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DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy

DigiTrad:
BURY ME NOT IN THE DEEP, DEEP SEA
BURY ME NOT IN THE DEEP, DEEP SEA
BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE
THE DYING COWBOY
THE DYING COWBOY
THE DYING RANGER
THE DYING SOLDIER (3)
THE OCEAN BURIAL


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie (113)


Joe Offer 20 Nov 08 - 09:03 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 08 - 09:09 PM
Max 20 Nov 08 - 09:20 PM
Max 20 Nov 08 - 09:27 PM
Richie 20 Nov 08 - 09:28 PM
katlaughing 20 Nov 08 - 09:39 PM
Richie 20 Nov 08 - 10:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Nov 08 - 11:35 PM
Richie 21 Nov 08 - 12:02 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 08 - 12:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 08 - 01:27 AM
GUEST 21 Nov 08 - 09:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM
Artful Codger 02 Apr 09 - 09:47 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Mar 13 - 06:04 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:03 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I came across this song in the Digital Tradition today. It has a lot of typographical errors, and no source information or tune. http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/cowboy-songs/002972.HTM has dots for our lyrics, but again no background information. Can anybody tell us about this song?
-Joe-

THE DYING COWBOY

I have a darlin' sister, she's all my joy an' pride,
I loved her from her childhood for I had none else beside,
I've loved her as a brother, an' with a brother's care
I've tried through grief an' sorrow her gentle heart to cheer.

Our country was invaded, they called for volunteers,
She throwed her arms around my neck, regardless of all fears,
Sayin' go my dariin' brother, drive them Indians from our doors,
Our hearthstone needs your presence but our country needs it more.

'Tis true I loved my country, I've give to it my all,
If it was not ior my sister I would be content to fall,
Oh comrades, I am dyin', she'll never see me more,
She vainly waits my comin' at the little cottage door.

My mother she lies sleepin' beneath the church-yard sod,
An' many a day has passed away since her spirit 8ed to God,
My father lies a-sleepin' beneath the dark blue sea,
I have no other kindred, there's none but Nell an' me.

Draw nearer to me, comrades, an' listen to my dyin' prayer,
Who'll be to her a brother, an' shield her with his carei%
Up spol;e the brave young cowboys, in chorus one an' all,
We'll be to her a brother, till the strongest one shall fall.

Then one bright smile of pleasure on the pore boy's face was spread,
One quick convulsive shudder, an' the cowboy he was dead.
Far away from his darlin' sister they laid him down to rest
With a saddle for his pillow an' his rifle on his breast.

A group had gathered round him, all comrades in a fright,
The tears rolled down each manly cheek as he said his last goodnight,
Up spoke the dyin' cowboy, sayin' do not weep for me,
I'm crossin' a dark deep river to a country that is free.

Draw nearer to me, comrades, an' listen to what I say,
I'm goin' to tell a story before I pass away,
Way up in northwest Texas, that good old Lone Star state,
There's one who for my comin' with a weary heart will wait.

@cowboy @death
filename[ DYNGCWBY
XX
oct97
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Dying Ranger, The [Laws A14]

