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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
23613 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 19 B.S. Aitken Ben's Bar Now, some folks think that bears don't drink But I'm tellin you folks it's true Cuz many a bar-- like Ben's Western Star Has thrown out one or two.
23614 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 21 B.S. Aitken Dog Me and my dog-- were durnt near the same I go by Old Ben-- Old shep is his name We're just some outlaws-- who are bound to loose He only drink water-- it's me that drinks booze.
23615 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 23 B.S. Aitken Known The Difference In the cattle country when spring is in full bloom Baby calves have mothered up -- brandin time is comin soon They bunch the little critters towards the old holdin pen Separate em from their mothers -- the brandin can begin.
23616 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 25 B.S. Aitken Skinny Dippin The evenin sun was sittin low -- it had been a dusty trip Us cowboy's eyed that mountain stream -- decided we'd skinny dip.
23617 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 27 B.S. Aitken Chicken Britches Around and around the old barnyard that rooster chased the hen They circled out beyond the corral -- Then doubled back again.
23618 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 29 B.S. Aitken Does A Cowboy Ever Pray For a cowboy in a city there is nothin much to do Most city's have no place for a buckhoo Their feet get tired of poundin the pavement every day Its an awful place for a cowboy to have to stay.
23619 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 31 B.S. Aitken Sally Brown When horse breeder Brown had to go into town He left his daughter Sally home alone To take the pay that came in that day From the study service they owned.
23620 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 32 B.S. Aitken The New Brew What is this stuff the cowboy said as the waitress filled his glass He picked it up and smelled of it and said it wouldn't pass He put the cup up to his lips and took a sip so slow And says "There is no kick or bite, this stuff has got to go"
23621 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 33 B.S. Aitken The Old Visitor He was a withered old cowhand -- his face was old and beat He stopped at my back door one day -- to beg a bite to eat His old and tattered hat -- was held by trembling bony hands He said he'd traveled far -- been living off the land
23622 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 34 B.S. Aitken Cowboy Chili Now camp cookin can get mighty sad When the steak is tough and the beans go bad The tatters are soggy and the gravy is lumpy Every one around turns ornery and grumpy
23623 Checkin The Back Trail FC 11 A-19 35 B.S. Aitken A Cowboy Legend I've seen the canyons bloom in spring When winter fury gone Crossed the windy ridges Seen new grass comin on
23624 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 10 Darin Brookman The Gather As moonlight washes sagebrushed hills You feel the riders near. With songs of life and words of truth For those a'mind to hear.
23625 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 11 Darin Brookman Archives I hope there's still some cowboys When 3000 rolls around. I hope they've not been gathered up And driven off to town.
23626 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 14 Darin Brookman Some Men Some men aspire to fame and wealth To find that in the end, The things they've left will turn to dust And scatter in the wind.
23627 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 16 Darin Brookman Said Scorpion To The T'rantula "Oh woe is me." the Scarab cried, "My life could not be worse. To toil each day in dung and dirt Seems my eternal curse."
23628 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 18 Darin Brookman Tempered Souls I've seen the horses gamely trot Defiant in the still, With ears pricked up as if to test The strength of nature's will.
23629 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 19 Darin Brookman Boogers In The Bushes The weather snuck in past the bluffs, Sure messed up my bull hunt. It ghosted through the cedar trees Plumb rude, cold, wet, and blunt.
23630 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 22 Darin Brookman Lookin' Back I sit a horse on twilight's rim The shadows growing long, And in the peaceful quiet hear The coyote's yelping song.
23631 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 23 Darin Brookman Instinct What is it makes your old yard dog Bay all night at the moon In chorus with the wild coyote's Archaic clannish tune?
23632 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 26 Darin Brookman Fine Art My Ray Eads saddle's slick as snot A sure nuff cowboy's kack. The stitches straight, the stampin' deep Ol Ray's sure got the knack.
23633 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 27 Darin Brookman Mad Cows I just don't savvy all the fuss They're makin' overseas. 'Bout this so called new condition They've named Mad Cow Disease.
23634 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 29 Darin Brookman Just Say No No thanks I'll keep my town job friend, I hope you understand. Day work don't buy the groceries I found that out first hand.
23635 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 31 Darin Brookman Parkay Was grub worms broke my friend Pete's arm, At least that's what he'd claim. The yellow horse that bucked him off Didn't figure in the game.
23636 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 36 Darin Brookman Sally I'd known Doc Jones for thirty years, His children and his wife. He'd been the vet where I grew up I guess most all my life.
23637 Where Sagebrush Grows FC 11 B-62 43 Darin Brookman The Ballad Of Skeeter Boyd We happened on her by a grave That looked to hold a child. Half starved and almost froze to death. Curled up like something wild.