A Philosophical Cowboy.
J.H.S. Out West Magazine, 1911.
The cattle get wild and the broncs get mean,
And the calves get bigger as the days go by,
So we got to keep a-rimming, boys—it’s root hog or die.
If you ride a mount of horses you’ve got to keep them shod;
If you can’t shoe them standing, then lay them on the sod;
You can tack the iron on them if you’re amind to try,
So get busy, boys—for it’s root hog or die.
In the morning after breakfast, about daylight,
Throw your saddle on a horse and pull your cinches tight;
The bronc may jump crooked or he may jump high,
But we all got to ride them, boys—it’s root hog or die.
O, the hills are rough and rocky but we got to make the drive;
When you start a bunch of cattle you better come alive;
If you ever get a maverick you must get him on the fly,
So you better take to them, boys—it’s root hog or die.
When the long day is over you’ll be glad to see the chief
With a pot of black coffee and another full of beef
And some sour dough biscuits to take the place of pie—
When he hollers, “Come and get it”—it’s root hog or die.
In the middle of the night it is sometimes awful hard
To leave your warm blankets when you’re called on guard,
And you pass the weary moments while the stars are in the sky,
Humming to the cattle, boys—it’s root hog or die.
Sometimes it’s dreadful stormy and sometimes it’s pretty clear,
You may work a month and you might work a year;
But you can make a winning if you’ll come alive and try—
For the whole world over, boys—it’s root hog or die.