DESCRIPTION: A cowboy/soldier tells of his sister left alone at home. His comrades promise to treat her as their sister. The wounded man dies happy. (Other details occur in localized versions; the verses -- and the dying hero -- vary widely)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910
KEYWORDS: death family farewell
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,So,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Laws A14, "The Dying Ranger"
Belden, pp. 397-398, "The Dying Cowboy" (1 text)
Randolph 188, "The Dying Cowboy" (2 texts, 2 tunes) AND 216, "The Dying Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doerflinger, pp. 274-276, "The Dying Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
FSCatskills 19, "The Shades of the Palmetto" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Ohrlin-HBT 50, "Ranger's Prayer" (1 text, not recognized as a version of this song, but with the same plot, metrical pattern, and some lyrics); 52, "The Dying Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 64, "The Dying Ranger" (1 text)
JHCoxIIB, #10, p. 144, "The Dying Ranger" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 243-245, "The Dying Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-Labrador 53, "The Dying Soldier" (1 text)
Ives-NewBrunswick, pp. 17-20, "The Dying Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 689, DYRANGR DYNGCWBY
ADDITIONAL: Powder River Jack and Kitty Lee's _Songs of the Range: Cowboy Wails of Cattle Trails_, Chart Music, 1937, p. 42, "The Dying Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #628
RECORDINGS:
Dock Boggs, "Dying Ranger" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Cartwright Brothers, "The Dying Ranger" (Victor V-40198, 1930; Montgomery Ward M-4460, 1934; on WhenIWas2)
Buell Kazee, "The Dying Soldier" (Brunswick 214, 1928)
Glenn Ohrlin, "The Dying Ranger" (on Ohrlin01)
Luther Ossenbrink, "The Dying Ranger" (Champion 16095 [as West Virginia Rail Splitter]/Supertone 9665 [as Arkansas Woodchopper], 1930)
Johnny Prude, "The Dying Ranger" (AFS, 1940s; on LC28)
Marc Williams, "The Dying Ranger" (Brunswick 497, c. 1930)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Dying Wisconsin Soldier" (lyrics)
File: LA14

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2013 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:09 PM

This song is related - again, it needs some correction.

THE DYING RANGER

Now, a group had gathered round him, comrades with him in the fight
And a tear fell down each manly cheek as they bade him last goodnight
One kind friend and companion was kneeling by his side,
Striving to quench his life's blood, but alas, in vain he tried.

His heart filled with deep anguish as he saw 'twas all in vain
And upon his loved companion the tears fell down like rain
When up spoke the dying soldier, saying, "Harry, weep no more for me
I am crossing the dark river, beyond where all are free.

"Listen, comrades, gather round me; I have something I would say,
I have something I would tell you ere my soul has passed away.
Far away in loved New England, 'neath that dear old home estate
Lives one who awaits my coming, with a saddened beart doth wait.

"Now, a fair young girl, my sister, my blessing and my pride
My early care from childhood; I had none else beside.
I've no mother; she is sleeping beneath the churchyard sod.
It's been many, many years since her spirit went to God.

"I've no father; he is sleeping beneath the cold, dark sea.
I've no brothers, I've no kindred, there was only Nell and me.
I have loved ber with a brother's love and with a father's care
I have strove from grief and sorrow her tender heart to spare.

"When our country wasd invaded and they called for volunteers,
She threw her arms around me, and bursting into tears,
Saying, "Go, my darling brother, drive the traitors from our shore
My heart it craves thy presence, yet thy country needs thee more.

"My heart seems almost breakin@, but I would not bid thee stay
But here in our old homestead, I will watch (I'll watch for thee?)the day
by day,
Now, my comrades, I am dying and I ne'er shall see her more
She will vainly wait my coming at our little cottage door.

"Listen, comrades, gather round me, listen to my dying prayer
Who will shield her with a brother's love and with a father's care?
Then the soldiers spoke together, like one voice it seemed to fall
"She shall be to us a sister! We'll protect her, one and all."

One smile of radiant brightness and away his life's blood ebbed
One good-by for his sister and the soldier boy was dead.
On the banks of the Potomac they have laid him down to rest
With his knapsack for a pillow and his gun upon his breast.

note: Sung on the southern side, with slight adaptations, as the Dying
Ranger.
From Shantymen and Shanty Boys, Doerflinger
DT #689
Laws A14
@American @war @Civil @death @tearjerker
filename[ DYRANGR
TUNE FILE: DYRANGR
CLICK TO PLAY
RG
oct96


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Max
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:20 PM

Damn Joe, I just found that and was about to post. My handydandy moneygrubbing new fancy crap MP3 finder on the songs page helped me find several versions. Check it out: The Dying Ranger. It's really fun to browse around the DT and see what Amazon has got.
    That's dangerous, Max. I'm a sucker for the immediate gratification of MP3's.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Max
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:27 PM

Especially this one. That fella look familiar?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Richie
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:28 PM

Here's Boggs version. The Dying Cowboy title is used in many different songs (Streets of Laredo; Bury Me Not). Same with Dying Soldier (Carter Family).

