The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65815   Message #1086862
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
06-Jan-04 - 01:05 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Bucking Bronco / My Love Is a Rider
Subject: Lyr Add: BUCKING BRONCO (My Love Is a Rider)
Lyr. Add: Bucking Bronco
Version by James Hatch

Beware, all fair maidens
Who live on the Platte,
Beware of the cowboy
Who wears a white hat.

He will toss you a kiss,
Then away he will go,
Recrossing the plains
On his bucking bronco.

He has a sweetheart in Texas,
Depend upon that,
Who worked the bright star
For his cowboy's big hat.

She awaits his coming
All anxious to know
Just how he has dared
With his bucking bronco.

He holds off the marshall
While having his fun.
If crowded too closely
He swaps ends with his gun.

Swinging into his saddle,
Away he will go
While hanging his spurs
Into his bucking bronco.

The cowboy is generous,
His courage oft tried;
A path seeming dangerous
He surely will ride.

But he squanders his money
Wherever he may go,
While he shoots up a town
On his bucking bronco.

The bronco's his treasure
In which he takes pride.
That range has no limit
O'er which he will ride.

Most honest and truthful
To friend or to foe,
Bold knight of the plains
On his bucking bronco.

James Hatch: "While I was at Platte City, Nebraska, in 1882 with a trail herd, I composed 'The Bucking Bronco.' I was with the Ed Nicholson outfit and was horse wrangler. With the same outfit was Billie Davis, a San Antonio cowboy and also a wrangler. ---He made up the tune, by whistling, to go with 'The Bucking Bronco.'"
Quoted from J. Frank Dobie, 1928, "More Ballads and Songs of the Frontier Folk," in "Follow de Drinkin' Gou'd," Publ. Texas Folk-Lore Society, no. 7, pp. 170-173.

The song titled "My Love Is a Rider," in the DT, is the version by N. Howard (Jack) Thorpe, published in 1908 by him as "Bucking Broncho" in the booklet "Songs of the Cowboys," Estancia, New Mexico, pp. 26-27, without comment. In 1921, Thorp said that Belle Starr was the composer, but this remark probably was to attract publicity for his new edition. With much discussion, pp. 121-134, the song is treated in a book by the Fifes titled "Songs of the Cowboys," by N. Howard (Jack) Thorpe, Variants, Commentary, Notes and Lexicon," by Austin E and Alta S. Fife, 1966, Clarkson N. Potter Inc. Publisher (Not to be confused with Fife and Fife, "Cowboy and Western Songs," 1969).

Another cowboy, Charlie Johnson, claims the version, "The Cowboy's Hat."

Lyr. Add: The Cowboy's Hat
Version by Charlie Johnson

My love is a vaquero,
He rides on the Platte,
Has a sunburnt moustache
And a broad-brimmed hat.

He will treat you so clever
With honest respect,
That you never will regret
Meting his broad-brimmed hat.

The last time I saw him
It was early in spring;
Hre was riding a bronco
A high-headed thing.

Now all you gay ladies,
Wherever you are at,
Beware of the cowboy
With a broad-brimmed hat.

Music given, reproduced in Fife and Fife, 1966, p. 125.
Charlie Johnson, balladist with a large repertoire of songs, started working cattle in 1877 and was trail-herding by 1880. He claims to have made up several other songs- "The Cowboy's Stroll" was based on the Confederate song, "The Rebel Prisoner." From J. Frank Dobie, ibid., pp. 164-171.

Others have claimed authorship and there are many versions; see Lomax, Ohrlin, Larkin and others. The music given by Larkin is that most often used: Margaret Larkin, "Singing Cowboy," 1931; Oak Publications, 1963, "My Love Is a Rider," pp/ 58-60.