Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Jake and Roanie (from Glenn Ohrlin, The Hell-Bound Train)
Jake and Roanie (from Myra Hull, "Cowboy Ballads," Kansas Historical Quarterly, February, 1939)


GUEST,Ladyzinnia*@aol.com 07 Jan 01 - 11:41 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 01 - 01:24 AM
MMario 08 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Apr 05 - 12:28 AM
Peace 13 Apr 05 - 12:38 AM
Joe Offer 13 Apr 05 - 03:35 AM
Joe Offer 13 Apr 05 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Apr 05 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Dale 14 Apr 05 - 01:19 AM
GUEST,Dale 14 Apr 05 - 01:34 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Apr 05 - 03:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 05 - 03:22 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 05 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Lyrics to Jake & Ronny 26 Apr 07 - 05:56 PM
Artful Codger 18 May 08 - 11:01 PM
open mike 18 May 08 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,Q as guest 18 May 08 - 11:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jun 08 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,DWR 18 Jun 08 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Kingnormie 26 Jul 08 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,romy gerould 14 Nov 09 - 08:27 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Bald-Faced Steer - need lyrics
From: GUEST,Ladyzinnia*@aol.com
Date: 07 Jan 01 - 11:41 PM

Please remove the * before responding... thanks...

Looking for the lyrics to an old cowboy song... The Bald-faced Steer (I think). First couple of lines are...

Jake and Roney was a ridin' along Jake was a singin' what he called a song

Last couple of lines are...

Jake he hollered so the world could hear, "Stay back NUTHIN! There's a BEAR in here!"

I remember a couple of lines in the middle and that's about it. I have searched the web for days on end, found a reference to the song in one place but no lyrics.

Hope someone can help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bald-Faced Steer - need lyrics
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 01 - 01:24 AM

Darn. That sounds so familiar, but I can't find it.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Add: The Moonshine steer
From: MMario
Date: 08 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM

this isn't the right song, but it's what I found searching on "bald faced steer"

THE MOONSHINE STEER
^^
Two cowboys left their camp one day,
To lead in a bald-faced steer,
And what befell them along the way,
You're now a-goin' to hear:

As they was a-ridin' thru the brush,
Around the side of a hill,
All at once they come upon,
A hidden moonshine still.

The moonshiner heard them a-coming,
A-coming thru the blush,
An' he thought that the sheriff had him shore,
So he left there all in a rush.

Sez one old boy to the other old boy,
"Now this here's mighty queer,
"I wish that you would tell me the name
"Of this contraption here."

The coil was a gas line stole from a Ford,
The still was a coal-oil can
But out of the spout and into a jug,
The old corn lilcker ran.

Them boys got down an' hefted the jug,
And they found her full-pretty nigh,
So they each took a snort right then and there,
Fer they was tolerable dry.

Sez one old boy, "Let's go from here,
"Fer we've got work to do.
" So they got on their horses an' they rode away,
And the jug it went along too.

When they got to the place where the steer was tied,
They was a-feelin' mighty gay,
Fer they had stopped to tilt that jug
Most all along the way.

Sez one old boy, "That's the durndest steer
"That ever I did find,
"He's got two heads an' a dozen legs,
"An' fourteen tails behind."

How they got that oxen loose from the tree,
It would be hard to tell,
But when they went to lead him away,
Why, it seems that they just had Hell.

The steer bowed up and sulled again,
An' they seen that he never would lead,
So they figgered that a jolt of moonshine
Was the very thing he'd need.

So they rolled old steer upon his back,
And they held him by the horns,
And down his sizzling goozle
They poured a quart of corn.

Sez one old boy, "Let's turn him loose.
"And git him home real quick;
"He's bound to want him a chaser.

"An' he'll go right straight to the crick."

I But the bald-faced steer he pawed the ground,
And he bawled and he bellered too;
He walled his eyes an' he wrung his tail,
Then he shook his hocks and flew.

That oxen simply left the world,
As hard as he could go,
And if he kept on drifting,
He's down in Mexico.

This story has a moral,
And you will find it here,
If you ever have any moonshine,
Don't waste none on no steer.



Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bald-Faced Steer - need lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 12:28 AM

According to this discography, Bill Bender sang BALD FACED STEER on an album made by Bill Bender and Cisco Houston called "Traditional Songs of the Old West," 1963.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: Peace
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 12:38 AM

This may be it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Jake and Roney / Roanie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:35 AM

Here are the lyrics from Brucie's Link, which also has a recording of the song.
Jake and Roney
^^
VERSE 1
Well, Jake an' Roney was a ride'n along
Jakey was a sing'n what 'e called a song
Up from a gulley what should appear
An old moss back sukey an' a bald face steer

VERSE 2
Jake took after with his hat pulled down
He built him a blocker that's stop a town
Steer, he headed for th setting sun
Believe me neighbors, he could hump it n' run

VERSE 3
Well, Roney followed up his pardners deal
Just two ole waddies that could head an' heel
Both of them a work'n for th Chicken Coop
With a red hot iron and a hungry loop

VERSE 4
Th sun was shin'n in ole Jakes eyes
He wasn't look'n for no big surprise
Th steer give a wiggle like his shirt was tight
He busted thru th junipers an' dropped out'a sight

VERSE 5
Well, Jakey's horse done a figure eight
Jake done his addin' just a mite too late
He went out'a th saddle a seein' red
An' he landed in th gravel of a dry river-bed

VERSE 6
Well, Roney's horse was a good horse, too
Couldn't quite figure out why Jake flew
So, he dumped ole Roney where th ground was hard
They both lit out a runn'n for th home cattle yard

VERSE 7
Jake said, a hold'n up a swell'n thumb
Said he, "Well I reckon we was go'n some."
But Roney he hollered, "Get away from here
We're both gon'na tangle with th bald face steer."

VERSE 8
Well, Roney climb a straddle a juniper tree
"There's no more room up here," said he
Jakey he think'n himself to save
He backs in th opening of a cut-bank cave

VERSE 9
Th steer he charged with his head way down
A roll'n of his eyes an' a paw'n th ground
Hook'n an' a snuff'n an' a turn'n about
Every few seconds old Jake'd pop out

VERSE 10
Well, Roney said, "You ole fool stay back out'a sight!
Ya act like ya hanker'n for t' make him fight."
But Jakey hollered so th world could hear,
"Stay back noth'in, there's a bear in here."


As sung by Glenn Orhlin, Mountain View, Arkansas on May 25, 1969
http://www.smsu.edu/folksong/maxhunter/0727/

    I made a few corrections to the Max Hunter transcription, after listening to the recording and looking at Ohrlin's Hell-Bound Train songbook.

Click to play


There's an entry on the song in the Traditional Ballad Index:

Jake and Roanie

DESCRIPTION: Jake and Roanie spot (a) steer and give chase; it lures them into a gulley and they are thrown by their horses. Forced to flee the steer, Roanie climbs a tree while Jake heads for a cave. Jake keeps popping out; there is a bear in the cave
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1930

KEYWORDS: cowboy horse animal humorous
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Ohrlin-HBT 46, "Jake and Roanie" (1 text, 1 tune)
File: Ohr046


Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The version in Ohrlin's Hell-Bound Train songbook is very similar to the Max Hunter transcription from Ohrlin's singing. Ohrlin says he found "Jake and Roanie" as a poem in Western Horseman, and then learned the song in 1967 from a tape by Arizona singer Romaine Lowdermilk.

There's also a version called "The Bosky Steer" in Katie Lee's Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle (pp. 92-93)
    See messages below. Q contends that "the Bosky Steer" and Jake/Roney were written by Henry Herbert Knibbs.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Jake and Rome
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:19 AM

There is an older version here (click), from an article called "Cowboy Ballads" by Myra Hull, taken from the February, 1939, edition of the Kansas Historical Quarterly:

Jake and Rome

Jake and Rome were ridin' along,
Jake was singin' what he called a song,
When up from a gully what Should appear
But a mossbacked sooky and a bald-faced steer.

