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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
576 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 40 S. Omar Barker The Mustang Bay His mane and tail flowed long and black, His coat was blood-red bay. Texas range, wild horses, freedom, untamed, stallion, mare, chase wild horses, plains, taming, busted spirit, proudness, beauty, death, open range
577 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 42 S. Omar Barker Gunman's Code Bill Doolin led an outlaw clan. outlaw, Bill Tilgham, fearlessness, lawless, killing, shooting, cattle thief, suspicion, six-guns, Red Buck, shoot in the back, lawman, honesty, respect
578 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 45 S. Omar Barker Law West of the Pecos Judge Roy Bean of Vinegarroon. saloon, High Court, killing, theft, Pecos, witnesses, drinks, drinking, Hanks, disobedience, own rules
579 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 44 S. Omar Barker Cowboy's New Year's Resolution As one who's been a cowhand since the wildcats learned to spit. cowhand, hard work, dreams, wishes, sleep, wealthy widow, better food, lesswork, easier work, roping, whiskers, imaginations, fantasies, not keeping New Year's resolutions, free thoughts
580 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 46 S. Omar Barker Judge Bean's Jury If times was bad or times was good. Pecos, law, liquor, employment, Joe Todd, steal, jury trial, jury of nineteen, opposing lawyer, changing the law, making own rules
581 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 47 S. Omar Barker Jurisdiction At Vinegarroon, in Judge Bean's court. quick trial, whipping, hanging, liquor, drinks, justice, lawyer, law, San Anthony, friction, disturbance, own rules, Bart Gobble, jurisdiction
582 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 48 S. Omar Barker Fine Judge Bean's court, knowed near and far. court, post office, billiard hall, whiskey, wine, law, justice, Pecos, impudence, rudeness, killing, theft, fines, Bart, shot man, coroner, special court rules, gun
583 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 49 S. Omar Barker Judge Bean's Bear Old-time trains on the S. P. Line. Pecos, Vinegarroon, saloon, bar, drinking, rub-o'-the-brush, attraction, bear, Texas sun, performing bear, tricks, drunk bear, selling beer, travel, kerplunk, expensive beer, tricking passengers
584 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 50 S. Omar Barker Mustang Manners If you say that a cowboy got thrown off his bronc. horse, politeness, friendship, saying things in a nice way
585 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 51 S. Omar Barker For the Love of Lily Judge Bean, he cut out pictures, and he hung 'em on the wall. Lily Langtry, love, longing, dreams, bar, whiskey bottles, beauty, punishment, injustice, blindness, misjudgment, horse thief, admiration, Langtry
586 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 52 S. Omar Barker Portrait of a Puncher Dee Bibb's an old cowboy I've known for some years. broncos, steer, rodeos, rodeo champs, longhorn, fighting, roping, laughter, jokes, good humor, good natured man, looking at the good sides in life, cattle trading, horses, cows, aging, maintaining humor, music, fiddle, guitar
587 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 53 S. Omar Barker Namin' the Broncos You take a ranch remuda, and the names them ponies wear. horses, ponies, variety of names, naming, characteristics, specialties, breaking horses, teach horses, peculiarities, peeler, remuda
588 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 55 S. Omar Barker Trail Dust Each age has had its heroes - men whose blood ran strong and red. heroes, strength, courage, brave men, old trails, Texas, nature, plains, herding, power of nature, timelessness, memories, bravery
589 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 56 S. Omar Barker Stray Cowpuncher A-ridin' ol' Bally and a-leadin' ol' Paint ? variety of jobs, optimism, singing song
590 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 57 S. Omar Barker The Northern They asked me: "What's this `norther' them oldtimers talk about?" Texas, storm, weather, blizzard, power of nature, dark sky, sharp wind, snow, sleet, restless cattle, Kansas, Matagorda shore, death, freeze, buffalo, longhorn, North Pole, severe weather conditions, north wind
591 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 58 S. Omar Barker Battle At Blazer's Mill Bill Roberts came to Blazer's Mill a-ridin' on a mule. Lincoln County, fool, making fun of a person, Dick Brewer, six gun, Charley Bowdre, shooting, revenge, shooting back, killing, coward, ridicule
592 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 59 S. Omar Barker First Chevalier Where lies his dust nobody knows. horseback riding, fame, pride, past, old days, courage, riding, riding horses, Cossack, Saracen, noble horsemen
593 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 60 S. Omar Barker Old West Welcome Upon the old-time ranches there was always table space. cowboys, stranger, sharing food, hospitality, asking no question, friends, help with the work, treated as a guest, pride in custom, rough men, warm hearts
594 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 61 S. Omar Barker Tenderfoot You ask me: "What's a tenderfoot?" It ain't no word of shame. cowboys, similarities, human characteristics, weakness, strength, clumsiness ,ignorance, horses, greenhorn, inability to ride, nature, naiveness, no awareness of nature, ignorance, avoiding hard work, blackjack liquor
595 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 62 S. Omar Barker Tom Smith Of Abilene Those times where raw in Abilene. Texas, trail hands, rough men, trying to keep peace, six gun, fights, marshals, fearlessness, shooting, killings, courage, bravery, tough trail crews, fist fighting, Wyoming Frank, waylaid, hero
596 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 64 S. Omar Barker Cowgirl's Choice To start with, take a horseback man whose face the sun has browned. cowboy, horseback man, characteristics, special attitudes, love, tenderness, pride, strength, handsome, special way of treating horses, gentle, horses, courage, attitude
597 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 65 S. Omar Barker Outlaw's Funeral They didn't have no preacher when they laid Black Jack away. justice, grave, coffin, honesty, outlaw gang, bullets, tears, flowers, friendship
598 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 66 S. Omar Barker Cowboy at College I went up to a college, and they asked me what I knowed. education, knowledge, horse, cow, history, algebra, buckaroos, philosophy of life, thinking, spitting, grammar, question, answer, professor, intellectuals, simplemindedness, basic knowledge
599 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 67 S. Omar Barker Watchin' Him Drink When you ride a horse to water, slack the reins and let him drink. observe horses, characteristics of horses, special attitudes of horses, understanding for horses, feeling for horses, human characteristics, habits, different ways of behavior, different ways of drinking
600 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 68 S. Omar Barker Catfish Cowboys The driest time I ever saw in the West. drought, dryness, dry land, dry rivers, snake, rattlesnake, cattle