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Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger

DigiTrad:
TEXAS RANGERS


Related threads:
(origins) ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger (38)
Texas Rangers melody origin (29)
Origins/ADD: Songs about the Texas Rangers (38)
Lyr Req: Texas Rangers - Battle of Walker's C (5)


Joe Offer 28 Dec 20 - 04:27 PM
pattyClink 30 Dec 20 - 08:51 PM
Joe Offer 30 Dec 20 - 08:56 PM
Joe Offer 31 Dec 20 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,# 31 Dec 20 - 05:11 PM
Joe Offer 31 Dec 20 - 07:00 PM
Joe Offer 31 Dec 20 - 08:24 PM
Joe Offer 31 Dec 20 - 09:17 PM
pattyClink 01 Jan 21 - 03:02 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 04:27 PM

The Disheartened Ranger

Learned from Martha D. Burns

Come listen to the ranger, you kindhearted stranger.
His song, though a sad one, you're welcome to hear.
He's kept the commanches away from your ranches,
And followed them far on the Texas frontier.

He's weary of scouting, of traveling and routing
Those bloodthirsty brutes over prairie and wood.
No rest for the sinner, no breakfast or dinner,
No peace in his slumbering bed in the mud.

No beets, no potatoes, no corn, no tomatoes,
The bread is as hard as the sole of your shoe,
All day without drinking, all night without winking,
I'll tell you kind stranger, that never will do.

Those great alligators, the state legislators
Are huffing and blowing two thirds of the time.
But windy orations about rangers and rations
Never put in our pocket a tenth of a dime.

They do not regard us, they will not reward us
Though hungry and weary with holes in our coats.
But the election is coming and they must be drumming
And praising our valor to gather our votes.

Though sore it may grieve you, the ranger must leave you
Exposed to the arrow and knife of the foe.
So guard your own ranches and mind the commanches,
For back to the States I'm determined to go.

Where churches have steeples and laws are more equal,
Where churches have steeples and ladies are kind,
Where work is regarded and worth is rewarded,
Where pumpkins are plenty and pockets relined.

Thanks for listening to the ranger, you kindhearted stranger.
His song, though a sad one, you're welcome to hear.
So guard your own ranches, and mind the commanches,
Or surely they'll scalp you in less than a year.

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/boneill/SongTexts/DisheartenedRanger.txt


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Come List to a Ranger (The Disheartened Ranger)

DESCRIPTION: "Come list to a ranger, you kind-hearted stranger... Who fought the Comanches away from your ranches And followed them far o'er the Western frontier." He complains of the hard conditions he suffered, and warns the listener to keep watch for Comanches
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Lomax, Cowboy Songs)
KEYWORDS: Indians(Am.) fight hardtimes
FOUND IN: US(So,SW)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Randolph 181, "Come List to a Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 151, "The Disheartened Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Logsdon 7, pp. 55-57, "Texas Ranger's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, COMELIST*

Roud #5481
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Disheartened RangerThe
NOTES [93 words]: The Texas Rangers were initially founded during the period of the Texas Rebellion, as the defense force of the new county. And Texas, from the moment it declared independence to the time it joined the United States, had budget problems. So it would be little surprise to find a particular soldier ill-paid.
Several of the versions, such as Logsdon's, seem to go back to this period; the Ranger declares that he is quitting and going back to the "States." Other versions just sound like standard soldier complaints. It's not really clear which is original. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.3
File: R181

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 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger
From: pattyClink
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 08:51 PM

Cool! Tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 08:56 PM

Hi, Patty - I've got all three books listed in the traditional Ballad Index, so I'll come up with a MIDI soon.
I'm at camp all weekend and at the Mudcat singaround Monday, so it may be a while.
-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Version: The Disheartened Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 04:47 PM

THE DISHEARTENED RANGER

Come, listen to a ranger, you kindhearted stranger,
This song, though a sad one, you are welcome to hear;
He has kept the Comanches away from your ranches,
And followed them far on the Texas frontier.

He is weary of scouting, of traveling and routing
The bloodthirsty brutes o’er prairie and wood;
No rest for the sinner, no breakfast, no dinner,
No rest from his suffering bed in the mud.

No corn nor potatoes, no beets nor tomatoes,
The jerked beef’s as dry as the sole of your shoes;
All day without drinking, all night without winking,
I’ll tell you, kind stranger, this never Will do.

Those great alligators, the state legislators,
Are puffng and blowing two-thirds of the time,
But windy orations about rangers and rations
Never put in our pockets one-tenth of a dime.

They do not regard us, they will not reward us,
Though hungry and haggard, with holes in our coats;
But the election is coming, and they will be drumming
And praising our valor to purchase our votes.

For glory and payment, for victuals and raiment,
No longer I’ll fight on the Texas frontier;
So guard your own ranches, and mind the Comanches
Or surely they’ll scalp you in less than a year.

