The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89009   Message #1675428
Posted By: Scoville
21-Feb-06 - 09:55 PM
Thread Name: Your First song
Subject: RE: Your First song
I think I picked out a couple of little tunes on the piano when I was very little, but this is the first one I'll admit to making up. I was supposed to be writing a paper for my Civil Rights seminar and parts of some of the verse wouldn't go out of my head, so I took a study break, wrote them down, and then wrote down the rest a line a time as it came to me. It was weird. I normally cannot write lyrics to save my life (not that these are literature, of course, but they're a lot better than the drivel I normally come up with when I'm forced to put words to something). It has a slow, minor-key melody, along the lines of "Buffalo Skinners" in mood, though not literally. The idea came from some older songs, including "Hills of Mexico", "Good-Bye, Old Paint", and, in some odd way, "Spanish is the Loving Tongue". It's way too long to sing, ever, but I'm just glad I wrote something once that wasn't total crap. I submitted it once to an online magazine of cowboy poetry but they turned it down because "partial rhymes" violate the laws of cowboy poetry, apparently. Whatever.

1) I rode [Am]out of Chihuahua so early one morning,
[C]Bound once a[G]gain for the [Em]home of my [Am]youth,
With [Am]twelve months' of [C]gold in the [E]pack of my [Am]saddle,
And a [C]good sorrel* [G]pony to c[Em]arry me [Am]north.

2) The Mexican desert is not kind to strangers,
An ocean of sand with no water in sight,
With miles left behind us and miles yet to travel,
And no sign of shelter as the sun reached its height.

3) Then, I saw in the distance a small hacienda**,
Its house and corrales were plain in the sun,
I thought to ask there for a meal and a pallet,
And water and rest for my poor alazan***.

4) The old caballero, he greeted me kindly,
And asked me to stay for a rest at his home,
He brought me cold water to drink from his kitchen,
And turned out my pony to feed with his own.

5) His remuda**** was made up of good native horses,
Both sturdy and fast, the best that are known,
But one, above all, held fast my attention,
So perfect was she in her spirit and form.

6) She had legs straight and clean and a broad Spanish forehead,
And hooves strong as iron with no need of shoes,
To run like a deer and turn like a rabbit,
And ride o'er the sand till the long day was through.

7) My lips dry as clay in spite of the water,
I turned to my host and then I spoke true,
"Senor, me encanta la yegua canela—*****
What price must I pay for your cinnamon blue?"

8) "Se llamo 'Aloncha'," he told me,******
"For she [C]runs like a [Em]bird on the [Am]wing,
Swift as the arrows made by your Comanches,
Strong as the rivers that flood in the spring."

9) "I never have thought to sell her for money,
Not silver nor gold nor the finest of jewels,
Three years on my ranch is the price I am asking,
Three years of your life for the cinnamon blue.*******"

10) I reached for his hand and we made our agreement,
Three years on the range with his cow-punching crew,
In the heat of the sun and the cold of the starlight,
And all for the love of the cinnamon blue.

11) So I gave up my home and I gave up my journey,
Surrendered my freedom and liberty, too,
Three years of my life I rode in the desert,
But I never regretted my cinnamon blue,
The lovely Aloncha, the cinnamon blue.

*bright chestnut
** ranch
*** "sorrel" in Spanish
**** herd of saddle horses
***** "Sir, I am enchanted by your cinnamon-blue roan mare,"
****** "I call her 'Skylark'"
******* cinnamon blue roan. A blue roan horse is black with white hair mixed in so it looks "frosted" or bluish in color, usually with dark lower legs and a dark face. Cinnamon blue, or 'canela', is blue roan with red hairs sprinkled in.   Thanks to J. Frank Dobie for his listings of Spanish color terms for horses.