Cowboy Songs & Frontier Ballads

Cowboy Drinking

Cowboy Drinking – Tradecard for Wiedemann Beer. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Drinking Song

Drink that rot gut, drink that rot gut,
Drink that red eye, boys;
It don’t make a damn wherever we land,
We hit her up for joy.

We’ve lived in the saddle and ridden trail,
Drink old Jordan, boys,
We’ll go whooping and yelling, we’ll all go a-helling;
Drink her to our joy.

Whoop-ee! drink that rot gut, drink that red nose,
Whenever you get to town;
Drink it straight and swig it mighty,
Till the world goes round and round!

The Drunkard’s Hell

It was on a cold and stormy night
I saw and heard an awful sight;
The lightning flashed and thunder rolled
Around my poor benighted soul.

I thought I heard a mournful sound
Among the groans still lower down,
That awful sight no tongue can tell
Is this, — the place called Drunkard’s Hell.

I thought I saw the gulf below
Where all the dying drunkards go.
I raised my hand and sad to tell
It was the place called Drunkard’s Hell.

I traveled on and got there at last
And started to take a social glass;
But every time I started, — well,
I thought about the Drunkard’s Hell.

I dashed it down to leave that place
And started to seek redeeming grace.
I felt like Paul, at once I’d pray
Till all my sins were washed away.

I then went home to change my life
And see my long neglected wife.
I found her weeping o’er the bed
Because her infant babe was dead.

I told her not to mourn and weep
Because her babe had gone to sleep;
Its happy soul had fled away
To dwell with Christ till endless day.

I taken her by her pale white hand,
She was so weak she could not stand;
I laid her down and breathed a prayer
That God might bless and save her there.

I then went to the Temperance hall
And taken a pledge among them all.
They taken me in with a willing hand
And taken me in as a temperance man.

So seven long years have passed away
Since first I bowed my knees to pray;
So now I live a sober life
With a happy home and a loving wife.

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The Gal I Left Behind Me

I struck the trail in seventy-nine,
The herd strung out behind me;
As I jogged along my mind ran back
For the gal I left behind me.
That sweet little gal, that true little gal,
The gal I left behind me!

If ever I get off the trail
And the Indians they don’t find me,
I’ll make my way straight back again
To the gal I left behind me.
That sweet little gal, that true little gal,
The gal I left behind me!

The wind did blow, the rain did flow,
The hail did fall and blind me;
I thought of that gal, that sweet little gal,
That gal I’d left behind me!
That sweet little gal, that true little gal,
The gal I left behind me!

She wrote ahead to the place I said,
I was always glad to find it.
She says, “I am true, when you get through
Right back here you will find me.”
That sweet little gal, that true little gal,
The gal I left behind me!

When we sold out I took the train,
I knew where I would find her;
When I got back we had a smack
And that was no gol-darned liar.
That sweet little gal, that true little gal,
The gal I left behind me!

Git Along Little Dogies

As I walked out one morning for pleasure,
I met a cowpuncher a jogging along;
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a jingling,
And as he advanced he was singing this song.

(Refrain)

Yippee Ti Yi Yo, get along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Yippee Ti Yi Yo get along little dogies
For you know that Wyoming will soon be your home.

Early in the springtime we round up the dogies
Mark them and brand them and bob off their tails
Round up the horses and load the chuck wagon
Throw them little dogies right out on the trail.

In the evening we round in the dogies
As they are grazing from herd all around
You have no idea the trouble they give us
As we are holding them on the bed ground.

In the morning we throw off the bed ground
Aiming to graze them an hour or two
When they are full, you think you can drive them
On the trail, but damned if you do.

Some fellows go on the trail for pleasure,
But they have got this thing down wrong;
If it hadn’t been for these troublesome dogies,
I never would thought of writing this song.

Frontier Slang, Lingo & Phrases Book by Kathy Weiser-Alexander

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The Great Round-Up

When I think of the last great round-up
On the eve of eternity’s dawn,
I think of the past of the cowboys
Who have been with us here and are gone.
And I wonder if any will greet me
On the sands of the evergreen shore
With a hearty, “God bless you, old fellow,”
That I’ve met with so often before.

I think of the big-hearted fellows
Who will divide with you blanket and bread,
With a piece of stray beef well roasted,
And charge for it never a red.
I often look upward and wonder
If the green fields will seem half so fair,
If any the wrong trail have taken
And fail to “be in” over there.

For the trail that leads down to perdition
Is paved all the way with good deeds,
But in the great round-up of ages,
Dear boys, this won’t answer your needs.
But the way to the green pastures, though narrow,
Leads straight to the home in the sky,
And Jesus will give you the passports
To the land of the sweet by and by.

For the Savior has taken the contract
To deliver all those who believe,
At the headquarters ranch of his Father,
In the great range where none can deceive.
The Inspector will stand at the gateway
And the herd, one by one, will go by,—
The round-up by the angels in judgment
Must pass ‘neath his all-seeing eye.

No maverick or slick will be tallied
In the great book of life in his home,
For he knows all the brands and the earmarks
That down through the ages have come.
But, along with the tailings and sleepers,
The strays must turn from the gate;
No road brand to gain them admission,
But the awful sad cry “too late.”

Yet I trust in the last great round-up
When the rider shall cut the big herd,
That the cowboys shall be represented
In the earmark and brand of the Lord,
To be shipped to the bright, mystic regions
Over there in green pastures to lie,
And led by the crystal still waters
In that home of the sweet by and by.