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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
23263 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 88 Dick Hays Juan's Haircut Now I took myself to th' barber chop To get ol' Juan th' wan haircot. I set me down in th' beeg white chair An' tell th' man, "Cot off my hair."
23264 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 4 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Brigalow Mick A dandy old horseman is Brigalow Mick-- Which his name, sir, is Michael O'Dowd-- Whatever he's riding, when timber is thick, He is always in front of the crowd.
23265 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 89 Dick Hays The Rattlesnake Now me ol' Juan ees walkin' 'long An' singin' wan good Meskin song, For me myself ees worry none, Jus' walkin' 'long een good ol' sun.
23266 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 90 Dick Hays Cowboy Juan Now me ol' Juan long time ago Decide to take myself an' go An' be cowpunch for Diamond A, For th' wan cowpunch she ees good pay.
23267 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 5 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant The Nights at Rocky Bar Trapping brumbies in the moonlight! those were nights of reckless fun. 'Way back on Campbell's country--on the Goory-bibil run.
23268 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 93 Dick Hays A Change of Professions 'Twas up in Silver City, That cowtown in th' west, Where I shed my boots an' spurs, An' brush-scarred leather vest. I hung my saddle up An' throwed away my twine,
23269 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 95 Dick Hays Mixin' Jobs I hit in Santa Rita From off a droughty range, Applied fer a position, Fer I wished to make a change.
23270 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 7 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant When the Light is as Darkness The morning-tide is fair and bright, With golden sun up-springing; The cedars glowed in the new-born light, And the bell-bird's note was ringing.
23271 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 96 Dick Hays The Kneeling Nun The Kneeling Nun is watchin' With her eyes so cold and hard, While we're takin' out the copper That she was left to guard. The blasts that we put off,
23272 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 97 Dick Hays Captain Harry I'll tell this little story, yuh can stop me if I'm wrong, About th' things that happen when Captain Harry comes along
23273 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 98 Dick Hays Chino Brakeman A Brakie stood on th' head of his train All humped up in a drivin' rain, With a hardened heart that knew no fear, He cast highballs at th' engineer.
23274 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 8 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant The Reprobate's Reply Three droving men, some three weeks syne, Sat drinking the Queensland rum; 'Twas fou a.m. when twa o' them Saw Jock M'Phee succumb.
23275 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 8 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Sir Walter O woman, in man's hour of ease And plenty, how you strive to please! Tow in his heart--and purse--you try With ogle, whisper, smile, and sigh.
23276 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 100 Dick Hays Advice to Brakemen When yuh see a man a-huffin' An a-puffin up th' track, With his teeth in his backpocket, Then it's time to ball-th' jack.
23277 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 9 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant The Wooing o' 't. He was a bachelor, gallant and gay She was a spinster prim-- Pretty and prim, with a wonderful way Which had captivated him.
23278 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 102 Dick Hays The Drill Helper and the Tourist A drill helper and a tourist Looked off in the Chino Mine. The drill helper said, "I dug this hole, But it took me a little time.
23279 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 103 Dick Hays The Shovel Oiler now a shovel oiler is an ornery cuss, Wherever he is, he's makin a fuss. Yuh can hear him a-ravin' fer miles around While he musses up the shove with the crater compound
23280 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 10 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Since the Country Carried Sheep We trucked the cows to Homebush, saw the girls, and started back, Went West through Cunnamulla, and got on the Eulo track.
23281 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 106 Dick Hays Th' Chino Fireman Th' fireman stands with a scoop in his hands An' his head in a pile of coal. His back is stout, an' if th' coal holds out, He'll fill that burnin' hole.
23282 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 12 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant "The Day that is Dead" Ah, Jack! Time finds us feeble men, And all too swift our years have flown. The days are different now to then-- In that time when we rode ten stone.
23283 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 107 Dick Hays Th' Chino Switchtender A switchtender sits in his barrel chair Like th' seat of his pants was fastened tere. He whistles an' sins, an' gaily hums
23284 The Poetry of 'Breaker' Morant FC 11 M-58 13 Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant Behind the Bar-- A Desecration of Tennyson Gray eyes and gamboge hair! One barmaid of "The Crown"! Ah, will that beaming siren still be there When I go next to town?
23285 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 108 Dick Hays The Lookout Man There's a feller on the loookout In the Santa Rita mine, Who jabbers on the telephone And blows a whistle all the time.
23286 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 109 Dick Hays The End of a Shovel Foreman A shovel foreman died From a badly battered head. His soul, it had departed And left hiim very dead. We picked him up so gently
23287 From a Cowboy's Point of View FC 11 H-52 110 Dick Hays The Vinegaroon and the Centipede 'Twas up at the crossover switch Last night or the night before, I sat on my powder box A-gazin at the floor. I heard a kind of racket,