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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
22487 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 19 Mike Sweet The Tree in the Middle of the Road Since the days of Abraham Lincoln I have stood a sentinels duty. To some I am merely a mile post, others a country line. But to those who stop and listen, I tell stories over a century of time.
22488 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 21 Mike Sweet The Plow in the Oak Has anyone seen Frank Leffingwell? And just in case you do, please tell him time is getting by and there's much plowing left to do.
22489 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 22 Mike Sweet Grandpa's Shed There is one special place where I like to go and can spend hours unnoticed just looking at a rusty garden hoe. It's a place where in every nook and dusty cranny there is something to see.
22490 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 25 Mike Sweet God's Playground When God was just a little boy he came out here to play. With a hop and a stomp of his little feet he splashed the oceans away and revealed this land that is here to stay
22491 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 26 Mike Sweet Smokey and I Were Bandits Ornery is the only term to date that can describe this friend of mine who lived to aggravate. His nature was far from mild and I think he just loved being wild
22492 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 28 Mike Sweet Odyssey For some of us the trip is just beginning. Others are close to arriving. And in between there are a lot of us at various stages of our own personal journeys.
22493 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 42 Mike Sweet The Writer's Hand To a few certain gifts are bestowed. The gift to see and capture the rainbows of a universe. The gift to feel warmth and pass it on to fellow men.
22494 The Down to Earth Collection FC 11 S-71 43 Mike Sweet This Life of Time To each a share is given fully when life we first breathe in. For some the portion runs out quickly, fate exerts its will.
22495 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 1 Stu Campbell Rough String Rider Prose; When I got out of the Army, I went back to Nevada figuring on getting on with a good cow outfit and making a living in the saddle again.
22496 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 2 Stu Campbell For Medicinal Use ONLY! Prose: The old-timers talk about how a bottle of "high spirits" was a cure-all for most kinds of ailments in cattle, horses, and men.
22497 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 4 Stu Campbell Teton Shuffleboard Prose: When a cowboy sees somebody walking toward him with two shovels, he's got a mighty good idea his roping and riding is over for the rest of the day.
22498 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 7 Stu Campbell Rarin' To Go Prose: The Raft River Roping Club, up here in Malt, Idaho, holds a roping practice every Tuesday and Saturday night.
22499 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 10 Stu Campbell Where the Action is Prose: When I was young I remember my dad saying something like "The kind of country your mother comes from, they have to go to a zoo to see cows!"
22500 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 13 Stu Campbell Pedro the Rope Horse Prose: I was working down in Utah one time and only about half satisifed- I was dong both the farming and the cowboying and was about running myself to death.
22501 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 15 Stu Campbell Getting on a Horse, More or Less Prose: When I graduated from high school I left home and got a job on a cattle and dude ranch in Montana
22502 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 18 Stu Campbell Catching a Horse Getting your hands on a horse for the day's work or just an afternoon ride can sometimes be a day's job in itself.
22503 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 21 Stu Campbell My Wife- the Unlikely Bronc Rider Prose: My wife, originally a city girl, used to think cowboys were a thing of the past, out of work since the last Indian uprising.
22504 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 23 Stu Campbell Hard Day's Luck Prose: Some days a feller shouldn't even get out of bed. I had one of those days not long ago. It started out pretty good- I saddled my best horse that morning- but that was the only thing I did right.
22505 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 26 Stu Campbell The Squeler and What I Finally Learned From Him Prose: A cowboy rides a lot of horses on the different outfits he rides for, some good horses and some not so good horses.
22506 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 29 Stu Campbell Wranglin' Dudes There are a lot of things that make a cowboy grow old: horse falls, buckin' horses, hard work and bad weather.
22507 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 33 Stu Campbell My Helper 'The Roper' Prose: I guess I shouldn't say anything about anybody's ropin'. I'm about the worse there is. I can catch 'em sometimes, if I get enough throws, but usually my arm gets tired before I can latch onto somethin'.
22508 Horsin' Around FC 11 C-53 37 Stu Campbell Lightning A Cowboy Never Knows When it Will Strike Prose: I've heard a lot of fellers brag about how they ain't scared of a thing, man or beast. I guess there's some people around like that, but I ain't one of 'em.
22509 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 29 Fred Lambert That Dad-Burned Little Pea The Chink was washing windows At the Cross-Bar Lazy B, When the foreman, Wild Hoss Charley, Pulled his queue and said to me:
22510 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 31 Fred Lambert Thunder Bird Tom-tom-tom-tom-tom-tom-tom! Beat the tribal drums in the vale of the Pueblos; Wake the God of Thunder in the hills of the Pueblos.
22511 Bunkhouse Tales of Wild Hoss Charley FC 11 L-37 35 Fred Lambert Water Bound It was raining slow and gentle At the Cross-Bar Lazy B, When the foreman, Wild Hoss Charley, Pointed out--and said to me: