Digital Tradition Mirror


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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

(D.J. O'Malley)

I thought, one morning just for fun,
I'd see how ropin' cows was done;
So when the roundup had begun
I tackled the cattle king.
     He said, "My foreman's gone to town,
     He's in a saloon, his name is Brown
     You just go see him, he'll take you down."
     Says I, "That's just the thing."

We went to the ranch the very next day,
Brown talked to me 'most all the way.
He said "Punchin' cows is nothin' but play.
T'aint hardly no work at all."
     He said," There's nothing to do but ride
     It's just like drifting with the tide."
     That son of a bitch! Oh how he lied!
     He had one hell of a gall.

Sometimes those cattle would make a break
And across the prairie they would take,
Just like they was running for a stake.
To them it was nothing but play.
     Sometimes they would stumble and fall
     Sometimes you couldn't head them at all
     And we'd shoot on like a cannonball
     Till the ground came in our way.

They saddled me up on an old gray hack
With a great big seat stuck on his back;
They padded him down with a gunny sack
And with my bedroll, too.
     When I got on him, he left the ground
     Jumped up in the air, and circled around.
     When I come down, I busted the ground,
     I had a Hell of a fall!

They picked me up and carried me in,
And rubbed me down with a picket pin.
They says," That's the way they all begin,"
"You're doin' fine", says Brown.
     Tomorrow morning, if you don't die
     We'll give you another horse to try."
     "Say, mister, can't I walk?", says I
     Says Brown, "Yep, back to town."

I've traveled up, I've traveled down,
I've traveled this wide world all around.
I've lived in city, I've lived in town;
And here's what I've got to say:
     Before you try cowpunching, kiss your wife
     Take a lot of insurance on your life
     And cut your throat with a butcher knife.
     It's easier that way.

This was copywrited by Paull- Pioneer Music Co., 1932, with words
credited to D. J. O'Malley. I heard it from my father, who
learned it in the late 1920's. RG
DT #599
Laws B27

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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