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Lyr Add: The Last Wagon (Foster/Critchlow)

Stewie 27 Jul 00 - 09:43 PM
MMario 28 Jul 00 - 08:38 AM
Stewie 28 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM
Sandy Paton 28 Jul 00 - 09:22 PM
Stewie 28 Jul 00 - 09:41 PM
Abby Sale 29 Jul 00 - 09:00 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 00 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,open mike 22 Oct 17 - 12:52 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAST WAGON (Foster/Critchlow) ^^
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Jul 00 - 09:43 PM

Here's a wistful little song from the singing of Slim Critchlow which has been mentioned in the forum previously, but no lyrics posted. Sandy mentioned in a thread on cowboy songs that it has been recorded also on a Folk Legacy Golden Ring reunion album. Perhaps he, or someone else, can tell me what the word qualifying 'mesquite' in the second stanza should be.

THE LAST WAGON
(Foster/Critchlow)

Some day when the barbed wire flings its band
Like a fisherman's net round the last rangeland
The last roundup wagon will roll its way
To the last bed ground at the end of the day
Lord, don't let me live to see

The last remuda will jingle in
To the last corral while the night birds sing
The last cooking fires will flicker bright
By the dwarf mesquite on that roundup night
Lord, where will that bed ground be

And then in the morning from tarp and tent
The roundup crew on their work intent
Will answer the call of the wagon boss
On the dew wet range their circles cross
Lord, where will those circles end

The drives will come from flat and hill
And the cattle bawl while the irons grow chill
And silent men watch their last herd go
While notched in the hills, the sun sinks low
Lord, how will you make amends

Last roundup crew, last wagon boss
How can you measure the thing that is lost
What will live on the grass grown range
All will be lost and what will be gained
Lord, how will you comfort me

Words by Bennett Foster and tune by Slim Crichlow
Source: Slim Critchlow 'Cowboy Songs: The Crooked Trail to Holbrook' Arhoolie CD 479.
PS.

Bennett Foster was a western story author. Slim put the tune to his little poem and admitted that he'd been known 'under certain conditions, to get damp around the eyes' when singing it. I can well appreciate that. He added an explanation about 'circle':


… in the old days of free range the cowboy used to occasionally be detailed to ride 'circle', just like it sounds, to keep cattle from drifting too from their home range, pushing back any he found during the course of his circle. During the spring and fall roundups, on the larger outfits, several riders would fan out at considerable distance from the gathering ground and start pushing the cattle into the gather. Where their circles crossed, a puncher going left would pick up the cows started by the rider heading right, and eventually as the circles narrowed the cows would wind up with the rest of the gather – except for the ones missed of course. A too-simple explanation of geometrical cow gathering which worked well except in rough country. [From Slim Critchlow's notes to Arhoolie CD 479]


--Stewie.

^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 08:38 AM

I can think of two possibilities....

dry...which is a good description of most mesquite

or draw's (as in gully)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM

Thanks, MMario. It's definitely not 'dry', but 'draw's' is a possibility even though I cannot hear any 'r' in the word he is singing. Could be a place name, I suppose.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:22 PM

I'm pretty sure Slim sang "dwarf mesquite," and I know that Ed trickett sang "dwarf" when he recorded the song on Folk-Legacy's (CD-121) with all of us singing on the chorus.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:41 PM

Thanks, Sandy.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Jul 00 - 09:00 AM

Definitelly 'dwarf'

You may wish to hear Clicky - another Critchlow take.

Actually I sent up the text and tune (thanks Katie Lee) some months back but direct to Dick so it hasn't appeared anywhere yet. I been wondering if one "should" post (or also post) a 'LyrAdd' here as a matter of course.

Great song. Great record too. Sad there are no more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 00 - 09:14 AM

Hi, Abby - if you post lyrics in the Forum, they're available to everybody immediately. Susan of DT and I "harvest" lyrics from the Forum and send them on to Dick. We do miss some songs, but we're pretty good at catching them and getting better. We mark songs with a ^^ birdie once we've harvested them. If you post a song you've e-mailed to Dick, please put a remark to that effect with the lyrics. I put tune-posting instructions in the Please Post Tunes Here thread, and I'll eventually have more information about tune posting in the Mudcat FAQ.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Last Wagon (Foster/Critchlow)
From: GUEST,open mike
Date: 22 Oct 17 - 12:52 PM

I also have heard this sung by Utah Phillips and Buck Ramsey. The Last Wagon sung by Buck Ramsey


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