A Philosophical Cowboy
On the Double Circle Range where the grass grows green
The cattle get wild and the broncs get mean
And the calves get bigger as the days go by,
So we got to keep a-rimming, boys, it's root hog or die.
If you ride them out of horses you've got to keep them shod
If you can't shoe them standing then lay them on the sod
You can tack the iron on them if you're a mind to try
So get busy, boys, for it's root hog or die.
In the morning after breakfast about daylight;
Throw your saddle on a horse and pull your cinches tight
Your bronc may jump crooked or he may jump high
But we all got to ride them, boys, it's root hog or die.
Oh, the hills are rough and rocky but we got to make the drive
When you start a bunch of cattle you better come alive
If you ever get a maverick you must get him on the fly
So you better take to them, boys, it's root hog or die.
When the long day is over you'll be glad to see the chief
With a pot of black coffee and another full of beef
And some sour dough biscuits to take the place of pie
When he hollers, "Come and git it," it's root hog or die.
In the middle of the night it is sometimes awful hard
To leave your warm blankets when you're called on guard
And you pass the weary moments while the stars are in the sky
Humming to the cattle, boys, it's root hog or die.
Sometimes it's dreadful stormy and sometimes it's pretty clear
You may work a month and you might work a year
But you can make a winning if you'll come alive and try
For the whole world over, boys, it's root hog or die.
From Cowboy and Western Songs, Fife and Fife