Jake started after with his hat pulled down,
He built. himself a 'locker that would snare a town,
But the steer he headed for the setting sun,
And believe me, neighbor, he could hump and run.

Rome followed up his partner's deal
Two old waddies that could head and heel
Both of them a-workin' for the Chicken
Coop With a red hot iron and a hungry loop.

The sun was shinin' in old Jake's eyes,
And he wasn't ready for no great surprise,
When the steer gave a wiggle like his dress was tight,
And he busted through a juniper, and dropped from sight.

Old Jake's pony done a figure 8,
Jake done his addin' just a mite too late.
He left the saddle a-seein' red,
And he landed in the gravel of a river bed.

Now Rome's horse was a good horse, too,
But he couldn't figure out just where Jake flew;
So he humped and he started for the cavvyard,
And he left Rome sittin' where the ground was hard.

Jake Sat a-holdin' up his swelled up thumb,
Says he, "I reckon we was goin' some!"
When Rome he bellered, "Get away from here,
Or you're goin' to get tangled with that bald-faced steer!"

Rome clumb a-straddle of a juniper tree,
"There's no more room up here," says he.
So Jake he figures for himself to save
By backin' in the opening of a cutback cave.

The Steer he charged with his head 'way down,
A-rollin' his eyes and a-pawin' the ground
Hookin' and a-sniffln' and a-turnin' about,
Every time he quit old Jake come out!

Rome said, "You old fool, back out of sight,
You act like you're hankerin' to make him fight!"
When Jake he answered sort of fierce and queer:
"Back, hell, nothin'; there's a bear in here!"


    Notes from Myra Hull: The words and music of "Jake and Rome" were sent to me by Dr. Hull Alden Cook, with this note of explanation: "This is the song as I obtained it from a Navajo girl at Kayenta, Ariz. Her adopted name is Betty Wetherill, and she has been adopted into John Wetherill's family. She and her sister sang this to me one night in June, 1935, at the Wetherill ranch home, in the heart of the desert."

Click to play


E-mail sent to requestor.
    See messages below. Q contends that "the Bosky Steer" and Jake/Roney were written by Henry Herbert Knibbs.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 09:56 PM

I have a (vinyl) recording of this. I think it's sung by Glenn Ohrlin,
and I think it's on an album called Folk Festival of the Smokies,
but my albums are not accessible right now.

I'll look for it when I can.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Stee
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 01:19 AM

Yep, so it is, Gerry ~~ listed as Jake and Roaney on side two, track two on the Folk Festival Of The Smokies LP. It's been a while since I've heard it, but I expect it wouldn't be all that much different than the version linked by Brucie, since it would have been only a few years later. I've heard him do it much more recently, and he still does it pretty much the same.

Note that the Max Hunter site always spells OHRLIN incorrectly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Stee
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 01:34 AM

And of course that is Jake and Roaney and the Bald Faced Steer, not just Jake and Roaney as I typed in the previous post. After reading it again I could see where what I said could have been misleading.

It's not pertinent to this discussion, but Joe's mention of the John Wetherill family reminds me that it is worth a side trip to delve into their part in the history of the American West for those who might be interested in such.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 03:16 PM

Romaine Lowdermilk (Arizona singer) recorded the song on a tape, and Glenn Ohrlin learned the song from this tape. Ohrlin included the song, with music, in his book, "The Hell-Bound Train," pp. 113-114, as "Jake and Roanie."
I don't know if the Lowdermilk tape was commercially issued.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOSKY STEER (Henry Herbert Knibbs)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 05 - 03:22 PM

First published in 1930 in "Songs of the Lost Frontier,"by Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945), "The Bosky Steer" quickly was picked up by cowboys, and by the time Myra Hull published in 1939, the song had entered tradition with different names, but the story line remained fairly constant.
'Bosky' is a corruption of the Spanish 'bosque,' a brushy, wooded place, often following a stream course and a favorite shelter for mavericks and wild animals.

