Cowboy Songs and Singers: Of Lifeways and Legend


The feelings of a cowpuncher who looks back 20 years are set down in these verses written in 1908.

The day of the wide loop has gone by,
The open range days are past,
The cowboy bold and the buster was well,
Pile into the discard fast.
Our old cook has gone to dry farming,
Now a hard-handed son of toil,
Some water he's fenced and to work he's commenced
On his acres of gumbo soil.

Where once we could ride miles on horse-back
Across the prairie so fine,
We now have to zig-zag along a road
Laid out on a section line.
We used to move 'round on a broncho,
Urged on by a spur of steel,
But now we are forty years back of the times
If we don't ride an automobile.

No more rides the cowboy on roundup,
No more the sheep herder and dogs,
All you see is the dry farmer's homestead
And four or five million of hogs.
The bufalo, Indian and cowboy
Or horse chaser no more you'll find.
They have all found a hole up near the North Pole,
Crawled in and closed it behind.

Montana has sure gone to thunder
As far as the stock ranges go;
The jack pine farmer is in the spotlight
With his plow and his dray and his hoe.
It used to be: "How are the dogies?
How big did your calf branding show?"
Now it's: "How are the pigs doing neighbor?
How big did your corn crop go?"

Goodbye to the gay jolly cowboy!
Goodbye to the long-horned steer!
Goodbye to the gay filly chaser!
Goodbye range hands, be of good cheer.
You've all had your day, bless your hearts boys,
But now you must make your last stand.
From the bank draw your stake and then make a break
For a half section farm of dry land.

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