Featured at the Bar-D Ranch

Classic Cowboy Poetry


1892-1954

curleyfletcher.JPG (7242 bytes)

Back on Home

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)

Then I knows that the hosses I ain't able tuh ride
Is some uv 'em livin—they haven't all died;
But I bets all muh money thar's no man alive
That kin stay with that bronc when he makes that high dive.

from The Strawberry Roan

 

Carmen William "Curley" Fletcher was born in San Francisco in 1892 and grew up in Bishop, California. His many occupations included cowboy, poet, musician, rodeo promoter, publisher, and prospector.

His most well known work, "The Strawberry Roan," became a popular song and has a large history of its own, from bunkhouses to Hollywood. 

In the 1986 Songs of the Sage, a reprint of Fletcher's 1931 book with additional biographical material, editor Hal Cannon suggests, "For a fine complete history of "The Strawberry Roan" and many other cowboy songs, see John I. White's Git Along, Little Dogies..."  In that book, White writes about Fletcher:

In Hollywood's world of make-believe, the cowboy poet was out of his element and often an unhappy man. One day when he was fed up with the film capital and lawsuits, he wrote me a letter which concluded with these nostalgic lines: "Hell, I was born and reared here in the West. My earliest memory is of cowmen and cattle. I spent my best years as a cowboy of the old school. I knew every water hole, I think, from the Sierra Nevada to Utah. And I still look back to long days and nights in the saddle, at $30 a month, as the happiest of my existence."

A list of Curley Fletcher's books is included below and there are a few additional links.

 

Poems

Canadian Rose
In the land of the midnight sun...

The Cow Pony's Lament
I've been on my last big round-up, I've finished the long day's work...

The Cowboy's Prayer
Out on the Western prairies...

The Cowboy's Soliloquy
I've ridden afar on the trails of life...

The Desert Rat
Ah, these tales of the desert's trails!...

Drift Along Lonely Cowboy
In the far away Heavens in distant blue skies...

Last of the Thundering Herd
There in that limited pasture...

The Last Roundup
I've been on my last big roundup, I've finished the long day's work...

Meditation
The soft wind sways the whispering grass...

The Pot Wrassler
How are you there cowboy, I hope you are well...

The Ridge-Running Roan
It was up in the Bad Lands, I was rangin' alone ...

The Saddle Tramp
They call me "The Scum," the saddle tramp bum...

The Saga of Borax Bill
The day of the long team is o'er...

The Sheep-Herders Lament
I have summered in the tropics...

The Strawberry Roan
I was laying round town just spending my time...

That Bucking Bronk, Coyote
We called him old Coyote, and we claimed that he could step...

When Desert Flowers Bloom
Tonight, in this big busy city ...

Wild Buckeroo
I been ridin' fer cattle most of my life ...

Yavapai Pete
Now Yavapai Pete was a cowpuncher neat...

 

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of CowboyPoetry.com.


 

The Pot Wrassler

How are you there cowboy, I hope you are well,
Jest light from your saddle and rest fer a spell.
Here are the makin's, so roll you a smoke,
Yure jest out uh town and I bet you are broke.

Yuh looks like old hunger was a ridin' yuh hard,
So sit down and eat--you are welcome old pard.
I put a lot uh years at a ridin' the range,
But now I am wrasslin' pots fer a change.

Now I ain't no chef like that Del-mon-a-co,
But I sabes the mixin' of old sour dough.
I sorts all the big rocks out uh the beans,
And I don't wipe the fryin' pans off on my jeans.

Muh chuck is all right, and the wagon kept neat;
If yuh don't like the cookin', yuh don't haf tuh eat.
Oh, I'm a pot wrassler, but I ain't no dub,
Fer I'm close to my bed, and I'm close to the grub.

I'm a leetle bit old, and I don't want no truck
With horn hookin' cattle, ner horses that buck.
I've rode a long time and my laigs is all bowed;
I've got to the age thet I'm easily throwed.

I got the rheumatics and my hands is all burned,
My joints is all stiff and my belly's all churned.
Now I'm a pot wrassler, yure a-hearin' me shout,
So come on and get it, 'fore I throws it out.

You fellers rope steers to down 'em and tie 'em,
Then I comes along to skin 'em and fry 'em.
I got forty a month, and the cookin' to do,
So I'm all through bein' a cow buckeroo.

When you punchers is out in the blizzard and storm,
I'm close to the fire, where I keeps myself warm.
So do yure old ridin', you wild galoots,
And I'll wrassle pots, you can just bet yure boots.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage

Harry Jackson (1924-2011) performs the song in a YouTube recording here.

image from Ballads of the Badlands

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The Cowboy's Prayer

Out on the Western prairies,
While riding after stock,
A cowboy met a shepherd
A-tending to his flock.

The herder asked the cowboy
If he would like to stay
To join him in a little drink
And put some grub away.

The cowboy said, "That's good enough.
When my belly's full of stew,
We'll bury the old tomahawk
And have a drink or two."

The herder cooked up quite a feed
And the cowboy ate his share
The herder got the jug out
And they started in from there.

The cowboy said, "Let's have a drink,
We'll forget about our war.
Well, sure let's have another one
And then we'll have one more."

"Your liquor's good," the cowboy said
"It surely hits the spot."
"Help yourself, " the herder says,
"And we'll have another shot."

Back and forth they passed the jug,
Until they went to sleep;
This puncher of the cattle
And this herder of the sheep.

The cowboy slept beneath a sage
And he was awful tight;
He rolled and tumbled all about
And snored with all his might.

His arm fell o'er a triantula's hole
Which made the spider mad;
He sank his fangs into the arm
And gave it all he had.

The cowboy waked and sobered up,
His arm was swelled and black.
He awakened the sheepherder
And they started for the shack.

The herder said, "That's pretty bad,
Looks like your judgment day.
If I was in your boots, cowboy
I'd start right in to pray."

"I'd like to pray," the cowboy said,
"But I don't know just how;
I'm doin' to do the best I can,
And I'd better start right now."

So he braced himself upon his knees
And raising up his head,
He cast his eyes toward Heaven,
And this is what he said:

"Oh God, if You see this poor cowboy,
Come down and lend him a hand.
Don't send Your Little Son, Jesus,
Boys sometimes don't understand.

"Oh God, I'm not one of them sinners
That's callin' You right along
I wouldn't take Your time up
Unless there's something real wrong.

