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Strawberry Roan - ( & Sheepherder version?)

DigiTrad:
THE CASTRATION OF THE STRAWBERRY ROAN
THE STRAWBERRY ROAN


Related threads:
The Castration of the Strawberry Roan (2)
Lyr Add: The Strawberry Roan- in Amish (8)


Art Thieme 09 Sep 98 - 12:24 AM
Wolfgang Hell 22 Sep 98 - 11:46 AM
Wolfgang 22 Sep 98 - 11:50 AM
Doctor John 22 Sep 98 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,rjbickers 27 Jun 01 - 11:42 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 12:16 PM
Sorcha 27 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM
katlaughing 27 Jun 01 - 12:43 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 01 - 01:55 PM
katlaughing 27 Jun 01 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Gene 27 Jun 01 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Gene 27 Jun 01 - 02:45 PM
mousethief 27 Jun 01 - 02:50 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 01 - 03:21 PM
mousethief 27 Jun 01 - 03:25 PM
rangeroger 28 Jun 01 - 12:23 AM
Sorcha 28 Jun 01 - 12:27 AM
Louie Roy 28 Jun 01 - 11:01 AM
Uncle_DaveO 28 Jun 01 - 12:15 PM
Tiger 29 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM
Art Thieme 29 Jun 01 - 10:09 PM
Louie Roy 29 Jun 01 - 11:08 PM
katlaughing 29 Jun 01 - 11:16 PM
Louie Roy 30 Jun 01 - 12:39 AM
Metchosin 30 Jun 01 - 12:52 AM
Midchuck 30 Jun 01 - 08:36 AM
Louie Roy 30 Jun 01 - 10:57 AM
Abby Sale 01 Jul 01 - 10:22 AM
Louie Roy 01 Jul 01 - 04:48 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 01 - 09:11 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 01 - 10:24 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 01 - 10:43 PM
katlaughing 01 Jul 01 - 10:48 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 01 - 10:58 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 01 - 11:24 PM
NH Dave 02 Jul 01 - 12:16 AM
Abby Sale 02 Jul 01 - 10:17 AM
Abby Sale 02 Jul 01 - 10:57 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Sep 01 - 11:37 PM
John Kidder 08 Sep 01 - 01:41 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 01 - 08:47 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 01 - 06:24 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 01 - 11:35 PM
Joe Offer 02 Oct 01 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Corrine 01 Sep 08 - 11:33 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 14 - 01:19 PM
Brian Peters 18 Apr 14 - 07:07 PM
Little Robyn 19 Apr 14 - 12:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Strawberry Rows, Lyrics ?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Sep 98 - 12:24 AM

When I was VERY YOUNG, not more than 8 or 9, my mother took me to the Oriental Theater in Chicago to see a film called THE STRAWBERRY ROAN starring Gene Autry. It was a fine film and in color--rare for Cowboy movies in those days. But these were the days of stage shows! Gene Autry and Champion were there IN PERSON ! Gene rode champ out onto the stage after the movie was over and the great horse reared up on his hind legs! It was fantastic. Gene then put Champ through his paces---Champ pranced around the stage, danced and even "prayed". (Good thing he didn't attend Chicago schools.) The applause was as thunderous as it was tonight when Mark McGwire hit his 62nd homer of the season.

Gene got off the horse while the applause continued and he slowly walked toward the mike while Champ dropped a HUGE PILE on the stage---which Gene never noticed. All the kids were pointing at the steaming mound so recently housed within the beautiful horse. Gene waited for the ovation to subside and then he said, "Now that Champ has done his show, it's time for me to do mine!" We all expected our favorite cowboy to drop his pants! Instead he picked up his guitar and sang, not the "Strawberry Roan" but "Ridin' Down The Canyon"---a song he and Smiley Burnett had written while going to a gig in the Chicago area when both were singing on THE WLS BARN DANCE---a radio show the was on the air earlier in the century than the Grand Ole Opry.

WLS stood for "Worlds Largest Store"---the station was owned by Sears.

I've always loved the song, "THE STRAWBERRY ROAN"! It was sung prominently in the movie. I did manage to videotape the film from TV when it was once aired hosted by Gene and his psychic...er, sidekick, Pat Butrim on the Nashville channel.

