Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
- Colorado History -
The Cowboy's Prayer, Cowboy Poetry, Lingo,
Cowboy Ballads: Lullabies for Jittery Cows
The Cowboy's Prayer
Lord, please help me, lend me Thine ear,
The prayer of a troubled cowman to hear.
No doubt my prayer to you may seem strange,
But I want you to bless my cattle range...
As you O Lord my fine herds behold,
They represent a sack of pure gold.
I think that at least five cents on the pound
Would be a good price for beef the year round.
Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads
Early cowboys relaxing at the end of a day's travel
on the Sante Fe Trail.
Many cowboy ballads originated as a means of quieting
stampede-prone cattle at night. Composed impromptu by cowhands riding
around the herds, the often atonal songs took their rhythm from a
horse's gait. Some had mournful tunes, but no words, and were termed
"Texas lullabies." Others had standard verses that, like those excerpted
below, became favorites.
The Old Chisholm Trail
I'm up in the momin' afore daylight
And afore I sleep the moon shines bright.
No chaps and no slicker, and it's pouring down rain,
And I swear, by God, that I'll never night-herd again.
Oh, it's bacon and beans most every day
I'd as soon be a-eatin' prairie hay.
I went to the boss to draw my roll,
He had it figured out I was nine dollars in the hole.
I'll sell my horse and I'll sell my saddle;
You can go to hell with your longhhorn cattle.
Little Joe the Wrangler
Little Joe, the wrangler, was called out with the rest;
Though the kid had scarcely reached the herd,
When the cattle they stampeded, like a hailstorm long they fled
Then we were all a-ridin' for the lead.
The next moming just at daybreak, we found where his
Down in a washout twenty feet below;
And beneath the horse, mashed to a pulp, his spur had rung the knell,
Was our little Texas stray, poor Wrangling Joe.
The Rolling Stone - 1850s
Since times are so hard, I'll tell you, my wife
I've a mind for to shake off this trouble and strife,
And to California my journey pursue
To double my fortunes as other men do.
For here we may labor each day in the field
And the winters consume all that summers doth yield.
Dear husband, remember your land is to clear,
It will cost you the labor of many a year.
Your horses, sheep and cattle will all be to buy,
And before you have got them you are ready to die.
So stick to your farming; you'll suffer no loss,
For the stone that keeps rolling can gather no moss.
(The wife of the song, like thousands of uncounted women,
succeeded in keeping her husband on the farm.)
Cowboys in search of women's company after lonely months
on the trail visited ladies such as these, posed in front of the house
in which they entertained their customers.
Airin' the lungs: cussin'
Biscuit shooter: the ranch cook
Colorado mockingbird: a burro
Dally: a half-hitch of rope around
a saddle horn used when roping
Dog house: the bunkhouse
Flea trap: a cowboy's bedroll
Greasy belly: a cook
Gut hooks: spurs
Hay shaker: a farmer
Hot rock: a biscuit
| Idaho brain storm: a tornado
Kack: a saddle
Kack biscuit: a saddle sore
Latigo: a leather strap used to
fasten a saddle on a horse
Maniac den: a sheep wagon or camp
Maverick: an unbranded animal
Necktie social: a hanging
Tasting gravel: thrown from a horse
Walking whisky vat: a drunkard
"I'm a bullwacker
far from home.
If you don't like me just leave me alone;
Eat my grub when hungry, drink when dry.
Whack, punch, swar, then lie down and die."
Back to the top of page
- Colorado History In Depth
Lecture Notes, Reading, and Information:
| The Cheyenne Migration
to Colorado |
| The Gratlan Affair, Massacre, Fort Laramie
The Cheyenne Social Club
| A Cheyenne War Story: Wolf Road, the Runner
| Cheyenne Traditions and Beliefs, Sacred
| Horses, Warriors, War Pipe, Sweatlodge
| Cheyenne War Parties and Battle Tactics
| The Scalp Dance and Other Cheyenne Dances
| The Sante Fe Trail and Fort Union |
| Sumner - Ninth Military Department / The
First Fort Union |
| Early Arrivals to Fort Union, Daily Life
at Fort Union |
| Captain Grover - The New Fort Union, the
Confederate Threat |
| Fort Union Arsenal, William Shoemaker,
End of Fort Union |
Americans from the East
| Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase
| The Expedition of Zebulon Pike |
| Pikes Peak or Bust / Colorado Gold Rush
Colorado's Role in the US Civil
| The Civil War, Fort Wise / Fort Lyon
| Mace's Hole, Colonel Canby, F.C.V.R.
| Fort Weld |
| The Pet Lambs, John Chivington |
| General Henry Sibly, Battle of Valverde,
Fort Union |
Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes
| The Western Federation of Miners / State
| The 1893 - 1894 Strike | The
Strike of 1903 - 1904 |
| The Mine Owners Association |
| Crimes and Military Rule in the Cripple
Creek District |
| Marshall Law in Cripple Creek District
/ End of the Strike |
Early Cripple Creek District
| Photos, Fire, and Life in Cripple Creek
| Other Colorful Towns in the Cripple Creek
Gillett - Colorado's Only Bullfight, Victor, Independence |
| A Guide to the Miners' Gritty Lingo
More Colorado History
| Bent's Fort Photos, Personalities, Plans,
and More |
| What Was Easter Like at Bent's Fort?
| Colorado Trivia,
Miscellaneous Old Photos,
Western Personalities, Forts, and More |
| Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads
| Heraldry of the Branding Iron |
Aims to Clear Infamous Cannibal, Alferd Packer |
| Lead Gives Alferd
Packer's Story More Weight |
Colorado Love Stories: Baby Doe Tabor & More
| Colorado Pioneer Women: Elizabeth Byers
| Early Denver Jokes / The History of April
Fools' Day |
Back to the top of page