"I'm a damned good bronk buster
And a ropin' son-of-a-gun;
It's many an outlaw I've ridden,
And it's many a dollar I've won.

"I've always been good to my horses,
Till today, never ate sheep,
I never did shirk on no roundup,
And I've always been worth my keep.

"I never have rustled no cattle,
I ain't never took up with no squaw
I ain't never fought 'less I had to,
Then I never went first for the draw.

"Of course, You know better than I do,
But it don't seem to be hardly right
For me to be cashin' my chips in
From a pot-bellied spider's bite.

"He crawled up while I was sleepin'
And he bit me while I was drunk;
I don't want to be belly-achin'
But that was the trick of a skunk.

"If I was hurt ridin' a broncho,
Or ropin' a steer, don't You see,
I wouldn't be here a beefin',
I'd figger it was comin' to me.

I've lived by my creed as I saw it,
And all that I ask is what's fair;
If You have been keepin' the cases
You know that I've been on the square.

"I never was strong for sky-pilots,
There's no place on them for to lean;
'Cause they ain't much better than I am,
I guess You know what I mean.

"I'm usin' a lot of Your time, I guess,
'Cause I don't know just how to pray,
But I won't ask any more favors
If You find time to help me today."

This was the prayer of the cowboy,
A prayer that was frank and sincere,
When he called on his God as he saw Him
To lend him a listening ear.

And the cowboy's God must have heard him
Out on the plains that day,
For He healed the suffering rider
And sent him upon his way.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The Strawberry Roan

I wuz hangin' 'round town just uh spendin' muh time,
I wuz out of a job an' not makin' uh dime,
When uh feller steps up an' he sez,
"I suppose you're a bronc ridin' guy from the looks uh yure clothes."

"Well yuh guesses me right, I'm a good un I claim,
Do yuh happen tuh have any bad uns tuh tame?"
An' he sez he's got one, an' uh bad un tuh buck,
An' fer throwin good riders he's had lots uh luck.

An' he sez that this pony has never been rode,
That the boys that gits on him is bound to git throwed,
Well, I gits all excited an' asks what he pays
Fer to ride that old pony uh couple uh days.

Well, he offers uh ten-spot -- Sez I, "I'm yure man,
'Cause the bronc never lived that I couldn't fan
That no hoss never lived, nor he never drew breath
That I just couldn't ride till he starved plum tuh death. 

Now I don't like tuh brag but I got this tuh say,
That I ain't been piled up fer uh many uh day;
And sez he, "Git yure saddle an' I'll give yuh uh chance,"
So I gits in his buck-board an' drifts tuh his ranch.

There I stays until mornin' an' right after chuck
Then I steps out tuh see if that outlaw kin buck,
An' I spots the corral an' uh' standin' alone
There I sees this caballo, uh strawberry roan. 

An his laigs is all spavined, he's got pigeon toes,
He's got little pig-eyes and a big Roman nose.
He's got little pin-ears an' they touch at the tip,
An' a double-square iron it was stamped on his hip.

He wuz yew-necked an' old with uh long lower jaw,
I kin see with one eye he's uh reg'lar outlaw,
So I puts on muh spurs an' I'm sure feelin' fine
An' I turns up muh hat an' I picks up muh twine.

Now I throws the loop on him an' well I knows then
That before he gits rode I will sure earn that ten;
Then I gits my blinds on an' it sure wuz uh fight,
an' a-next comes my saddle an I screws it down tight.

Then I up an' piles on him an' raises the blind,
I am right in his middle tuh see him unwind,
Well, he bows his old neck an' I guess he unwound
Fer he seems tuh quit livin' down here on the ground.

An' he goes toward the east an' he goes toward the west,
An' tuh stay in the middle I'm doin' my best;
Now he's sure walkin' frog an' he heaves uh big sigh
An' he only lacks wings fer tuh be on the fly.

Then he turns his old belly right up tuh the sun
An' he sure is a sun-fishin' son-uv-uh-gun,
He's the worst buckin' bronc that I've seen on the range,
He kin turn on a nickle and give yuh some change.

While he's buckin' he's squealin' he sounds like a shoat,
An' I tells yuh that pony has sure got muh goat;
An' I claim that, no foolin' that bronc could sure step,
An' I'm still in the saddle uh buildin' up rep;

Then he hits on all fours an' he suns up his side,
I don't see how he keeps from a sheddin' his hide.
An' I loses muh stirrups an' also muh hat
An' I'm grabbing the leather ez blind ez a bat.

With a phenomenal jump then he goes up on high,
An' I'm settin on nuthin' way up in the sky,
An' it's then I turns over an' I comes back tuh earth,
An' I lights in the tuh cussin' the day of his birth.

Then I knows that the hosses I ain't able tuh ride
Is some uv 'em livin -- they haven't all died;
But I bets all muh money thar's no man alive
That kin stay with that bronc when he makes that high dive.

by Curley Fletcher, from Ballads of the Badlands

The version above is labeled "The Original Strawberry Roan."

It's been told that Curley Fletcher's "The Strawberry Roan" had 15 verses when first written in 1915.  The popular 1930s songwriters and radio personalities Fred Howard and Nat Vincent (“The Happy Chappies”) reworked the lyrics and the song quickly became one of the most often recorded cowboy songs. A recitation by Bill Siems is included on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three.

There are many videos of the song on YouTube, including vintage renditions by:

Marty Robbins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3BkHtlSYR4

Wilf Carter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx_-mmBtMUM

Sons of the Pioneers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiY8HyBglI

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXM0C387sdQ

And a couple of much more contemporary renditions:

Dave Stamey: http://www.myspace.com/davestameymusic/music/songs/strawberry-roan-74054865

California rancher, singer, and songwriter J Parson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-xF94rOUdk

Corb Lund sings his grandfather's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0ULXC4KRKg

Michael Martin Murphey: http://www.myspace.com/michaelmurphey/music/songs/strawberry-roan-42693185

The Western Folklife Center has an early recording by the Arizona Wranglers: http://www.westernfolklife.org/batr/music_riders.php#strawberry

There are notable bawdy versions on YouTube, including by Glenn Ohrlin and even by the Sons of the Pioneers.

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

Yavapai Pete

Now Yavapai Pete was a cowpuncher neat,
From Arizona's fair clime.
Lived in his saddle and punched most the cattle
From here to the Mexican line.

