Posted by: Oklahoma Sun | February 10, 2010

Cowboy Song.

Cowboy Song.

Joseph Mills Hanson. Fontier Ballads, 1910.


WE are up in the morning ere dawning of day
And the grub-wagon’s busy and flap-jacks in play,
While the herd is astir over hillside and swale
With the night-riders rounding them into the trail.

Come, take up your cinches
And shake up your reins;
Come, wake up your bronco
And break for the plains;
Come, roust those red steers from the long chaparral,
For the outfit is off for the railroad corral!

The sun circles upward, the steers as they plod
Are pounding to powder the hot prairie sod,
And it seems, as the dust turns you dizzy and sick
That you’ll never reach noon and the cool, shady creek.

But tie up your kerchief
And ply up your nag;
Come, dry up your grumbles
And try not to lag;
Come, now for the steers in the long chaparral,
For we’re far on the way to the railroad corral!

The afternoon shadows are starting to lean
When the grub-wagon sticks in a marshy ravine
And the herd scatters further than vision can look,
For you bet all true punchers will help out the cook!

So shake out your rawhide
And snake it up fair;
Come, break in your bronco
To taking his share!
Come, now for the steers in the long chaparral,
For it’s all in the drive to the railroad corral!

But the longest of days must reach evening at last,
When the hills are all climbed and the creeks are all passed,
And the tired herd droops in the yellowing light;
Let them loaf if they will, for the railroad’s in sight!

Come, strap up the saddle
Whose lap you have felt;
So flap up your holster
And snap up your belt;
Good-bye to the steers and the long chaparral;
There’s a town that’s a trump by the railroad corral!