Featured at the Bar-D Ranch


Back on Home

Search CowboyPoetry.com

The Latest
     What's New
     Newsletter
        Subscribe (free!)

Be a Part of it All 
     About the BAR-D
     Join us!

The BAR-D Roundup

Cowboy Poetry Collection
     Folks' poems
     Honored Guests
     Index of poems

Poetry Submissions  
    Guidelines
    Current Lariat Laureate

Events Calendar

Cowboy Poetry Week

Featured Topics
    Classic Cowboy Poetry
    Newest Features
        Poets and musicians
        Cowboy poetry topics
        Programs of  interest
        Gathering reports
        In memory
   Who Knows?

Cowboy Life and Links
    Western Memories
    Books about Cowboy Poetry  

The Big Roundup

Link to us!
Give us a holler

Subscribe!

 

 

line.GIF (1552 bytes)

 

Dean Cook is a performing songwriter, storyteller and sometimes cowboy poet. A native Arizonan, he weaves his life experiences into songs and stories about the West as it was, is, and should have been. Dean is a regular at cowboy gatherings, music festivals, and historical events around Arizona and the Southwest. His original songs are being performed and recorded by other western musicians, including several Western Music Association (WMA) performers, and a number of his songs, particularly those recorded by Sue Harris (www.arizonafolklore.com/sue.htm) are receiving national airplay.

In 2005, Dean Cook and his brother Jim Cook were honored as "Arizona Culturekeepers," recognized for "keeping alive the music, poetry, and tall tales of Arizona and the West."

Dean Cook's CD of his inventive original songsfrom playful humorous pieces to ballads—Woodsmoke at Sundown, was released in late 2006. Read more about it below.

 

 

Selected Poems and Lyrics

Woodsmoke at Sundown

Contacting Dean Cook

 

 


 

Selected Poems and Lyrics

 

Grubline Carol
Flying Bill's Ride
A Good Ride
The New Cowboy's Lament

 


Grubline Carol
(a new look at a traditional song)

Christmas is a-comin' and I've got no work at all.
I've been out on the grubline, since shipping in the fall.
Now the days are getting colder and the nights are getting long,
so I play my old French harp, and I sing this song.

Christmas is a-comin', and I'll work to earn my keep.
Can you find a roving puncher a warm place to sleep?
If you haven't got a bunk for me, a patch of floor will do.
If you haven't got a patch of floor, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin', and my pony's short of feed.
A little bait of oats is what he really needs.
If you haven't got a bait of oats, a flake of hay will do.
If you haven't got a flake of hay, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin', and my gear is wearing thin.
Could you spare a piece of rawhide, to patch it up again?
If you haven't got some rawhide, some baling wire will do.
If you haven't got some baling wire, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin' , and I'm feeling kind of gaunt.
A plate of beans and bacon is all I really want.
If you haven't got the bacon, a plate of beans will do.
If you haven't got a plate of beans, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin', and I've been alone too long.
Do you have a pretty daughter, to sing a Christmas song?
If you haven't got a daughter, a maiden aunt will do.
If you haven't got a maiden aunt, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin' and I've got no work at all.
I've been out on the grubline, since shipping in the fall.
Now the days are getting colder, and the nights are getting long,
so I play my old French harp, and  I sing this song.

© Dean Cook 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Flying Bill's Ride

We'd pushed a little bunch into the holdup down below
and stopped there in the shade to let the horses blow.
The drought had pushed the cattle high, and they sure did like to run.
Our mounts were winded and lathered, and the day wasn't even half done.

The boss had gone to gather up what remounts he could find,
and when we saw his truck wheel in, with the gooseneck on behind,
we said, "We hope you brought some good ones.  Our mounts are close to dead."
But he just popped the gate and said, "Boys, I've brought you this instead."

He showed us this three-wheeled cycle—called it an ATV.
He said, "This is the future of cowboying, as far as I can see.
You never have to shoe this thing, or feed it hay or oats.
It'll climb most any mountain, and they claim it even floats.
It never does get winded, so you can cover lots more ground.
Boys, this is what you'll all be riding, time fall works rolls around."

As we rolled it off the trailer, I was looking 'round to see
who'd be the first to try that thing, but they were all looking at me.
And though it's true I had occasionally mentioned that I could ride them all,
it was mostly bunkhouse bluff, but now it looked like I was called.

But I've got my rep to think of, so I stepped up big and bold,
said, "I gave up three -wheelers when I was five years old,
but if you want that critter topped, why there ain't nothing to it.
Why any fool could ride that toy, and I'm just the fool to do it."

The boys were all supportive as they rolled it out the gate.
Santan says, "I got twenty bucks says he can't stick for eight."
And Crazy Jim says, solemn-like, "I claim his bed and tack,
'cause if he once gets on that thing, he ain't coming back."

I guess I was a little sudden when I gave that thing the gun,
'cause it went rearing skyward, just like the old Zebra Dun.
Although it had three wheels, it was standing right up on two,
and we went bounding through the brush like some locoed kangaroo.

It was quicker than a lizard, and shifty as a snake.
I couldn't let go the throttle, and I couldn't find the brake.
The boys were riding close behind, yelling, "Bill, don't let him throw ya!"
But they backed off real quick when we ran through that patch of cholla.

