What one appreciates in the survivals of the old English folk-songs is precisely the literary association, and their beautifully simple but highly evolved poetic form. . But the associations of cowboy songs are directly local and immediate, and perhaps these can be appreciated fully only by those familiar with the life that has produced them. It is quite true that the world of the cowboy songs is less imaginary than actual. . It was a concrete world the cowboy lived in - he could n't escape too much into the world of the imagination. . If he did, he might forget and let the old cow die bogged down, or slide to perdition from the back of the bucking bronco. . His world is not, it is true, peopled with fairies or ghostly apparitions or knights in steel armor. Instead, he writes of dying longhorns, buffaloes, mule-skinners, bucking broncos, stampeding cattle, and his hard-handed companions of the trail and chuck-wagon. .
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" This is a case, not of borrowing, word but of the eternal recurrence of certain old themes. To test American women cowboy songs by the finest flower of English or European balladry, as is sometimes done by the distinguished folk-lore students who come over here to obtain survivals of their own songs, in the kentucky mountains and elsewhere, is of course a mistake. . Cowboy ballads represent a folk-tradition still in the making - their greatest antiquity is only a little over a half a century - and the european ballads are several centuries old, and have the advantage of a literary tradition even older. . Indeed, this tradition is so distinctly literary in origin that, but for the oral use and transmission of the songs, one might hesitate to call them folk-songs! But to say,. Cecil Sharp does, that "The cowboy has been despoiled of his inheritance of traditional song; he has nothing behind him is again a mistake. . There are various degrees of sophistication among the cowboys, as one can see in these songs. . James Russell Lowell, when he wrote the "Biglow Papers was not thereby despoiled of his literary of his literary inheritance, nor was John hay when he wrote "Jim Bludso or Charles Godfrey leland when he wrote the. The lack of literary associations in the cowboy songs is not necessarily an indication of a corresponding lack of tradition or background in their composers. . American cowpunchers have, indeed, been drawn from all walks in life, but the majority of them belong to that same pioneer stock which settled the east, the middle west, the far West, and the southwest, in turn; the same sort of pioneer stock that produced. Whatever the cowboy's "inheritance of traditional song" may or may not have been (and it was that of the general American public of the period the fact that counts is his creation of a new tradition - a tradition of which these songs are the.
"The dying Cowboy" was modeled upon a sea-chantey and "The cowboy's Lament" has been traced to a popular Irish military song of the eighteenth proposal century - the cowboy who had the old song in his memory may well have been of that race. . Indeed, the accent of many of the songs has a distinctly celtic echo: There was a rich old rancher who lived in the country by; he had a lovely daughter, on whom I cast my eye. But such adaptation and borrowing, far from proving the cowboy songs merely "derelicts as Professor Gerrould called them in a recent number of the. New York evening Post, is a very usual process, not only with folk-poets, but with other poets as well. . Burns modeled many of his poems on well-known songs and airs of the countryside, and they are not therefore merely "derelicts nor. Yeats's "When i am Old and Gray and Full of Sleep" a "derelict" because ronsard fathered. In this connection it is interesting to see the cropping-up of an old theme, although perfectly unconsciously and with no debt. Thorp's what's Become of the punchers we rode with Long Ago?
The differences between the two versions may be noted by referring to the original. Sun and Saddle leather. . Obviously some one found the song somewhere in print, adapted it to a familiar tune, and passed. . This is the history of a number of songs. . Again, others have been built upon well-known airs; "The cowboys Dream" is sung to the tune of "my bonnie lies over the Ocean and Jack Thorp's ". Little joe, the Wrangler was composed to the tune of "The little Old Log Cabin in the lane.". Many of the cowboy songs, and almost all of the earlier ones, belong to the first type; they exist independent thesis of any printed origin and have come down to us through oral tradition. . They are anonymous because their authors have been forgotten, but this does not mean that they were not in the place of individual authorship; although songs of such loose and catchy structure as "The Old Chisholm Trail "Old paint or "The deer Hunt" lend themselves. Nor are all of the earlier songs without antecedents.
Conditions favorable to the production of preservation of folk-song are: a communal unity of interest or occupation, and a certain degree of isolation from the larger world of affairs, and from continuous contact with printed sources. . These are the conditions which produced the cowboy songs - probably our largest body of native folk-songs, except, of course, the folk-songs of negro source or inspiration. . (The songs of the American Indians are available only in translation.). Cowboy songs are, generally speaking, of two types; first, songs transmitted by purely oral tradition; and, second, songs originally printed, clipped from a local newspaper or magazine, fitted to a familiar air, and so handed down from one cowboy to another, becoming genuine folk-songs. During the transition a certain amount of reshaping often takes place. . Verses may be added or left out, or the wording altered - these changes usually tending toward a greater simplicity and directness and a more graphic cowboy lingo. An interesting recent example of such a reshaping through oral transmission is furnished. Badger Clark 's the Glory Trail sung among the cowboys in southern Arizona under the the title of "High-Chin Bob.".
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Monotonous on the surface, the cowboy's life is usually an adventurous one. . When i asked. Thorp for a sketch of his life, he said, "Just say that i've been everything but a telegraph operator or a preacher." (But if he has n't preached, he once gave a series of lectures on the holy land with stereopticon slides!). The task of trying to give a portrait of a man of this character is like trying to give a composite picture of Texas, new Mexico, arizona, and the Indian Territory during the last thirty years. The hundred songs that make up this book are typical and genuine cowboy songs; the river and hobo and outlaw songs that are also a part of the cowboy's repertory having been omitted. .