His ridin' was sassy, his ropin' was classy,
He liked to mix, mingle, and maul;
Not much of thinker, was more of a drinker,
And could uphold his end in a brawl.

A face like a hatchet, a head made to match it,
And a nose like a pelican's beak;
His legs were all bowed and he was pigeon-toed,
With a chin that was plum mild and meek.

He'd been in the weather, his skin was like leather,
His hands were all horny and rough;
You could see by his stride he was just made to ride,
And no broncho for him was too tough.

A very good hand with a whole lot of sand,
And a voice like a bellerin' bull.
Pretty much on the brag, and at chewin' the rag
He was a while corral full.

He once told a tale of hittin' the trail,
A-huntin' new ranges to ride;
They'd hung up a bounty in Yavapai County
For whoever could bring in his hide.

He rode to a ranch and asked if by chance
They needed a good buckeroo.
They said he was rough, but not tough enough,
As a bronk peeler he wouldn't do.

Then he rode o'er a rise and battin' his eyes,
A-lookin' down into a swale,
He'd come to the lair of a she grizzly bear,
And she was a-holdin' the trail.

Then he mounted that bear with a handful of hair,
For a quirt used a real rattlesnake,
He rode with a rush out thru the buck-brush,
A-swarin' that beast the would break.

To the ranch they did do where Pete hollered "whoa."
Then asked the boss what he'd pay--
"My mount is docile fer I've rode her a mile,
And we're a-huntin' a job today."

The boss called his stack, said "Come to the shack.
You look like you might be alright.
That growlin' old bear, yure ridin' right there,
Et up my old range boss last night."

Old Yavapai Pete he couldn't be beat
At lootin', shootin', and sin.
The chuck-wagon deck was a sorrowful wreck
When Yavapai Pete butted in.

He fanned his gun fast but they got him at last,
And he died with his boots on his feet.
The wild West was rid of a dangerous kid
With the passin' of Yavapai Pete.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

Wild Buckeroo

I been ridin' fer cattle the most of my life.
I ain't got no family, I ain't got no wife,
I ain't got no kith, I ain't got no kin,
I allus will finish what ere I begin.
I rode down in Texas where the cowboys are tall,
The State's pretty big but the hosses er small.
Fer singin' to cattle, I'm hard to outdo;
I'm a high-lopin' cowboy, an' a wild buckeroo.

I rode in Montana an' in Idaho;
I rode for Terasus in old Mexico.
I rope mountain lion an' grizzly bear,
I use cholla cactus fer combin' my hair.
I cross the dry desert, no water between,
I rode through Death Valley without no canteen.
At ridin' dry deserts I'm hard to outdo;
I'm a high-lopin cowboy an' a wild buckeroo.

Why, I kin talk Spanish and Injun to boot,
I pack me a knife and a pistol to shoot.
I got no Senorita, an' I got no squaw,
I got no sweetheart, ner mother-in-law.
I never been tied to no apron strings,
I ain't no devil, but I got no wings.
At uh dodgin' the ladies, I'm hard to outdo;
I'm a high-lopin' cowboy, an' a wild buckeroo.

I drink red whiskey, an' I don't like beer,
I don't like mutton, but I do like steer.
I will let you alone if you leave me be,
But don't you get touch an' crawl on me.
I'll fight you now at the drop of a hat,
You'll think you're sacked up with a scratchin' wild cat.
At rough ready mixin' I'm hard to outdo;
I'm a high-lopin' cowboy, an' a wild buckeroo.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage


Andy Hedges, Wrangler Award-winning interpreter of songs and poems, has an excellent rendition of "Wild Buckeroo" on his City Boys CD.

As with other Fletcher songs, there were many variations, some of them bawdy. Guy Logsdon writes in his book, The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing and Other Songs Cowboy Sing:

Glenn Ohrlin recorded his version on his Wild Buckeroo LP...In his notes, he states that he first learned it in the early 1940s as a recitation and later learned the tune from Slim Critchlow's Arhoolie LP, The Crooked Trail to Holbrook...On Wild Buckeroo, Ohrlin hums the bawdy words, while on the record Just Something My Uncle Told Me, he sings the "unhummed" version.

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

That Bucking Bronk, Coyote


We called him old Coyote, and we claimed that he could step;
A cowboy came up from the south that had quite a rep.
He bet his saddle, shaps and spurs and nearly all his poke
That he could ride this bunking bronk and have him gentle broke.

He brought a lot of backers, too with money all galore,
Who covered all Coyote's bets and was for gambling more.
They said a horse that claimed this zone for his sunny habitat
Was incapable of bucking off a regular man like that.

Well, we didn't figure that this guy was any kind of bum,
But we was a figurin' all the time Coyote could go some;
We knew that none uh us boys were in the hosse's class,
Cose when it came to settin' him we all just had to pass.

For he had treated us that tried to ride him kinda tough,
And we all claimed Coyote's back was mighty awful rough;
Well, anyway, this guy came out with a lot uh ridin' gear,
And the fun and jokes we poked at him, he didn't seem to hear.

We won't talk of his pretty shaps, his fussy shirt, and such,
Cose all we want to mention here is how he got in Dutch.
We led out that Coyote hoss, and had him kinda riled,
And it didn't look as though this boy was anything but piled.

Anyway, he saddled up midst cheers, advice an rows;
Gets his seat and hollers out, "I'm goin' for the cows."
Coyote didn't seem to want to cover all that ground,
For instead of headin' for the herd he starts to wheelin' round.

This cowboy held a good deep seat, 'bout two turns and a half;
He didn't go to get the cows, nor even get the calf;
He started on a big high dive, but lit upon his back;
He'd located a homestead in the center of the track.

Coyote didn't pause a bit, the old son-of-a-gun;
Just kept a whilrlin' round and round to show how it was done.
We've had a quite a lot of fun, and made a lot of dough,
And that's the stuff that buys our grub and makes Coyote go.

by Curley Fletcher, from Rhymes of the Roundup

 

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The Saddle Tramp

They call me "The Scum," the saddle tramp bum
And ever since that old day
When I quit the strife of the cowpunchin' life
To travel and yodel and play

Just a plain saddle tramp from the ranch to the camp
Just drifting near and far
A horseback I'm a bum as I yodel and strum
My old six-string Spanish guitar.