Art


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Subject: ADD: Strawberry Roan ^^^
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 22 Sep 98 - 11:46 AM

I found this at
http://www.albany.net/~coollz/marty-strawberry.htm:

THE STRAWBERRY ROAN
Written by Nat Vincent, Curley Fletcher, and Fred Howard
(Adapted)

I was hangin' 'round town, just spendin' my time;
Out of a job, not earnin' a dime,
When a fella steps up and he says, I suppose
You're a bronc fighter, from the looks of your clothes.

He figgers me right, I'm a good one I claim;
Do you happen to have any bad ones to tame?
He says he's got one, a bad one to buck.
At throwin' good riders he's had lotsa luck.

I gets all het up, and I ask what he pays
To ride this old nag for a couple of days?
He offered me ten, and I said, I'm your man!
The bronc never lived that I couldn't fan!

He said get your saddle, I'll give you a chance;
In his buckboard we hops and he drives to the ranch.
I stayed 'til mornin' and right after chuck
I steps out to see if this outlaw can buck.

Down in the horse corral, standin' alone,
Is an old caballo, a strawberry roan;
His legs are all spavined, he's got pigeon toes,
Little pig eyes and a big roman nose,

Little pin ears that touch at the tip.
A big forty-four brand was on his left hip,
Ewe-necked and, oh, a long lower jaw...
I could see with one eye he's a regular outlaw!

I gets the blinds on him, and it sure is a fright;
Next comes my saddle, and I screws it down tight,
Then I steps on 'im and I raises the blinds,
Get out' the way, boys, he's gonna unwind!

He sure is a frog-walker, he heaves a big sigh--
He only lacks wings for to be on the fly,
He turns his ol' belly right up to the sun,
He sure is a sun-fishin' son-of-a-gun!

He's about the worst bucker I've seen on the range,
He'll turn on a nickle and give you some change;
He hits on all fours an' goes up on high,
Leaves me a-spinnin' up there in the sky

I turns over twice, an' I comes back to earth--
I lights there a-cussin' the day of his birth,

I know there are ponies that I cannot ride;
There's some of them left, they haven't all died;
I'll bet all my money the man ain't alive
That'll stay with ol' Strawberry, when he takes his high dive.

Wolfgang^^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STRAWBERRY ROAN (Curley Fletcher)^^^
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Sep 98 - 11:50 AM

Here's another version with the same title but giving another author (this time copied from http://www.isis-intl.com/paul/gallery/strawberry.html

THE STRAWBERRY ROAN
Written by Curley Fletcher in 1915

NOTE: This song, "The Strawberry Roan," is extremely popular.
It never goes out of style.

I was laying round town just spending my time,
Out of a job and not makin' a dime,
When up steps a feller and he says, "I suppose
That you're a bronc rider by the looks of your clothes?"

He guesses me right. "And a good one I'll claim.
Do you happen to have any bad ones to tame?"
He says he's got one that's a good one to buck,
And at throwing good riders he's had lots of luck.

He says this old pony has never been rode.
And the man that gets on him is bound to be throwed.
I gets all excited and I ask what he pays
To ride this old pony a couple of days.

He says, "Ten dollars." I says, "I'm your man;
The bronc never lived that I cannot fan;
The bronc never tried nor never drew breath
That I cannot ride till he starves plumb to death."

He says, "Get your saddle. I'll give you a chance."
We got in the buggy and went to the ranch.
We waited till morning, right after chuck.
I went out to see if that outlaw could buck.

Down in the corral, a-standin' alone,
Was this little old caballo, a strawberry roan.
He had little pin ears that touched at the tip
And a big forty-four brand was on his left hip.

He was spavined all round and he had pigeon toes,
Little pig eyes and a big Roman nose.
He was U-necked and old with a long lower jaw -
You could tell at a glance he was a regular outlaw.

I buckled on my spurs; I was feeling plumb fine,
I pulled down my hat and I curls up my twine,
I threw the loop at him, right well I knew then,
Before I had rode him I'd sure earn my ten.

I got the blind on him with a terrible fight,
Cinched on the saddle and girdled it tight;
Then I steps up on him and pulled down the blind
And sat there in the saddle to see him unwind.

He bowed his old neck and I'll say he unwound,
He seemed to quit living down there on the ground;
He went up to the east and came down to the west
With me in the saddle, a-doing my best.

He sure was frog-walkin'; I heaved a big sigh,
He only lacked wings for to be on the fly;
He turned his old belly right up to the sun,
For he was a sun-fishin' sun of a gun.

