Traditional & Folk Songs with lyrics, midis & Mp3
You ask me why, my little friend, I am so quiet and still;
And why a frown sits on my brow like a storm cloud on a hill
Rein in your pony closer, I'll tell to you a tale
Of Utah Carroll, my partner, and his last ride on the trail.
In the land of Mexico in the place from whence I came,
In silence sleeps my partner in a grave without a name.
We rode the trail together and worked cows side by side,
Oh, I loved him like a brother, and I wept when Utah died.
We were rounding up one morning, our work was nearly done.
When off the cattle started on a wild frightened run.
Now the boss's little daughter was holding in that side.
She rushed to turn the cattle,'twas there my partner died.
In the saddle of the pony where the boss's daughter sat,
Utah that very morning had placed a red blanket
That the saddle might be easier for his little friend,
But the blanket that he placed there brought my partner's life to an end.
When Leonora rushed in to turn the cattle, her pony gave a bound
And the blanket slipped from beneath her and went trailing on the ground.
Now there's nothing on a cow ranch that will make the cattle fight
As quick as some red object would just within their sight.
When the cattle saw the blanket there trailing on the ground
They were maddened in a moment and they charged it with a bound.
When we cowboys saw what had happened, everyone just held our breath
For if her pony failed her, none could save Leonora from death.
When Leonora saw the cattle, she quickly turned her face.
And leaned from out her saddle, caught the blanket back in place
But in leaning lost her balance, fell before that maddened tide
"Lie still, Leonora, I'm coming dear," were the words old Utah cried.
About fifteen yards behind her Utah came riding fast.
I little thought that moment that ride would be his last.
The horse approached the maiden with sure feet and s
And he leaned from out the saddle to catch her from the ground.
In falling from her pony, she dragged the blanket down,
And it lay there beside her where she lay upon the ground.
As he leaned to reach Leonora and to catch her in his arms
I thought my partner successful and Leonora safe from harm.
But such weight upon the cinches, they never had felt before,
His hind cinch burst asunder, and he fell beside Leonore.
Utah picked up the blanket, "Lie still again," he said.
And he ran across the prairie and waved the blanket over his head.
And thus he turned the cattle from Leonora his little friend,
And as the cattle rushed upon him, he turned to meet his end.
And quickly from his scabbard, Utah his pistol drew.
He was bound to fight while dying, like a cowboy brave and true.
His pistol flashed like lightning, the reports rang loud and clear
As the cattle pinned down on him, he dropped the leading steer
But they kept right on coming, my partner had to fall.
No more he will cinch the bronco or give the cattle call.
And when at last we reached him, there on the ground he lay,
With cuts and wounds and bruises, his life-blood oozing away
Oh, I tell you what, little one, it was most awful hard
I could not ride the distance in time to save my pard.
As I knelt down by him I knew his life was o'er,
But I heard him faintly murmur, "Lie still, I am coming, Leonora,
'Twas on one Sunday morning, I heard the parson say,
"I don't think your young partner will be lost on that great day."
He was just a poor young cowboy, maybe a little wild.
But God won't be too hard on a man who died to save a child.
From Southern Folk Ballads, McNeil
Collected from Almeda Riddle, Arkansas, 1965
Note: Reportedly the basis for The Cowboy Fireman