Link to Utah USU Special Collection home page

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
601 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 69 S. Omar Barker Tall Men Riding This is the song that the night birds sing. night birds, nature, plains, Texas, sky, singing, hawk, buzzard, rabbit, riding, moon, loneliness, night, cattle, past, memories, old times, shadows, phantom, ghostly trail
602 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 70 S. Omar Barker Rangeland Preacher Some tenderfeet was askin' me about the cowboy's rope. definitions of a cowboy's rope, explanation of a cowboy's rope, function of a rope, string of twisted strands, roping cattle, California clan, Texan, whale line, lasso, lariat, catgut, reacher, clothesline, twine, sliphole, Haven's Gate, angels, cloud
603 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 71 S. Omar Barker The Main Item No matter if your life is like a car that's out of gas. fate, good , bad, heartache, women, ailment, illness, liver, wealth, poverty, gold, brass, wishes, dreams, hope, weevils, food, thankfulness, cattle, grass, happiness, life, gasoline
604 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 72 S. Omar Barker Breakin' the Broncs When it comes to breakin' broncos, there are several different views. taming horses, colt, roping horses, training, gentle, rough, pony, subdue, punishment, master, boss, understanding horses, friendship, knowledge, patience, hackamore, lessons, reward, bucking horses, cowboys, bronc busting
605 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 73 S. Omar Barker One or the Other The man who brags that he never got throwed. boaster, blowhard, bragger, blower, tenderfoot, liar, disliked behavior objection, aversion
606 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 78 S. Omar Barker Drifter's Thanksgivin' A way out West long years ago, it came Thanksgivin' time. fall, festivity, broke, hunger, appetite, no shelter, Thanksgiving dinner, cold, tiredness, horses, dinner invitation, ranch, lonesome, loneliness, prairie dog, rabbit, toad, dugout, cowboy, invitation, hospitality, friends, sharing supper, plain meal, beans, Jacob, boar, coffee, prayer, thankfulness, bread, angels, God, Lord, kind stranger, empty stomach, feast
607 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 77 S. Omar Barker Coosie The asked me "What's a coosie?" So I told 'em that it means. cook, burnt food, beans, coffee, grub, biskit, biscuit, chuck, coffeepot, cocinero, biskit-shooter, broncos, mule, wagon, chuckwagon, feeding cowhand, memories, toothless old cowhand, jolting wagon, toughness
608 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 76 S. Omar Barker Git Along! The dogie's a calf without parents or friends. motherless calf, stray calf, poor health
609 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 75 S. Omar Barker Ravens Over the Pass Rider less came the horse to camp. birds, raven, horses, cowboy, death, sorrow, pain, blood, spring, father, lost son, nature, sadness, grief, fear of mind, sunset, horse thief ,riderless horse, nameless rider, unknown rider
610 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 74 S. Omar Barker Cowboy Likin's As long as he's straddlin' a horse with his knees. cowboy, preferences, druthers, nature, wide country, love for nature, tight boots, black coffee, outspokenness, women, hard work, earned money, conversation, early breakfast, cigarettes, cattle branding, saddle, girdle, friends, trust, fondness, enjoyment
611 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 79 S. Omar Barker Rule for Ridin' The best way to stay on a bronc ain't no riddle. advice, lesson, riding, clear mind, rules
612 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 80 S. Omar Barker Pants Polisher They asked me "What's a saddle?" So I told 'em it's a kack. wood, leather, horses, ride, horse meat, love for saddles, knowledge about saddle, history, history of saddles, Genghis Khan, magic of saddles, Saracen, Cossock, Arab, Mongol, knight, chevalier, King Richard, Sheridan, Lee, Grant," Black Jack" Pershing, Sir Galahad, Holy Grail, Texas, cowboy's kinfolk, woman, dawn, work, heroes, polished pants
613 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 81 S. Omar Barker Cowboy's Opinion Of all God's creatures I endorse. legs, horses, people, man, horseback riding
614 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 82 S. Omar Barker Ol' Snoozy Schmidt A sleepin' fool was Snoozy Schmidt. sleep, snoring, bedroll, doze, tiredness, kack, rustlers, spool the roll, bedding, blankets, cockleburs, wowser's spurs, Tucson bed, sleeping in the open, homesteaders, barbed wire, trail, longhorn, settler, prairie, prairie grass, fire, gun, shooting, Old West, rest, storm, thunder, nap, plains, plow, rustling
615 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 83 S. Omar Barker Old Lincoln Town Lincoln Town, old Lincoln Town, by time's sun grayed and browned. gun smoke, history, bloodstains, blood, killing, shooting, wind, town, tales, hoofbeats, story, cottonwood, gunman, death, whippoorwills, ghosts, ghostly, coyote, adobe houses, adobe walls, night, moon, past, bones of men, music, anger, horseback crew, cowboy breed, enemies, memories, phantom gunmen
616 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 84 S. Omar Barker No Boots for Boot Hill "Don't let me die with my boots on, boys!" These were familiar words. West, gun smoke, dust, herd, statement, opinion, horse, gun, toughmen, One-Shot Charley Duesha, age, notches on the gun, fear, fearlessness, bullets, wild life, burying, funeral, story, shepard, sheep, north wind, cold, sheep, frost, man, hanging, cuss, complaint, suicide, heaven's gate, old heaven, bridle, blind bridle, galoots, cowboy boots, death, box, in coffin, socks, dying, last ride, wish, lifelong wish, shepherd
