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
651 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 121 S. Omar Barker Horses Versus Hosses I heard an old-time cowboy swappin' off some drawlin' talk. nag, worn out horses, salty information on horses, knowledge, advice, race track, riding school, pampering horses, saddle, postage stamp, caressing, overprotective, combed, slick, elegant riders, shaggies, strength, hardy, sturdiness, toughness, firm, strong, stable-pampered, cow range hosses, spoiled, delicate, tame, racing
652 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 122 S. Omar Barker Line-Camp Christmas Letter Inside an Old West line-camp, settin' on his lonely bed. dugout, outpost cabin, boar's nest, cowboy, writing, home, parent, family, Christmas cheer, drop a line, feeling well, safe, blizzard, cold, snow, drifting cattle, lame horse, scattered cattle, frozen waterholes, poor looking cattle, shack, Happy New Year, frostbit hands, Ma, Pa, Frank, Bess, low woodpile, busted ax handle, beans, scorched beans, mending a rope, goodwishes, wonderful cowboy life, Adelaide, Jack, critter, proud to be a cowboy, liking the job, tough, enduring, mother, father, pride
653 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 125 S. Omar Barker Cowboy's Definition of a Saddle They asked me "What's a saddle?" It's some leather-covered wood. tenderfoot, getting used to sitting on a saddle, tender meat, soreness, pain, butt, rear end, seat, unaccustomed to riding a horse, rocking chair, cowboy's rocking chair, morning, dawn, coolness, chilly, cinch, blanket, saddle blanket, stirrups, boots, cowboy boots, doodad, trinket, saddle horn, bucking horse, cantle, horse's tail, straddle, cattle, cattle herd, bottom, rider, experience,
654 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 132 S. Omar Barker Black Jack Ketchum His name was Black Jack Ketchum, and he rode with Bronco Bill. robbing, savvy, skill, killing, jokes, law, Clayton, shotgun, train conductor, prisoner, injury, injured arm, cutting off an arm, doctor, balk, grisly job, favor, Santa Fe, jail, pay to look at Black Jack, Jerry Leahy, Judge Mills, sentence, death, hang, jury,, hell, day of hanging, bloody trail, last favor, barber, shave, State Attorney, impatience, fretting, humor, gallows humor, black humor, dinner in hell, wittiness, hanging
655 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 131 S. Omar Barker Fireside Windies Now cowboys 'round the fire at night. story, exaggeration, talk, broncs, broncos, gals, women, kissing, bragging, boast, big talk, showing off, swagger, prance
656 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 130 S. Omar Barker Weddin' in Texas The wedding guests were gay that night, with josh and joke and quip. merriment, cheerfulness, celebration, six gun, tension, armed, Texas, blood, violence, frolic, horses, gun, bride, groom, dance, feast, beauty, Joe Sitterlee, music, band, fiddler, caller, singing, sudden silence, Ranger Hall, Bill Meador, Doc. Brazell, killing, confrontation, anger, list of wanted men, weddin' night, fight, blaze away, women, dry powder, wedding night, court, law, pain, heartbreak, jail, heifer, swinging, danger, revenge
657 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 127 S. Omar Barker Rawhide Romance A rawhide rope's an implement you sure have got to pet. limber, flexible, carefulness, attentiveness, neatness, meticulousness, Ol' Mac, shoot, horse, town, lasso, lariat, dance, women, gals, Op'ry House, fancy, stitchin' on a boot, pattern, boots, nice girls, cheerfulness, amusement, fun, filly, date, flirt, Mac, show, ramrod, turned down, unaccepted, mooning, roping a girl, courting, marriage, possessions, treasure, wife, love courtship
658 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 123 S. Omar Barker The Dancin' Kid Clay Allison whiled dull time away. jokes, rowdiness, six gun play, wild bunch breed, wildness, mean, heed, audience, shooting, shooting for fun, hard words, Lambert's Bar, ranch kid, popping gun, malicious, despiteful, evil, ill will, wicked, nasty, scared kid, fear, laughter, bar, drinking, whiskey, revenge, challenge, anger, courage, fearlessness, guts, gun, lead, dance not for fun, courageous boy, bravery, admit fear, bluff
659 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 136 S. Omar Barker Ol' Ranny Caught in a cliff-rimmed canyon. longhorn, cowboys, trap, loop, roping, resisting animals, brand, sting of a brand, battle, fight, strength, power, might, energy, force, disgrace, eyelids, fringe, scrub oak root, blind the animal, half-blinded, sausage vats, tame herd, breaking a wild animal, escape, clog, hobble, break-out ,runaway, get free, break loose, breaking horses
660 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 135 S. Omar Barker Ranchman's Widow She's got ones on a doctor. mother, children, daughter, Latin, education, school, knowledge, lawyer, ranch, foreman, Dad, father, memories, saddle, pride, brainy daughter, longing for the old days, riding men, success, ambitiousness, cowboy son, tenderness, cowpuncher dad,
661 Rawhide Rhymes FC 11 B-05 134 S. Omar Barker Wolf's-Eye View When viewing gals in Levi's. spic and span, men, women, shape, figure, pun on span, contour, profile, frame, look,
662 FC 11 B-33 no book, free number
663 Sonnets of a Freshman FC 11 B-35 Berton Braley Sonnets of a Freshman It seems so strange to find myself down here, Away from pa and ma and all the rest
664 FC 11 H-24 no book, free number
665 FC 11 L-04 no book, free number
666 FC 11 S-34 no book, free number
667 The Old Square Dance of the Western Range FC 11 W-10 1 C.C. Walsh The Old Square Dance of the Western Range Imagination onc't I had! I hain't got none no more.
668 Shorty's Saloon FC 11 R-07 Johnny Ritch Shorty's Saloon By the trails to the past, on the Plains of no Care. Illustrated by Charles M. Russell
669 Catching It Whole: A First Collection of Poems FC 11 P-02 41 R.J. Petrillo Banjo Picker Wind The wind is a west wind running to north humming a snow tune over grey sage.
671 Ruby Mountain Rhymes FC 11 W-09 2 Jack Walther Ruby Mountains I am part of this range of waving grass
672 Round-Up: The Roper FC 11 C-31 1 Ernest Cox Oh to Be a Cowboy I have never attended a college. pollution, smog, city, cowboy, The Western Cowboy, dreaming
673 Round-Up: The Roper FC 11 C-31 4 Ernest Cox The Bush-Whacker I had just left the town of Elko. lone, gunman, Mustang, recognized, clothes, disguise, crush, drink, water-hole
674 Round-Up: The Roper FC 11 C-31 5 Ernest Cox God's Country Colorado Have you ever paid a visit friend. Colorado, beauty, God, Love, world, creation, Himself
675 Round-Up: The Roper FC 11 C-31 8 Ernest Cox The Prospector He was a cantankerous old cuss. old, gold, donkey, rich, miner, prospector, Wonder, hungry,
676 Round-Up: The Roper FC 11 C-31 12 Ernest Cox The Bull Rider He was born in Cattle Country. rodeo, El Lobo, Brahma bull, bull riding, horn, bruise, bleeding, style, best