Though sure it may grieve you, the ranger must leave you
Exposed to the arrow and knife of the foe;
So look to the cattle and fight your own battle,
For home to the States I am determined to go.

Where churches have steeples and laws are more equal,
Where churches have people and ladies more kind,
Where work is regarded and worth is rewarded,
Where pumpkins are plenty and pockets relined.

Thanks for listening to the ranger, you kindhearted stranger,
This song, like the ranger is now at an end;
So guard your own ranches, and mind the Comanches
Or surely they’ll scalp you in less than a year.


151 - The Disheartened Ranger
TEXTS with other titles may be found in Lomax, 261-62, and Randolph, II, 178.
The Disheartened Ranger was sung by Mrs. Lula Sublet of Fort Gibson (Oklahoma). Mrs. Sublet was born in Kentucky and came to Indian Territory in 1885. She lived at Stilwell for some years before moving to Fort Gibson.

Source: Ballads and Folk Songs of the Southwest, collected in Oklahoma by Ethel and Chauncey O. Moore. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1964. Pages 315-316

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger
From: GUEST,#
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 05:11 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rb6s2BCbxc

It is at 4:09:54.


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Subject: ADD Version: The Disheartened Ranger (from Lomax)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 07:00 PM

Well, so far, all the versions are more-or-less the same, with a few different words here and there.

THE DISHEARTENED RANGER

Come listen to a ranger, you kind-hearted stranger,
This song, though a sad one, you’re welcome to hear;
We’ve kept the Comanches away from your ranches,
And followed them far o’er the Texas frontier.

We’re weary of scouting, of traveling, and routing
The blood-thirsty villains o’er prairie and wood;
No rest for the sinner, no breakfast or dinner,
But he lies in a supperless bed in the mud.

No corn nor potatoes, no bread nor tomatoes,
But jerked beef as dry as the sole of your shoe;
All day without drinking, all night without winking,
I'll tell you, kind stranger, this never will do.

Those great alligators, the State legislators,
Are pu?fng and blowing two-thirds of their time,
But windy orations about rangers and rations
Never put in our pockets one-tenth of a dime.

They do not regard us, they will not reward us,
Though hungry and haggard with holes in our coats;
But the election is coming and they will be drumming
And praising our valor to purchase our votes.

For glory and payment, for vittles and raiment,
No longer we’ll ?ght on the Texas frontier.
So guard your own ranches, and mind the Comanches
Or surely they’ll scalp you in less than a year.

Though sore it may grieve you, the rangers must leave you
Exposed to the arrows and knife of the foe;
So herd your own cattle and ?ght your own battle.
For home to the States I’m determined to go,—

Where churches have steeples and laws are more equal,
Where houses have people and ladies are kind;
Where work is regarded and worth is rewarded;
Where pumpkins are plenty and pockets are lined.

Your wives and your daughters we have guarded from slaughter,
Through con?icts and struggles I shudder to tell;
No more we‘ll defend them, to God We’1l commend them.
To the frontier of Texas we bid a farewell.

Source: Cowboy Songs, by John A. Lomas (Sturgis & Walton Company, 1910 - 1916 edition)
pp 261-262


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Subject: ADD Version: Come List to a Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 08:24 PM

181
COME LIST TO A RANGER

Come list to a ranger, You kind-hearted stranger,
This song, though a sad one, you're welcome to hear,
Who fought the Comanches away from your ranches,
And followed ‘em far o'er the Western frontier.

Though weary of routin’ an’ travellin’ an’ scoutin',
These bloodthirsty brutes over prairie an’ Woods,
The ’lection is a-comin’ an’ they will be drummin'
An’ praisin’ our value to purchase our food.

These big alligators an’ stately legislators,
A-puffin' an’ blowin’ two-thirds of the time,
No rest for the sinner, no breakfast, no dinner,
We sleep in the mud an’ we ain't got a dime.

No corn, no potatoes, no beets, no tomatoes,
The jerked beef is dry as the sole of your shoe,
We fight in our blood an’ we sleep in the mud,
An’ what in the hell can a poor ranger do?

No glory, no payment, no victuals, no raiment,
No longer we’ll fight on the Texas frontier;
So guard your own ranches, an’ fight the Comanches
Yourself, or they’ll scalp you in less’n a year.

This is a muddled fragment of the “Disheartened Ranger" song reported by Lomax (Cowboy Songs, 1910, p. 261), which doubtless goes back to print. Stuart Lake (Saturday Evening Post 203, Apr. 11, 1931, p. 145) gives part of a variant entitled “The Ranger's Lament which he heard at a Ranger reunion in Eastland, Texas. According to J. Evetts Haley (Goodnight, 1936, p. 97), two rangers, Tom Pollard and Alec McClosky, composed this "bit of doggerel" during Civil War times. One stanza, beginning “Oh pray for the Ranger,” is reprinted in J. Frank Dobie’s Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest (Austin, Texas,
p. 39). Several songs of similar content were once popular in Texas, praising the Rangers and calling upon the legislators to provide for them more generously. Two of these songs printed in Lomax (Cowboy Songs, 1938, pp. 368 and 371), and one has been recorded phonographically by Carl T. Sprague (Victor V-40066).

