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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
25042 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 243 Will H. Ogilvie Ben Hall's Stirrup-Irons A lithe young squatter passes in the dust, His buckles gleaming and his bars aglance; but laden with long years of old romance The quaint old stirrups covered with red rust
25043 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 244 Will H. Ogilvie Ballade of Windy Nights Hav eyou learnt the sorrow of windy nights When lilacs down in the garden moan, And stars are flickcering faint, wan lights, And voices whipser in wood and stone?
25044 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 246 Will H. Ogilvie The Bushman's Friend Let the sailor tell of the roaring gale Or the blue waves' rippling laughter, Let the soldier sing of the sabre swing Or the laurels of glory after;
25045 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 248 Will H. Ogilvie The City of Gray Griefs Somewhere, hid in our hearts, a City stands Gray-mossed with all the sorrow of the years, And broken-arched with Love's unclasping hands And mortared stone to stone with bitter tears
25046 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 250 Will H. Ogilvie Christmas Night The lamps iwll be lit over seas to-night, And the feast of the year be spread, And the girls will gather with faces bright And the wine will sparkle red; And hands will close on the glass's stem,
25047 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 252 Will H. Ogilvie The Curellest Dream So here at the last I find I am holding agian your hand, And why you are curel no more, but kind, I scarcely can understand; But I know htat the earth is ablaze with roses
25048 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 254 Will H. Ogilvie Bowmont Water O, we think we're happy roving! But the stars that crown the night, They are only ours for loving When the moon is lost to sight! And my hopes are fleeting forward
25049 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 257 Will H. Ogilvie The Rose Out of Reach A red rose grew on a southward wall, There was never a rose on the tree so tall; Though roses twined at my lingering feet Roses and roses, scented sweet, And roses bent to my love-lit eyes
25050 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 259 Will H. Ogilvie Sorry to Go! I watched by the homestead where moon-beam and star Made a glory of night-time and danced with the dew, And the bush wind that whispered from ranges afar Set a-tremble the kurrjong leaves as it blew:
25051 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 262 Will H. Ogilvie The Land of Dumb Despair Beyond where farthest drought-fires burn, By hand of Fate it once befell, I reached the realm of No-Return That meets the March of hell. A silence crueller than Death
25052 Fair Girls and Gray Horses FC 11 O-12 265 Will H. Ogilvie L'envoi to the Overlanders Take this farewlel from one must leave The rowel and the rein Before the blue Canoblas weave Their snow-white hoods again; Before the winter suns have kissed The lips of Autumn dead,
25053 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 5 Bill Lowman My First Airplane Ride Prose: I was raised on a cow-calf outfit in the western North Dakota badlands, rode horses three miles to a one-room country school for eight years and finished up at sentinel Butte High.
25054 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 6 Bill Lowman Leash Law Prose: On a flight from Bismarck to Salt Lake City, my dad and I were "on top of the world" making our way for a third straight year to Elko, Nevada, to be part of the big Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
25055 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 9 Bill Lowman Walk Ah Mile in My Bones Prose: A lot of people sortta accuse me of seeking attention an' publicity, like trying to get on the Johnny Carson show with this wide handlebar moustache. WAIT!! That's not true!!
25056 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 11 Bill Lowman High Noon Prose: I can get into more trouble at high noon, sober, than a whole potload of rowdies on a Saturday night down town. For example, I was headed down I-94 east of Bismarck
25057 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 13 Bill Lowman Compression Test Prose: I grew up usin' old beat up outfits that you jest always checked the oil in before you ever turned the key. It was jest part of the procedure. Finally after I'd been married for years, the banker finally gave in and we got the money
25058 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 15 Bill Lowman Trifocals Prose: A few years back I was headed home from a business run, so I stopped at the saddle shop in Watford City, just ta look around and talk to my own kind. As I came up to the counter, "The Maker" was busy trimming around an inch off the brim
25059 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 16 Bill Lowman Do Ya Ever Get Ta Wonderin' Do ya ever get ta wonderin' 'bout how things come to pass Why they call that bush ah sage an' who it was that named grass grass Er when some day yer ridin' an' yer mind will off an' dream
25060 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 19 Bill Lowman When Coyotes HIt Twelve Dollars a Pound When coyotes hit twelve dollars ah pound I'd run sheep, I would, just ta bring 'em around I'd use strychnine, 10-80, and build ah snare I'd use mines an' guns an' traps- that's fair I'd sell them cows, with their fifty cent calves
25061 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 21 Bill Lowman Is There ah Cathouse on Mars? From my saddle I'm amazed, by the millions of stars I can't help but wonder, are there others like ours For just beyond the sunset, hangs one bright glowin' red So is it any wonder, if the thought comes to your head
25062 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 22 Bill Lowman How Many Auctioneers- Do You Suppose is Enough? How many auctioneers - do you suppose is enough Why there's eight er ten in Bowman County, just countin' in the rough seems when one gets established, with a style so cunning and clever, He's good for years, some go on forever
25063 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 24 Bill Lowman How Many Cows Do You Suppose Sentinel Butte Would Run? How many cows do you s'pose Sentinel Butte would run? Me and Lane got ta talkin' and rambled on fur fun There's five more vacant lots just last summer alone It's been most years since the town had grown
25064 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 26 Bill Lowman Cowboy Defector A TV commercial was say'n eat lessmeat 'n ya won't have the grief And me, I'm here raise'n cattle and feed'n out ah pen ah fat beef Whole wheat bread, bran flakes and beans they recommend for less risk of cancer
25065 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 29 Bill Lowman Rancher's Oath If yer calvin' heifers, friends, this is no doubt old advice For servin' stuffed turkey on Easter should never happen twice our heifers count was __ and troubles ran ah many
25066 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 33 Bill Lowman Ideal Tractor The tractor of the fifties was an International "M" with an F-1- loader, whcih now they all condemn Then came the 40-10, and it's twin the 40-20 John Deere's pride and joy, and darn sure worth the money