Knibbs, born in Canada, at age 35 attended Harvard with his wife, both studying literature. His first books were on travel.
Knibbs bought a little ranch in California in 1911, where he learned about cowboys. He was at home with them and their ways, and several of his poems entered their repertoire. His life was influenced by his friend, rancher-author Eugene Manlove Rhodes. His collected poetry was published in 1999. "Riders of the Stars" was his first western poetry book, 1916.

Katie Lee, "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle," pp. 92-93, gives a brief biographical note and the text of "The Bosky Steer"; music, pp. 191-192, as noted by Joe Offer, above. The composer of the distinctive music has not been identified.

Lyr. Add: THE BOSKY STEER
Henry Herbert Knibbs

Jake and Roany were a-chousin' along,
And Jake was a'singin' what he called a song,
When up from a waller what should appear,
But a moss-horned maverick, a bosky steer.

Jake he started with his hat pulled down,
Built a blocker that would snare a town,
That steer he headed for the settin' sun,
And believe me, neighbor, he could hump and run!

Roany he followed his pardner's deal,
-Two old waddies that could head and heel-
Both of 'em ridin' for the Chicken Coop,
With a red-hot iron and a hungry loop.

The sun was a-shinin' in ole Jake's eyes,
And he wasn't just lookin' for no real surprise,
When the steer gave a wiggle like his dress was tight,
Busted through a juniper and dropped from sight.

Jake and his pony did the figure eight,
But Jake did his addin' just a mite too late,
He left that saddle. and a'seein' red,
He lit in the gravel of a river bed.

Now Roany's hoss was a good hoss, too,
But he didn't understand just why Jake flew,
So he humped and started for the cavviard,
And left Roany settin' where the ground was hard.

Jake was lookin' at a swelled-up thumb,
And he says, "I reckon we was goin' some!"
When Roany hollers, "Git a-movin' quick,
Or you're sure goin' to tangle with that maverick."

Roany clumb a-straddle of the juniper tree,
"Ain't no more room up here," yells he.
So Jake he figured for hisself to save,
By backin' in the openin' of a cut-bank cave.

The steer he prodded with his head one side,
But he couldn't quite make it to old Jake's hide;
Kep' snortin' and pawin' and prodin' stout,
But every time he quit, why, Jake come out.

"You ole fool!" yips Roany, "Keep back out of sight!
You act like you're hankerin' to make him fight!"
Then Jake he hollers kinda fierce and queer:
"Back, hell, nothin'! There's a bear in here!"

The song, as "unknown," is also in the collections of The University of New Mexico, K. L. Koelle file, as "Jake and Roanie," and in the Utah State Collection, Wyoming source, as "Jake and Roanie."

For a selection of Knibbs' poetry, see Knibbs Poetry

A poem "The Onery Roan Steer" in the Mary Gardner Condon Coll., Utah State University, may be related.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE:Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 04:44 PM

Pop Wagner has recorded a fine rendition of Jake and Roany on his cd of cowboy song titled Forty a Month and Found. Nice guitar work and a great singing style.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: GUEST,Lyrics to Jake & Ronny
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 05:56 PM

Jake and Roany was a-chousin' along,
        And Jake was a singin' what he called a song,
When up from a waller what should appear,
        But a moss-horned maverick, a bosky steer.

Jake he started with his hat pulled down,
        Built a blocker that would snare a town;
That steer he headed for the settin' sun,
        And believe me neighbor, he could hump and run!

Roany he follared his pardner's deal,
Two old waddies that could head and heel –
Both of 'em ridin' for the Chicken Coop,
        With a red-hot iron and a hungry loop.

The sun was a-shinin' in old Jakes eyes,
        And he wasn't just lookin' for no real surprise,
When the steer gave a wriggle like his dress was tight,
        Busted through a juniper and dropped from sight.

Jake and his pony did a figure eight,
        But Jake did his addin' just a mite too late;
He left that saddle and a-seein' red,
        He lit in the gravel of the river bed.

Now Roany's hoss was a good hoss too,
        But he didn't understand just why Jake flew,
So he humped and started for the cavviard,
        And left Roany sittin' where the ground was hard.

