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TERRY SANDERS
Bellevue, Texas
About Terry Sanders
Terry Sanders' web site

 

 

 

It Still Takes a Cowboy

They say that the old days are gone now, forever,
That the only frontier left is that "Cyberspace",
The day of the cowboy died on the fences,
 And the man working horseback is now out of place,

 But the pens are still dusty and  cattle still bawl
  And slow moving buzzards still hang in the air,
  Horn flies by thousands swarm over the cattle,
   And it still takes a COWBOY to pen 'em out here.

   You can sook 'em or call 'em from off of the patches,
   They'll crowd round the range cubes if they want to come in,
   They'll call off the costal or wide open pastures,
    But those in the thickets are still hard to pen.

     So off ride the cowboys in duckin' and leggins,
      On hard-twisted horses that savvy the cow,
      Trailed by their dowdogs, Blue Heelers, or Lacys,
       Curs, Catahoulas, following now.

       Long late in August, in grass to their bellies,
        Wild crossbred cattle, showin' some ear,
        You can't sook or call 'em from mesquite thickets,
         But for the cowboy they'd die back in there.

         And the pens are still dusty and  cattle still bawl,
          Slow movin' buzzards, they hang in the air.
          Horn flies by thousands hang over the cattle,
           And it still takes a cowboy to pen 'em out here.

© 2004, Terry Sanders
This work may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Terry told us: Two springs ago we had moved back to Texas from Montana and had leased a house and a few acres from Spud Spivey on the McCravey ranch out of Buffalo Springs. Spud had a big set of pens just off the lane that took us to town and often when I drove by the boys were working cattle in the pens. One morning I looked at those mesquite thickets and thought—it still takes a cowboy to pen 'em out here.

I wrote the poem that morning. Later I added music and it became the title song of my recent CD.

 

 

Casey's Out Tonight

His hounds are running in the hills, cause Casey's out tonight,
But it don't look like Casey; it must be quite a sight,
Cause Casey is a cowboy—good as ever rode
a saddle bronc, or flanked a calf; old Casey totes his load.

He's got a coon skin on his head, brogans on his feet,
Overalls and jumper, he sure don't look so neat,
As when he's dressed to go to town; dressed up like cowboys do,
Jeans and shirt, boots and hat, perhaps a wild rag too.

His horses are all in the trap, he rides his little mule,
Thirteen hands of cussedness; Casey looks a fool,
Him six foot four and split up high; his feet nigh to the ground,
But Casey is still Casey—the smartest guy around.

His chaps and hat hang on the wall, his boots beneath his bunk,
He left his billfold and his change, and other pocket junk
Cause Casey's huntin' meat tonight; the river's out of banks,
And varmints head for higher ground; at least that's what he thinks.

A pistol in his pocket, a lantern on his horn,
A tow sack tied on tight behind, as sure as you are born!
Boots and spurs tomorrow; tomorrow he'll look neat,
But Casey dresses for the job and Casey's out for meat!

© 2008, Terry Sanders
This work may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Terry told us: I believe that the idea came to me when I was going through some pictures from when I lived in Arkansas. Bill came up to ride with me and he, as always wore a short-sleeved shirt. I, as always, wore a long sleeved khaki shirt. When we came in that afternoon his arms were bloody, while mine were fine. Needless to say, he wore long sleeves the next time he joined me.
 

 

 

 


 


About Terry Sanders:

I grew up horseback in Texas in the days when there very few cars. At 17 I was singing for money with a 14 piece orchestra which played college and ranch dances in the hill country of Texas.

At 18 I studied voice and sang with the Baylor University a capella choir, while taking a pre-med course. At 19 I was a Private in the US Army. Because I had already been accepted by a medical school I was sent to the school.

At 23 I was an M.D. and as soon as my postgraduate training was completed I headed back to Texas and private practice. For the next 50 years I was a country doctor.

Almost all of my limited spare time was spent with horses and cattle. I always ranched on the side and my family and I did all of the work. Many of my friends were, and are, cowboys, cutting horse people, and farmers and ranchers. I worked cattle with them at every opportunity.

I retired in 1991, sold my cutting horses and place in Texas and bought 25 acres with a little house in the heart of the Ouachita National Forrest in Arkansas.  My wife, Dorothy, and I moved there with 3 saddle horses, 96 head of Spanish goats, a border collie and a great Pyrenees dog. There were no fences. I kept the goats in a pen except for an hour each morning and one each afternoon when the border collie and I took them into the forest to graze.  After a month I turned them out and only penned them at night.

When I retired at age 66 I decided to learn to play the fiddle, then, later, the guitar and some other stringed instruments. That led to jamming three or four nights a week with friends. I began singing again and found that I remembered all the words to the old songs had heard as a child.

At 72 I found out that I was a song writer. I began performing at trail rides and similar events. Before long I was asked to teach at music festivals and I have led workshops in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

While this was going on I was a volunteer for the Forest Service, maintaining trails and guiding parties into the back country.

After 9 years in Arkansas we moved to Montana and lived on the Flathead Reservation.

Three years ago we moved back to Texas and bought a place in Buffalo Springs, where we live today. At 82 I can still ride, stack baled hay, and grub mesquite, but music has pretty well taken over my life. I teach fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo and voice to a few students and I still take fiddle lessons.

I perform occasionally, either solo, or with a group, and I always enjoy attending a music festival-- either as a teacher or as a student.

It Still Takes a Cowboy 


This is a 40 minute CD which is composed of 13 songs which I have written and which I sing. All are "story songs." Some may make you laugh, some cry, some both. About half have to do with horses, cattle, or wild country. Some of the others are love songs and some are funny songs.

The back up is mostly acoustic and is a throwback to the days when music was relaxing to listen to. Guitar, and banjo, is provided by Mike McAdoo who was for three years voted the best lead guitar player in Branson. Steve Story plays fiddle. He has played on many top selling CDs and recently has been playing with the "Son Of The San Joaquin."

My wife, Dorothy plays rhythm autoharp on about half the cuts, while professional musicians Randy Montgomery and Johnny Divine provide drums and bass.

The CD was recorded at Outback Studio in Wichita Falls, Texas It is sold with a money-back guarantee. I send it to you on a trial basis. If you like it send me your check for $15. If you don't, send it back. None has been returned.

It can be purchased by emailing me directly at: terrys@comcell.net or through my website: www.backofbeyondmusic.com

Buffalo Springs is 18 miles west of Bowie, and 45 miles south of Wichita Falls, Texas. You may not find it on your map. There are about 10 houses, and half of them are vacant. There are no businesses, but there is a community center.

Every Tuesday night I run the "Old Time Music Gathering" in the community center. If you are traveling through this area, stop and join us. It is an all acoustic jam and all levels of musicians are welcome. There is no charge but a donation jar is available.

There is lots of great food at break time—no charge for that either.

The music runs heavily to old time with some blue grass, honky tonk, or even an occasional modern song. No alcohol or drugs are allowed. 

We usually have 15 to 20 people playing and about 40 in the audience.

We welcome traveling musicians or poets to play with us, or if you just like to listen to music or poetry, stop by; we'd love to have you.

 

 

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