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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
551 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 14 S. Omar Barker Cow Country Here is a country still unplowed. land, nature, canyon, dry, plains, faith
552 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 15 S. Omar Barker Manana Manana is a Spanish word most folks would like to borrow. procrastination, tomorrow, siesta, nap
553 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 16 S. Omar Barker The Empty Bunk Ol' Charley's boots with saggin' heels stand empty by his bunk. gear, material culture, parody on death, Bar G, marriage, honeymoon, love, humor, bunkhouse, friendship, pardners, bride, groom, longing
554 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 17 S. Omar Barker Tackin' on the Shoes Of all the ol' back-achin' jobs a cowpoke's got to do. bronc, horse shoeing, occupational lore, patience, sweat, muscle, cowboy, strength, work, swear, swearing, swear words, hammer, nail, occupation
555 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 18 S. Omar Barker A Frontier Wife She saw them crawling, closing in. settler, homestead, homesteader, woman, wife, gun, Indians, Apache, shot, bullet, traditional roles, housewife, message, Mrs. Stevens, note, buckshot, attack, fight, gunfight, humor
556 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 19 S. Omar Barker Buckaroo's Brew Now here is a recipe, time-tried and true. chuck wagon, coffee, foodways, strong coffee, humor
557 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 20 S. Omar Barker Cowboy Independence The hired-man-on-hossback is one kind of cuss. hired hand, horseback riding, work, wages, wrangling, wrangler, boss
558 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 21 S. Omar Barker Rain on the Range When your boots are full of water and your hat brim's all a-drip. work, occupation, gear, wet, cold, job, punching cattle, shelter, misery, occupational hazard, town
559 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 22 S. Omar Barker Frontier Doctor There were cowboys bold in the frontier West. settle, settling the West, brave, bravery, gun, medicine, doc, frontier, black bag, lifesaving
560 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 23 S. Omar Barker Hospital Cowboy They took me to a hospital to try and cure my itch. doctor, facts of life, mange, nurses, needle, embarrass, embarrassment, scratch, cure
561 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 24 S. Omar Barker The Riders He claimed he'd rode the bad'uns plumb from Canada on south. Buck La Rue, brag, bronc rider, pride, two-bit spread, local, buckingbronco, reputation, bronc busting
562 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 26 S. Omar Barker Bedtime Story She married a cowboy. sleep, marriage, husband, wife, snoring, moo, moos, sleeplessness, awake
563 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 27 S. Omar Barker Bear Ropin' Buckaroo Now ropin' bears (says Uncle Sid) is sure a heap of fun. rope, roping, danger,
564 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 28 S. Omar Barker Useless Question No Texan ever asks you where you're from. chatter, regionalism, Texas, pride, locale
565 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 29 S. Omar Barker Barbecue They asked me, "What's a barbecue?. . .I told 'em it's a feast. party, foodways, beef, regionalism, food, society, Texan, Texas, West, meat
566 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 30 S. Omar Barker Thanksgiving Argument About this here Thanksgiving there are two opposin' views. disagreement, Pop McIntyre, Smoky Hughes, cowpoke, debate, pros and cons, work, sweat, gratitude, good luck, blessing, blessings, buckaroo, turkey, God, Lord, thankful
567 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 31 S. Omar Barker Boot Galoot The cowboy is as proud a cuss. pride, oversensitive, fastidious, dainty, spade, sheep, self-admiration, high-heeled boots, boots, awkward, money, saving money, made-to-measure boots, fancy garnish, tight boots, strength, death, Western history, particular cowboy's behavior
568 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 32 S. Omar Barker Cowboy Factory-Old Style The town kid was a runaway. town kid, runaway, hard work, laborer, working for food and bed, wanting to be a cowboy, buckaroo, rewarded for hard work, patience, riding, throughn off the horse, playing a joke, learning to ride, becoming a cowboy
569 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 33 S. Omar Barker Some Horses I Have Rode I've rode a heap of horses, and a few of them were fools. riding, love for horses, variety of horses, characteristics of horses, workhorse, cowpony, palomino, mustangs, special features, comparison to the human race
570 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 34 S. Omar Barker The Murder Brand They branded the steer, and they turned him free. steer, Texas range, branding, Trail Kid, revenge, shot father, search the killers, punishment, justice, injustice, killing
571 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 36 S. Omar Barker The Sentimental Banker I went to see a banker to negotiate a loan. bank, banker, loan, landowner, livestock ownership, money, security, finances, courting, getting married, cowpuncher, saving money, courtship, marriage
572 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 37 S. Omar Barker Grand Canyon Cowboy I'd heard of the Canyon (the old cowboy said). rim of the Canyon, edge, depth, dizziness, enormousness, mightyness ,fear of heights
573 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 38 S. Omar Barker Longhorn They asked me "What's a longhorn?" . . . Well, I didn't tell it. Texas cow, steer, tough hide, strength, power, endurance, courage, grey skin, red blood, stubbornness, love for freedom, plows, rails, fences, tough cowboys
574 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 39 S. Omar Barker Cowhoss I asked a gray oldtimer 'bout the horse he'd like to straddle. horses, love for horses, buckskin, thoroughbred, scrub, paint, palomino, wild, tame, mustangs, special features of horses, Arab, beauty
575 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 40 S. Omar Barker Sheriff in Town Into gun smoke in the town. Sheriff Bibb, gunsmoke, fight, feud, Talbots, La Rues, shooting, patrol, anger, battle, foolishness, newspaper, Steerville Star,