I saw I couldn't hold it, so I turned into the corral,
and we went bouncing 'round the fences, like some billiard ball from hell.
I swallowed about a pound of dirt, and my eyes were full, to boot.
By the time I got them cleared, we were headed right up the chute.

There's a man called Evel Knievel I saw once on TV,
but let me tell you, that old boy ain't got a thing on me.
We went soaring through the sky like an eagle leaving his limb.
I was riding high 'til I noticed we were headed right for the rim.

So I declared that ride completed, and stepped off, quick and neat.
Landed upside down in the top of a big mesquite.
The cycle cleared the rim, and I heard it crash below.
I didn't look to see where it lit, I didn't really want to know.

I've never lived that wreck down, and I guess I never will,
'cause from Tombstone clear to Tusayan, they still call me "Flying Bill."
But though I lost my pride, and most of the hide from my shoulders clean to my knees,
at least the Boss ain't said another word 'bout us riding ATVs.

© Dean Cook 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

A Good Ride

It's happened to us all, it'll never fail,
I was dozing in the saddle on that desert trail
when that old Shorty horse saw his chance,
and he dropped his head and asked me to dance.
He almost lost me on the very first jump.
There was six inches of daylight 'tween my saddle and my rump.
I lost a stirrup, and I lost a rein,
so I grabbed some leather and I grabbed some mane,
and just held on.

It was not a thing of beauty or grace,
and I was hoping nobody had seen my disgrace,
when the trail boss yelled from the other side,
"If you stay on top, it's a good ride".

If you stay on top, it's a good ride.
It's about survival, and not just pride.
So grab some leather or grab some hide.
If you stay on top, it's a good ride.

He said, "Here's one thing that I know.
You can't confuse life with rodeo.
'Cause eight seconds won't get you in our record book,
and we don't give points for how good you look."
So when some hell breaks loose that you don't expect,
you may have to chose between your pride and your neck.
Then you can pull leather and lose some face
or you can get thrown with style and grace.
But here's a thing that I have found,
nobody looks good when they hit the ground.

If you stay on top, it's a good ride.
It's about survival, and not just pride.
So grab some leather or grab some hide.
If you stay on top, it's a good ride.

© 2004, Dean Cook, from Woodsmoke at Sundown
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Dean told us he performs this piece "...in sort of a talking blues style ala Woody Guthrie." He wrote, "I'd heard the expression 'If you stay on top it's a good ride,' or variations, before, but it never really registered until I heard a wrangler on a trail ride I was working use it.  What actually happened was that the old plug I was riding stumbled over his own feet and nearly rolled me off over the horn, but it got me thinking about the times when we rode them as we found them—or not.

 

The New Cowboy's Lament

I met him on the street out in Peoria
scarcely knew him in his jacket and his tie
I said, "Buddy where you been, and how are you?"
And he said to me with teardrops in his eye,
"Old pal, you know I've rode my share of bad ones,
and I've wrestled raunchy steers through rain and snow
but when the J Bar sold, I took this town job,
and that new computer's finally got me throwed."

   Chorus
          He said, "I don't know my mouse from my modem.
          This high tech way of living just ain't my way.
          I'm just a bug on the windshield of the future.
          I'm road kill on the information highway.

He said, "Everywhere I go I hear folks saying,
it's time we stopped living in the past.
We're gonna have this information superhighway,
so we can screw things up a hundred times as fast.
But I can't read those funny little numbers,
and nothing that I input outputs right.
The book says this computer's user friendly,
but I swear the durn thing hated me on sight."

"You know a saddle bronc broke all my ribs at Prescott.
I got snakebit over on the Mogollon,
but now I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome,
just from punching this computer all day long.
They say there's gonna be a data revolution,
and everybody's got to get on board,
so I'm on this information superhighway,
still driving my '57 Ford."


© 2006, Dean Cook, from Woodsmoke at Sundown
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


 

Woodsmoke at Sundown

Dean has an understated delivery, which perfectly underscores his humorous pieces, such as "The New Cowboy's Lament," "Feather Duster Cowboy," and "Rimrock Reverie." The wide range of songs includes ballads, historical pieces, an inventive "Talking Hard Rock Miner Blues," a sweet waltz, and a number of playful tunes, delivered true, acoustic cowboy style.

includes:

Tall Tales & Treasures
New Cowboy's Lament
Woodsmoke at Sundown
Line Shack
Feather Duster Cowboy
The Old Town of Ray
Talking Hard Rock Miner Blues
Rimrock Reverie
High Country Song
First Waltz
Where Do You Go?
Clover Spring
One Brick at a Time
A Good Ride

Available for $17 postpaid from

AZMINSTREL MUSIC
6368 E. Boothwyn St
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
$17.00 ppd

For quantity rates, query AZMinstrel @ yahoo.com


 

Contacting Dean Cook

 



AZMINSTREL MUSIC
6368 E. Boothwyn St
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

AZMinstrel @ yahoo.com




 

www.cowboypoetry.com

 

HOME

 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!

 

Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form.

 

CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

 

Site copyright information