, and raised in the sage
Started ropin' and brandin' at a tender young age
Didn't get into town much, he lived close to the land
His old cowboy mentor made him into a hand

Hit the Wilderness circuit with his riggin' and chaps
He picked up a few paychecks, made a few victory laps
But the rodeo life just got harder with age
His last wreck convinced him to turn a new page

He's an everyday cowboy, no fluff and no frills
And he's 800 miles from those Hollywood hills
Many don't even know his real last name
Most folks around here like to call him Shawn Wayne

He's a farmer and rancher, but a cowboy at heart
He's had no acting roles, just a YouTube bit part
A real analog cowboy in this digital world
Not the brave dashing stranger who ends up with the girl

So he puts on his Wranglers and he heads out the door
With his permanent skoal ring back pocket decor
Another day pushin' cattle under wide open skies
And he'll be a real cowboy 'til the day that he dies

The world keeps on changin', it happens so fast
But he's doin' his part to make the cowboy way last

He's an everyday cowboy, no fluff and no frills
And he's 800 miles from those Hollywood hills
Many don't even know his real last name
Most folks around here like to call him Shawn Wayne

2014, Chris Mortensen
This song may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.


 

A friend of mine, Shawn Summers, asked me to write a song about him. "Shawn Wayne" is actually a nickname given to him by locals. He is a real everyday cowboy, and a good guy. I will record the song soon.
 

 


 

 

Turning Heads in Heaven

We grew up just a mile apart
But somehow hadn't met
Until we were in high school
And I never will forget
How beautiful she looked that night
When we had our first date
She stole my heart there on the porch
At quarter after eight

A few years later, three young children
Called us mom and dad
We raised them in a loving home
We gave it all we had
The years flew by and now
They're raising children of their own
She left us all with aching hearts
Like we had never known

Sometimes I wake up in the night
And turn to stroke her hair
And pull her just a little closer
Now she isn't there
She had the most amazing smile
I'd ever seen before
A smile I couldn't wait to see
When I came through the door

Now when I turn the TV off
And finally go to bed
I wish that smile was next to me
That always turned my head
I just can't seem to get to sleep
The clock says three eleven
And like she always did down here
She's turning heads in Heaven

A rare and precious candle
I had never done without
And suddenly, out of the blue
A wind gust blew it out
It's hard to keep on going
But when I reflect on it
I have no doubt that in due time
The flame will be re-lit

Now when I turn the TV off
And finally go to bed
I wish that smile was next to me
That always turned my head
I just can't seem to get to sleep
The clock says three eleven
And like she always did down here
She's turning heads in Heaven
Just like she always did down here
She's turning heads in heaven

2014, Chris Mortensen
This song may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.


 

For Paulette Mortensen (1954-2014), Chris Mortensen's wife of 42 years.


 


 

  About Chris Mortensen:
                                                              
provided 2015

 
Chris Mortensen is a singer/songwriter/cowboy poet from Avon, Utah. He has played music for most of his life, in various bands, trios, duos, and sometimes solo. In 1989, his band Diamondback won the True Value Country Showdown for the state of Utah.

Currently, Chris plays in the trio Saddle Serenade with Mary Jo Hansen and Lindsey Oliva. Their self-titled debut CD just garnered a very positive review from Rick Huff in the Winter 2015 issue of Western Way magazine.

Chris also plays bass with the veteran Celtic group, Leaping Lulu.

This year, he is serving as the President of the Utah Chapter of the Western Music Association, and as the Second Vice President of the Cowboy Poets of Utah. Chris also belongs to the Cowboy Poets of Idaho, and will be performing with Saddle Serenade at many cowboy gatherings this year in several western states. He has also been a volunteer member of the National Ski Patrol for 42 years.

You can see Chris on YouTube performing " Analog Cowboy," a song written by his friend, Dale Major. Also on YouTube is "Five Stars in the Window," a song about his family's WWII experience, performed by Saddle Serenade.
 

Find Rick Huff's Best of the West review here.

Saddle Serenade is $15 ppd from:

Chris Mortensen
PO Box 405
Paradise, UT 84328

 or through www.cdbaby.com/cd/saddleserenade


 

 

 

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