DYING RANGER Dock Boggs- traditional

The sun was sinking in the West and fell with a lingering ray,
Through the branches of a forest where a wounded ranger lay;
A group had gathered around him, his comrades in the fight;
A tear rolled down each manly cheek as they bid his last goodnight.

One tried and true companion was kneeling by his side,
To stop the life blood flowing, but alas, in vain he tried;
To stop the life blood flowing, he found 'twas all in vain;
The tears rolled down each manly cheek like light showers of the rain.

"Draw closer to me comrades and listen to what I say;
I'm a-going to tell a story while my spirit hastens away;
Away back in Northwest Texas, that good old lone star state,
There's one that's for my coming with a worried heart will wait.

It's a fair young girl, my sister, my only joy, my pride;
She was my friend from boyhood, had no one left beside;
I loved her as a brother, and with a father's care,
I strove from grief and sorrow, her gentle heart to spare.

But our country was invaded, she called for volunteers;
She threw her arms around me, then bursted into tears,
Saying, 'Go my darling brother, drive those traitors from our shore;
My heart may need your presence, but our country needs you more.'

'Tis true I love my country, for her I gave my all;
If it had not been for my sister boys, I'd be content to fall;
I'm dying comrade, dying; she'll never see me more,
But in vain she'll wait my coming by our little cabin door."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:39 PM

So that's what's going on with the Amazon thingies!:-)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Richie
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 10:02 PM

Joe here's a link to version published in 1912:

http://books.google.com/books?id=aCYLAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA507&dq=Draw+nearer+to+me,+comrades&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html

From "Sunset" By Southern Pacific Company Passenger Dept, Southern Pacific Company.

Maybe the name should be Dying Ranger not Dying cowboy. I'm fairly certain this should be Alan Lomaxc 1910 book.

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 11:35 PM

Looking at the Traditional Ballad Index-
"The Dying Cowboy" in Belden, pp. 397ff., are versions of "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie."

"The Dying Cowboy" in Randolph, "Ozark Folksongs," is the same as "The Dying Ranger," as posted by Joe, from Doerflinger. Randolph gives two versions, coll. 1928 and 1938. He compares it with "The Dying Soldier," which is very similar, coll. in 1928.
Randolph says another was "called "The Dying Woodsman," about a Texan who was killed in the Spanish-American War, was copyrighted by J. D. Patton in 1904 and published in "The Sunny South Quartet Book (Dalton, GA, 1912, No, 25). See also the "Dying Ranger" song published by Lomax ("Cowboy Songs," 1910, p. 214), Cox ("Folksongs of the South," 1925, p. 263) and Finger ("Frontier Ballads," 1927, p. 170)."

The song in Lomax (1910 and later printings) included music. It seems to be the song copyrighted by Patton in 1904, or close to it, but I have not seen the Patton song.
Lomax did not comment on the source of the song.

