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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
25667 The Song of the Hunter FC 11 L-40 48 Robert L. Laumeyer Reminiscence Our lives go fleeting by so fast That we barely have time to look. We forget many of the details Before we reach the end of the book. (end)
25668 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 65 Bob Christensen The Cowboy and the Witch She was standing by the highway, he couldn't believe his eyes. A sure enough cowgirl Venus in a pair of stretch Levis. He put a hard whoa on his pickup and watched as she climbed in; her halter top was straining and he couldn't help but grin.
25669 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 66 Bob Christensen Night Sounds We first noticed it at roundup in the fall of eighty-nine when wild critters started running through the camp. And when Pete, who had the first watch, came riding to the fire in a cold sweat that had got his jacket damp.
25670 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 68 Bob Christensen Tribute Thank God, he's a cowboy poet. I'm speaking of Baxter Black! He's the sultan of rhyme, at least in our time; he's way out in front of the pack. He's gave us a standard to shoot for, as travelers he is our north star.
25671 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 69 Bob Christensen Odds The hour was late in the Palace Saloon, the beer and the whiskey flowed and six old coots in a corner sat, above them a gas light glowed. The game was Stud and the stakes were high, the deal was passed around.
25672 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 71 Bob Christensen A Fowl Affair The blue ribbon he wore proudly, "CHAMPION, BEST OF SHOW," it read. And he strutted, crowing loudly all around the pickup bed. Then he perched high on the stock rack, ribbon blowing in the breeze
25673 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 74 Bob Christensen The Vacation We went to Harold Wrap's museum it was out Nebraska way he surely has a fine collection, we browsed aroun most all the day. There was wagons, carts and buggies, antique cars and airplanes too;
25674 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 75 Bob Christensen Cowman's Lament Competition makes the world go 'round, this fact I'll not deny. But as I watch those cattle guzzle feed, I have to wonder, why we must compete with turkeys and other feathered stock whose cycles last just a few months? To me it seems a crock.
25675 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 76 Bob Christensen The Museum The youngster held his grandpa's hand, his eyes were big and wide. "What is it?" Was his childlike quest "how long since it died?" The creature was a buffalo with long and shaggy hair. "I guess son, they'd still be around had their been anyone to care.
25676 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 77 Bob Christensen The New Stain It was getting close to roundup in the autumn of the year so the parson staged a social, he even barbecued a steer. Ever body was invited, even summer haying crews and he fed them 'till they foundered but he drew the line with booze.
25677 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 78 Bob Christensen The Consultant "I'm from the pwer company, oh what a lovely wife and daughter, you sure have a real fine outfit here, say, we'd like to buy your water. We need it for the pwer plant and we can't get by without it; 'twill be a boon to the whole area and don't you ever doubt it.
25678 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 80 Bob Christensen The Cure Auntie Eff was pushing eighty when this episode took place, she was the epitome of womanhood, gentility and grace, the matriarch of the Cowbelles, she the church committee chaired.
25679 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 82 Bob Christensen The Song of the Tour Bus Guide (With apologies to Robert Service and Palmer Hyde) I'll tell you a story that may seem gory, how a tour guide fell from fame. I swear that it's true but it's up to you to decide where to place the blame. We were mushing away,
25680 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 84 Bob Christensen Thank You, Park Service I guess it's human nature and we all must do it some; imagining how things will be as we wait for them to come. I used to day dream as a boy of places I would go and how they'd look or how they'd sound, somehow you think you know.
25681 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 85 Bob Christensen The Lifer Life in prison was the sentence, not much chance of parole. Endless days of doing nothing dulls the body and the sole. Oh, it's not like I'm alone here, friends and cousins they're here too.
25682 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 86 Bob Christensen Billy Payne's Last Ride Did you bury Billy Payne? Would you dig him up again in his coffin box you built made out of wood? Would you send him home again on the locomotive train so is Ma can say goodby to him for good?
25683 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 88 Bob Christensen The Lonely Grave The man was strong and stocky that sailed the boat that day as he headed to the mainland from his isle four miles away. He knew she couldn't last long but he knew he had to try to save her with some medicine, he couldn't just let her die.
25684 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 90 Bob Christensen Thoughts of an Island I'm an isle in the midst of a salty sea where memories and buffalo roam and it's been nigh on to twnty five years since anyone's called me home. I once was proud and paid my way when cattle would graze my grass.
25685 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 94 Bob Christensen Headlights on a Tractor Head lights on a tractor, son, hear my story well. Headlights on a tractor son, damn them all to hell! We had a going outfit once before that fateful year. Who'd ever think we'd be betrayed by our good friend, My Deere?
25686 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 95 Bob Christensen Whose Fault Is It? I've never seen him quite so mad and I've known the man for years. "It's happened like I said it would, the sum of all our fears from Canada it's wheat and wolves and naturally some cattle. From Mexico it's mostly beef with disease that we battle.
25687 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 95 Bob Christensen The Environmental Impact Statement Ma's on about the outhouse door, she says it needs a screen. She claims the flies 'bout drive her mad, makes her visit less serene. Now we summer on the BLM and so one rainy day
25688 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 96 Bob Christensen How Come You're a Poet "How come you're a poet? " was the question that she asked "do you find it comes quite easy or is it somewhat of a task? Did you study it in college? Where did you matriculate? Was your major composition and was you a graduate?
25689 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 98 Bob Christensen Aging, Gracefully? Not! Last week in Nashville, Tennessee a strange phenom came over me while listening to a country tune in the famous old Wild Horse Saloon. Some feller sang of his wasted life and of nights spent with another's wife
25690 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 99 Bob Christensen The Present Old Jake was gettin' older now so he moved on into town and took up bachelor quarters in a house somewhat run down. Back at the ranch his saddle pals got talkin' 'bout old Jake
25691 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 100 Bob Christensen Ol' Billy He'd never been much of a neighbor and he sure as hell wasn't a friend but as each of us must, he'd now turn to dust, his mortality'd come to it's end. At least that's what it said in the paper, though I've never game newsmen much truck