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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.


Search:

Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
24716 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 27 Rod Nichols Buffalo There was thunder in the distance, a storm about to blow, but, ol' Odd Skins, the wrangler, heard the sound of buffalo.
24717 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 29 Rod Nichols Coffee, Biscuits and Beans Old Dan favors oats when I got 'em them cattle the grass tall and green, but a cowboy gets fed a bit diff'rent it's coffee and biscuits and beans.
24718 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 30 Rod Nichols Cowboy Right A cowboy ain't a race my friend: it's a chosen way of life. It don't depend upon yore skin, jest can you cowboy right.
24719 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 31 Rod Nichols Cow-towns, 1886 Cow-towns wuz towns that jest sprung up 'count of the great cattle drives, they made their money off cowboys, that wuz the way they survived.
24720 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 33 Rod Nichols Creed Taylor Creed Taylor was more than a Texan, a Texan 'mong Texans was he; his prowess in battle was legend yet part of a strange legacy.
24721 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 36 Rod Nichols Crossin' The River One evenin' the moon had turned golden, the wind had picked up round the trees, I came to this bank of a river intendin' to cross it you see.
24722 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 37 Rod Nichols Easter Eggs Now you might think an Easter egg was hardly cowboy fare. and mostly you'd be right of course, but I've a tale to share.
24723 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 39 Rod Nichols Ebb Ol' Ebb was a hard man to work for: there wasn't no slack in his day. He figured a cowboy, a hired hand expected to work for the pay.
24724 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 41 Rod Nichols Empty Bank An old cowhand took paper out, with pen, began to write, "Dear Mary, I am writing his by an empty bunk, tonight."
24725 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 42 Rod Nichols Forty-four Below Twas a diff'rent situation than they had known before: the temp outside the bunkhouse, boys, was minus forty-four.
24726 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 45 Rod Nichols 4 A.M. Coffee This 4 a.m. coffee on a 3 a.m. brain, ain't nuthin so fitful I've found. Bones are still achin' from a 12, midnight, hawk and a two hour stretch on the ground.
24727 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 46 Rod Nichols Gatherin' We'd gathered 'round the campfire late, two crews of men that night. Two herds arrived for one, long drive now bedded down real tight.
24728 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 48 Rod Nichols Gettin' By "He's a "Lick and a Promise" young cowboy," That's what the old hands would say. "He don't take no pride in his labor. Jest tries to get by ever' day."
24729 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 51 Rod Nichols Ghost Herd One night as he lay on the prairie, his saddle up under his head, a cowboy awoke from his slumber and looked up in awe from his bed.
24730 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 53 Rod Nichols Goodnight's Gift Give Charlie Goodnight credit boys for leavin' us behind a sort of western meal-on-wheels where cowboys got to dine.
24731 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 55 Rod Nichols Headin' Home A cowboy's a man bent on livin', doin' the most that he can. not one to be sittin' and idle, a bed-ridden, useless, old man.
24732 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 57 Rod Nichols Hired Hand "A home is the place," wrote a poet, "where folks there must need take you in. Although it may seem like imposin', there's really no choice in the end."
24733 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 60 Rod Nichols Hoss Trade Now I ain't one to jest complain unless I got good cause; it takes a bit to rile me up or make me break the law.
24734 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 62 Rod Nichols In From Night Herd When he rode in, late, from night herd it was way past two a.m. The crew were stretched out on the ground, and he sure did envy them.
24735 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 64 Rod Nichols Investment The crash of the market lay two years ahead. "Bullish" was the term for the day. The investment brok'rage of Abercrom-Smith was seekin' some angle to play.
24736 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 67 Rod Nichols K.C. Cowboy "Kansas City, I'll be dogged !" young Billy had to grin, There he was and just nineteen, his first drive at an end.
24737 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 69 Rod Nichols Last Memory The last steer was loaded; the rail car was bolted. By his old pocket watch it was four. The train gathered steam for the last time it seemed, soon gone like the trail drives before.
24738 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 71 Rod Nichols Lest We Forget The herd was bedded for the night some three miles from the town, you could see the lights of two saloons and almost hear their sounds.
24739 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 74 Rod Nichols Little Bill's Bar Sometimes it jest seems my life's a routine: my bound'ries don't stretch very far. I cowboy fer pay then blow it away each payday at Little Bill's Bar.
24740 Drover Diaries: Original Poems of the American Cowboy FC 11 N-14 76 Rod Nichols Little More Rope What I couldn't do with a foot more of rope I'm tellin' you boys and it's true, I'd have fewer misses and unanswered wishes and more pocket change than I do.