THE DYING RANGER

The sun was sinking in the west
And fell with lingering ray
Through the branches of a forest
Where a wounded ranger lay;
Beneath the shade of a palmetto
And the sunset silvery sky,
Far away from his home in Texas
They laid him down to die.
2
A group had gathered round him
His comrades in the fight,
A tear rolled down each manly cheek
As he bid a last good-night.
One tried and true companion
Was kneeling by his side,
To stop his life-blood flowing,
But alas, in vain he tried.
3
When to stop the life-blood flowing
He found 'twas all in vain,
The tears rolled down each man's cheek
Like light showers of rain.
Up spoke the noble ranger,
"Boys, weep no more for me,
I am crossing the deep waters
To a country that is free.
4
"Draw closer to me, comrades,
And listen to what I say,
I am going to tell a story
While my spirit hastens away.
Way back in Northwest Texas,
That good old Lone Star state,
There's one that for my coming
With a weary heart will wait.
5
"A fair young girl, my sister,
My only joy, my pride,
She was my friend from boyhood,
I had no one left beside.
I have loved her as a brother,
And with a father's care
I have strove from grief and sorrow
Her gentle heart to spare.
6
"My mother, she lies sleeping
Beneath the church-yard sod,
And many a day has passed away
Since her spirit fled to God.
My father, he lies sleeping
Beneath the deep blue sea,
I have no other kindred,
There are none but Nell and me.
7
"But our country was invaded
And they called for volunteers;
She threw her arms around me,
Then burst into tears.
Saying, 'Go, my darling brother,
Drive those traitors from our shore,
My heart may need your presence,
But our country needs you more,'
8
"It is true I love my country,
For her I gave my all.
If it hadn't been for my sister,
I would be content to fall.
I am dying, comrades, dying,
She will never see me more,
But in vain she'll wait my coming
y our little cabin door.
9
"Comrades, gather closer
And listen to my dying prayer.
Who will be to her as a brother,
And shield her with a brother's care?'.
Up spake the noble rangers,
They answered one and all,
'We will be to her as brothers
Till the last one does fall."
10
One glad smile of pleasure
O'er the ranger's face was spread;
One dark, convulsive shadow,
And the ranger boy was dead.
Far from his darling sister
We laid him down to rest
With his saddle for a pillow
And his gun across his breast.

Pp. 214-218, "Cowboy Songs, 1929 printing. No additions in the 1938 edition, but the score is better.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Richie
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:02 AM

Here's the link to the 1910 Lomax lyrics.

http://books.google.com/books?id=rg0TAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA214&dq=Cowboy+Songs+and+other+frontier+ballads++1910&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&output


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:56 AM

"The Sunny South Quartet Book," 1912, has a mixture of secular and sacred songs. Not seen. "The Dying Woodsman" does not show up with google, or in Levy or American Memory.

Cazden, Haufrecht, Studer, 1982, "Folksongs of the Catskills," has a version, "The Shades of the Palmetto," which is very similar to "The Dying Ranger" as contained in Lomax 1910 and posted above. The authors comment that all versions that they have seen are Twentieth century, although the singer claims it is of Civil War vintage. They also comment that "The Bright Sunny South" is dubiously of Civil War vintage and is not in early collections from the South.
George Edwards, who sang "The Shades ..." in Cazden et al., compared it to "The Bright Sunny South," calling it a northern version because the tunes are very similar, and both contain equivalent lines:
'His knapsack for a pillow and his musket o'er his breast...'
'With a saddle for his pillow, an' his rifle on his breast...'

Sarah Bryden contributed a more complete version:

THE DYING SOLDIER

1
The sun was sinking in the west, and fell with a lingering ray
Through the branches of a forest, where a dying soldier lay;
In the shade of a palmetto, 'neath a sultry Southern sky,
Far from his own New England home they layed him down to die.
2
A group had gathered round him, they were his comrades in the fight;
A tear rolled down each manly cheek as they bade him, alas, good night;
One kind friend and companion was kneeling by his side,
Trying to stop the life-blood flow; but alas, in vain he tried.
3
His heart grew deep with anguish when he found it was in vain,
While down his loved companion's cheeks his tears did flow like rain;
Up spoke the dying soldier, "Harry, weep no more for me,
For I am crossing that dark river, far beyond, where all is free.
4
"Listen, comrades, gather round me, for I've something I would say;
I have something to tell you before I pass away;
Far away in loved New England, in that old palm [pine] tree estate,
There is one who, for my coming, with a saddened eye would wait.
5
"'Tis a fair young girl, my sister, and she was my joy and pride;
I had loved her through my childhood, I had no one else beside;
I had loved her with a brother's love, and with a father's care,
As we strove through grief and anguish our tender hearts to share.
6
"I've no father, he lies sleeping beneath the cold blue sea;
I've no brother, I've no kindred; there was only Nell and me;
I've no mother, she lies sleeping beneath the churchyard sod,
And it's many lonesome hours to me since her spirit flowed to God.
7
"When our country was invaded, and they called for volunteers,
She threw her arms around my neck, and, bursting into tears,
Saying, "Go, my loving brother, drive those traitors from our shore;
It is true I love your presence, but our country needs thee more.
8
"'My heart seems almost breaking, but I cannot bid you stay;
But here in this old homestead I will watch you, day by day.'
Now comrades, I am dying, and I never shall see her more;
She will vainly watch my coming at the little cottage door.
9
"Listen, comrades, gather round me, listen to my dying prayer;
Who will be to her a brother, shield her with a brother's care?"
The soldiers spoke together, like one voice it seemed to fall;
"She will be to us a sister, we will protect her, one and all!"
10
One sigh, one ray of gladness, and his life-blood freely ebbed;
One last goodbye to sister, and the soldier boy was dead.
On the banks of the Potomac, where they laid him down to rest
With his knapsack for a pillow and his rifle on his breast.