(Yodel)

Now I used to work I never did shirk
But never no more I'll hire
To mark any ears or turn any steers
Nor tend to no hot brandin' fire

Now it surely is fine to be ridin' grub line
Welcome where e'er I roam
I can eat what I choose  I can drink the best booze
My cayuse is always at home.

(Yodel)

I stay for a while to sing and to smile
And never do I get sore
When there comes a rift I saddle and drift
If I am not welcome no more

And I think of my Neta my sweet Senorita
And as I ride along
Neath the bright stars above
My heart turns to love,
I yodel for her this sweet song

(Yodel)

And when white snow flies from wintery skies
And mantels the hill and plain
I'm ramblin' down to that little town
To love...you dear once again

Oh, my Spanish senorita my sweetheart my Neta
I'm comin back to you
I don't want you to grieve until once more I leave
For while with you I will be true.

(Yodel)

by Curley Fletcher, from Ballads of the Badlands

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

Canadian Rose

In the land of the midnight sun,
On a bleak Acadian shore,
Tonight I picture a dear one
as she stands in a cold cabin door.
She's waiting until I return
To the land of the tundra and pine,
Love's golden secrets to learn
Canadian sweetheart of mine.

Chorus
There's the blush of a rose on her face
Like the flush of the red northern lights
Her elfin and life lissome grace,
Her eyes like the stars of night:

Fresh as the dew of the morn,
Pure as the white drifting snows,
A rose without a brier,
A rose without a thorn,
My sweet-heart Canadian Rose
There's the Rose

Often thru the bright summer days
Have we dreamed and wandered afar;
How often there did we wend our ways
In the light of the pale polar star.
Her days of waiting are o'er,
Very soon they will come to a close;
I'll speed to Acadian shores,
To my sweetheart Canadian Rose

Chorus

by Curley Fletcher, from Ballads of the Badlands

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The Cowboy's Soliloquy

I've ridden afar on the trails of life;
And whether I've been right er wrong
In saddlin' the pleasure, ropin' the strife--
I've "follered" the trail right along.

If I ain't got very much knowledge
Of "literchure," "figgers," an' such,
It's because I "growed" up at "cow" college,
Where book "larnin'" don't count fer much.

My youth now is some dim an' distant,
As I'm "jest sorta" on the down grade,
An' old father Time gets insistent
Yet--I don't 'pear to feel much afraid.

Why, if I had my life to live over,
An' was put here to ride this same range--
Course I can't say it's "allus" been clover--
They ain't very much I would change.

I've played out my hand as I found it'
Busted flushes, an' straits,--All the same
I ain't goin' to lay down an' hound it,
Jes' 'cause Time had a seat in the Game.

When Gabriel blows his horn for me,
And I'm tallied along with the dead,
I don't want no cryin' done o'er me
Ner no branded rock put my head.

Jes' dig me a hole in a hill side,
An' throw in some gravel an' stones;
Cause it might be best on the last ride
If the varmints ain't gnawin' my bones.

I've collected what I had comin'
In the years I've been here on earth.
If I don't get to hear a Harp strummin'
I guess I've got all I was worth.

I've paid fer my drinks as I got 'em,
An' I've toted my end of the load,
Ner I never dealt off of the bottom,
As I scattered my chips 'long the road.

I've never been much of a hedger,
So I'll jes' play the board as it lays;
An' I'll take my chance on Their ledger,
When They round me up with the strays.

An' if the devil has got me branded,
When I ride fer the Golden Stair,
An' old Saint Pete leaves me stranded;
They'll be wrong, fer I've allus been square.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The Ridge-Running Roan

It was up in the Bad Lands, I was rangin' alone,
I first heard of this cayuse, The Ridge Runnin' Roan.
He was fleet as a deer and as tough as a mule,
Pretty as a picture and nobody's fool.

High headed and leggy, he was just built for speed;
The cowboy that roped him could own that there steed.
I figured the reason this bronk was still free
Was he never had crossed a mustanger like me.

So I went right to work and I got me a pair
Of the best saddle horses that ever wore hair.
I hunted that mustang and I took to his trail;
When he hit for the ridges he was packin' the mail.

I never did head him nor turn him about,
I aimed to just trail him till I wore him plum out.
Then for five or six days I gained not an inch;
He was wearin' no crutches and that was cinch.

He was tough as a boot and as wise as a fox;
He kept on the ridges and a-dodgin' the rocks.
I'd trail him till dark and at dawn I'd begin.
Till I got pretty weak and my horses got thin.

I followed those tracks till I got stiff and sore,
But he stayed right in front where he kept makin' more.
Then I got so I felt like a tired, locoed sheep
A-trailin' that fuzztail and a-losin' my sleep.

He went short for water, with no time to graze,
While I camped on his trail for seventeen days.
Then he got awful gaunt--he was wearin' out fast,
Till he looked like a ridge runnin' ghost at the last.

He was placin' his feet like he's walkin' on tacks,
Till I saw he was leavin' fresh blood in his tracks.
So I started to crowd him and turned him around,
He quit the rough ridges and hunted soft ground.

I shook out a loop when we got to a flat,
I threw a riata and it fit like my hat.
He sure gave up quick when I jerked out the slack,
Then I noticed some old saddle marks on his back.

I had done myself proud and I felt like a champ
When I got him all haltered and headed for camp.
He was strikin', and kickin', and plum fightin' mad.
I could see he was spoiled and sure enough bad.

Well, I got him at home and into the corral,
I fed him some hay and some oats for a spell.
When he got fat and strong and I gave him the news,
I hog-tied him down and nailed on some shoes.

Then I put on the bridle and I fixed it to fit,
It wasn't the first time that he'd champed a bit.
I threw on my saddle and I cinched it right down.
Then I crawled his old carcass--I was headed for town.

I drug out my quirt, 'case to me he looked tame,
Like a twenty-two pistol on a forty-five frame.
I got a deep seat and I froze to the cantle,
I jabbed in my meat-hooks clear up to the handle.

He let out a bawl and he went from that spot
Like the ground where he stood had sudden got hot.
He topped that first jump with a shimmy and shake,
Like a-poppin' the head from a live rattlesnake.

Then he went to sun-fishin', he sure was a peach,
And I turned from a wild-cat into a leech.
He was mad as a hornet and I guess he saw red,
He was handy afoot and his feet wasn't lead.

