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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
22887 Cow Tracks on the Land Lona Tankersley Burkhart FC 11 B-66 66 Sonny Hacock The Deer Hunters Hello there, Mr. Rancher, yep we're back you know the reason. In three more days, they're gonna open up the huntin' season. Sure I saw that big old sign, that you got nailed up to that tree.
22888 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 68 Lona Tankersley Burkhart The Guardian of the Gate I used to live in Nevada, East of Reno, out Fallon way. Where's there's lots of irrigated land, and alfalfa hay.
22889 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 70 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Mother and the Bobcat Prose: My mother was an animal lover. She loved every inhabitant of the spread. Each ol' hen had a name and a personality to her, just like a good cowman knows his cows
22890 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 71 Lona Tankersley Burkhart The Late Snow Dam, it's snowin' again. I'll bet there's a good six inches out there. And ther' little baby calves everywhere.
22891 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 73 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Fire and Water Prose: We had a neighbor that ranched out North-East of us, Fred Twinsleman, who brought in lots of Mexican steers one fall, and in the spring, when the grass and flowers were good these steers really went to drifting.
22892 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 74 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Shoeing Horses When I was just a kid we lived a long way from town. Those days there weren't horseshoers, that came around. We had a lot of cattle and a lot of miles to ride. Me, I was my Dads top hand, his joy and his pride.
22893 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 75 Lona Tankersley Burkhart The Sunday Cowboy and the Blue Heeler Dog When friends from town come out to visit, late last spring. They had a blue heeler dog, they sure did want to bring. And go along, when I drive the cows up to the summer feed.
22894 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 78 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Song of the Trail Drivers They gathered the longhorn, from mesquite and high chapperal. Held 'em and broke 'em to trail, cattle that had never seen a corral.
22895 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 79 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Yesterday's Trails As we travel down the rocky trail, called life, that each must go. We meet a lot of folk, along the way, some are friend, and some are foe.
22896 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 80 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Going Home After all these years, I went home again, yesterday. Country'd changed so much, I could hardly find the way. There were houses, and paved roads, in every direction.
22897 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 83 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Old Broken Down Cowboy Just an' ol' broken down cowboy, a'whittlin' in the sun. He'll never set the snorty ones again, his ridin' days are done.
22898 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 84 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Lion Hunting on the Rim Prose: The fall after I graduated from high school, just before i was to enter college, I got deathly sick from drinking water from a cow water on the river.
22899 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 85 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Arizona Prayer I pray to God, that I may not die, on a foreign soil, under a foreign sky. Take me back once more, to the land that i love. Where the Arizona moutains, kiss the sky above.
22900 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 86 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Daylight When the curtains of night, are pushed back by natures hand. And the colors of daylight, steal softly across the land. The night hawk turns in his saddle, looks back toward camp.
22901 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 87 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Snubbin' Post There in the center, of the big corral it stood. Trunk of a locust tree, chosen for it's sturdy wood. The center worn and polished, as smooth as satin.
22902 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 88 Lona Tankersley Burkhart The Old Home Ranch Oh God, how I miss the ol' home ranch tonight, So many miles away. It's late fall, and the winter moon is bright. Desert nights are sharp and cold.
22903 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 90 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Shaniko Shaniko you're just a sleepy ol' town, dozin' in the su. Dreamin' 'bout the busy days, that are over and done. Down your dusty streets, the wild young buckaroos did ride,
22904 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 91 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Ed's Farewell I've rode my last cirlc,e I've sung my song. It's time for me to travel along. I'm ready now, to cross that great divide. And take a look-see on the other side.
22905 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 92 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Where Old Trails Meet the New There's a spot down the road, where the old trails meet the new. Where the grass is always green, and the sky is always blue. Where the old ways meet the new,
22906 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 95 Lona Tankersley Burkhart The Old Time Cowman- His Ways Prose: A cowman is a breed apart. Yet how can you tell one of them from assorted cowboys, gunzels and dudes that copy their dress and their way of life? This has been discussed quite a bit lately at the cowboy poetry gatherings.
22907 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 97 Lona Tankersley Burkhart The Old Time Cowman The old time cowman, he's a breed all his own. Ever since biblical times, his kind has been known. His skin sort'a looks like, its made of leather. Because he's always been, exposed to the weather.
22908 Cow Tracks on the Land Lona Tankersley Burkhart FC 11 B-66 99 Dean Alfange A Cowman's Creed I do not choose to be a common man. it is my right to be uncommon, if I can. I seek opportunity, not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
22909 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 100 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Neighbors I've got a couple of neighbors, live up the road from me. Diffrence between them, this story makes it plain to see. One came to ask a favor, a couple of years ago. And what he said to me, made his personality show.
22910 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 102 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Honor and a Cowmans Word Now in this great Southwestern cattle land, there was something there the people all understand. When a man looked at you, and he gave you his word.
22911 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 104 Lona Tankersley Burkhart How Many Cows Do You Have? These folks come here from a distant town And don't really know their way around. But there's some things I'd like to bet, They understand about ettiquette.