19, "The Shades of the Palmetto," pp. 93-96, section on
Songs of War and Battle, Cazden et al., 1982, "Folksongs of the Catskills," State University of New York Press, 650pp.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 01:27 AM

Ritchie, your reference was to the 1918 edition of "Cowboy Songs." Now I am not certain any more that the song was in the first printing of 1910, as I posted. Lomax added songs to each of these editions: March 1916, April 1917, December 1918 and July 1919.
In citations, many people mistakenly assume that all the songs were in the 1910 initial edition.

The lyrics and score I gave above are the same in all editions.
I made another mistake; I used the 1925 reprinting, there was no 1929 printing.
In the 1938, much enlarged edition- "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads," with many more songs, "The Dying Ranger" is on pp. 366-368; as I indicated the score is presented in better form but the music unchanged.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 09:44 AM

I like the idea (in Joe Offer's first posting) of a cowboy fighting for his country against Indian invaders!!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM

Cox, 1925, "Folk-Songs of the South," has the "Dying Ranger," from West Virginia, coll. 1917, that is close to the version in Lomax, posted above.

Another song, very reminiscent of "The Dying Ranger," is "The Battle of Mill Springs"

Lyr. Add: THE BATTLE OF MILL SPRINGS
(Battle at Mill Springs, KY, January 19, 1862)

1
There lies a wounded soldier on the battlefield,
His comrades gathered round him and by his side did kneel,
And then this wounded soldier did raise his head and said:
"Who will care for mother when her wounded boy is dead?
2
"I was my parents only son to comfort their old age;
My heart is like a captive bird a-fluttering in its cage;
I was my father's only son, a mother's only joy,
And they will weep in tears for me, their dying soldier boy.
3
"O tell my dear old father that in death I prayed for him,
That one day I might meet him in a world that is free from sin;
And tell my dear old mother not to mourn and cry,
For her son was a soldier and a soldier he did die.
4
"And tell my little sister not to weep for me;
I'll sit no more by the fireside and nurse her on my knee,
And sing to her them good old songs she used to have me sing,
For her brother now lies wounded at the battle of Mill Springs.
5
"O when I was a little boy I used to hear them tell
About the gallant soldiers, how lonely they did feel;
Then I came to be a servant, it was my country's call,
Fighting for the Union, for the Union I did fall.
6
"O listen, comrades, listen! 't is a girl I speak of now,
If she was only here this night to cheer my aching brow!
But little does she know of the battle as she sings,
That her true love now lies wounded at the Battle of Mill Springs.
7
"Alas! and now I'm wounded, no more of her I'll see,
But I hope one day to meet her in a world that is free from sin;
Tell her that in death I murmured her sweet name;
That she was just as dear to me as when from her I came.
8
"O listen, comrades, listen! I have something more to tell."
They stopped to hear him speak again and he only said "Farewell."
He kissed the Stars and Stripes and he laid them by his side,
Gave three cheers for the Union and bowed his head and died.
9
And then this Battle of Mill Springs was over,
And thousands of wounded soldiers lie in a crimson grave,
And many a wounded soldier did raise his head and tried,
To gaze upon young Edward, who prayed before he died.

