History of the cowboy poem. Between towns, the cowboy poem served its author well. Back then there was not a lot to do when traveling, so poems, music and dance were the norm. This poem was written by an anonymous cowboy author. It gives us an idea of how poems were written back in the old west. The cowboy poem to this day is one of the most loved.
?Ten Thousand Cattle Straying?
Ten thousand cattle straying,
As rangers sang of old;
The warm chinook?s delaying,
The aspen shake with cold.
Ten thousand herds are passing,
So pass the golden years;
Behind us clouds are massing,
Like the last of the old frontiers.
It is poems like these that made the long day bearable and the job a little easier. It was not uncommon for a cowboy poem to be put to song. Many would carry some sort of instrument with them. A musical instrument and a cowboy poem put together was golden.
Guitars would often be pulled out of their belongings for a night of song and poetry around the campfire. Harmonicas were also a instrument of choice. At times someone might be carrying a fiddle, while others would choose just to sing along and clap. Scenes like this were common in the old west.
Cowboy’s had other hobbies than ranch life and improving their pistol skills. They had to be good at communicating and entertaining themselves and others. You may notice that most of the poetry written and verbalized by cowboys focused on a job, woman or the loneliness of the range. The cowboy poem was often written while a man or woman was in heavy thought. It was not uncommon for a cowboy poem to be about parts of their lives that was causing them some pain.
Jobs were extremely trying on their bodies, the hot and cold weather was extreme and danger was always present. You could easily run into a few problems when traveling from town to town. Most of the cowboy poetry you read comes from the south western part of the United States. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California were all big cowboy states.
Poetry of the old west is not the most exciting part of history, but it does provide us a window into the personalities and mindset of the cowboy. They had a softer side to them that is rarely written about in books or shown in movies.