Songs Of The Cowboys - online songbook

Traditional Cowboy & Western Songs - lyrics collection

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INTRODUCTION
xix
Ocean," and Jack Thorp's "Little Joe, the Wrang­ler " was composed to the tune of " The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane."
Many of the cowboy songs, and almost all of the earlier ones, belong to the first type; they exist in­dependent of any printed origin and have come down to us through oral tradition. They are anony­mous because their authors have been forgotten, but this does not mean that they were not in the first place of individual authorship; although songs of such loose and catchy structure as "The Old Chis-holm Trail," "01dPaint,"or "TheDeerHunf'lend themselves easily to composite touches. Nor are all of the earlier songs without antecedents. "The Dying Cowboy" was modeled upon a sea-chantey and "The Cowboy's Lament "has been traced to a popular Irish military song of the eighteenth cen­tury — the cowboy who had the old song in his mem­ory may well have been of that race. Indeed, the accent of many of the songs has a distinctly Celtic echo:
There ivas a rich old rancher who lived in the country by; He had a lovely daughter, on whom I cast my eye.
But such adaptation and borrowing, far from prov­ing the cowboy songs merely "derelicts," as Pro­fessor Gerrould called them in a recent number of the New York Evening Post, is a very usual process, not only with folk-poets, but with other poets as well. Burns modeled many of his poems on well-known songs and airs of the countryside, and they are not therefore merely "derelicts"; nor is Mr. Yeats's "When I am Old and Gray and Full of






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III