I thought I was up on the hurricane deck
Of an earthquake and a cyclone a-havin' a wreck.
I was doin' my best and was just gettin' by,
But he's doin' better with blood in his eye.

He was duckin', and dodgin', and a-walkin' the dog,
He had me so dizzy I was lost in the fog.
And then he got busy and the things that he did
Was like a volcano that had blew off the lid.

He was bawlin', and gruntin', a-humpin' the hump;
He turned wring side out with every new jump.
At ridin' bad horses I'm no crippled squaw,
But he showed some tricks that I never had saw.

With a giratin' jump he goes over the gate,
And I grabbed for the horn, but I was too late.
He hit with a jar that 'most shed his hair;
It busted me loose and I quit him right there.

Of all the bad horses that I ever rode,
None was like him, for he seemed to explode.
He busted me up and I'm still stiff and lamed--
That Ridge Runnin' Outlaw will never be tamed.

The last time I saw him, he was crossin' a bridge,
He was high-tailin' back to his favorite ridge.
I've borrowed an outfit as I've none of my own--
My riggin' ran off on the Ridge Runnin' Roan.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The Saga of Borax Bill

The day of the long team is o'er,
The long-line teamster is seen no more,
The cadent notes of the leader's chimes
Are forever buried in bygone times.

                     ___

Old Borax Bill was a tough old pill,
And old case-hardened sinner
Who went his way in the early days
And old time long-line skinner.

He knew more schemes for jerk-line teams,
Than anyone of his time;
He could curse by rote and swear by note,
To music, rhythm and rhyme.

He could give more span than any man,
And where his leaders are
Is out of sight, where it takes all night
For the wheelers to get that far.

For when to go and where to "whoa,"
A long distance telephone
Was hanging near the leaders ear,
To make Bill's wishes known.

He gave mules hell but he fed them well
And he knew just how to drive;
He could haul more load on a sandy road
Than any man alive.

On his wheeler alone, like a king athrone,
He would tell them what to do
And when he spoke, the hamestrings broke,
Or the chains and stretchers flew.

Old Bill was rough, but he knew his stuff
On the up grade of the hill,
And a lazy mule was just a fool
To loaf with Borax Bill.

A hybrid late made coyote bait,
Out on the desert's stones.
The team went on in the early dawn,
As the buzzards picked his bones.

He could make a turn with room to burn,
And never a mule to stand,
And when he'd shout the pointers out,
Their bellies would hit the sand.

His voice would ring up in the swing,
Those mules would hop across
Again and again o'er a tightened chain,
For they knew that he was boss.

He kept some rocks in the jockey-box
To throw at a lazy team;
When he shied a stone a mule would groan
And then Old Bill would scream--

"Git out and hit that collar and bit,
You lazy son-of-a-jack,
I'll be up you, snide, and tan your hide,
To hang upon the rack.

He'd often say in his blasphemous way,
That after he had died
He would be no stranger in the manger,
Where the souls of mules were tied.

And that Borax Smith was just a myth,
With trimmings in between;
He had blown more borax through his thorax
Than Smith had ever seen.

Now a mule I judge will hold a grudge
Until his dying day;
An abusive debt he'll not forget,
And with interest he'll repay.

At any rate, one evening late
Old Bill went on the "prod;"
With this in mind he got behind
A mule just newly shod.

With all his might and careful sight
This beast took perfect aim,
In a manner neat with both hind feet
He handed Bill the same.

Oh, what a lick was that mighty kick,
And it caught Bill unaware.
With a dismal howl, and a cursing growl,
Bill folded up right there.

When he was found upon the ground,
His eyes were seen to glisten
And in his breath was the rattle of death,
As he called for his friends to listen.

From where he lay they heard him say,
"Ain't he a holy terror,
Here I'm busted by a mule I trusted,
Looks like I made an error.

"Now it may be so that it's hot below.
Boys, will you do me a turn,
Just send that fool of a kickin' mule,
Right along with me to burn."

Old Borax Bill lies o'er the hill,
Now numbered with the dead
And you may laugh at his epitaph,
For here is what it said.

"Beneath this spot where it's plenty hot,
Lie the bones of a hardened sinner;
Don't be bereft though it's all that's left
Of Borax Bill, mule-skinner."

If he's above or below, I don't know,
Old Bill was kinda sharp,
When they shuffled the deck after the wreck
Bill may have laid hold of a harp.

He knew no school but the hybrid mule,
And he kept them fat and shod;
Old Bill worked hard and he drew a card
That squared his account with God.

                ____

The day of the long-line team is o'er,
The long-line teamster is seen no more,
The cadent notes of the leader's chimes
Are forever buried in bygone times.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The poem on the left was published in Rhymes of the Roundup, 1917, and the similar poem on the right appeared in Songs of the Sage, 1931

 

The Last Roundup

I've been on my last big roundup,
I've finished the long day's work,
For the many men who have rode me,
And who know that I did not shirk.

This spring I'm not in the remuda,
For now I am useless to stride,
I've given the best that was in me
In many a long day's ride.

I once was the pride of the roundup,
Proud and polished and sleek;
Have served my time and I'm tired
And blemished and old and weak.

Ridden by many masters,
Kind, considerate and true,
Mastered by many who rode me
And whipped me and cursed me through.

Of the first I was proud of my burden
Of those who have called me Pard,
But the latter, the demons who beat me
Toward them has my heart grown hard.

'Twas they who have aged me early,
To them do I owe my state;
But the others, the kind ones who loved me,
To them I owe love, not hate.

And I'll be in another roundup,
That will lack the dust and the din,
And I'll go on with the trail herd
When the Big Boss gathers me in.

by Curley Fletcher, from Rhymes of the Roundup, 1917

 

The Cow Pony's Lament

I've been on my last big round-up,
I've finished the long day's work,
For the many men who have rode me,
Who know that I did not shirk.

I was ridden by many masters,
Kind, considerate and true;
Mastered by many riders
Who whipped and cursed me thru.

I, once the pride of the round-up--
Proud, and agile, and sleek,
Have served my time and I'm tired
And blemished, and old, and weak.

This spring not of the remuda,
I'm aged and useless to stride,
Weathered, and worn, and weary,
By many the long day's ride.

Off was I proud of the burden
Of a man I could understand;
Whose spurs were only a habit,
He of the soft voice and hand.

