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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
25743 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 102 Bob Christensen Please Pass the Lamb The largest cowman in our valley and one from down the creek held a meeting with some sheep men at the hotel just last week. The BLM was represented,
25744 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 103 Bob Christensen Beef Cook-Off Hey! Buckaroos and Buckerettes y'all gather 'round right now and ponder on these notions on how best to cook a cow. It's the annual spring "Beef Cook- Off'
25745 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 105 Bob Christensen Snack Food We got a note a short while back, it was written by our vet. Advising us to keep away all goodies from our pet. Now usually when I sit down to a ball game on T.V. I have two full grown boxer dogs a crawling over me.
25746 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 106 Bob Christensen The Perfect Deer Hunt The alarm was set so he would get a plenty early start. He'd planned all year, the time was near he was chompin' to depart. But there was a flaw, 'twas Murphy's Law, the alarm it didn't ring.
25747 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 107 Bob Christensen Confusion When I shovels and I shovel s till my agin' back is sore and I turns and sees I'm onjly just a few feet from my door then I puts my shovel down, no, I ain't a givin' up
25748 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 108 Bob Christensen Ode To A Corn Pit "An oozing mass of liquid putridness," Ah, 'twas Poe who said it best. But had he ever sniffed a corn pit when it's juices reached the crest? And foully spread across the roadway cutting rivulets
25749 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 109 Bob Christensen Cowboy Prayer 1990 I'm just a first time caller Lord so I hope you'll take the time to let me say what's in my heart, I've put it in a rhyme. First off, I want to thank you for how good you've been to me
25750 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 110 Bob Christensen Cowboy Poet's Dream It might have been that last burrito, smothered thick with "Texas Red" or that jalapeno glaze on my ice cream; Because never had I ever had a dream that seemed so real that I sat straight up in bed and had to scream.
25751 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 112 Bob Christensen The Handout He wondered, "Did I have four bits?" His breath was strong from drink I dropped some change into his hand then started in to think. He said that it would get him by 'cause he got paid tomorrow I wondered if he meant a check
25752 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 113 Bob Christensen The Last Ride I've rode to camp ahead of some, a short cut if you please the trail was strewn with jagged rock and rugged fallen trees. It's surely not the trail to take but I didn't have my druthers
25753 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 114 Bob Christensen Counsel And Candor The families both had gathered for the nuptial date was here; the bride was young and blushing and the groom he showed some fear. The preacher was expounding on the pros of married life
25754 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 115 Bob Christensen The Dear Jack Letter It's true he'd been out west a spell but regularly he wrote. Once in the spring again in fall she'd always get a note. She surely knew she was his gal and some day they would wed. Five years is not so long to wait, it's not like he was dead.
25755 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 116 Bob Christensen The Memory Bag I went back to the homestead for a visit just last week as I rummaged through the barn my eye caught just a peek of this old canvas water bag a hangin' on a nail; It took me back to yesteryear, a trip down memory's trail.
25756 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 117 Bob Christensen Yesteryear When I was young and lived out here before the houses grew there wasn't many folks around but those that were you knew. And everybody had a farm and worked it with a team you'd start at dawn and quit at dark with not much rest between.
25757 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 118 Bob Christensen Reality Did you ever take the water on a clear and starry night when the moon was just a sliver and didn't throw much light? Did you stretch out on the ditch bank while you waited for the stream and watch the stars a twinklin' as you fought the urge
25758 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 119 Bob Christensen A Bad Idea Did you ever milk a cow by hand? Now not with a machine. Just runnin' loose in the corral, it's quite a different thing. You buckle on a one leg stool and then you start the chase;
25759 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 120 Bob Christensen The Threshers I remember when the treshers came, we'd bind and shock the grain the haul it to the big machine they'd park along the lane. We'd hire several neighbors to sack and weigh the wheat one hundred twenty pounds per bag and then we'd sew them neat.
25760 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 120 Bob Christensen The Derrick Horse When I was just a shaver and my dad was haulin' hay I'd pester him unmercifully and be right in his way. I wanted just to help him out and be part of the crew "I might be just a six year old but there's something I can do.
25761 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 121 Bob Christensen Public Servants A lady wrote a letter to the mayor of our town. It stated, "we need sidewalks" so he let it trickle down to the council and the planners who had nothing else to do but to put the plan in motion
25762 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 123 Bob Christensen Something New I was riding in Senora, I'd been out hunting strays when the notion hit to mosey into town. It had been two days since breakfast so I'm thinking of a steak and some Jose Cuervo just to wash it down.
25763 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 125 Bob Christensen Cheering Up Pardner For years I tended cattle, spent my days on top a horse my home has always been out of the range but kid, you see I'm older now, my mind skips to the past and my body parts are acting mighty strange.
25764 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 126 Bob Christensen Making Do Wednesdays is when I go for mail so I saddles up and hits the trail. It's twenty miles into our town but I goes it without steppin' down. The livestock sale is held today so I goes there first without delay looks like they got some fancy stock I takes a seat right next to Doc.
25765 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 128 Bob Christensen The Testimony The mood in court was somber, he would ask him one more time "The report says you said, 'I'm okay,' now to lie here is a crime" "Now judge, if I could just explain, the circumstance is clear, I'm sure your honor will concur, there is no perjury here.
25766 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 128 Bob Christensen Lucky Larry The called him Lucky Larry though the only luck he had was consistently and constantly unquestionably bad. While others in his foursome always found their errant drive he'd lose his in the fairway and have to take a five.
25767 Confessions of A Cowboy Poet FC 11 C-52 129 Bob Christensen Letter to Santa 1995 Bring me a new idea Santa, one for a new Coyboy Poem. Not horses nor cattle nor roundups, nor riding three days to get home. Give me a real snappy punch line, one nobody's heard of before. I'm needin' a little help Santa, I know you can do it for sure.