Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Naples, New York
About Hank Ranney




No Changes

I know this old cowboy who lives on the range.
  For fifty long years, he ain't made a change.
He's worn that old hat since the good Lord knows when.
  It comes off when he's sleepin', then it's back on again.
It's wide brimmed and sweat stained, not a good lookin' sight.
  But he won't buy a new one, this one fits him right.
Keeps the rain and the snow and the sun off his chin.
  He don't like no changes in this world he lives in.

He sits on a saddle he's had from day one.
  It's gone through five ponies but it gets the job done.
There's rope burns and scratches and it's worn out a bit.
  But after ridin' all day it feels gone on his hips.
His bedroll and poncho are tied down real tight.
  He's got coffee and beans if he stays out all night.
He knows all the shortcuts to the campsites he's been.
  He don't like no changes in this world he lives in.

He's always been single. He never took a wife.
  He didn't think she'd make it, livin' his kind of life.
Don't get him wrong, he likes women, of course
  but you don't get a mother-in-law with a horse.
He likes some good whiskey every once in a while.
  For a good plug of chew, why he'd walk a mile.
Cause he's in pretty good shape for the shape that he's in.
  And he don't like no changes in this world he lives in.

He's got a 42 caliber he wears at his side.
  It's hard to find bullets, he knows cause he's tried.
He keeps it real clean through he don't use it much.
  And he's careful cause it's got a hair-trigger touch.
His boots are all scuffed and one heel is worn down.
  He might get a new pair on his next trip to town.
But damn how they hurt till he's got them broke in.
  No, he don't like no changes in this world he lives in.

He got throwed from his horse, one day ridin' fence.
  And his right leg has bothered him every day since.
He don't blame the horse cause things happen like that.
  He only got mad when he couldn't find his hat.
He got back in the saddle and nobody knew
  the pain he was in, till his job was through.
But don't fuss over him, wastin' time is a sin.
  There's no need for changes in this world he lives in.

He says he don't quite remember his age
  but he rides like a young cowpoke through the sage.
He's quick with a lasso when chasin' a steer.
  He's got eyes like an eagle when trackin' a deer.
He says that he'll cowboy till the day that he dies.
  If it happens when he's ridin' bury him where he lies.
He's lived a good life and he'd do it again
  cause he's found peace of mind in this world he's lived in.

2009, Hank Ranney
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


We asked Hank about the inspiration for his poem, and he replied:  

As many of my poems come to light,
it usually happens over night.
I can't explain how it comes about,
I just grab my pen and the words come out.
I strum my guitar a couple of times.
A tune comes along & the words all rhyme.
Sometimes I think it's like a curse.
But I make folks happy with every verse.
So I'll keep writin' till I'm gone
Hoping they enjoy each poem and song.


About Hank Ranney:
    In 2009, Hank told us:

I was born in 1936 and have been an entertainer for 56 years. I've written hundreds of songs and poems for friends, family and for use whenever my band (Hank & the Hustlers) and I can be in the public eye. I've performed in Europe, while I was in the Army. Also, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Utah, and New York. We play for anything involving Veterans and Senior Citizens. We're not the greatest thing since Nashville but we love what we do. I live in upstate New York, way out in the country and wouldn't want to be anyplace else.



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