He was the worst bronco I've seen on the range,
He could turn on a nickel and leave you some change.
While he was buckin' he squalled like a shoat,
I tell you that outlaw, he sure got my goat.

I tell all the people that pony could step
And I was still on him a-buildin' a rep;
He came down on all fours and turned up on his side,
I don't see how he kept from losing his hide.

I lost my stirrups; I lost my hat,
I was pullin' at leather as blind as a bat;
With a phenomenal jump he made a high dive
And set me a-winding up there through the sky.

I turned forty flips and came down to the earth
And sit there a-cussing the day of his birth.
I know there's some ponies that I cannot hide,
Some of them living, they haven't all died.

But I bet all money there's no man alive
That can ride Old Strawberry when he makes that high dive.^^^


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Rows, Lyrics ?
From: Doctor John
Date: 22 Sep 98 - 04:02 PM

Versions of Strawberry Roan (but not Rows!) recorded by Cisco Houston (interesting Woody plays mandolin and doesn't take lead) and by Ed McCurdy.


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Subject: Strawberry Roan
From: GUEST,rjbickers
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:42 AM

While recently chasing cows in eastern orgeon I was playing some old cowboy tunes. One old timer who had worked that country for a while had an interesting arrangement based on sheep herders set to the tune of the Strawberry Roan. He said he had heard it while working on the ZX or MC ranch in southern Oregon from a Wyoming buckaroo.
I was wondering if anybody had it written down anywhere. I would like to get the words. The old timer said he couldn't remember enough to make it worth writing it down.
Thanks
RJG


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:16 PM

Already in the database. Click on the title to see the words THE STRAWBERRY ROAN There are other versions as well


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM

The only other version I found in the DT was Castration of the Strawberry Roan (also this thread). In the forum, Ebbie posted German (Amish) lyrics to a song with the same tune, but I haven't found any sheep songs to the tune.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:43 PM

rj, do you have any of the words at all which you could share with us? Sorcha and I are both in Wyoming and might be able to track down someone at the ranch who might know. Ya never know.

I will also ask my dad, although he was raised a cattleman through and through, so unless it denigrated sheepherders, I doubt if he'd of heard it. I'll also check my Lomax book to see if he makes any mention of that version.

kat


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 01:55 PM

Thanks pavane. I already have several arrangements of the strawberry roan scorcha. yea I found that one what a hoot. Kat. I will see if I can get cliff to write down and send me what he remembers. Your dad will probably like it. Its none to nice to the pature maggots and there herds Thanks


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 01:59 PM

That would be good, rj, that way, if you post them here, someone else may recognise them and have all the words for you, too. Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan ^^^
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 02:43 PM

A quick www.google.com search for it yielded this--

Strawberry Roan (Traditional)
Written by Curley Fletcher in 1915

Let me tell you a tale, a good one I own
'Bout an old bucking bronc, a strawberry roan.
I was hanging 'round town, not earning a dime
Being out of a job, just spending my time,
When a stranger stepped up and said, I suppose,
You're a bronc-bustin' man, by the looks of your clothes.
So I said guess you're right, there's none I can't tame,
If it's tough ridin' ponies, that's my middle name.

Refrain:
Oh, that strawberry roan, oh, that strawberry roan,
He says he's a cayhoose that's never been rode,
The guy who gets on him is bound to be throwed,
Throwed off this strawberry roan.

Then I puts on the blinds, it sure was a fight,
Then my saddle comes next, I screws it down tight.
Then I piled on his back, and well I knew then
If I rode this old goat, I'd sure earn my ten.
For he bowed his old neck and leaped from the ground,
Twenty circles he made before he came down.
He's the worst bucking bronc I've seen on the range,
He could turn on a nickel and give you some change.

Refrain:
Oh, that strawberry roan, oh, that strawberry roan,
He jumped toward the east and came down toward the west,
To stay in his middle I'm doing my best
On that old strawberry roan.

And I'm tearing up sage, how this pony can step,
But I'm still sitting tight and earning a rep,
When my stirrips I lose and also my hat
And I starts pulling leather as blind as a bat.
And he makes one more leap, he's headed up high,
Leave me sittin' on air, way up in the sky.
Guess I turned over twice and fell back to earth
And I started to cursin' the day of his birth.