To him I gave my best efforts,
To him I loaned my great speed;
And 'twas he who loosed the cinches
As he recognized my need.

But the parasite of the outlands --
The whipping, spurring fool,
The drunken, cursing demon,
The child of a devil school--

'Twas he who has aged me early--
Because of him am I done;
A worn and worthless old cayuse
Going out with the setting sun.

Caught in the last great round-up
That hasn't the dust and the din,
Joining the endless trail herd
As the Big Boss gathers His in.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage, 1931

 

 

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

When Desert Flowers Bloom

Tonight, in this big busy city,
So far from the home I have known,
I am filled with a sadness and longing—
Mid thousands I am lost and alone.

I am pining for my old desert homestead,
Where the moon and the starts shine so bright;
To again smell the sage and the greasewood,
While the coyotes howl through the night.

When the flowers of the desert are blooming,
And the swallow is building its nest
Where the high guardian peaks are a-looming
O'er my old desert home in the west.

There soon again I'll be drifting
When the hummingbird takes to the wing,
Where the restless sands are a-shifting,
When desert flowers bloom in the spring.

I long for the creak of a saddle,
And I yearn for the touch of the reins;
I pine for the buzzing sidewinder,
And the free running blood in my veins.

I listen for the call of the eagle,
And the music of myriad things;
I crave for a drink of the water
That flows from the alkaline springs.

I miss the blessing and the hardships,
The freedom of the wild desert lands;
And I miss the mirage that pictures
A beautiful lake on its sands.

I am going back to the homestead,
I am counting the days, every one;
Till again I can gaze in the distance
At an amber and gold setting sun.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage, 1931 and also included in Ballads of the Badlands

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

The poem on the left was published in Rhymes of the Roundup, 1917, and the poem on the right appeared in Songs of the Sage, 1931

 

Last of the Thundering Herd

There in that limited pasture,
Their eyes bedimmed and blurred,
They stand in that prison, all captives,
The last of the Thundering Herd.

Of the thousands that dotted the prairies,
These are all that remain.
The echoes of millions of pattering feet
Forever have gone from the plain.

Of the thousands and thousands that herded
Answering nature's call,
Migrating North in the Springtime,
Wandering South in the Fall.

Crossing the snow-covered mountains,
Leaping their treacherous seams,
Fording the riotous rivers,
Spanning tumultuous streams.

Roaming at will o'er the prairies,
Care-free, and seeking no goal;
A few falling by the wayside,
The wolf or the Indian's toll.

Then came the white man westward,
Stealing the land of their birth,
Begrudging an unharrassed moment,
Annihilating them from the earth.

They were madly, tirelessly hunted,
Ruthlessly, wantonly slain;
'Till their white bones gleamed in the sunlight
And their carcasses dotted the plain.

And here are the last of the bison--
Oh, God, but it seems so absurd!
A black page on the history of mankind-- 
The Last of the Thundering Herd.

by Curley Fletcher, from Rhymes of the Roundup, 1917

 

Last of the Thundering Herd

There in that limited pasture,
Their eyes bedimmed and blurred;
Standing like captives in prison,
The last of the thundering herd.

Of the numbers once dotting the prairie
Are these all that remain?
Has the echo of the numberless, pattering feet
Forever a-gone from the plain?

Of the countless thousands that herded
In answer to nature's call,
Migrating north in the springtime,
Wandering south in the fall.

Crossing the snow-covered mountains,
Leaping their treacherous seams,
Spanning the riotous rivers,
Fording tumultuous streams.

Roaming at will o'er the prairies,
Care-free and seeking no goal;
A few to fall by the wayside,
The wolf, or the Indian's toll.

Came then the white man westward,
To the land of the bison's birth;
Begrudging an unharrassed moment,
Annihilating them from the earth.

Madly and tirelessly hunted,
Ruthlessly, wantonly slain;
Their carcasses dotting the prairies,
Their stench permeating the plain.

And there are the last of the bison.
Ah! but it seems so absurd--
The black page of our civilization,
The last of the thundering herd!

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage, 1931

 

 

 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

The Desert Rat

Ah, these tales of the desert's trails!
How oft' they have been told,
By the men who grope in a forlorn hope
For the desert's hidden gold.

            ~~~~~~~

I'm off of a hike where I made a strike,
Out to the Painted Butte;
I'm a-gettin' old but I know my gold,
And that's a real ore chute.

I've follered the pack on a burro's back
Fer more than fifty year;
But you just bet I'm a good man yet,
So be it, I still be here.

Jest stake your hat, I'm a desert rat,
And I sabes a burro's wiles;
I ought to know, I guess it's so,
I've trailed 'em a million miles.

I've studied ore and what is more
I'm bound to strike it rich.
The desert's tried to tan my hide,
But I know her every itch.

I've tried to make a loafin' stake
Since Brigham Young came West;
It's the first I've struck of any luck,
Be it so, I've did my best.

By occupation I know formation,
And you can bet yure shirt,
I know the gist of sand and schist
Or any kind uh dirt.

I want to state, I know the slate,
The birds-eye prophry, too;
The bluish-green of serpentine
Fer me ain't nothin' new.

The diorite, the hard quartzite,
The granite, and the shale;
The andacite, and the rhyolite

On these I never fail.

The azurite in the argentite,
And the flaming travertine;
The sylvanite, and the tremolite
Are ores I've often seen.

The potash salts in nature's vaults,
And all the boric clan;
The colemanite and the pandermite,
I've seen 'em boy and man.

I've pillowed my head on a nitrate bed,
I know the very worth
Of hard sulphides and soft chlorides,
Or most the ore on earth.

Now be it so, that I want to go
Back to that Painted Butte;
Right where I found, in virgin ground
A genuine ore chute.

I'd like to bet I strike it yet,
And if I don't, I'm a liar.
I'll put my stamp on a new gold camp
That will set the world afire.

The mills will grind the ores I find,
And o'er the new town site,
On a concrete road to my mammoth lode
A city will spring o'er night.

Now here's the rub, I've got no grub,
No dust left in my poke;
I've got to make a new grub-stake,
In fact, I'm stony broke.

But here's a way to make it pay,
I'll leave it up to you
To lend a hand with the bacon and,
Then we'll cut the claim in two.

I'll go you cow if you stake me now
To the little that I'll eat—
Some flour and beans, a pair of jeans,
Some boots to show my feet.

