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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
51 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 11 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Driftin' Old Cowboy My Father got up; In the morning sun; He got his work finished; Before breakfast was done. cafe, waitress, broken down cowboy, luck
52 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 12 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Montana Lady She's a country lady; She has strength in her pride; She's a lady through and through; Qualities you cannot hide. city girl, cowgirl, women, independence
53 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 13 Don "Cheese" Akerlow You'll Remember Oh the wide open skies of Montana; On a clear chilling night in December; The temperature so cold it takes your breath away; For this place called Montana you'll remember. Big Sky
54 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 14 Don "Cheese" Akerlow A Small Town on the Range A movie Thursday through Saturday only; A walk and window shopping down the street; Knowing each others business; This is the people in a small town you'll meet. neighbors, friends
55 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 15 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Pick-Up Truck Cowboy I am just a pick-up truck cowboy; And I don't even have a ranch; Traveling' the blacktop to another rodeo; Maybe someday the bank will take a chance. road, travel, wide open spaces, independence
56 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 16 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Where a Cowboy Lives I have become too much of the mountains; To live in the cities anymore; I will not trade my freedoms; For walking out in your back yard from my back door. law, rules, anti-society, independence
57 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 17 Don "Cheese" Akerlow My Promise Land Some have called me a drifter; Some have called me a flim-flam man; But all I really am is a pioneer; Looking for my promise land. promised land, travel
58 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 18 Don "Cheese" Akerlow The Good Old Days Bring me back to yesteryear; The simple times of the past; Grant me the joys of yesteryear; And make sure that they last. heart, soul, memories
59 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 19 Don "Cheese" Akerlow The Montanan Dream There was a Virginia City gold strike; In Eighteen Sixty-three; It lasted about ten years; That's what kept Montanans free. Big Horn, Custer, Indians, Big Sky, Montana
60 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 21 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Country Christmas Snowflakes on the tree limbs; Christmas lights they are dim; From the chimney is the smoke; Sure is pretty to the folks; Well it's Country Christmas time again. holiday, Christmas tree, Christmas Eve, New Year, turkey, home, family
61 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 22 Don "Cheese" Akerlow I'm Mountain Country I like country music; Original rock n' roll; Crying time blues; And fifties-sixties gold. music, rock 'n' roll, barroom, dance, friends
62 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 23 Don "Cheese" Akerlow The Legend of Two Mountain Men There was two of them; A father and a son; They went to find a mate; Now look what they have done. 1984, kidnapping, jogger, manhunt, breaking the law, violence
63 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 24 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Someone Special My Grandfather lived on his ranch; And he liked to work mighty hard; He liked to ride his horses; In his two thousand acre back yard. grandpa, past, family, days gone by, grandfather
64 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 25 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Now I Am a Grandfather Now that I am a Grandfather; And I've watched my children grow; I've said to them many a time; There is a story that you must know. grandfather, courage
65 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 26 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Friday Nights at Stacey's It's a good old place to go; If you're feelin' kinda low; And have nothin' to do; Come on in and chew. bar, beer, dance, cigarette smoke, loneliness, cigarettes
66 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 27 Don "Cheese" Akerlow What I Like I like older women. houses, folks, snow
67 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 28 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Ranch Land Ranch land, ranch land; Everywhere I look. ranch, catalog, book
68 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 28 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Fat Calved Women I always wanted to be a cowboy; And play with cowboy toys; Horses and thin air, mountain mornings. independence, bar, hat, fat, fast cars
69 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 29 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Campin' 81 Sleeping next to the camp fire with my kids. camping, 1981
70 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 36 Don "Cheese" Akerlow My Quest Come with me my brother. Indians
71 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 36 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Free At Last When the fields again will be filled with grass. reclaim, reclamation, future
72 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 35 Don "Cheese" Akerlow Surely He is Bound to Die The cowboys were always the heroes; The Indian was always the enemy; The cowboy wore the white hat; The Indian never wore any. land, Indians,
73 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 34 Don "Cheese" Akerlow The Indians Way You got to understand; To learn from the red man; We've got to understand; That we have to give back to the land. Indians, Mother Nature, land
74 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 33 Don "Cheese" Akerlow When the White Man Came When the white man came; In his heart he came with lies; He came with greed; It was in his eyes. Indians, treaties, Red Man, Whiteman
75 A Montana Cowboy's Book FC 11 A-05 32 Don "Cheese" Akerlow A Good Day to Die Fighting for what is yours; Freedoms like the eagle that flies in the sky; You're proud to be a man; You would hear, it is a good day to die. Custer, Little Big Horn, Indians, pride