Song of the Cowboys

(Copyright: Jimmy Driftwood; Warden Music Co.)
Side 2, Band 5.

Dave: guitar
Cathy: banjo
Ed: vocal

When I was in first grade, one of my favorite records was "The Battle of New Orleans" sung by Johnny Horton. Since 1973, it has been a pleasure to know and work with the composer of that song and of this one, Jimmy Driftwood, and his wife, Cleda, from Timbo, Arkansas. Jimmy is an extraordinary raconteur and a prolific songwriter. This song comes from his first RCA album in 1959, The Wilderness Road. (CBP)

A cowboy's life is a very hard life,
Fighting the wind and the cold,
But I wouldn't trade my cowpunching days
For all of old Midas' gold.
There's horses to break and robbers to fight
And blizzards that'll make you turn pale,
But there's plenty of fun for the son of a gun
Who can sing and be gay on the trail.

Ki-yi, ki-yippee-i-yippee-i-o,
Ki-yi, ki-yippee-i-yippee-i-o.

We round up the dogies and drift them along,
Corral 'em all over the plains.
We rope 'em and brand 'em and doctor their bulls
And turn them out loose on the range.
At night, when the dogies are dreaming about
Cowherding just over the way,
The nightriders sit in their saddles and sing
From dark till the dawn of the day.

When St. Peter calls us to come to his range
And punch the wild cattle up there,
I hope all the boys who have rode the long range
Will come when he gives them the dare.
I want a good horse who can run a fast race,
And a crew that don't care where we go.
We'll ride away off to some desolate place
And sing ki-yippee-i-o.

© 1986, Folk Legacy Records, Inc.