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Songs of the Plains
A Selection of Cowboy Folk Songs

 

1. The Old Chisholm Trail

2. Git Along, Little Dogies

3. The Range of the Buffalo

4. The Cowboy's Lament

5. I Ride An Old Paint

1.The Old Chisholm Trail

Come along boys and listen to my tale,
I'll tell you of my troubles on the old Chisholm trail.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

Oh, a ten-dollar hoss and a forty-dollar saddle,
And I'm goin' to punchin' Texas cattle.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

I wake in the mornin' afore daylight,
And afore I sleep the moon shines bright.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

It's cloudy in the west, a-lookin' like rain,
And my durned old slicker's in the wagon again.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

No chaps, no slicker, and it's pourin' down rain,
And I swear, by gosh, I'll never night-herd again.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

Feet in the stirrups and seat in the saddle,
I hung and rattled with them long-horn cattle.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

The wind commenced to blow, and the rain began to fall,
Hit looked, by grab, like we was goin' to lose 'em all.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

I don't give a darn if they never do stop;
I'll ride as long as an eight-day clock.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

We rounded 'em up and put 'em on the cars,
And that was the last of the old Two Bars.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

Oh, it's bacon and beans most every day,
I'd as soon be a-eatin' prairie hay.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

I went to the boss to draw my roll,
He had it figgered out I was nine dollars in the hole.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

Goin' back to town to draw my money,
Goin' back home to see my honey.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

With my knees in the saddle and my seat in the sky,
I'll quit punchin' cows in the sweet by and by.

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea,
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea.

 

2. Git Along, Little Dogies

As I was a-walking one morning for pleasure,
I spied a young cowpuncher a-riding alone.
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a-jingling,
As he approached me a-singing this song.

Whoopee ti yi yo, git along, little dogies,
It's your misfortune and none of my own,
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along, little dogies,
For you know Wyoming will be your new home.

Some fellows goes up the trail for pleasure,
But that's where they've got it most awfully wrong,
For you haven't an idea the trouble they give us,
As we go a-driving them dogies along.

Whoopee ti yi yo, git along, little dogies,
It's your misfortune and none of my own,
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along, little dogies,
For you know Wyoming will be your new home.

 

3. The Range of the Buffalo

It happened in Jacksboro, boys, in the year of seventy-three,
A man by the name of Crego came stepping up to me,
Says, "How do you do, young fellow, and how would you like to go
And spend one summer season on the range of the buffalo?"

It's me bein' out of employment, boys, to Crego I did say,
"This goin' out on the buffalo range depends upon the pay.
But if you will pay good wages, give transportation, too,
I think, sir, I will go with you and stay the summer through.

It's now we've crossed Pease River, boys, our troubles just begun,
The first damned tail I went to rip, Christ, how I cut my thumb,
While skinning the damned old stinkers our lives they had no show,
For the Indians waited to pick us off on the range of the buffalo.

Our hearts were cased in buffalo hocks, our souls were cased in steel,
The hardship of that summer would nearly make us reel,
The water was salty as hell fire, the beef I could not go,
And the Indians waited to pick us off on the range of the buffalo.

The season being over, boys, old Crego he did say,
That we had been extravagant, were in debt to him that day,
We coaxed him and we begged him, but still it was no go,
So we left his damned old bones to bleach on the range of the buffalo.

It's now we've crossed Pease River, boys, and homeward we are bound.
No more in that hellfired country will ever we be found,
Go back to our wives and sweethearts, tell others not to go,
For God's forsaken the buffalo range, and damned old buffalo.

 

4. The Cowboy's Lament

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a poor cowboy wrapped up in white linen,
Wrapped up in white linen as cold as the clay.

"Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
Play the dead march as you carry me along;
Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy" --
These words he did say as I boldly stepped by.
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story;
I am shot in the breast and I know I must die.

"Let sixteen gamblers come handle my coffin
Let sixteen cowboys come sing me a song.
Take me to the graveyard and lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"My friends and relations they live in the Nation,
They know not where their boy has gone.
He first came to Texas and hired to a ranchman,
Oh, I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing,
It was once in the saddle I used to go gay;
First to the dram-house and then to the card-house;
Got shot in the breast and I am dying today.

"Get six jolly cowboyus to carry my coffin;
Get six pretty maidens to bear up my pall.
Put bunches of roses all over my coffin,
Put roses to deaden the sods as they fall.

"Then swing your rope slowly and rattle your spurs lowly,
And give a wild whoop as you carry me along,
And in the grave throw me and roll the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

"Oh, bury beside me my knife and six-shooter,
My spurs on my heel, my rifle by my side,
And over my coffin put a bottle of brandy,
That the cowboys may drink as they carry me along.

"Go bring me a cup, a cup of cold water,
To cool my parched lips," the cowboy then said;
Before I returned his soul had departed,
And gone to the round-up -- the cowboy was dead.

We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,
And bitterly wept as we bore him along;
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome,
We all loved our comrade although he'd done wrong.

 

5. I Ride An Old Paint

I ride an old paint and I lead an old Dan,
I'm goin' to Montana to throw the hoolian,
They feed 'em in the coulees, they water in the draw,
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw.

Ride around little dogies, ride around them slow,
For the Fiery and Snuffy are raring to go.

Old Bill Jones had a daughter and a son;
Son went to college and the daughter went wrong.
His wife got killed in a poolroom fight,
Still he keeps singing from morning till night.

Ride around little dogies, ride around them slow,
For the Fiery and Snuffy are raring to go.

When I die take my saddle from the wall,
Put it on to my pony, lead him out of his stall,
Tie my bones to his back, turn our faces to the west,
And we'll ride the prairie that we love the best.

Ride around little dogies, ride around them slow,
For the Fiery and Snuffy are raring to go.


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