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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
26015 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 31 George Rhoades If The Old Saddle Could Talk You've heard it said, What a tale it would tell If this or that could talk-Walls, a chair, or dinner bell. Something that I know about Could tell some cattle stories- Civil War, attic, heirloom
26016 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 33 George Rhoades It Ain't Easy Bein' A Cowboy Somebody once said, and it's true, "It ain't easy bein' a cowboy." There's that tough, macho thing, Which pain makes hard to enjoy. Not backin' down at times That'd be the wisest to do, horses, weather, cite, sunset
26017 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 35 George Rhoades It Takes a Cowgirl You know what it takes To settle a cowboy down? They're used to roamin' round, Livin' free, makin' mistakes. Not worryin' about tomorrow Or regrets about yesterday, slow, guilt, critter
26018 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 36 George Rhoades Last Texas Cowtown On The Chisholm Scrub oak, cottonwood and brush Cover the places where the herds Pushed up from the Texas ranges, Funneled hundreds of miles From the Rio Grande down south, Spanish Fort, saloons, deserte, wildlife
26019 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 38 George Rhoades Lillyanna and Me We left Kansas in the wagon, Headed south down the prairie With goods and tools and mules, Lillyanna and me. Bound toward the new land Opened up in the territory, hope, dream, life, free, raging
26020 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 39 George Rhoades Livin' In The Jukebox Buford bought the jukebox When Eddie closed the bar; Set it up in his backroom, Dark, stocked with Lone Star. Played out his life, he said, Those records spinnin' there church, alcohol, divorce, affair
26021 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 41 George Rhoades More Than Just Rhymin' Words that sing, Words that ring, That catch the wonder And the thunder Of soarin' skies And coyote cries, Of Western history, Myth and mystery. rhymes, trail, poetry
26022 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 42 George Rhoades Not All Pluses It ain't all pluses about cowboy; There are some minuses, too. They're hardly, tough and cheerful, And generally, all that is true. They're praised in song and story, stubborn, interview, time, graze
26023 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 44 George Rhoades No-Tech Cowboy The old-timer grumbled and said, "I'm a no-tech cowboy In a high-tech world, And I sure don't enjoy "What they call progress; I don't Twitter, Bing or Yahoo, Google, Skype, Facebook, iPhone
26024 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 45 George Rhoades Notrees Bullrider He said he was the best there'd ever been At ridin' them bulls, if you please, And that he hailed from far West Texas From a place they called Notrees. Hellnado, tornado, fight, bull, outclassed
26025 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 47 George Rhoades One More Rodeo He said I'm goin' down to Houston For one more rodeo. I'm takin' that Texas highway; Just hide and watch me go. She said you got a farm to run And that ain't no easy thing; crop, pretend, butterflies, glory, sling
26026 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 49 George Rhoades Ramblin' Rose Will Ramble Never More You've heard of the Yellow Rose of Texas And the Rose of San Antone, But have you heard of the Ramblin' Rose, Her story unheralded and unknown? Rio Grande, rancher, confusion, cliff, quicksand
26027 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 51 George Rhoades Red River Rose, Barrel Racin' Queen "I run this bar now," she said. "Beside the river near the bridge Close to the spot where the herds Headed north down the ridge. "See them trophies and buckles Up there along that wall? Jeanie Jean, barrels, gold, cemetery
26028 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 54 George Rhoades Ridin' Daydreams High above the city streets, Surrounded by glass and steel, Computer screen and keyboard, Workin' another business deal- Old folks would ask him, When he was a boy at play, department, Abilene, quicksand, reality
26029 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 56 George Rhoades Rodeo Crazy Once More You know, he said, so far I think I'm insane, But if you're really crazy, Then you don't think you are. I left a good woman on the way, A family and steady work; foolish, young, rule
26030 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 57 George Rhoades Roots Of The Chisholm Deep in the heart of Texas At a Chisholm Trail Day, Festivities in a little town, Cowboy events under way. A learned history prof Lectured us about the trail, Lone Star, path, branches, death
26031 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 59 George Rhoades She Didn't Want a Cowboy She was raised In cowboy country, Out on her daddy's ranch. She said she didn't want A cowboy- All banged up and bruised- Something in a sling- His boots always muddy- neat, orderly, city feller, safe
26032 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 60 George Rhoades Shining A Saddle Shining up a saddle Takes oil and elbow grease, Saddle soap and polish, Best with a fluffy fleece. You want soft and supple, The parts made of leather, lather, repair, rules
26033 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 61 George Rhoades Sing A Cowboy Song Don't sing me a song About plumbers or car dealers, Engineers, chefs or lawyers Or even about faith healers- It's songs about cowboys, That's what I wanna hear, frontier, flooded, tradition, epic
26034 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 62 George Rhoades Smell of Money Downwind From the feedlot, Smell of money, You say- Then money Smells funny, Especially On a hot, Windy day. funny, windy, feedlot
26035 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 63 George Rhoades Smoke From The Brandin' Iron She said, "Where you been To just now be comin' in?" "I been working'," he said. "I really need to get to bed. "I helped Herbie work a load Of Texas calves from down the road." calves, whiskey, numb
26036 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 64 George Rhoades The Trail Goes on Forever The trail goes on forever Through out memory, Burned and branded deep Into our history. The legend of this country, Our true epic tale: myths, identity, river, pursued
26037 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 66 George Rhoades Waitress She works the day shift, five days a week; she has a daughter in El Paso, But they don't speak. She waits on customers in the Main Street Cafe, coffee, shift, menu, dreams
26038 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 68 George Rhoades Year of the Great Longhorn Cheer The Great Longhorn Cheer Is still talked about today In the little country town, Or so the old-timers say. Bands, floats and pretty girls, Parade to honor the pioneers, Western, steers, injured, voices
26039 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 70 George Rhoades Zen And Workin' Cattle Billy Bob said he'd been watchin' This zen master on TV, Learnin' to be focused and centered, And how to live simply. We was workin' a crop of calves Out on the CR range strange, routine, eat, angry, pie