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.


Search:

Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
24867 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 122 Ray Owens January Roses Red roses mean I love you, he'd always heard 'em say That's why he'd parked his pick-up at the flower shop that day It was deep in January, and roses weren't in season But prices and the time of year
24868 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 123 Ray Owens Ridin' For the Brand You could tell a storm was brewin' from the clouds off to the west While up north the sky had turned from gray to black But that pretty rainbow in the east had kinda foooled us all
24869 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 125 Ray Owens The Encounter You'd best back off a mite, young man, a' give yourself some slack You've pushed me al lyou're gonna shove, 'fore I start pushin' back Now you may think that this old man is makin' idle talk
24870 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 127 Ray Owens Graveside Meditation There's a grave at the end of a dim, washed-out trail In the foothills, 'bout ten miels from town. Came across it one day while out prowlin' So I pulled up my horse
24871 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 129 Ray Owens The Intellectual Conversation No one knew Old Sol's real name; most claimed tey'd hnever heard Him called by any other, and he wouldn't say a word When he was asked about it, his face took on a scowl
24872 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 131 Ray Owens One Bygone Fourth of July The year was 1891; July 4th was the day A train departed Eddy headin' Pecos City way Folks were feelin' kinda festive, and as the train pulled out A boy fired off a pistol,
24873 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 132 Ray Owens Question Answered Billy BLedsoe was a peeler who could ride the rankest brone Like it wasn't any kind of chore a-tall He could rake 'em fore and aft with such a graceful, rhythmic style 'Peared he was waltzin'
24874 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 134 Ray Owens Makin' Money Backwards John J. was in the market for a horse, or so he thought Providin' he could find one that would handle like he ought Ya see, John had been a-footback ever since the ohter day
24875 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 136 Ray Owens Silent Eloquence He kissed her and then mounted up and headed down the trail He loved her but he rode away; her pleas to no avail The more he rode along and thought, the more he wondered why
24876 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 137 Ray Owens Why Not? He sat there, gazin' off in space; just lost in thought, alone An' lookin' backwards on his life, thinki' how the years had lfown He sorted through the memories he'd saved up through the years
24877 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 140 Ray Owens When the Parson Went to Church Never been much for church goin'; just didn't do it much, that's all! Was the greetin' that the parson got each time he'd pay a call On the cranky, gruff old-timer who lived at the edge of town
24878 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 145 Ray Owens Just Come on as You Are 'Twas a Sunday mornin' early; Dawn was half an hour away. While list'nin' to the radio I heard this feller say, "You're invited to the service;
24879 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 148 Ray Owens It Ain't Nuthin' But a Thang There's been some trials and tribulations piled upon me in this life Times I wondered if I'd make it thru the tangled briars of strife And a lesson learned form someone else,
24880 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 149 Ray Owens A Better Way Each time I attend a funeral, I get a diff'rent slant On who will go oto Heaven, and who it seems, just can't Depends on who the preacher is and his viewpoint on that day I either hear I've got it made, or I'll be turned away.
24881 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 150 Ray Owens A Hundred Years Ago A hundred years ago a man lived like he wanted to No bureucrats to regulate and tell him what to do But now we're told by Washington that we cacn do and when And I , for one, wish things were like they were
24882 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Outf FC 11 O-10 151 Ray Owens Christmas Time There ain't no time like Christmas, It's that special time of year When we take a while to really think Of folks that we hold dear.
24883 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 152 Ray Owens When a Daddy's Feelin' Helpless Wish I could bear some of the hurts that have come upon our boys 'Cause neither one's life lately has been plumb filled up with joys They ain't come 'round complainin', but their eyes will plainly tell That each one has some troubles;
24884 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 153 Ray Owens To the Class of '52 There's been fifty years of livin' since we got together last Lots of toil and play and joys are back there in our past Stored away in mem'ry closets in the storerooms of our mind
24885 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 154 Ray Owens Double Hitch Getting married's pretty easy Stayin' that way's sometimes hard. So when the road gets sorta rocky That's the time to hang tough, pard.
24886 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 155 Ray Owens Life as it is No one ever said that life would be fair At least no one who knew wrong from right No one ever said life was easy to live An' you could win without havin' to fight.
24887 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 156 Ray Owens All in a Day's Work Just ease on down there cattle In behind that ol' lead steer There's no need to git all worked up River's runnin' quiet this year Tell the truth, that'show I like it
24888 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 158 Ray Owens Truth in Labeling Have you got any Christian poems? a feller asked one day. Well, I don't rightly kow, sez I, never thought of them that way. It never really crossed my mind 'til you brought it up just now
24889 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 159 Ray Owens A Different Point of View If I just had my life to live over. . .I've heard that sayin' since I was a kid And I've wondered what caused folks to say it As often as some of 'em did.
24890 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 161 Ray Owens Both are the Same There's cowboys at heart and cowboys for real, An' sometimes both are the same. Some are hard to the core like an oak four by four But most are well-mannered and tame.
24891 Cowboy Poetry: Tracks That Won't Blow Out FC 11 O-10 162 Ray Owens Something of Value Something of Value, Nothing Is Free Has its own special meaning for you and for me It's more than a phrase with a poetic ring Something of Value