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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
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
25067 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 35 Bill Lowman Cowboy Poet Tracks At Christmas openin' presents, much to my surprise was a silver belly Stetson, in a favorable size An asset of this nature, ranks high in my life Given my none other, than my one and only wife
25068 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 37 Bill Lowman Mu'Ammar the Coyote Ol' Mu'Ammar the coyote was an ornery sort of cuss With is terror he spread ah scare Causin' quite ah fuss He's ah ruthless sorta coward with tactics that are cheap Eats alive ah calf,
25069 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 38 Bill Lowman Cowboy's Mate Now that she's at her mothers it's fittin' to reflect on the time When your ranchin' becomes more important and your marriage don't seem to quite rhyme For there's times I've pushed her past center in a contract of give and take
25070 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 41 Bill Lowman Ah Cowboy and His Love While ridin' to ah friends one day he passed by ah swimmin' hole For what he saw before his eyes he damn near swallowed his Skoal Ah peekin' through the leaves he couldn't believe what he saw
25071 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 43 Bill Lowman Trust Dogs an' Horses She ran off with a trucker back in sixty five Left him an' them three young'ens on the ranch there to survive When that little fling was through he'd heard she'd moved around
25072 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 44 Bill Lowman Devil's Death Trap We contracted the calves in August November eighth was set for the weigh As time wound down we tucked in the corners an' just held them from going astray
25073 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 46 Bill Lowman Child of Gender Oh come, my child of gender of flesh and blood and creed In your eyes your heart is longing as you meander through life's tweed For months go by that I am gone
25074 Walk Ah Mile in My Bones FC 11 L-4 49 Bill Lowman The Valley of the Tongue There were several veteran gossips set around ah table rung They were talkin' 'bout all others in the Valley of the tongue they stayed way past the deadline of when their tongues grow sore