Well, thank you pard, I know it's hard,
But wait till I return;
You won't regret the day we met,
We'll both have gold to burn.

             ~~~~~~~~

Ah, these tales of the desert trails!
How oft they have been told,
By the men who grope in a forlorn hope
For the desert's hidden gold.

On their patient feet in the torrid heat,
How many fell between
The water holes, where they freed their soles
Where their bones were never seen.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage, 1931

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

 

 

The Sheep-Herders Lament

I have summered in the tropics,
With the yellow fever chill;
I have been down with the scurvy;
I've had every ache and ill.

I have wintered in the Arctic,
Frost-bitten to the bone;
I've been in a Chinese dungeon,
Where I spent a year alone.

I've been shanghaied on a whaler;
And was stranded on the deep,
But I never knew was misery was,
Till I started herding sheep.

The camp boss now is two weeks late
The burro dead three days.
The dogs are all sore footed, but
The sheep have got to graze.

They won't bed down till after dark,
And they're off before the dawn;
With their baaing and their blatting
They are scattered and they're gone.

I smell their wooly stink all day
And I hear them in my sleep;
Oh, I never knew what misery was,
Till I started herding sheep.

My feet are sore, my boots worn out;
I'm afraid I'll never mend;
I've got to where a horny-toad
Looks like a long lost friend.

The Spanish Inquisition might
Have been a whole lot worse,
If instead of crucifixion, they
Had had some sheep to nurse.

Old Job had lots of patience, but
He got off pretty cheap--
He never knew what misery was,
For he never herded sheep.

It's nice enough to tell the kids,
Of the big old horny ram,
The gentle soft-eyed mother ewe,
And the wooly little lamb.

It's nice to have your mutton chops,
And your woolen clothes to wear,
But you never stop to give a though
To the man that put them there.

The blind and deaf are blessed,
The cripples, too, that creep;
They'll never know what misery is,
For they never will herd sheep.

by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage, 1931

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

Drift Along Lonely Cowboy
 

In the far away Heavens in distant blue skies,
     High above in the bright gleaming sun,
Is a heaven of rest, for the Great Master's guest,
     When the Round-up on Earth is all done.

Through ever green meadows the riders will stray,
     In the flush of an Eternal dawn
With the Boss by your side through the Heavens you'll ride
     Drift along, lonely cowboy, drift on.

Drift along, lonely cowboy, drift to your new range,
     There's a Chuckwagon camped there on high.
Old time friends you will find, who once left you behind,
     And we'll all meet you there bye and bye.

The Boss of the Round-up will lend you a hand,
     He'll be waiting for you in the dawn
In the campfire's glow are old faces you'll know,
     Drift along, lonely cowboy, drift on.

by Curley Fletcher,  date unknown


We came by the sheet music below, and were particularly interested since the song is not included in any of Curley Fletcher's books, and has not been recorded often.

  Respected cowboy balladeer Don Edwards includes it on his 2009 CD, Heaven on Horseback. We asked Don where he found the song, and he told us:

  I got "Drift Along Lonely Cowboy" from Tex Ritter's Mountain Ballads and Cowboy Songs, Deluxe Edition song folio from 1941, published by M.M. Cole. Tex knew Curly Fletcher and included several of his songs in this folio. The other songs were "When the Roundup is Over," "Song of the Sand," "Nobody's Fool," and "Ridge Runnin' Roan," which was the theme song from Universal's Stormy.

Tex Ritter song books and movies had a lot of traditional cowboy songs in them. Tex stayed closer to the older traditional songs than all the other singing cowboys. Not only that, he liked the old songs but I think that he was exposed to them early on before he became famous. His friends and professors at the University of Texas in Austin included people like John Lomax, Oscar J. Fox, J. Frank Dobie and he later became acquainted with Curly Fletcher...

The title of Don's CD led us to the book, Heaven on Horseback (1970) by the important folklorists Austin and Alta Fife, whose collection resides at the Fife Folklore Archives at Utah State University. Later Don told us that he took his album's name from that book. The book is subtitled "Revivalist songs and verse in the cowboy idiom." It follows "the interplay between sacred music and secular music" and includes 49 songs, with commentary.

Of "Drift Along Lonely Cowboy," they write, "In this late-blooming cowboy song there's  little left of the range and range cattle: just a rider and his horse and the Great Range beyond death...."

You can hear Don Edwards' version here on YouTube.

 

The previous owner of the sheet music described it, "This is an old program and sheet music of the Morgan Family from The Hollywood Barn Dance...This is from the Caribow Theatre in Brewster, Washington (the town is misspelled as 'Bruster')."
 

SEPARATOR.gif (1476 bytes)

Meditation

The soft wind sways the whispering grass,
The sun sinks low o'er the Western pass;
As a coyote mingles his dismal howl,
With the sad, sweet notes of a lone hoot owl.

A hawk soars lazily up on high,
A speck of black in a crimson sky,
As a nightingale croons his evening song,
A grey wolf slinks through the shadows long.

The shadows deepen; then the rising moon,
With its silvery radiance all too soon
Dispels the darkness and brings to view
They myriad of things of the night anew.

A chuckling porcupine wends his way
To his feeding ground, 'ere the break of day;
A mighty stag comes browsing on,
With a graceful doe and a timid fawn.

Then a sadness grips you like a pall
In the silvery gloom where the shadows fall;
Then you wonder why you feel depressed;
Though you are alone, you have not guessed.

'Tis because you are a poacher there,
Unclean, where nature's breast lies bare,
And you would this spot so sweet, so grand,
Might remain untarnished by human hand.

But e'en this spot shall see the day
When it will fall the easy prey,
Of lust and greed, and in the place
Where yon pine sways in supple grace

And axe-scarred stump will stand, instead,
Bowing in shame its branchless head,
And down the rivers will float the spoils,
All helpless victims to human toils.

