MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Dying Cowboy

Performed by William O'Driscoll Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 3 Track 6
Community: Tors Cove Audio: Yes
Genre: Ballad / cowboy dies Laws B2

Transcription

As the Western sun was sitting on a summer's day
Lying on a saddle blanket a dying cowboy lay
Comrades gather close around me I'll be soon away
And to you I'll tell my story listen while I say

Chorus: Cowboys don't forget your mothers; write a letter home
Though you've grown into manhood and began to roam
I know mother is sad and lonely living all alone
On this earth no more I'll see her send my letters home

Tell her how I long to see her though she's far away
And I'll meet her up in Heaven on the Judgement Day
Tell her that I've still her picture and a locket of golden hair
I'll be waiting for you, mother, on that golden stair

Chorus: Cowboys don't forget your mothers; write a letter home
Though you've grown into manhood and began to roam
I know mother is sad and lonely living all alone
On this earth no more I'll see her send my letters home

As the yellow moon was shining on the Prairie crest
In a grave six feet by three we laid him down to rest
Many times as we go riding by his lonely grave
It brings back those haunting memories when we heard him say:

Chorus: Cowboys don't forget your mothers; write a letter home
Though you've grown into manhood and began to roam
I know mother is sad and lonely living all alone
On this earth no more I'll see her send my letters home


Notes

Sources: Mercer 115; Laws A14; for recordings see http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/BalladSearch. Roud 628.

History: American broadside

Text notes: A dying cowboy tells of his dear mother and asks his comrades to deliver his last letters to her.

Tune notes: An abab form.

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