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Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed

Rex 10 Sep 14 - 11:33 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Sep 14 - 09:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 14 - 11:38 AM
Artful Codger 13 Sep 14 - 06:00 PM
Rex 22 Sep 14 - 11:10 AM
Rex 22 Sep 14 - 11:19 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed
From: Rex
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 11:33 PM

This is a poem from Jack Thorp's 2nd edition of Songs of the Cowboys. No one sings it that I know of but it is some dandy verse and I'll present it here in the hopes that maybe some light may shine about who wrote it. I like to plug the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry Inc, AKA Cowboy Poetry . They produce a CD recording of poetry each year called The Bar-D Roundup. I am reciting this poem on The Bar-D Roundup, Volume Five. Below is what I wrote for the liner of the CD:

"When Bob Got Throwed" first appears in John Lomax's lesser known book: "Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cowcamp", The MacMillan Company, 1919. This in truth was more a collection of poems than songs. Lomax was diligent to list the author at the end of each and in some cases, the journal or newspaper where it first appeared. Even poems where the author was unknown were signed Anonymous. Yet this entry is only credited with "Ray."
Two years later Jack Thorp published his second edition of "Songs of the Cowboys" Houghton Mifflin Co., 1921. The poem was included with the introduction, "Author unknown. Heard it sung in Arizona at Hachita by a puncher named Livingston." Evidently there was a melody that has been lost. The poem appears to be identical but for word formations and one or two changed words. I recited from the Thorp version.
It never again appeared in early cowboy poetry collections and anthologies. Indeed it is interesting that it never again appeared in any of Lomax's numerous publications. It is listed in recent publications but with no further information as to its origin. The poem has the trappings of being written in the saddle and over almost a century, it is interesting that no one has ever slapped their brand on it.

Rex Rideout

So here is When Bob Got Throwed:

That time when Bob got throwed
I thought I sure would bust;
I liked to died a-laffin'
To see him chewing dust.

" He crawled on that pinto bronc
And hit him with a quirt,
The next thing that he knew
He was wallerin' in the dirt.

Yes, it might 'a' killed him,
I heard the hard ground pop,
But to see if he was injured
You bet I didn't stop.

I jest rolled on the ground
And began to kick and yell;
It liked to tickled me to death
To see how hard he fell.

'T war n't more than a week ago
That I myself got throwed;
But that was from a meaner horse
Than old Bob ever rode.

D' you reckon Bob looked sad and said
"I hope that you ain't hurt"?
Naw; he just laughed and laughed
To see me chewin' dirt.-

I 've been prayin' ever since
For his horse to turn his pack,
And when he done it I 'd 'a' laughed
If it had broke his back.

So I was still a-howlin'
When Bob he got up lame;
He seen his horse had run clear off,
And so for me he came.

He first chucked sand into my eyes,
With a rock he rubbed my head,
Then he twisted both my arms:
" Now, go fetch that hoss," he said.

So I went and fetched him back,
But I was feelin' good all day;
For I sure enough do love to see
A fellow get throwed that way.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Sep 14 - 09:42 PM

WHEN BOB GOT THROWED, by "Ray" appears in an article "Cowboy Songs and Dances" by Grace B. Ward, in Pearson's Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Pearson Publishing Company, January, 1903), page 34.

Lyrics are nearly identical to those posted above—the main differences are in the dialect spellings. Then there is verse 2, line 1:

"He crawled on that Andy bronc"

I don't know what an "Andy bronc" is.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 14 - 11:38 AM

Not in any of the Western Words lists I have. Probably a misprint.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed
From: Artful Codger
Date: 13 Sep 14 - 06:00 PM

Lomax stole pretty much everything in Thorp's first edition of Songs of the Cowboys without even a nod to Thorp as the source. So it's no surprise there's little difference from Thorp. And so much for his "diligence".

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed
From: Rex
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 11:10 AM

Jim, I am most pleased to see this 1903 article by a bemused Grace B. Ward. The article and author have escaped my notice. I am always eager to find anything on cowboy verse that predates Thorp and Lomax. As you say the words are almost identical to Thorp's presentation and it may not be outside of reason to think that this article may have been Thorp's source.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When Bob Got Throwed
From: Rex
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 11:19 AM

Artful Codger, my use of "diligence" was quite tongue in cheek. Sr. Lomax was at times entirely without concern about crediting sources much to the dismay of Jack Thorp. Thorp enjoyed a bit of turnabout by lifting material from Lomax for his second edition. You may find online that I worked with Mark Lee Gardner in the research, recording and production of a celebration of Thorp's work, "Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys", 2005, Museum of New Mexico Press. I am firmly in the latter camp.


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