Digital Tradition Mirror

The Old Cowboy's Lament

The Old Cowboy's Lament
(Robert V. Carr)

The range's filled up with farmers and there's fences ev'rywhere
A painted house 'most ev'ry quarter mile
They're raisin' blooded cattle and plantin' sorted seed
And puttin' on a painful lot o' style

There hain't no grass to speak of and the water holes are gone
The wire of the farmer holds 'em tight
There's little use to law 'em and little use to kick
And mighty sight less use there is to fight

There's them coughin' separaters and their dirty, dusty crews
And wagons runnin' over with the grain
With smoke a-driftin' upward and writin' on the air
A story that to me is mighty plain

The wolves have left the country and the long-horns are no more
And all the game worth shootin' at is gone
And it's time for me to foller, 'cause I'm only in the way
And I've got to be a-movin' -- movin' on

     The "Wild West" period was short; with the progress of the
     railroads and the fencing of the range, the cattle boom was
     only about 25 years, from the end of the Civil War to about
     1890, when the Big Die-Off and two depressions read "ashes to
     ashes" over it.  What did they do, who knew no other trade? JN

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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