Thorp has given the names of the authors of the songs and, when these could not be discovered, the cowboys who sang them, or the place where he found them. The fact that most of these songs are of known authorship, or that some of them appeared originally in print, in no way lessens their genuine folk quality. . Otherwise, many of the old English and Irish broad-sheet ballads which have come down to us through oral tradition, but were, as the term indicates, originally printed, could not be called folksongs. (As indubitable examples of folk-songs with a printed origin and individual authorship, one may mention the "Suwanee river" and "Old Kentucky home" and other songs by Stephen Foster. . "Auld Lang Syne" is another folk-song, which, if the identify of its celebrated author were forgotten, would be included in all the folk-lore collections.). The more one examines the evidence, the more one is convinced that is is the use of a song, rather than its origin, which determines what is known as folk-song. .
Thorp was driving some cattle from Old Mexico up to lamy, near Santa. . As it happened, he was unarmed, since on the way down from Tucson, Arizona, to El Sasabe on the line, he fell in with a priest who used up all the ammunition for Thorp's six-gun shooting prairie dogs. . Finding when he got to El Sasabe that he could n't get any more cartridges of the right size, thorp tossed the gun into a drawer of the priest's secretary, and went into mexico with two other men whom he had hired on the border. Having found the herd and started back with it, these three met a company of about forty villistas. . The ragged general (nothing lower than a general in Villa's army) accosted the outfit. .
"Are you armed?" he asked Thorp. . "Yes." "And your men?" "Again Thorp said, "Yes." "Who gave you the right to carry arms in Mexico?" asked the general. "The governor of the State of Texas said Jack. There was a world of remembered history in that answer, and the general, in spite of his superior numbers, permitted them to pass unmolested, though eyeing the cattle hungrily. If Thorp had said, "The President of the United States it would have been of small avail, as the republic of Texas is still far more real to most Mexicans than is our flourishing Union, of which it is now a member. All this is but a suggestion of the extraordinary richness of a life lived during the frontier period in the southwest - a period that is, happily, not ended, although old-timers will tell you, as the old settler in the Organ mountains said, when.
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It was write a typical cowboy answer, evasive and symbolic, and it indicated perfectly well that he might be regarded as a part of the soil. . The remote cowboy does n't "loosen up" until he knows you fairly well. . When he does, it is usually worth while. . I recall now innumerable reminiscences of "Jack" Thorp's when he was in a more expansive mood, of which I wish I could give the exact tone and flavor. His account of the "Sooners" at the opening-up of the Indian Territory - guthrie's first citizen: The house set for taking up claims was twelve o'clock in the morning; but when they came upon this old man at noon he had three acres ploughed with. His stories of the early days in Lincoln county, new Mexico- pat Garrett unveiled (see postscript to "Billy the kid by which there hangs a tale).Running down a bunch of stolen cattle through the four Corners country,. E., Arizona, new Mexico, colorado, and Utah - some of the wildest country still to be found in these States. Old days in the backwoods of Texas, scene of "The little cow-girl where "they may not know the national anthem, but they all know "Turkey in the Straw.".Early times along and across the mexican border, when "headin' west from San Antone" was a part.
The present collection is, therefore, an enlarged edition of this little volume of 1908, with much new material, not the room least interesting of which are the twenty-five songs by the author. As a cowboy poet,. Howard Thorp - better known as "Jack Thorp" to his many friends in the southwest - is the genuine thing. . he is an old-time cattleman and cowpuncher, and his songs are the fruit of experience. . His gift is instinctive and naive, like that of all real cowboy poets, and its charm is precisely in its fresh and "unliterary" quality. "How long have you been in this country?" i asked "Jack" Thorp one day soon after I met him. We were sitting in the well-curb in the plaza of an Indian pueblo watching a rain-Dance. "you see those cedars up there on the hills?" he said, looking above the roof-tops to the foothills. "Well, i planted them.".
ballads, at cow-camps and round-ups and cattle-fairs. The title of this little book was. Songs of the cowboys, the collector,. Howard Thorp, and the book was set up by an Estancia print-shop in 1908. . Thorp himself was the author of five of the songs in this volume, later included. Cowboy songs - "Chopo "The pecos river queen ". Little joe, the Wrangler "Whose Old Cow? Speckles this last re-printed. Lomax's book under the title of "Freckles: a fragment just as it came from the hands of the local printer who had lost half the copy.
Starfall and m are registered trademarks in the. S., the european Union, and various other countries. Copyright by Starfall Education and its licensors. We talk in the east of a long public for poetry, and when we use this term we are usually thinking of the public that will, or will not, be prevailed upon to buy the books of poetry regularly issued by the standard Eastern publishers. But there is in this country a considerable public for poetry of which no account is taken in the yearly summaries. The publisher's weekly; that is, the public that enjoys and creates folk-poetry in the United States, a public much larger and more varied than we imagine. . In this connection we have the story of a cowboy down on his luck who had a collection of cowboy songs printed (some of which he had written himself) and sold enough copies of the little volume to set himself up in business again. . This does n't mean that he sold enough to buy a new outfit - "a forty-dollar saddle on a twenty-dollar horse" - and start punching cattle again. .
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