It's been 3 years since our last fund-raising drive. Help us keep the Archive free to the public. Your donation will fund the ongoing development of the world's oldest and largest online database of vocal texts and translations.

Three Cowboy Songs

Song Cycle by Libby Larsen (b. 1950)

1. Bucking bronco [sung text checked 1 time]

My love is a rider, my love is a rider ...
My true love is a rider wild broncos he breaks,
though he promised to quit for my sake.
It's one foot in the stirrup and the saddle put on 
with a swing and a jump he is mounted and gone.
The first time I met him it was early one spring 
a riding a bronco a high headed thing.
The next time I saw him 'twas late in the fall 
a swinging the girls at Tomlinson's ball.
He gave me some presents among them a ring 
the return that I gave him was a far better thing;
A young maiden's heart, I'd have you all know, 
that he won it by riding his bucking bronco.
Now all young maidens, where're you reside, 
beware of the cowboy who swings rawhide,
He'll court you and pet you and leave you to go 
in the spring up the trail on his bucking bronco.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Lift me into heaven slowly [sung text checked 1 time]

Lift me into heaven slowly, 
cause my back's sore 
and my mind's thoughtful
and I'm not even sure 
I want to go.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Billy the Kid [sung text checked 1 time]

Billy was a bad man 
[And]1 carried a big gun,
He was always after [Greasers]2 
And [kept 'em]3 on the run.

He shot one every morning
[For]1 to make his morning meal.
[And let a white man]4 sass him,
He was [shore]5 to feel his steel.

He kept folks in hot water, 
[And he]1 stole from [many a]6 stage,
[And]1 when he was full of liquor
He was always in a rage.7

[But]8 one day he met a man 
[Who was]1 a whole lot badder 
and now he's dead 
and we ain't none the sadder.


View original text (without footnotes)
Text can be found in Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads collected by John A. Lomax, M. A., 1918
1 omitted by Larsen.
2 Larsen: "good folks"
3 Larsen: "he kept them"
4 Larsen: "Let a man"
5 Larsen: "sure"
6 Larsen: "ev'ry"
7 Larsen adds:
He kept things boilin' over, 
he stayed out in the brush,
when he was full of dead eye, 
other folks'ld better hush.
8 Larsen: "Billy was a bad man, but"
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 278