The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14233   Message #955118
Posted By: GUEST,Q
18-May-03 - 08:35 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Songs by Bruce 'Utah' Phillips
Subject: Lyr Add: DOG CANYON (Utah Phillips)
The El Capitan songbook, which used to be part of the website, has disappeared. I wish I had copied it.
One of the songs which I liked very much was "Dog Canyon," which I did copy because it concerned my home State. Phillips embroidered the story "a bit" (considerably), so it is not "history."

(Utah Phillips)

Ten thousand shorthorns are moving in fast,
They drink lots of water, they eat lots of grass;
Your penny stockbrokers have made quite a change,
Now our old outfit's drove to the edge of the range.

In Canyon del Perro there's grapes on the vine,
The water runs sweet as an old Spanish wine,
The high Tularosas they make a fine home
For a man who don't mind living up there alone.

Young Perry Altman was burned out last night,
They shot George McDonald 'cause he wanted to fight,
The days of the longhorn are over I guess
When your syndicate gunmen have run out the rest.

Way up in Dog Canyon old Frenchie holds out,
Half-blind and crippled but he never knows drouth;
He has good water. Tell me what would you do
If you had to protect it from Billy McNew?

He dreams of a village where the sun always shines,
And he dreams of his family when it comes Christmas time,
Now he dreams in his doorway with a gun in his hand,
And Oliver Lee says "You crazy old man."

Well Frenchie he fires but the shot it goes wide,
He falls to the floor with a hole in his side,
And his water runs down to the ranches below
When the high Tularosas are covered with snow.

Utah Phillips, from the El Capitan songbook.
The Tularosa Mts. of southwestern New Mexico are partly in the Gila National Forest, partly in ranching country, the highest point about 9800 feet.
@West, @cattle, @ranching.