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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
626 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 85 S. Omar Barker Courtin' Cowboy He can view a horse remuda - may be fourty in a bunch. love, women, roping ponies, town gals, qualities, behavior, chica, marrying, romance, food, gravy, Jo Ann, nectar, boarding school, girlfriends, heart, stomach, excitement, Kitty Davis ,Rosabelle, blue eyes, blond, cooking, love, wife, remuda, town gals, goop, rejection, fear, nester, nester's daughter, nesters
627 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 106 S. Omar Barker Well Grounded I asked an old-time cowhand for his secret of success. man, human hairpin, mount a horse, riders, riding, wise, wisdom, legs,
628 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 105 S. Omar Barker Ol' Sancho In Atascosa County where the thickets run to thorn. longhorn, wide land, brasadas, brush country, pinto calf, gray wolves, Rancher Kerr's wife, dogie, bottle-feeding, naming, Sancho, steer, Esperanza Creek, mild and meek steer, pet steer, woman's tears, 7 Z, dragmen, lonesome, leaving the herd, runaway, Wyoming, Washita, Cimarron, Arkansas, Kansas, Sandhills, Olalla, Platte, trail, brand, 7Z, CR, C R, brand, Teton Mountains, autumn, snow, spring, returning home, Mexkin woman, Mexican woman, starvedsteer, tears, bony hips, homesick
629 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 98 S. Omar Barker Some Call Him Brave Old Fort Kearny, long ago. siege, blizzard, winter, snow, cold, Sioux, Indians, arrows, fight, trail, Laramie, Carrington, Portuguese, Phillips, trapper, hunter, scout, night, darkness, frost, horse, bareback, saddle, dawn, daybreak ,hiding, escape, avoiding daylight, pemmican, dried meat, Christmas, celebration, ball, dance, Horseshoe Station, telegraph, Fort Laramie, ice, phantom, music, bugles, troopers, grave, gravestone, Big Horn Mountains, litanies, bravery
630 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 104 S. Omar Barker Rawhide Sons The old-time cowboy ridin' underneath the western sky. hard work, low wages, sweat, swallow dust, broncos, busting broncos, long working days, cattle, responsibility, outfit, pride, boss, bossing, self-confidence, brand, Big Auger, freedom, independence, lasso, liberty, horseback man, energy, power, hog-skinning, work, play, fight, stubbornness, free-mindedness, outspokenness, western sky, frank, straightforward, direct, bronc busting
631 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 103 S. Omar Barker Agreement In Principle When a bronco gives way to his man-throwin' itch. Texas, pitching, bucking, Wyoming, bronc peelers, definition of beingthrown ,wordplay, endless argument, exploding broncos, cowhand, horses, strength of horses, unpredictable horses, argue
632 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 102 S. Omar Barker Cattle King The nesters came, and barbed wire grew. trails, fenceless trails, plow, cattlemen, Old Frosty Sims, sweat, hard work, cattle range, gun, trump card, God, drouth, drought, nesters, homesteaders, dry land, contemptuous, scornful, womenfolk, misery, hunger ,children, starving children, starvation, defeat, making room, supplying food, goodness, cattle trail, fences
633 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 101 S. Omar Barker Uneducated Leather They asked me: "What is rawhide?" bovine, frontier, oldtimers, usefulness of leather, practicality, serviceable, handy, functional, cows, critter, cradles, coffins, lumber, frontier family, slumber, cabin door, trunk, women's stuff, trade rats, bullets, money, California deals, thongs, feed bags, morrals, nosebag, cowboy's life, tough, rough, long-lasting, enduring, Texas saddle, thief, hanging, roper, pride, braided leather rope, church bells, rawhide strands, Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Cuero, Mexkin iron, Mexican iron, western pioneer, tough as rawhide
634 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 100 S. Omar Barker Cow Country Clue Old cowboys claim they could tell for shore. nester, homesteader, homestead, settler, marriage, cabin, cabin door, homestead, problems, difficulties, marital discord, leave in a hurry, escape problems, married man, unmarried man, wedded worry, frontier, nesters
635 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 97 S. Omar Barker The Ol' Bandanna It might be silk it might be cotton. handkerchief, bandana, fashion, pride, cowboy implement, device, appearance, blue, red, half-dressed, sweat, swipe off sweat, branding work, cold, weather, frostbite, ear muff, mask, bank robbery, snoot, hand courtin some, gal, woman
636 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 096 S. Omar Barker Grave Error Boot Hill was the pay-off, them oldtimers claim. gun, shooting, trigger, cemetery, graveyard, pulling the trigger, not aiming, mistake, dying, death, burial
637 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 106 S. Omar Barker Well Grounded I asked an old-time cowhand for his secret of success. human hairpin, mount a horse, legs, forked end, wisdom, knowledge, realistic, pragmatic, down-to-earth, practical, rational
638 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 107 S. Omar Barker The Deputy's Star When you've rode to town for sparkin', but the sheriff calls you in. observe, seriousness, anger, dander, speak out, opinion about the law, ruckus, row, uproar, disturbance, jail, squawking, thoughtfulness, girlfriend, marriage, responsibility, stick together, cussing, shiny star, strength, danger, authority, woman, law, controversy, response, pride, acceptance, honor, duty
