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Wild West Songs and Poems

The Cowboy's Life


Traditional
(from Jack Thorpe's Songs of the Cowboys, 1908)


The bawl of a steer
To a cowboy's ear
Is music of sweetest strain;
And the yelping notes
Of the gray coyotes
To him are a glad refrain

And his jolly songs
Speed him along

And he thinks of the little gal
With golden hair
Who is waiting there
At the bars of the home corral.

For a kingly crown
IN the noisy town
His saddle he wouldn't change;
No life so free
As the life we see
'Way out on the Yaso range.

His eyes are bright
And his heart as light
As the smoke of his cigarette;
There's never a care
For his soul to bear,
No trouble to make him fret.

The rapid beat
Of his bronco's feet
On the sod as he speeds along,
Keeps living time
To the ringing rhyme
Of his rollicking cowboy's song.

Hike it, cowboys,
For the range away
On the back of a bronc of steel,
With a careless flirt
Of the raw-hide quirt
And the dig of a roweled heel.

The winds may blow
And the thunder growl
Or the breeze may safely moan;
A cowboy's life
Is a royal life,
His saddle his kingly throne.
Saddle up, boys,
For the work is play
When love's in the cowboy's eyes,
When his heart is light
As the clouds of white
That swim in the summer's skies.

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