617 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 95 S. Omar Barker Three Wise Man Back in the days when cattle range was prairies wide and lone. Bar Z, Cimarron, winter camp, Booger Bill, Pinto Pete, Tug, dugout, warmth, discontentment, Christmas, celebration, bailes, dances, Taos, wishes, dreams, memories, Christmas candles, galoot, longing, homesick, lonesomeness, immigrants, Missouri, kids, children, hungry kids, nesters, beans, shearing food, Christmas dinner, poverty, tin plates, whittle, sew, wood, rawhide threads, braiding, yearling, butchering a yearling, roast, chuck, Bandannadolls, girls, pack horse, present, homemade Christmas presents, boys, whittled wooden guns, rawhide moccasins, plumb pies, prunes, taffy, sourdough biscuit, coyote, cattle, helpful, friendship, charity, love, kindliness
618 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 94 S. Omar Barker The Buckhorn Kid Oh, come all you young cowboys, a story I will tell. young man, lad, handsome, brittle, brash, broncos, riding, swagger, cowboy hat, cowboy dances, gals, girls, women, storytelling, laughter, drinks, roundup, loop, roping, hair, curly hair, bunkhouse, lightheartedness, joyful, merriment, bunkhouse, worries, trouble, Lazy K, playing prank, sheriff, dawn, bank robbery, Sabinoso Hill, posse, fight, shooting, killing, death, legal lead, burial, Pop Powers, friends, sermon, preaching, prayer, Lord, breaking the law, punishment, sadness
619 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 93 S. Omar Barker Bunkhouse Thanksgiving A beef roast in the oven and the hands all waitin' 'round. celebration, festivity, thankfulness, seriousness, happiness, horses, cowboys, walking, riding, blessings, women, wife, mother, Ol 'Bashful, cattle, critter, sheepherding, Ramrod, gras, Curly, stars, strength, Bud, appetite, O'l Dunk, contemplate, age, rheumatism, aches, smoking, pipe, bunion, lack of hearing, owl hoot, smell, nose, teeth, I'll Gus, no teeth, teeth less mouth, old cowhand, chewing meat, unable to chew beef roast, gravy
620 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 92 S. Omar Barker A Wolf in Camp Step easy, boys, and warble low. sing, melody, song, lament, sadness, happiness, Happy Joe, cheerfulness, noisiness, night, stars, fire, quietness, cook, coosie, pots, pans, guard, mouth harp, silence, avoiding noise, cussing, shooting, melancholy, prod, temper, touchiness, anger, rage, steaming, truth, ache, pain, toothache, teeth, politeness, dynamite, night-herding
621 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 91 S. Omar Barker Black Magic He may feed you fried sow boozem till you're sweatin' pure lard. java, cold, guard, sow boozem, sow bosom, salt pork, blister cup, wagon cook, chuck, food, raisins, dough, Texas butter, coffee, black coffee, beans, ashes in the sop, whistle-berry pot, shooting cooks, gun, kack,saddle blankets, griddlecakes, hoss thief special, biskits, bisquits, maverick stew, coosie, belly cheater, hot coffee, coffee pot, variety of food, foodstuff, grub
622 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 90 S. Omar Barker Rawhide Recipe Now here's a salty saying that you'll hear out on the plains. bronco, riding, plains, simple, dumb, stupidity, brainless, cowboys, strength, courage, sand, gravel, craw, toughness, tough meat, behind, fiddle, legs, horseback, day, night, bronco buster, eyes, fast, quick, rapid, bucking, being thrown, strength, good health, muscles, ears, hay fever, sneeze, nose, mouth, tongue, biting the tongue, canter, trot, lope, ass, rear end, butt, buttocks, gizzard-gyroscope, joke, facts, facks, straddling, bronc busting
623 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 89 S. Omar Barker The Pecos The Pecos is a river that has got more sand and mud. water, flood, overflowing river, wild river, cowpoke, nature, dryness, slow water, sandy river, cloudy water, cattle herd, dust, tough men, strength, West, marks, John Chisum, Texas plain, longhorn, outlaw, cattle land, shooting, death, Concho Creek, thirst, dehydration, hardship, suffering, pain, Pecos cowboy, Bill Wilson, Apache, fight, attacks, Judge Roy Bean, Jack Potter, Geronimo, past, memories, Garrett, Sheriff Garrett, Billy the Kid, Indians, courage, gunfight, rawhide-tough, dry
624 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 87 S. Omar Barker Cuttin' Hoss They asked me: "What's this cutting horse them cowhands talk about?" cattle, pony, cut, herd, group, roundup boss, steer, cowhand, critter, search outhouses, work, fast, quick, rapid movements, Mexican waltz, Mexkin waltz, eagerness, alertness, awareness, mindful, frisky, pitching, bucking, work horse, race horse, nickel, dime, fast reaction, pride, smartness, Philadelphia lawyer, lawyer, cut hoss, Spanish, Spanish speaking horse, horse meat, knowledge
625 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 86 S. Omar Barker Cowpen Moo-Sic They asked me: "What's a beller?" Well, a beller is a bawl. cows, cattle, calf, weaning time, critter, blood, noise, screams, wild sound, tongue, fear, being scared, banshee, danger, anxiety, death, mourning, man in the moon, harmless sound, earthquake, stirring sound, bulls, fighting, fight, cowboy, cowboy ears, language of sounds, rangesounds, restlessness, steer, steer bawling, cow emotion, emotion, roping, branding, prod