Songs Of The Cowboys - online songbook

Traditional Cowboy & Western Songs - lyrics collection

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We talk in the East of a public for poetry, and when we use this term we are usually thinking of the pub­lic that will, or will not, be prevailed upon to buy the books of poetry regularly issued by the standard Eastern publishers. But there is in this country a considerable public for poetry of which no account is taken in the yearly summaries of The Publishers' Weekly; that is, the public that enjoys and creates folk-poetry in the United States, a public much larger and more varied than we imagine. In this connection we have the story of a cowboy down on his luck who had a collection of cowboy songs printed (some of which he had written himself) and sold enough copies of the little volume to set him­self up in business again. This does n't mean that he sold enough to buy a new outfit — "a forty-dollar saddle on a twenty-dollar horse " — and start punching cattle again. No; the sum made on the little paper-covered volume was very much more than that; it would have made any Eastern poet jealous. And the book was sold, not at news stands or book stores, but, like the old broad-sheet bal­lads, at cow-camps and round-ups and cattle-fairs.
The title of this little book was Songs of the Cow- ' boys, the collector, N. Howard Thorp, and the book was set up by an Estancia print-shop in 1908. Mr. Thorp himself was the author of five of the songs