Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Them Stars

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Them Stars

Them Stars

Them Stars!
How often I've laid on the prairie and watched 'em go sweeping around
My bronco a dosin' beside me and nary a breeze nor a whisper of sound
I've learnt the main bunch of the heavenly ranches,
     there's Jupiter, Venus and Mars
He don't know it's primary branches,
     what ain't been alone with the stars

Some clusters is branded, the Dipper.
     the Lion, the Eagle, the Sarpent, the Bear
The Horns O' the Bull and the Belt O' Orion,
     and Cassie O' Whats Her Name Chair
But lots of 'ems mav'ricks roamin' the ranges, stampeded all over the sky
No part of the big panorama that changes from winter to summer, and why?

        Well maybe it's gospel and maybe be sold me, but here's the whole
                story at least,
        That Big Chief Citola he told to me the night of the corn-planting

When all of the mountains was set in their stations an' threaded with
           canyons and rills
The star worlds, the last of the mighty creations was layin' in heaps on
           the hills
In masses of silver, gold and of copper, shining and polished and new
Poured out on the granite like corn from the hopper, a-waitin' their place
           in the blue

First come the Bear o' the Mountain who faces the North from his cave afar
He lifted his paws to the heavenly spaces an' laid out his picture in stars
Then over the peaks of the Western Dominion the Eagle who battles the storm
Flew up to the heavens with star dusted pinions and printed the line of his
Next that the tribes and nations should wonder, the Buffalo leaped to the
That shag headed bison whose beller is thunder emblazoned him image on high

        Well maybe it's gospel and maybe he sold me, but here's the whole
                story at least
        That Big Chief Citola he told to we the night of the corn-planting

And then came coyote so crafty and clever, a scalawag all the way through
That yap throated critical varmint who never is pleased with what other
           folks do
Sez he "Them Stars was intended to brighten the outermost reaches of night
And you go and use 'em in pictures to heighten your glory and that isn't

Sez he "I'll show you how Stars should be planted" and he jumped in the
           glittering piles
He kicked and he gamboled, he danced and he rambled and he scattered 'em
           millions of miles
So that's why they glimmer at sixes and sevens, stampeded all over the
A lastin' disgrace to the orderly heavens, and it's all that coyote chaps

        Well maybe it's gospel and maybe he sold me, but here's the whole
                story at least
        That Big Chief Citola he told to we the night of the corn-planting
From Margaret MacArthur CD, _Them Stars_, Whetstone Records, 1996
(Tune by Margaret MacArthur, (c) 1996, words: traditional)
She found the poem, "Star Planters" in the Ben Gray Lumpkin archives at the
University of Colorady in 1983.  It was contributed by Emma Rachel Moomaw
Hutchins in 1964 as a song collected by Hazel Ecker of Green River, Utah.
Unable to forget the verses and unable to contact either of these women,
MacArthur was eventually wrote the tune.
Download the song in PDF format for printout etc. Download the song in RTF format for editing etc.

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