639 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 108 S. Omar Barker Rangeland Smellin' Now scent is more important on the range than you might think. smells, animals, horses, cows, cowboys, stink, instinct, smell water, longhorn ,beeline, smell a storm, ability, coyotes, howl, smell of blood, bawl, death, smell the wind, danger, smell danger, smell sheep, fragrance of freedom, western breeze, city smells, sense of smell, freight-train, western hay, sagebrush, smell of sage, homesick, longing for the west, nature
640 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 114 S. Omar Barker Cow Country Saying The fewer the words a man uses. rebut, fend off, bigmouth, big talk, fool, shut mouth, stupidity, talk nonsense, talking too much, babble, chatter, gibberish, silent, calm, thoughtfulness
641 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 113 S. Omar Barker Charlie Bowdre Over a hut near Stinking Springs. gunfight, shooting, battle, Billy the Kid, outlaw, gang, adobe hut, adobe clay, posse, lawbreakers, lead, Garrett, Sheriff Garrett, men hunting, riding for help, death, getting shot, courage, blood, guts, hero, song, story, glory, glorify, praise, untold story, unknown hero, glorification
642 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 112 S. Omar Barker The Unpardonable Sin There's things that make a cowboy mad. outgoing, spirited, good mood, happy, trivial matters, convivial, mad, angry, heated, bad temper, upset ,enraged, infuriated, maddened, sore, borrowed saddle, stirrup, changing, altering, saddle
643 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 111 S. Omar Barker A Page from the Old Frontier They say that Billy the Kid shot straight, though he rode a crooked. courage, bravery, gunman, curse, greenhorn, Frank Page, tenderfoot, Puerto deLuna, clerk, store, gun, Colts, Colt, .41's, new-style gun,.45's, Old West's guns, stolen gun, bucktoothed, thief, unscarred, unharmed, cuss, shooting, grit, old-age, honor, respect, outlaw, law, peaceable man
644 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 109 S. Omar Barker The Tie-Fast Men This is the way of the tie-fast men. hard work, strength, dust, rope, roping, sweat, whims, open range, wide range, nature, blue quail, birds, pronghorn, animals, night, darkness, blizzard, wind, sun, coyote, mesa, cattle, heat, cold, Caprock's rim, dutiful, loop, tie-fast crew, steer, rawhide school, cinches, saddlehorn, pride, vanishing breed, stout heart, freedom
645 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 115 S. Omar Barker The Silent Master Range cattle drifted seeking grass 'cross plains and desert sand. dust, drought, drouth, barren land, roundup, thirst, hunger, dry mouth, importance of grass, nourishment, nature, loyalty, obligation, devotion, death, range wars, ranch wars, six-gun battles, sheep camp raiding, Old West's feuds, fights, quarrels, need for grass, shooting, killing, Lincoln County, the Kid, tragedy, romance, horseback men, courage, blades of grass, crickets, rain
646 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 116 S. Omar Barker The Great Seizer They asked me "What's a sheriff?" I thought everybody knowed. West, horney toad, important person, law and order, outlaw, thief, duty, responsibility, arrest people, avoid shooting, fair chances, sheriff occupation, shoot without warning, guts, courage, fearlessness, elected sheriff, trigger, fast reaction, friends, foes, warrant, trouble, solving problems, taw, uphold the law, Great Caesar, nickname, difficult job
647 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 117 S. Omar Barker Vocal Rawhide You ask me "What's a cowboy yell?" I've heard a few, of course. outburst, liveliness, vitality, excitement, bawl, holler, mellow, hoarse, mood, feeling, tonsils, sound, Yippee, Wa-Hoo, bellow, squall, roar, tough throat, whooping, cactus, western land, yodel, mating song, ring-tailed wowser music, lonesome, coyote howls, prairie owl, soprano, longhorn bull, April, moon, whiskey-tenor, eardrums, wild sounds, train whistle, human sounds, animal sounds, description of sounds
648 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 118 S. Omar Barker His First Shave "Too young to straddle broncs, my lad! young boy, beardless, mean horses, sprout, snout, Bar L, boss, youth, unscared boy, cattle, six gun trigger, too young, Cap McNally, Texas Ranger, King Fisher, posse, rustler's trail, shooting, saving lives, lead, puberty, bearcat, sixteen, coming of age, courage, courageous boy, rustling
649 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 119 S. Omar Barker Cowboy Saying With these two rules to live by. wisdom, whittle, spit, wind, figure things out, common sense, conclusions, understanding, realization, knowledge, wit, humor
650 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 120 S. Omar Barker Granger's Daughter I spied a granger's daughter as the herd come up the trail. falling in love, courting, longing, emotions, dreams, women, small girl, dugout, dugout door, lonesome land, dust, excitement, ragged clothes, wave, blue eyes, yellow hair, golden hair, yaller-golden hair, poor farmer, Abilene, fancy gals, buxom gals, plains, alkali, coyotes, pay, waiting woman, courtship, poverty