The drumming grouse will seek in vain
For the cozy coverts to nest again.
The quaking aspens will tremble ashamed
For the towering forests so torn and maimed.
The work of aeons will fall away
To the reaper's stroke in a single day,
Though the future ages may never mend
The scars of greed till the end of end.

 by Curley Fletcher, from Songs of the Sage, 1931

 


Books


Curley Fletcher published:

Rhymes of the Round-up, Shannon-Conmy Printing Co., San Francisco, 1917  (nine poems, rare) 

Songs of the Sage, Frontier Publishing Company,  Los Angeles, 1931
  (there was a "reprint edition" in 1986, edited by Hal Cannon and published by Gibbs-Smith)

Ballads of the Badlands, Frontier Publishing Company, Los Angeles, 1932


  Rhymes of the Round-Up, Shannon-Conmy Printing Co.,  1917, San Francisco  

The Strawberry Roan
The Cowboy's Prayer
Last of the Thundering Herd
The Painted Trail
Lonesome Days
That Bucking Bronk, Coyote
The Lone Wolf
The Last Roundup
Yavapai Pete

Our thanks to Mike Philipsheck for information about Rhymes of the Round-up


  Songs of  the Sage, Kellaway-Ide Co., 1931, Los Angeles


Dedicated
To the Memory of
Minnie Edna Fletcher
My Wife
Across the Great Divide


FOREWORD

This book is written for the lovers of the great open spaces--the mountains, valleys, and deserts that form the Empire of the West.

Its characters are the pioneer, cowboy, teamster (mule skinner), prospector (desert rat), and sheepman (sheepherder).

Most of this work is in the vernacular of these early pioneers of the traditional West.  The phrases and idioms are a part of the daily conversations which are still common among these virile, independent, free-hearted generous men and women who are measured, not by the standard of accomplishments of their forefathers, but are "sized up" by what they themselves have done. THEY KNOW NO CASTE.

They are the real philosophers of life and their creed is based upon the solid foundation of equality and justice for all. It holds no respect for the weakling, the braggart or the mercenary. They are grateful but leave their gratitude unspoken.

It is characteristic of them to profess an illiteracy and an ignorance of "book learning" which leads the stranger to believe them uninformed upon the many topics of historical fact and natural phenomena.

It would indeed surprise the misinformed individual, were he to hear discussed at the campfire, the "chuckwagon" or the water hole, the myths of the Greeks and Norsemen, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire or the works of Shakespeare.

He would be dumfounded to find on the table in the "bunk-house," the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the works of Keats, Voltaire, Dumas, Shaw, Wilde and many others.

Many mining engineers have been astonished at the knowledge of strata and ore which the prospector has at his call.  In ordinary conversation he uses odd phrases and lurid descriptive synonyms entirely strange to those outside his realm. His vocabulary seems limited but get him interested in the topics of natural formations, strata, ore, or any other geological subject and you will find that he is in a class of his own.

The author was born in the West and has spent his life in that part of it, known as the Great American Desert. He grew to manhood in Inyo and Mono Counties in California and knows the Western States as only a child of the West could know them. He has been cowboy, muleskinner, prospector and what not, but refuses to admit ever having herded sheep.

While most of this life is now in the background, he still feels the lure of the range and the back-country. The odor of the desert sage is still fresh in his nostrils and if he has painted a vivid picture in verse--that is his earnest desire.

 

Contents:

The Strawberry Roan
Yavapai Pete
Chuck-Wagon Blues
The Saga of Borax Bill
Lonesome Days
Tioga Jim
The Sheep-Herders Lament
The Pot Wrassler
When Desert Flowers Bloom
The Painted Trail
The Cowboy's Prayer
The Ridge-Running Roan
The Saddle Tramp
The Desert Rat
The Cow Pony's Lament
The Flyin' Outlaw
Mountain Meadow Memories
Last of the Thundering Herd
Wild Buckeroo
The Valley of Listless Dreams
Meditation
The Cowboy's Soliloquy


  In 1986, Peregrine Smith, Salt Lake, published a reprint of Songs of the Sage with a preface by Hal Cannon, and one additional poem, "The Tome of Time." (The book indicates that the body of the reprint is the 1931 edition published by Kellaway-Ide Co., 1931, Los Angeles).

The poems included in both books are:

Chuck-Wagon Blues
The Cowboy's Soliloquy
The Cowboy's Prayer
The Cow Pony's Lament
The Desert Rat
The Flyin' Outlaw
Last of the Thundering Herd
Lonesome Days
Meditation
Mountain Meadow Memories
The Painted Trail
The Pot Wrassler
The Ridge-Running Roan
The Saddle Tramp
The Saga of Borax Bill
The Sheep-Herders Lament
The Strawberry Roan
Tioga Jim
The Valley of Listless Dreams
When Desert Flowers Bloom
Wild Buckeroo
Yavapai Pete

  Ballads of the Badlands, Frontier Publishing Company, Los Angeles, 1932
with sketches by Guy M. Welch, about 45 pages, includes lyrics and music for 12 songs. 

The table of contents lists:

Canadian Rose
The Strawberry Roan (noted as "The Original" within the book)
When Desert Flowers Bloom
The Ridge Running Roan
Mountain Meadow Memories
The Pot Wrassler (spelled "Wrastler" within the book)
Chuck-Wagon Blues (subtitled "The Dude's Lament" within the book)
The Wild Buckeroo  (spelled "Buckaroo" within the book)
Down in the Valley of Sunshine (by Billy Oudeans)
The Saddle Tramp
Yavapai Pete
Borax Bill (titled "Old Boxax Bill" within the book)

The book contains a group photo of the Arizona Wranglers, Radio K N X: "Sleepy" Cal Short; "Slicker" Laverne Costello; "Hungry" Joe Ivans; "Dynamite" Len Dossey; "Nubbins" J. E. Patterson; "Irontail" Charles Hunter; and "Sheriff" Loyal Underwood.  The inside back cover advertises the then-new Songs of the Sage, which was $1.00 postpaid.

"The Cowboy's Soliloquy" poem is also included, as an advertisement for Songs of the Sage.


A Few Links and More

       1. The Tome of Time
       2. Yavapai Pete
       3. Last of the Thundering Herd
       4. My name's Duane Rossi and...
       5. When Desert Flowers Bloom
       6. Curley Fletcher wrote the Strawberry Roan...
       7. The Strawberry Roan
       8. Mountain Meadow Memories was always...
       9. Mountain Meadow Memories
      10. The Saddle Tramp
      11. You know Curley Fletcher wrote...
      12. Wild Buckaroo
      13. Meditation
      14. He was a good cook...
      15. The Pot Wrassler
      16. I was in the service when Curley Fletcher died...
      17. The Valley of the Listless Dreams
      18. The Tome of Time (reprise)

 


 

www.cowboypoetry.com

 

HOME

 What's New | Poems

 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