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Patrice Webb
Patrice Webb's web site




Mary was a rancher’s daughter, born in '29
Daddy worked the cattle along the railroad line
As a girl she ran through fields of green in summer skies of blue
Her bare feet ran in time to the rivers running through

And oh Idaho
You’re a dancer you’re a poet
In your flowing dress of green
And oh Idaho
You are a lovely rancher’s daughter
The fairest ever seen

At 16 she was married to a boy she knew in school
They courted over harvesting the hay that daddy grew
Soon there came the babies, first one and then there’s two
The third one had granddaddy’s eyes like those summer skies of blue

And oh Idaho
You are a mother you’re a teacher
With your face all streaked with sweat
And oh Idaho
You are a lovely rancher’s daughter
In a faded gingham dress

They worked the farm in summer and in winter they did their best
To keep the cattle going as the winter served its test
They lost their blue eyed baby in the winter of ‘49
Granddaddy said that blue eyed boy was the best of all his kind

And Oh Idaho
You take and you give
And then you turn it ‘round again
And oh Idaho
You are a lovely rancher’s daughter
In a black dress in the rain

And now the kids have grown and Mary’s hair is grey
Her husband has passed on and the kids have moved away
But still she tends the cattle and the garden and her home
Like the hills and rocks and rivers it is written in her bones

And oh Idaho
You are graceful you are timeless
With your flowing hair of grey
And oh Idaho
You are a lovely rancher’s daughter
At the dimming of the day

And Oh Idaho
You are waving in your glory
In your red white and your blue
And oh Idaho
You are a lovely rancher’s daughter
You are the river running through.

Mary was a rancher’s daughter, born in ‘29
Daddy worked the cattle along the railroad line…..

© 2015, Patrice Webb
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Patrice Webb comments: This is a song that was inspired by an elderly woman who lives down the road from us in Sandpoint Idaho. My husband and I see her out there every day, grey haired and bent over working her garden and tending to the few cattle she has left. The garden is immaculate, and the cattle are well fed and her house, a quintessential North Idaho farm house is lovingly cared for.

I got to thinking about how life has changed in the Idaho Panhandle over the years, how people like her are a vanishing breed and how much they have to teach us about life and the song just sort of came pouring out. I sing and play on occasion at the assisted living center in town and after I shared this song more than half the room said that they knew her well.

Her name is “Bonnie” not “Mary” as in the song, and she was born in 1927 as opposed to 1929 but they all said that her Daddy DID work the cattle on the railroad line and that she did lose a son. I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to have shared that song with those folks as it is the reason I write songs.




  About Patrice Webb
                                                          provided 2016

Patrice Webb is a singer songwriter whose music has taken her from the dusty trails of the Sierra Nevada, through the high deserts of Eastern Oregon and up into the Idaho Panhandle where she lives with her husband and a band of four-legged critters. Patrice has earned a reputation of keeping audiences entertained with her special blend of folk, country, swing, and the blues. She has released two CDs of original music both of which are receiving international airplay. More information about Patrice can be found at





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