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"I write songs and poetry because I simply have no choice. I would do it even if I was the only one to ever read it. Every song, every poem, is an itch or an ache that doesn't go away until it finds its way to paper. Sometimes it's a blessing and sometimes a curse. Either way, it's a constant."

                                                             Richard Elloyan

About Richard Elloyan

Selected Lyrics and Poetry

Recordings

Richard Elloyan's Web Site

Academy of Western Artists
Male Vocalist of the Year
2004

 

"...Superb musicianship, lyrics are straightforward and meaningful...there's
nothing ordinary about this cowboy's voice! It's clearly exceptional."
                               Rope Burns - O.J. Sikes


About Richard Elloyan
   official biography

Richard Elloyan is a singer, songwriter, and poet of unique wit and imagination. Writing his own music and poetry he captures the spirit of the west and those who live its lifestyle. Raised in the historic mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, Richard grew up surrounded by the romantic stories and characters that shaped the growth of Nevada and California. Using the backdrop of the high desert, Richard brings to life the images and philosophies of the cowboy and those who are cowboys at heart. Richard has the good fortune to work and live in the Sierras, surrounded by ranches and mountains, which are a constant source of inspiration. Richard has recently appeared with Ian Tyson, Michael Martin Murphey, Brenn Hill, Lacy J. Dalton, the Comstock Cowboys and Rod McQueary


Selected Lyrics and Poetry

The Series
The Windmill Man
The Coffee Shop
Favorite Photograph

 

The Series
                   
 
I drug up a chair
I pulled off my boots
 I rested my feet by the fire
Twisted the cap
From a bottle of jack
And agreed with both feet
We was tired
The shadows all came out of hiddin
As the sun slid below the horizon
The stars all turned on
And they stay on till dawn
By then we'd be out again riddin
 
The air was crisp as a cracker
There wasn't hardly a breeze
The smoke rose up like a fountain
Straight down drifted cottonwood leaves
Clear as a bell
And cold as hell
Was probably the way I'd describe it
One by one to the fire
Each cowboy retired
And drug up his own chair beside it
 
Stories were told
Of the miles that we rode
Through the high country
Kickin up strays
We all shared a drink
And agreed we did think
The fall gather was the best of a buckaroo's days
 
But this story ain't just about cowboys
It's about a night I will always recall
When there by the flame
We tuned in the game
Heard the umpire cry out
Play ball!
And fifty five thousand screaming fans
All cheered the first swing of the bat
Along with five hired hands
Around the campfire
Up on Bodie Flat
 
The Twins and the Cards
Had tied up the series
This game would settle it all
And somehow through the struggle
The boys of summer
Had turned into the men of fall
And I discovered that night
A spark of boyhood delight
I learned that time can never erase
Those memories you have
Playing catch with you dad
Or the first time you made it on base
How a new baseball glove
Felt big as a shovel
Stiff as a frozen rope
And you pounded that pocket
fist after fist
Rubbed it with saddle soap
Till finally it fit
Like you best pair of sneakers
You wrote you name in the palm
Dreamed of the day
You would pitch the big game
Each time you put that glove on
 
Now to my way of thinkin
Nothin tastes better
Then dinner cooked out on the range
Beans and bread
A hot cup of coffee
And steak
Slowly cooked over sage
But as the play by play unfolded
I found myself just a might jealous
To be in those stands
With a root beer in hand
And a hot dog with mustard and relish 
 
The roar of the crowd
The glare of the lights
The symmetry of the diamond
The calls balls and strikes
Marris and Mantle
Hammering Hank
Charlie Hustle
The Ryan express
Watching the Giants play in Candlestick Park
Close to heaven as a kid ever gets
 
And I was not alone in my thinkin
For I saw on those other guys faces
They too were carried away
To those innocent days and places
When you didn't have to pay for your fun
You hadn't yet learned to worry
Summer days were lazy streams
Didn't go anywhere in a hurry
 
Well right from the very beginning
We whooped it up
We cussed the umps
We didn't care much who was winning
At the end of the game
The final score
The Cards were at three
And the Twins had four
Then we drifted away in the darkness
Sorry
Not to be those little boys anymore
 
Ain't it funny how some things stick with ya
That night in perticular
Seems so vivid and clear
Though its a migratory memory
Arrives, lingers and leaves
Comes back again each year
And I remember lyin in my bedroll
Staring up into the dark
Thinking those aren't really shootings stars
Those are fastballs
God has hit out of the park 
Richard Elloyan
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written
permission.

     

The Windmill Man

I creak and I groan like an old cowboy's bones
And I have stood here for many years
I did the job that was intended
Seeking only to be mended
Serviced and repaired
But when I was new and shiny
I stood far out on the plains
Converting wind to water
Where there wasn't any rains
And I was never lonely
Watching over sand and hill
Listening to the empty when the wind and I were still

And when the west began evolving
I bore the winds of change
Faithfully revolving above the disappearing range
And when all the land was subdivided
Still I stood my ground
Though my need had long subsided
And I moved further into town
Sometimes I miss that emptiness
Though I still have earth and sky
And the curious attention
Of the kids that pass me by
They say I am the windmill man
So that is what I'll be
If not an object of affection
Then one of curiosity

Oh I still have that yearning
To be out there whirling and twirling
Feeling the wind between my vanes
To be that solitary edifice
Far out on the plains
But like all things made by man
Time has passed me by
Now I creak and I groan
Like an old cowboy's bones
The windmill man am I

Richard Elloyan
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written
permission.

