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November 15, 2009

The Dreary Life of the Cowboy

Some people, many, literally thousands, well not literally in a real sense, but lots of people, uncountable, tons, whole entire gangs, crowds, mobs, teeming masses, multitudes, populations, the body politic ... okay a few people, some, several, a couple, let’s say a bunch of people have asked me to print here the words to the cowboy song I posted on my-oh-MySpace page space, and so, by popular request, here they are.

Only a Cowboy

words by E. Martin Pedersen, music by E. Martin Pedersen and Antonino Abramo

1. I can taste salt in my mouth
A clump of prairie sage near my nose
You could say I broke my back chasin’ strays
I bet you say: that’s just the way it goes.

chorus: There’s a cowboy dyin’ tonight
All alone in Montana
Where it’s cold, timberwolves will howl at the moon
Biting his old red bandana.

2. His horse ran off feeling guilty
He covered his eyes with his hat
It’s a good deep sleep out in the open
And to go with your boots on at that.

3. By the time some ranger passes
Scraps of clothing and bones
No name or documentation
A cowboy’s soul long gone home.

4. The boys might search for the cowboy
If his mount makes it back to the ranch
With a snowstorm comin’ in from Canada
There wouldn’t be much of a chance.

5. It’s all the fault of Lucien B. Smith
The inventor of barbed wire fence
He should have left the open range alone
Our wildness, gone ever since.

6. Another beef stew or a Christmas dance
The poor boy will never enjoy
Dust unto dust without even a kind word
Bob or Bud, only a cowboy.

© 2009

If you’d like to read more about the American cowboys, click on the title or go to the link, for my prize-winning article: The Dreary Life of the Cowboy: Memoir and Myth in Cowboy Ballads. The article was printed in Social Education, March 1997, pp.130-138. Please read it there, if you can, because the layout and illustrations are beautiful.

Happy trails, Martin

Mutt: One cow says to another, "Look at that bunch of people."
Jeff: The other cow says, "Not 'bunch', 'herd'."
Mutt: Heard of what?
Jeff: Herd of people.
Mutt: Sure I've heard of people.
Jeff: No, stupid, a people herd.
Mutt: What do I care what a people heard?
Jeff: I saw a people herd the other day.
Mutt: Where?
Jeff: At the moooooovies.
Mutt: You're sick. And getting worse. Must be the full moooooon.
Jeff: Yeah. I feel like howling; as the song says, I'm in the moooooood?

1 comment:

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