Cowboy Songs And Other Frontier Ballads

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Collector's Note
hazard way as they were collected,— jotted down on a table in the rear of saloons, scrawled on an envelope while squatting about a campfire, caught behind the scenes of a broncho-busting outfit. Later, it is hoped that enough interest will be aroused to justify printing all the variants of these songs, ac­companied by the music and such explanatory notes as may be useful; the negro folk-songs, the songs of the lumber jacks, the songs of the moun­taineers, and the songs of the sea, already partially collected, being included in the final publication. The songs of this collection, never before in print, as a rule have been taken down from oral recitation. In only a few instances have I been able to dis­cover the authorship of any song. They seem to have sprung up as quietly and mysteriously as does the grass on the plains. All have been popular with the range riders, several being current all the way from Texas to Montana, and quite as long as the old Chisholm Trail stretching between these states. Some of the songs the cowboy certainly composed; all of them he sang. Obviously, a number of the most characteristic cannot be printed for general circulation. To paraphrase slightly what Sidney Lanier said of Walt Whitman's poetry, they are raw collops slashed from the rump of Nature, and never mind the gristle. Likewise some of the strong ad­jectives and nouns have been softened,— Jonahed, as George Meredith would have said. There is, how-