Sung by Mrs. Lee Stephens, White Rock, Mo., Dec. 15, 1927.

Source: Ozark Folksongs, collected and edited by Vance Randolph (University of Missouri Press, 1980) #181, Volume II, pp 178-179

I think I like this melody better. The same melody appears in Songs of the American West, by Lingenfelter-Dwyer, pp. 268-69.

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: ADD Version: Texas Ranger's Lament
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 09:17 PM

Logsdon's chapter on this song is really good.
Chapter 7 of "The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" and other songs cowboys sing, collected and edited by Guy Logsdon, University of Illinois Press, 1989 (pp. 55-57)

TEXAS RANGER’S LAMENT
Alternate Titles: “The Frontier Ranger” and “The Disheartened Ranger”


J Evetts Haley in his biography of Charles Goodnight wrote that
“two rangers, Tom Pollard and Alec McClosky, composed a bit of
doggerel, and sang out the words in camp”; that doggerel was “Texas
Ranger’s Lament." Haley did not cite any source for the claim of authorship, and his version as described by John A. Lomax in Cowboy Songs (1938) was “different and less singable" than the Lomax version. However, the 1938 Lomax version had the same refrain that Haley used, whereas in his 1910 and 1916 editions Lomax used no refrain. Variants in other collections are similar to the earlier Lomax texts.

Haley referred to the song critically as “doggerel” when, in fact, it is an excellent protest ballad—a protest ballad from people who seldom resorted to protest songs. It is a statement protesting the lack of appreciation for Texas Rangers from politicians and citizenry. The Rangers received little financial reward, a limited food supply, and no morale support at all except when they were needed. “The Texas Ranger’s Lament” was and is a genuine frontier protest song.

The first printing appeared under the title “The Frontier Ranger”
in Allan ’s Lone Star Ballads (1874); there were seven verses with the narrative in the third person and no refrain. Credit for authorship was given to “M. B. Smith, of the Second Texas."

The Texas Rangers were organized in 1835 during the Texas revolt
against Mexican authority; they became the official army of the Republic of Texas charged by the Texas congress to protect the Texas frontier from Indian raids. After statehood on December 29, 1845, the Rangers continued to operate as the law enforcement agency for the state before and after the Civil War. The final line in the song refers to going “home to the States," which implies that the song was composed before statehood in 1845. If this is correct, both of the aforementioned claims to authorship are probably incorrect.

Riley Neal was proud of this song, for he learned it from his father
who had been a Texas Ranger before moving to Arizona. His version is a mixture between both the Allan and Lomax texts; he knew seven verses.

I have found no recordings of this song.

TEXAS RANGER’S LAMENT

Come listen to a ranger, you kindhearted stranger,
This song though a sad one, you’re welcome to hear;
We’ve fought the Comanches away from your ranches
And followed them far o’er the Texas frontier.

Your wives and your daughters we have guarded from slaughter,
Through conflicts and struggles I shudder to tell;
So fight your own battles and guard your own cattle,
For us Texas Rangers must bid you farewell.

No beans, no potatoes, no beets or tomatoes,
But jerked beef as dry as the sole on your shoes;
All day without drinking, all night without winking,
I’ll tell you, kind stranger, this never will do.

Those big alligators, the state legislators,
Are puffing and blowing two-thirds of their time;
But windy orations about rangers and rations
Never put in our pockets one-tenth of a dime.

They do not regard us, they will not reward us,
Though hungry and haggard with holes in our coats;
But the election is coming and then they’ll be drumming
And praising our valor to purchase our votes.

Where houses have people and churches have steeples,
Where laws are more equal and ladies are kind;
Where work is regarded and worth is rewarded,
Where pumpkins are plenty and pockets are lined.

We fought the Comanches away from your ranches,
Exposed to the arrows and knifes of the foes;
Though, sir, I may grieve you, the rangers must leave you,
For home to the States l’m determined to go.

References: Allan (1874), p. 92;
Haley (1936. 1949), pp. 97—98;
Lingenfelter Dwyer, and Cohen (1968), pp. 268-69;
Lomax (1910), pp. 261-62. (1916), pp 53-64;
Lomax and Lomax (1938, 1986), pp. 369-70;
Moore (1964), pp. 3l5—l6
Randolph, 2 (1948), pp. 178-79.


Note: Logsdon's book is downright fascinating.

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger
From: pattyClink
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 03:02 PM

Sorry Joe, I didn't mean to demand research. Saw later that this was sung at a Monday Zoom, shoulda been there. I was off the grid, though I had tried to be on it, didn't work out.


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