Communicated by Miss Violet Noland, Tucker Co., West VA, 1916;
"obtained from Mr. John Reese who learned it when a boy and wrote it down in 1880."
Also known as "Young Edwards," coll. in NC by E. C. Perrow, 1913, from "mountain whites."
No. 65, pp. 264-265, J. H. Cox, 1925, "Folk-Songs 0f the South," Dover reprint 1967.

This song probably appeared as a Civil War song sheet, as sheet music, or in a song book, and was modified by singers for different battles or situations. Might be worth a hunt.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dying Cowboy
From: Artful Codger
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 09:47 PM

Charles A. Siringo published a version virtually identical to Lomax's in The Song Companion of A Lone Star Cowboy in 1919. Since most of the other songs also appear virtually identical to those Lomax published in the 1918 edition of Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, I must conclude that either Siringo took the texts from Lomax (just as Lomax stole many songs without acknowledgement or credit from Thorp and Clark) or that Siringo was Lomax's source for these songs, even if Lomax published them first.

In the last verse of "The Dying Cowboy", where Lomax has (convulsive) "shadow", Siringo has "shudder". The latter makes better sense to me.


For what it's worth, these are the songs in Siringo's book:
The Lone Star (credited to Mrs. Lee C. Harby)
The Dying Cowboy (= O Bury Me Not)
Texas Rangers
Mustang Gray
Cow Boy Carol (= Cowboy's Soliloquy, by McCandless; Lomax: "The Cowboy"; credited here to Wm. Thompson and C. C. Clark)
Sam Bass
The Buffalo Hunters
The Tough Longhorn
The Dying Ranger
The Cowboy's Christmas Ball (by Larry Chittenden, but uncredited here)
A Home on the Range (by Brewster Higley, but uncredited here)
The Gol-Darned Wheel
A Jolly Cowboy
The Eastern Shores of the Rio Grande

The only songs which do not appear in Lomax's 1918 edition of Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (per the scan at the Traditional Music Library site) are "The Lone Star", "The Tough Longhorn" and "The Eastern Shores of the Rio Grande".


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DYING SOLDIER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:04 PM

I think this version is a bit older than any that have been posted so far:

From Lake and Forest as I Have Known Them by Captain F. C. Barker (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1903), page 221:

From an appendix titled "Some Old-Time Lumbermen's Songs":


THE DYING SOLDIER

The sun was sinking in the west, and shed its lingering ray,
Through the branches of a forest, where a wounded soldier lay,
'Neath the shade of a palmetto, 'neath a southern, sultry sky,
Far away from loved New England, they had laid him down to die.

A group had gathered 'round him, his comrades in the fight,
And a tear coursed down each manly cheek, as he said his last good-night.
One dear friend and companion was kneeling by his side,
Trying to stay the life-blood, but, alas, in vain he tried.

"Stand up nearer, comrades, nearer, listen to the words I say,
There's a story I would tell you, ere my life-blood ebbs away.
Far away in loved New England, in that old Pine Tree State,
There is one who for my coming with a radiant heart will wait;

"A fair young girl, my sister, my joy, my darling, and my pride,
My loving care from childhood, for there's no one else beside.
For my mother, she is sleeping, 'neath the old churchyard sod;
Many, many years ago her spirit went to God.

"And my father, he is sleeping 'neath the deep, dark blue sea.
I've no brothers, I've no kindred, there is only Nell and me.
When our country was in danger and called for volunteers,
She threw her arms around my neck and, bursting into tears,

"Saying: 'Go, my darling brother, drive those traitors from our shore,
Although I need thy presence, yet our country needs thee more.
Oh, go, my darling brother, I will not bid you stay,
But here in this old homestead I will wait you day by day.'

"Now my comrades, I am dying, and I'll never see her more,
Who will be to her a brother, shield her with a father's care?"
His comrades spoke together, like one voice it seemed to fall,
"She shall be to us a sister, we'll protect her, one and all."

A radiant smile of splendor his countenance overspread,
And one quick convulsive shudder, and the soldier boy was dead.
By the waves of the Potomac, there they laid him down to rest,
With his knapsack for his pillow, and his rifle 'crost his breast.


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Mudcat time: 20 October 12:14 AM EDT

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