Jake was lookin' at a swelled up thumb,
        And he says, "I reckon we was goin' some!"
When Roany hollers, "Git a movin' quick,
        Or yore shore goin' to tangle with that maverick!"

The steer he prodded with his head one side,
        But he couldn't quite make it to old Jake's hide,
Kep' snortin' and pawin' and prodin' stout,
        But every time he quit, why Jake came out.

'You ole fool!" yips Roany, "Keep back out of sight!
        You act like you're hankerin' to make him fight!"
Then Jake he hollers kind a fierce and queer:
        "Back hell nothin'! There's a bear in here!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Moonshine Steer
From: Artful Codger
Date: 18 May 08 - 11:01 PM

"The Moonshine Steer", posted unattributed earlier in this thread, was written by Gail I. Gardner; the DT entry should be updated accordingly. I presume he included it in his collection Orejana Bull (1935), though the poem circulated separately prior to that time.

In Katie Lee's Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, she devotes much of Chapter 5 to discussing with Gail how his poems have been pirated frequently without attribution. To quote briefly from the horse's mouth (p.51):

"After the war I showed that poem [Sierry Petes] and some others I'd written to some cowboy friends, among them Billy Simon. Bill decided to cook up an old tune for it and started singing it around cow camps and rodeos. This was the first time I got the idea that a lot of my poems would do for songs.

"A Wickenburg dude wrangler by the name of George German was also a radio singer and he wanted my Sierry Petes and my Moonshine Steer to publish in a collection of old cow songs he was getting out for his radio station in Yankton, South Dakota, in 1929. [...] I suppose that is where those radio punks first got hold of it."

I haven't found indications of when the poem was first written, published or put to music, or whether it is now officially in the public domain.


John I White, in the book Git Along, Little Dogies (1975) adds:
'Gardner says he himself sang "The Sierry Petes" the first time for the cowboys attending one of a series of neighborhood rodeos staged on the Z-Triangle Ranch near Wagoner owned by James Minotto. The boys like it. Liked it so much that for each of the next few years Gardner had to come up with a new one. Those that he feels have made the best songs are "The Moonshine Steer" and "The Dude Wrangler." The former, which can be sung to the tune of "Roving Gambler," […]' [italics mine]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Stee
From: open mike
Date: 18 May 08 - 11:27 PM

i thought Boskey was from the word Basque...as there many cow and sheep
herders from that tradition.see http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/basque.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: GUEST,Q as guest
Date: 18 May 08 - 11:50 PM

Gail Gardner did publish "The Moonshine Steer" in "Orejana Bull," 1935, p. 3-4, and a brief musical score on p. 27.

This little volume also includes "The Sierry Petes," with a brief score.
"Orejana Bull" was reprinted in 1987 by the Sharlott Hall Museum Press, Prescott, AZ. The frontispiece is a cartoon by J. R. Williams of a puncher trying to rope a recalcitrant steer.

'Orejana' is a calf old enough to quit its mother, a maverick.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:56 PM

Bosque, from my Velasquez Spanish and English Dictionary-
m. Wood, tract of land with trees and brushwood; forest, grove, any wooded place.
In the Southwest, the brushwood is often spiny, or otherwise designed to discourage anyone trying to ride or walk through it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Stee
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:59 PM

http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/printartist.php?id=13307

hillbilly-music.com has a very nice article on Romaine Lowdermilk, I have the link turned to the printer friendly version. Their whole site has a lot of worthwhile articles.

I have heard the Romaine Lowdermilk recording that was donated to the Ozark Folk Center by Glenn Ohrlin. It varies only a little from the versions given above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Steer
From: GUEST,Kingnormie
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 04:28 PM

I have this tune, as sung by Romaine Lowdermilk, on an LP, an acetate that he cut in the late 1950s. The record itself is a rarity, probably a "one of a kind", so I no longer play it at all btu I did move the music to CD and enjoy all 13 songs on it regularly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD Jake and Roney and the Bald Faced Stee
From: GUEST,romy gerould
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 08:27 AM

I remember him singing that when I was a child.
I am his step-grandson named for him.
Does the record label say Ramsey's Recording Studio?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 June 8:42 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.