Link to Utah USU Special Collection home page

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
22988 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 21 Dolores Tozer An Old Cowboy's Funeral Today, I went to an old cowboys funeral, Lots of people went to pay their last respect, His life was colorful, he'd seen lots of changes, Along the way he'd had a few wrecks.
22989 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 23 Dolores Tozer Fall The fall season always seems like a sad time of the year, The trees and bushes all get naked, you know that winters near, Its the time of year you ponder, a time to reflect Of the things that have happened, and what you might expect.
22990 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 25 Dolores Tozer Ruining the Range Long ago in this remote canyon The Anasazi lived up in the rocks, The canyon was also the home Of the coyote, cat, and fox.
22991 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 28 Dolores Tozer Neglected He's been on his last roundup, and held his last steer, His head's turning gray, and he can't hardly hear, His hair is long and shabby, and blows in the breeze, He knows its not lonng, until there will be a hard freeze.
22992 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 30 Dolores Tozer Pacheco Wouldn't haul him home if you'd give him to me, Those were the first scorching words, That were echoed out by the bystander sitting on the fence,
22993 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 32 Dolores Tozer Carrying on One Way or Another The old cowman had always run cows, He said he always would, It's the only thing he ever did, It was his livelihood.
22994 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 34 Dolores Tozer A February Dilemn Its raining and hailing, the wind is a fright, The calves have got the scours and the cows bags are tight, This calvin' in February is sure quite a thing,
22995 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 35 Dolores Tozer The Home Comfort Range In the early days, the Home Comfort Stove was very popular, It was well known for being dependable and its durability. At some time or other there was sprobably one in most every cow camp in the West.
22996 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 38 Dolores Tozer Association Meeting The cowmen held their meeting at the Elks lodge just last nite, A neighbor called to tell me, everything turned out just right, There was an active flow at thecash bar that runs from five to six.
22997 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 40 Dolores Tozer Who Will Take Grandma Who will take grandma, now that she's old And can't ride her horse and get out in the cold, She's just at the stage where she shouldn't be alone, But who would want ot send her to some nursing home
22998 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 42 Dolores Tozer Then and Now, Running a Cow The old cowboy laughed and said "this is quite a joke," As he sat on a log, and rolled him a smoke, Watching his grandson put tags in calves ears, A left for the heirfers, a right for the steers.
22999 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 44 Dolores Tozer Two of a Kind I had real cowboys at my place, But the Devil and No.8 still gave them a race They weren't mean, some said breechy was the word But I called them something else, and its a word that you've heard.
23000 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 45 Dolores Tozer Modern Ranching I didn't think the man at the bank, was playing a prank, When he said get a computer to run your ranch, It will save you money and time, and you will soon find With that machine you're not takin a chance
23001 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 47 Dolores Tozer Gone to Another Range That little shack old shack along the river is deserted, The rusty horse shoe is still nailed above the door, The place looks sad and forsaken, There's no boot tracks around like before.
23002 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 1 Billy James My Roots I can't rope, and I can't ride; Ain't got no six-gun on my side; But I got me ahat and pointed boots 'Cause I'm gonna' get back to my roots.
23003 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 2 Billy James The Song of My Daddy's Hammer My daddy's hammer sure' could make sparks fly. Clink-clank, Clink-clank, Clinkclank on iron hot. Then back into the fire that burned high.
23004 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 4 Billy James I Remember Mama Baking When cowboys go out on the trail They think a lot, and without fail They think about what they left at home Like soap, or socks or brush and comb
23005 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 5 Billy James Rich or Poor? They said we 'as poor, the neighbors did; But we had treasure that was hid. We didn't have a brand new car, But we never went off very far, Jest to see kin, and they seen us.
23006 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 6 Billy James Say Yes, Sir Son, don't say, "sir," to that man; Now, you heed just what I say. And don't ask quesetions 'bout it none; I'll just say, "that's our way."
23007 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 8 Billy James Passing Christmas Dreams When it was close to Christmas time, us kids had lots of dreams My sister dreamed of dolls and such, but she'd prob'ly just get jeans. And me, I dreamed of six-guns, the cowboy type, of course,
23008 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 10 Billy James What Will the Ravens Do? When I was a young 'un back in Texas, where I grew, Mama tried to teach us all the good things that she knew. Daddy didn't teach us much by settin' down to talk. He just worked real hard and tried to teach us by his walk.
23009 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 11 Billy James The Slop Bucket Phew! It smelled to me just like some skunk had sprayed a bear; But Mama looked right straight ahead, just like it wasn't there. And we all wondered just what she had put beneath that lid
23010 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 13 Billy James Six Rueful Horses There were six rueful horsees that came down the street. They had twelve painted coffins to lay at our feet Where were twelve sleeping soldiers who breathed their last breath While they fought for our freedom; they fought to their death.
23011 Thinking Back FC 11 J-19 14 Billy James Chuck Remembers Dixie Old Chuck, he is my partner; I love him plumb to death. He's abeen a real good soldier; his heart's in every breath. We've been in lots of battles, he leads a team of six,
23012 Cowboying FC 11 J-18 1 Billy James I Rode Old Bossy You've heard how all them cowboys ride On bullls that's mean, and long and wide. They snort out fire from their nose, Their hooves are steel, the story goes.