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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
25217 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 61 Carol Hample Unconditional Love She is beautiful there, with the sun through her hair, in a halo of soft morning light. And her temples are smooth as I tough her to soothe and assure her that things are all right.
25218 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 62 Carol Hample Deserted The aging house stands empty now, its homey feeling gone somehow. The windmill standing silently for years. The pair of cottonwoods has grown, providing shade, though all alone
25219 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 63 Carol Hample Things That Remind me of Mom A meadowlark fluting his cheeriest trill, or some sweet peas and crocuses soft on the hill, or a dish full of pansies, bright colored and gay, just a few in some water, so pretty that way.
25220 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 64 Carol Hample Little Pleasures in Life The midday sun was hot and dry, as usual in late July, no shade at all, and chance of rain was bleak. But three old cows had common sense, for where they gathered by the fence
25221 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 65 Carol Hample Flight And The Daily Doldrums Daily life can get distorted, thoughts become defective. Going places far away can change my whole perspective. Living in a fog and needing something to remind me
25222 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 66 Carol Hample The Fourth of July 'Twas the Fourth of July and their spirits were high as the townspeople gathered together. The fireworks display would go on anyway, in spite of the threatening weather.
25223 Wind and the Night Monsters FC 11 H-24 67 Carol Hample The Dance of The Doe As the dawn poked its way through the meadow's tall grass, and the dew beaded up on each blade, not a breath broke the silence, the river like grass and two does sniffed the air from the shade.
25224 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 5 Jim Liles Buckaroo What pieces make up a cowboy? What Staples go in the pot? There must be Garlic and onion, and probably something hot. A cowboy's life is something hard, and bitter to the taste. For his is not an easy life, and gathered not in haste.
25225 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 6 Jim Liles Pearly Gates There was this fella, whose name I don't recall. Who met his untimely demise riden' broncs at the local rodeo is were he made his final ride. Now this young fella I'm gonna tell ya had lived a pretty good life.
25226 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 8 Jim Liles Empty Saddle It's a cold and blustery, snowy morn, as I walk out to the barn. It's that time of year when calves are born, and the work is hard and long. We work all year to see these days, when new life hits the ground. The miracle of, the gift of birth.
25227 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 9 Jim Liles Cool Water I mentioned earlier that there were cowboys from the ranches and farms and there were those from the cities. Well I sort of fell in between those two groups. I lived on Navajo reservation for a time as a young boy and went from there to my uncle's farm for a couple of years.
25228 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 11 Jim Liles Fly'n High Now and then, we had a chance, to leave the truck at home. To rodeo without the drive, that wears you to the bone. It's not so hard, to complete this feat if your nerves are made of steel.
25229 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 14 Jim Liles I Cried in Church Today As I sat in church today, my thoughts, they wandered off. To thoughts of things, these last few weeks, that truly broke my heart apart. Two cowboys passed from mortal life, to Jesus in the sky.
25230 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 15 Jim Liles Houston The rodeo cowboy, has but one goal, to win that gold buckle, a tradition so bold. You'll wind up in Vegas, the end of the year, if you figure a plan, and put it in gear. A computer for sure, is where I would start. I'd lay out a plan, just try'n to be smart.
25231 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 16 Jim Liles Diamonds or Dust I got crippled last spring, I couldn't go down the road, I was laid up on my back, for six months or more. My wife kept things going, feeding stock and going to town, doing the things wives do... when her cowboy is down.
25232 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 17 Jim Liles Pendleton 100 Years The year is coming to an end, and wht a year it's been. The stock show up in Denver, made a 100 more since then. The winter was a good one, them Texas shows are great. Then out west to Tucson, and Scottsdale, what a treat.
25233 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 18 Jim Liles Cowboy Coffee When I pass, to the world beyond, and reach them pearly gates. I'm sure that it will be too soon, it just seems, to be my fate. I think I know, just what will be, the cause of my demise. It's that dang old cowboy coffee, I've drank most all my life.
25234 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 20 Jim Liles Slide N' Ride If your gonna go, down the road, and ride amongst the best. You gotta learn to slide and ride this is the final test. When ya slide up on the rope, or set your feet on a bronc. Don't hesitate, just nod your head
25235 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 21 Jim Liles Roanie When ya go to the pen, with reatta in hand, to sort one out for the day. You'd be well advised, to think more than twice, about which bronc, you might want to take. The trick is to pick one, you think you can ride, from morning till dusk every day.
25236 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 22 Jim Liles Slim Slim was his name, a mule of some fame, his namesake was, that of Slim Pickens. A rodeo star, that traveled afar, but that mule, was mean as the dickens. He worked for old Troy, who performed as a boy, with a trained pig, by the side of the road.
25237 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 24 Jim Liles Slippin Down Knotted main and tangled tail, his ears were laid straight back. Deep dark bay and roman nose, 77 marked on his hip. Plain to see he'd been down the road, long mane and scars and thistles. With feet the size of garbage cans, and eyes as sharp as missiles.
25238 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 26 Jim Liles The Little Cowgirl This little cowgirl that we raised, was the youngest of the crew. She ran cans, and tied them goats, and even teamed roped on old blue. She rodeoed cause that's what we did, from the time that they were small.
25239 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 27 Jim Liles The Cowboy Way Cowboys are known, to have a way of their own, to sort out a sense of fair play. You ride for the brand, or a shake of the hand, that's always been "The Cowboy Way". "The Cowboy Way" is not a phrase, to be abused and miss-construed.
25240 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 28 Jim Liles The Bull Riders Tale The gates they rattle, slam bam, as he kicks and rattles his horns. They load the chutes, one by one, the time, for the bulls has come. A quiet solemn, time at hand, as you climb up on the chute. Drop your rope, and hook the trail, he's big! I'll shorten the loop.
25241 The Cowboy Way FC 11 L-38 29 Jim Liles The Bronc Riders Dance This ain't no Texas two-step, and it ain't for city cats. This dance requires some grit and growl, and a feather in your hat. You ease down in that bucking chute, first one pedal, then the next. Screw yourself down in that Hamley, lift on that rein and nod your head.