 

The Coffee Shop

I sat across the coffee shop from an old man
Very old I'd say
And beside him sat a young man
Not yet five years of age
And the very old man
Had very old hands
Coarse and rough and callused
But in one hand
He held that young mans' hand
Like a priceless jewell
In a weathered chalice
And somehow you knew
That no act of nature
That no act of man
Could ever willfully extract
That young mans' hand
From the hand of that very old man
That young boy
The son of his son
Was more to him than life
He was the part of his soul
That would continue to soar
When his own reached the end of its flight
And the eyes of that elderly gentleman
Were as bright as the eyes of the child
They danced with rich luminescence
Each time that little boy smiled
I listened for their conversation
But I couldn't understand a word
But I understood what it was I heard
They laughed and laughed
Told stories only they would know
Their voices a marvelous harmony
One voice high, one voice low
One voice young, one voice old
And in a moment of sudden clarity
That caught me by surprise
I watched as that very old man
Grew young before my eyes
And when at last I left the coffee shop
I did not see what the others did
I did not see a very old man
And a very young boy
All I saw
Was just those two kids
 
2002, Richard Elloyan
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

This poem is also included in our special collection of
 poems about Cowboy Dads and Granddads

 
 
 
 
Favorite Photograph


Hanging in the hallway is my favorite photograph
Nine times out of ten when I pass by it makes me laugh
But then there's those occasions when all I do is cry
When I remember how she loved me and our final kiss goodbye

She was born in Dublin back in 1863
An immigrated to America just a girl of 17
We oft recalled in wonder that the two of us should meet
Me a black eye and a bloody nose from fightin in the street

She was solid upper class from a wealthy family
Trapped in social circles and yearning to be free
That fate should intersect our lives is not the greatest mystery
But that she ever saw potential in a ruffian such as me

Brave I was that summer day and called upon her door
Her father in his rage forbade that I should see her evermore
But the heart obeys no master and true love has yet to fail
To penetrate the deepest depths and steepest walls to scale

Her father made his fortune shipping freight around the horn
He vanished off Cape Hatteras when his ship foundered in a storm
There never was a woman half as practical as she
To my disbelief though in her grief she found an opportunity

The wedding was unattended but for the priest the bride and groom
Though the church was far from empty for her beauty filled the room
Her mother cried for days on end her sister wished her well
But as for me they did both agree I would be better off in hell

 We worked hard and we struggled to save our meager wage
But despite of our best efforts very little had we saved
Sean she says they're giving land away out west from what I understand
If we're gonna live in poverty then lets be poor on our own land

 I took a job working on the railroad and we made our way out west
And when first I saw this valley a great weight was lifted from my chest
Beside the river's willowed shore, the cottonwood and stone
We said a prayer and settled there and made the land our own

She took to farm and family with a vigor rarely seen
She learned to doctor cattle and could handle any team
We worked hard and we struggled built a home and raised our kids
And the good lord blessed us with success in everything we did

For fifty years we worked the land as partners man and wife
And the girl that gave up wealth for love found real riches in her life
I never knew another soul that so relished sweat and toil
That couldn't wait to greet each day and get her hands down in the soil

I grew concerned one afternoon when she had not returned for tea
I found her in the orchard where she had fallen from a tree
I've been waiting for you Sean she said, I think that we should pray
And the wind blew through the apple trees and carried her away

Hanging in the hallway is my favorite photograph
The first time she drove a motorcar wearing goggles and a hat
Though just a faded black and white her green eyes still shine through
I recall the final words she said, she said, I picked this one for you.

 
2002, Richard Elloyan
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written
permission.

Recordings

See Richard Elloyan's web site for ordering details and more information.

 

Twister

Includes:

Overture
    Twister
Great Basin Waltz
Eureka Saturday Night
Good Day To Be A Cowboy
Innocent Angel
      Big Chrome Smile
That Kind of Lonely
   Letter to Ramona
Nye County Drifter
Cowboy Wanderlust
      Here But For A Day
Waiting For The Storm


Big Nevada Sky

Click for Amazon  

Includes:

Someplace Left to Go
Carolina
Acoustically Speaking (interlude)
This Range
Rhythm of the Seasons
Marquita
      Flashflood
After the Flood (interlude)
Annie McGowan
      Big Nevada Sky
      Payday Angel
In Retrospect (interlude)
Too Early, Too Cold, Too Old
At the Hour of My Earthly Departure


Ordinary Cowboy

   

Includes:

The Hangman's Tune
Cowboy Holiday
Windmill Man
Buckaroo Moon
Alkali Rose
Fencelines
The Wager
Aspen Trees

and more ...


Richard Elloyan's Web Site 

 

Visit Richard Elloyan's  web site for more about him and his music, his schedule, news, and more.

www.RichardElloyan.com

 

 

 

 

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