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FOLK COLLECTION 11: The Skaggs Foundation Cowboy Poetry Collection

Date of Items: 1890-present
Register Prepared by: Randy Williams and Susan Gross, April 2004
Register Updated by: Randy Williams, 23 December 2009
Excel database transfered to MYSQL and uploaded (replacing PHP data): Colin Jackson, Fall 2010
MYSQL database updated: Randy Williams, January 2012
Linear Feet:20

Historical Note & Provenance

Folk Coll 11 is Utah State University's cowboy poetry collection. The collection, originally created by a generation donation by the L. J. and Mary Skaggs Foundation, includes books gathered during a fieldwork project in the early 1980s to document cowboy poetry in the U.S. west (see Folk Coll 11f). From this important fieldwork project came the impetus for the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering held in January 1985 in Elko, Nevada. Since that time, each January, the Fife Folklore Archives staff take the collection and Access database (that details each book, poem, author, first line and key words), to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for offsite use. Through University purchases and generation donations from poets and collectors, this collection continues to grow.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 20 linear feet of books on cowboy poetry, including press and self published works. The collection can be accessed through USU Libraries online catalog.

As well, poem titles and keywords found in each book in the collection are included in the database below. To use, type in the search term. Tip: Try and use an uncommon word from the poem to ensure less "hits." For instance, if you enter "boots" you will get many hits; but if you enter "bones" you will most liley get fewer "hits" or poems and find the item you seek faster. To return to the search page, click "home" at the bottom of the page.


Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
22412 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 29 Norman Edward Rourke Dust Bowl Days Sun burns through a paneless square, Wind blows in a door not there, Adobes gone to worthless dust, An old pump handle turned to rust.
22413 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 30 Norman Edward Rourke Friends They're my best friends and no matter if I'm upset, They're ready to play or cop a loving pet
22414 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 31 Norman Edward Rourke Little Pony Little pony left alone, No one seems to care, Who you are, if you are, or even If you're there
22415 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 33 Norman Edward Rourke Friend of Mine Friend of mine, where might you be? I wait each night in hopes to see You at the place we have set, Expecting you will grace us yet
22416 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 34 Norman Edward Rourke Jane The night was cold upon the moor, And mist engulfed the heat, A carriage wheels turned swiftly on The slippery road beneath
22417 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 35 Norman Edward Rourke A Wife of Sixty Years The old man looked longingly at the place he called home, Where he and his wife of sixty years tilled the soil and moved the stones, She'd gone on and left him to finish what must be done, And soon he would join her in a land beyond the sun
22418 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 36 Norman Edward Rourke Tallgrass Prairie Fed by rain, nurtured by the soil, The tallgrass held its own, No foot did trod nor hoof crush down, Its native prairie home
22419 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 38 Norman Edward Rourke Peaceful Valley Town The sky was dark; the stars were bright, The moon was deadly cold, The men wore faces of bitterness, And death that was foretold
22420 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 40 Norman Edward Rourke The Fiddler The bow lightly touched the strings, As the music filled the air, And the fiddler closed his eyes, So the melody was clear
22421 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 41 Norman Edward Rourke The Old Vet He slowly stood on unsure legs, As the flag marched by, And raised his aged shaking hand, In salute with a tear in his eye
22422 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 42 Norman Edward Rourke Winter November cold has come by rain, And brought its damp chill in the night, As the grayday shudders a bit, Trees shed their leaves for brittle
22423 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 43 Norman Edward Rourke Crow Bird Crow bird flies on midnight wings, Sounding alarm to woodland things, Noisily letting his presence known, This is his land, this is his home
22424 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 44 Norman Edward Rourke Sam Early September he made himself known, A single brief encounter then iced tea at his home, His stories regaled in Texas style, And every telling assured a smile
22425 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 45 Norman Edward Rourke October October's chill is in the air after stormy days, Morning sun filters through with its warming rays, Grass is wet from frosty rime where leaves a carpet o'er Lay windblown from the trees that bask in warmth no more.
22426 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 46 Norman Edward Rourke It's How You Think, Cowboy I wasn't born a cowboy or even in cowboy land, I come from the Deep South with palm trees and sand, But I left that place and traveled west, Eventually in Oklahoma I came to rest
22427 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 47 Norman Edward Rourke Forever is unknown Forever is unknown, but that's how long I know I'll love you. The years together have been good, but they passed too quickly to love you.
22428 Wind Songs FC 11 R-43 48 Norman Edward Rourke The Old Black Man The old black man had cotton hair, His face wore lines of years, A shuffling walk with eyes cast down, He'd known since but a boy
22429 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 1 Fred Lambert The Santa Fe Trail Trail of a continent, tell us your story Full and complete through the vista of years. Tell of the yearning, the hope, and the glory Sown in adventure and watered by tears.
22430 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 4 Fred Lambert The Passing of Brimstone We were sitting in the bunk house Of the Cross-Bar Lazy B, When the foreman, Wild Hoss Charley, Told this simple tale to me.
22431 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 6 Fred Lambert Uncle Tom Curtis on Calico Trail Calico? said Uncle Tom, Wall, here's the pint with me-- A puncher ort to stick to steers An' let the wimmin be;
22432 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 9 Fred Lambert Sage Tang There's somethin' when yo're sniffin' And a-smellin' of the sage That makes a feller lively And forgettin' of his age.
22433 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 10 Fred Lambert Horse Sense We were ready for the roun-up At the Cross-Bar Lazy B, When the foreman, Wild Hoss Charley, Ropes his bronc and says to me: There's a horse among a thousand, An' I'm cravin' to relate That he's smarter, bo, than any Dad-burned puncher in the state.
22434 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 13 Fred Lambert Dogies Huntin fer dogies--trailin' the wake Of motherless critters in coulee an' brake; Down in the canyon, out on the range, Huntin' fer dogies, hell, but it's strange.
22435 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 14 Fred Lambert Ridin' the Trail Ridin' the trail in driftin' sand From Yuba down to the Rio Grande, Where gilas play and the canyon wall Gives back to the cry of the lobo's call.
22436 Cowboy Heart, Soul, and Humor FC 11 F-20 1 Doug Foshee Good Sounds Sometimes I get to thinking about all the things that I hold dear Smelling fresh mowed hay, seeing a sunset, and the everyday things I hear.