The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65815   Message #1087245
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
06-Jan-04 - 02:50 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Bucking Bronco / My Love Is a Rider
Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY RINGO (from Katie Lee)
"Johnny Ringo," was published by Katie Lee, FAC 173, University of Arizona Folklore Archives. Sung in her album, "Spicy Songs for Cool Knights," Specialty SP-5000. Lee's version also recorded by Carolyn Hester, "The Badmen," Columbia Records Legacy Collection L2L-1011.

The following from Katie Lee, "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle," pp. 108-109, 204-206, with music.

Katie Lee version

My love is a rider, wild horses he breaks,
He promised he'd quit it all for my sake.
He sold off his saddle, his spurs and his rope,
There'll be no more ridin', that's what I hope.

Ting-a-lingo Johnny Ringo'
Let's sing oh yes by jingo,
Ting-a-lingo, Johnny Ringo,
Let's sing-o yes by yee* by jingo

The first time I saw him was early last spring
A ridin' a bronco, a high-headed thing.
One foot he tied up and the saddle throwed on
With a jump and a holler, he's mounted and gone!

My love's got a gun, now he's gone to the bad.
This makes Uncle Sammy feel pretty damn sad.
He gave me some presents, among them a ring.
What I gave in return is a far better thing!

Now all of you girlies, wherever you ride,
Beware of my cowboy who swings the rawhide;
He'll court you, he'll love you, he'll leave you and go
A ridin the trail on his buckin' bronco.

* yodelled.
Katie Lee wrote this version, with the chorus to commemorate Johnny Ringo, grandson of Col. Coleman Younger of Kentucky. Ringo was a killer, shot in Tombstone, AZ, by an unknown assailant. He was tall, handsome, cultured, a church-goer, ladies' man and heavy drinker (data from Katie Lee, who gives references, p. 108, "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle."

This verse from Shorty Mac, given to Katie Lee, (p. 204) shows the content of some early versions:

My love is a rider, he rides me at will
And each time he does he gives me a thrill
The first time I saw it was early one Spring,
Like a hair-over brand, a big red and blue thing.

"The Bucking Bronco" first appeared in print in Stewart Edward White, "The Rawhide," a story in McClure's Magazine 24, Dec. 1904, pp. 175-176, but only three stanzas. The next printing was by Thorp in his 1908 booklet, "Songs of the Cowboys" (From Randolph, "Ozark Folksongs," vol. 2, pp. 228-230, reprint ed.).
The song seems to have been composed by many cowboys and cowboy-singers; its beginnings are lost.