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"Best cowboy song" Topic

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19th Century

1,411 hits since 17 Mar 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Mark Steyn is celebrating "Ghost Riders in the Sky" as his Song if the Week this week. I agree with his opinions on this song 100%.
As usual, he tells interesting stories about backgrounds of his choices.
In this case, a Park Ranger whipped out his guitar just for fun while out with a bunch of guys from Hollywood filming a John Ford western.
And how he came to write it is fascinating also.

Anyway, that's my favorite cowboy song. What's yours?
I'm sure Pictorsstudio will be along soon to nominate a Marty Robbins ballad (I love El Paso, myself) so I need not bother.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:06 a.m. PST

Cool Water…Sons of the pioneers

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:09 a.m. PST

Hey John, You don't have time for this.

Get back to those Associators!!!

Two choices….

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

or if you count movie music then it's "Magnificent 7 Theme"

Roderick Robertson Fezian18 Mar 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

Streets of Laredo.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

I like Big Iron by Marty Robbins

CeruLucifus18 Mar 2018 9:21 a.m. PST

Devil's Right Hand by Steve Earle.

I saw Mr. Earle live back in the late 80s. He introduced this song with an anecdote about how a major country star had been reluctant to record it because it was about gun control. Earle said "I told him no, it's about a juvenile delinquent in the 19th century."

CeruLucifus18 Mar 2018 9:24 a.m. PST

Weird bug. On my phone's browser the first line of my last post is in a smaller font. If I edit it there's no formatting to change.

Personal logo Toy Soldier Green Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

Cattle Call by Eddie Arnold.

Vigilant18 Mar 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

I'm with PaulColins and CerLucifus, 2 great songs. Then again so are Streets of Laredo and El Paso. Can't beat a good gunfighter song.

Personal logo Darrell B D Day Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

Does the Bonanza theme song count even though it has no lyrics. I've got the .45 .


Gone Fishing18 Mar 2018 9:44 a.m. PST

For the real thing, "Red River Valley." From there I'd go with "Cross the Brazos at Waco" (similar to "El Paso," but just as good) or "Red Headed Stranger."

Honestly, there are so many…

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:49 a.m. PST

"Hell In Texas"--sublime description of the Lone Star State

(and as an Okie, I appreciate most anything that ribs those who live in "Baja Oklahoma.")


Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 9:50 a.m. PST

Do not forsake me, My Darling (High Noon)

The ecstasy of gold (Enio Morriconne, (The Good the bad and the Ugly))

David Manley18 Mar 2018 10:06 a.m. PST

Three Wheels on my Wagon, by the New Christy Mistrels

Ernie, by Benny Hill

genew4918 Mar 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

Gene Autry's Back in the Saddle Again
YouTube link

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

does high noon count as a cowboy song? or does it need to be a song sung by cowboys.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

I'm sorry, Darrell, but Bonanza does indeed have lyrics.
YouTube link

YouTube link

jdginaz18 Mar 2018 10:32 a.m. PST

Actually there are lyrics for the Bonanza theme.

YouTube link

Sung by Johnny Cash

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 10:43 a.m. PST

I like "El Paso" by Marty Robbins.


mjkerner Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 10:54 a.m. PST

Cattle Call (Eddie Arnold's version)
Don't Fence Me In (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans)
Knocking on Heaven's Door (Dylan's version if I had to choose)

Personal logo Zeelow Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

Gene Autry = Peter Cottontail.

mjkerner Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

P.S. And practically all of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys' repertoire!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:26 a.m. PST

Songs, Dudes.
Lyrics are a must.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:28 a.m. PST
Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:30 a.m. PST

An unlikely cover of "Bob Wills is Still the King".
I'm not nominating this song for the Poll, I just had nowhere else to put it.
My favorite part is the look of relief on Woods' face, playing the pedal steel guitar and not screwing up.
YouTube link

Presented for ….
oh heck. It's enjoyable.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:34 a.m. PST

Rochdale Cowboy….

YouTube link

Brian Smaller Inactive Member18 Mar 2018 11:34 a.m. PST

"Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl
Night-time would find me in Rosa's Cantina
Music would play and Feleena would whirl"

Marty Robbins
YouTube link

Brian Smaller Inactive Member18 Mar 2018 11:39 a.m. PST

Also this one is pretty good. Lee Marvin "Wandrin' Star"

I recently watched Paint Your Wagon for the first time since I saw it as a kid. It is a bloody good musical/western. Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin singing. Awesome.

