The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35911   Message #496267
Posted By: Joe Offer
01-Jul-01 - 10:58 PM
Thread Name: Strawberry Roan - ( & Sheepherder version?)
Subject: ADD: Fate of Old Strawberry Roan
The Fate of Old Strawberry Roan

In this song by Wilf Carter the old bronc cashes in. There have been other "Strawberry Roan" sequels out of Canada, including "The Son of Strawberry Roan." Curley Fletcher, author of the original "Strawberry Roan," was a Californian and a typical West Coast-style buckaroo. The language in his original poem plus his bawdy "Castration of the Strawberry Roan" has a saltier flavor than the Canadian sequels I have been able to find.

(Wilf Carter)

A bunch of us boys sittin' on the corral,
Talkin' `bout old Strawberry, a real cowboy pal,
Of throwin' most cowboys time after time,
Turning in circles as small as a dime.

From the west rides a stranger, the ranch Lazy J.
"Just wonderin', boys, if you seen any strays?"
An old .45 hung low on his hip,
A cigaret butt burnin' close to his lip.

"What's all the attraction in that there corral?"
"Why, just an old roan, a real cowboy pal.
Harry Knight's only guy ever rode that old roan.
Go ahead, stranger, ride him, but I think you'll get thrown."

"I'll just call your bluff on that little red roan.
Here's one cowboy left he never has thrown.
Stick on that saddle, I ain't got much time,
I've heard how that cayuse could really unwind."

He swung to the saddle with the greatest of ease.
Old Strawberry seemed just to float in the breeze,
And under his belly we saw the blue sky.
We yelled at the stranger a parting good-bye.

Then we saw a sight that surely read fate
As Strawberry went over the old corral gate.
A flash of a hand and out come a gun,
While on the corral the pair of them hung.

We rushed to the rider, his right foot held tight.
Old Strawberry lay there, a pitiful sight.
"Say, fellers, no hurry, I stopped him with lead."
One look at that roan and we knew he was dead.

Soon all the ranch hands were gathered around,
It seems all were shocked as we gazed at the ground.
"I'm really sorry, boys," said a voice very low,
"Was me or that cayuse, and one had to go."

We uncinched the saddle and called it a day,
Old Strawberry Roan has gone on his way.
That evening at sunset we laid him to rest
At the head of his grave we all signed this request:

"Poor old Strawberry Roan,
All the names signed below he has thrown.
His saddle hangs here, please leave it alone.
This marks the fate of old Strawberry Roan."

Source: The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook, Glenn Ohrlin, University of Illinois Press, 1973