YouTube link

jowady Inactive Member18 Mar 2018 11:40 a.m. PST

1)El Paso
2) Streets of Laredo
3) Theme from "Rawhide" YouTube link
4) I Ride an Old Paint (Git along little dogies) YouTube link
5) William Tell Overture

Tom Molon Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

Roy Rogers and the sons of the Pioneers: "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:44 a.m. PST

Etotheipi, I believe that Johnnie Cash's Long Black Veil was tecorded live at San Quentin, and is great.
We could have a whole Poll on "favorite versions of The Long Black Veil".
Here's my favorite.
YouTube link
The Band, with Danko on vocals, and an accordion solo by Garth Hudson!
There's also Dave Matthews with Emmylou Harris, Johnnie Cash with Joannie Mitchell…

Dear Mister editor. If this makes it to an actual Poll, just list the song once, but with multiple videos. I don't want to split the vote. grin notes

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 11:46 a.m. PST

Ghost riders in the sky

Brian Smaller Inactive Member18 Mar 2018 11:50 a.m. PST

I am surprised nobody has mentioned The Man who shot Liberty Vallence. Still one of my favourite all time westerns (and songs).

YouTube link

Major Mike18 Mar 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

Thats how the yodel was born by Riders in the Sky

YouTube link

14Bore18 Mar 2018 12:34 p.m. PST

Another for El Paso

Buck21518 Mar 2018 12:50 p.m. PST

"Cowboy Song" by Thin Lizzy, "Bounty Hunter" by Molly Hatchett, and "Ghost Riders in the Sky" (the version by the Outlaws).

thosmoss18 Mar 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

"She's a good hearted woman" by Waylon Jennngs … am I getting too modern?

tigrifsgt18 Mar 2018 1:19 p.m. PST

Rawhide. The Blues Brothers version wasn't even half bad.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 1:49 p.m. PST

We could have a whole Poll on "favorite versions of The Long Black Veil".

Yes, we could.

I like the Johnny Cash version of everything (Is this a cowboy song?), but this is my fave of LBV …

Greylegion18 Mar 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

Stampede, Chris LeDoux

Major William Martin RM Inactive Member18 Mar 2018 2:10 p.m. PST


Ronnie is actually a damned good string musician. He played bass in the original Jeff Beck Group, played mandolin on "Maggie Mae" with Rod Stewart, has played slide guitar on many Stones tracks and has done Brian Jones' sitar part for "Painted Black" just to show that he could. His personal collection includes several exotic types of stringed instruments, Dobro's, Gypsy Jazz, double-necks and lap steels, pedal steels and others.

Back in the Beck days he and Jeff used to play a drinking game where Ronnie would play some exotic instrument and Jeff would try to match it on a Strat with electronics effects added.


Oh, and add "The Girl With The Faraway Eyes", with Ronnie on steel and Mick on acoustic, with an appropriate hat!

YouTube link

Weddier18 Mar 2018 2:20 p.m. PST

'Red River Valley' is actually 'Bright Mohawk Valley', from the old Tin Pan Alley, but even so, really good. I have a soft spot for 'I'm an Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande', sung to me as a lullaby. I continue this with my grandsons, poor guys.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 2:29 p.m. PST

I'm just saying that Wood had a comical look of relief on his face.

Katzbalger18 Mar 2018 2:51 p.m. PST

While I like El Paso (, Ghost Riders (I prefer the Johnny Cash rendition YouTube link), and Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling (, my favorite has a little martial history to it: The Yellow Rose of Texas ( I assume that still counts as a cowboy song.


SpuriousMilius18 Mar 2018 3:20 p.m. PST

My fav is "Ghost Riders", but I also enjoy "Poncho & Lefty".

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 3:39 p.m. PST

I'm an Old Cowhand as done by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks.
YouTube link

Poncho and Lefty
YouTube link

JimSelzer Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 3:45 p.m. PST

Ghost riders in the Sky (Outlaws)
Rawhide theme(Frankie Laine)
Tumbling tumble weeds SoP
Cool Water SoP
Tom Dooley (Kingston Trio)
The Rebel Theme aka"The Ballad of Johnny Yuma"(Johnny Cash)
Whiskey for my Men and beer for their horses (Toby Keith)
Blaze of Glory( Bon Jovi)
Young Guns (Bon Jovi)
Happy Trails (Roy Rogers)

Major William Martin RM Inactive Member18 Mar 2018 3:54 p.m. PST

Well, there's always "See What The Boys In The Back Room Will Have" from "Destry Rides Again"

Jimmy Stewart and the incomparable Marlene in the same film, got to be gold.

YouTube link

rmaker18 Mar 2018 5:07 p.m. PST

"Cigareets and Whuskey and Wild, Wild Wimmen" from the Sons of the Pioneers has to rank right up there.

YouTube link

mad monkey 118 Mar 2018 6:45 p.m. PST

Home on the Range.

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