Refrain:
Oh, that strawberry roan, oh, that strawberry roan,
That sunfishin' critter's worth leavin' alone,
There's nary a buster from Texas to Nome
Could ride that strawberry roan,
Could ride that strawberry roan.
^^^


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 02:45 PM

Other INFO HERE:

http://www.google.com/search?q=strawberry+roan&btnG=Google+Search


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 02:50 PM

Is it bawdy? I have a couple of (priceless!) books at home which collect bawdy and downright lewd versions of folk songs. Let me know if I should search through them.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 03:21 PM

yea, its similar to the one in the database about I want a sheep tonight mother.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 03:25 PM

I'll flip through my R-17 songbooks, then.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: rangeroger
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:23 AM

Man,with all this talk about sheep,I might just have to drive over to Montana this weekend.

rr


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:27 AM

Velcro............


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Louie Roy
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 11:01 AM

A little info on the Strawberry Roan It was written in 1915 by a champion cowboy(Saddle Bronc,Bare back and Bull Riding)by the name of Curly Fletcher and I have his complete collection given to me by my uncle in 1931.In 1933 Montana Slim used the tune and rewrote all the words and called it the Booze Hound Lament.It is about an old Montana Cowboy who got tangled up with some Rot Gut Moonshine and what happened to him all in one day.It is a rather long song but it is very funny and could be true.I will post it if Joe Offer will put it in the DT and of course if anyone wants the words.I never heard the sheep herders version but there is also a logger version I don't have the words but I can get the words to it from the person who wrote it here in Oregon Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:15 PM

I sing it almost exactly as it's in the DT. Only trouble is, what with breaks it runs seven minutes or so, which bothers some audiences, so I don't do it as often as I'd really like to.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Tiger
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM

Great story, Louie.....

I'd love to see the words as originally written by Curly. There are so many versions.

I sing it pretty much like the one in the DT, but Gene's version (above) has an authentic 'feel' (and Gene is VERY careful with his lyrics). Probably missing some verses, though.

Are what you have presumably Curly's 'original' lyrics? If so, I and probably lots of others would love to see them posted.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 10:09 PM

Nontana Slim (Wilf Carter) did many variations of the song.

In the early 1950s, Gene Autry did a color film called THE STRAWBERRY ROAN. My mother took me to the Oriental Theater in Chicago to see the film which did feature the song as sung by Gene. But these were the days of "stage shows" in the big downtown theaters in many larger towns. After the film ended, a disembodied voice announced, "Here he is kids, in person, Gene Autry and the wonder horse, Champion !"

Gene rode Champ out onto the stage in the middle of the spotlight. The kids loved it. Gene got Champ to do all sorts of tricks like rearing up on his hind legs, kneeling to pray, reaching back to get (and eat) Gene's hat etc. etc. Then, as Gene was dismounting from his horse, Champion put a huge pile on the stage bigger than Pike's Peak. Mr. Autry never saw it. He just walked to the microphone and sang "Strawberry Roan" and "Riding Down The Canyon". When a maintanence guy came out on stage with a broom and a shovel to clear the stage of the **stuff**, the kids just went nuts. It was a highlight of my generally boring childhood.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Louie Roy
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 11:08 PM

Guest rjbickers I have the words to The Sheepherders Lament written by Curley Fletcher either in 1915 or 1916 and it is possible that this is the song you are looking for.Email me at roy1@wanweb.net withsome of the words you remember and if it is indeed the song you are looking for I will post it.I am a slow and poor typist so I don't post something nobody wants.Hope to hear from you
Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 11:16 PM

Louie Roy, do you have a scanner that you could scan them with? Or a digital camera to make an image of them? If so, you could then send them to me in an email and I could type them out for you. Just let me know by PM, please, if I can help.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: ADD: Strawberry Roan (Curley Fletcher version)^^
From: Louie Roy
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 12:39 AM

These are the original words to the song Strawberry Roan written by Curley Fletcher in 1915 and changed and revised many times by many artists throughout the years

STRAWBERRY ROAN
(Curley Fletcher - songwriter's version)

I was layin' around, just spendin' my time,
Out of a job an' ain't holdin' a dime,
When a fellow steps up, an' sez, "I suppose
That you're uh bronk fighter by the looks of your clothes."

"Yuh figures me right-I'm a good one, I claim
Do you happen tuh have any bad uns tuh tame?
He sez he's got one, uh bad un tuh buck
An' fur throwing good riders, he's had lots uh luck

He sez that this pony has never been rode,
That the boys that gets on 'im was bound tuh get throwed,
Well I gets all excited an' asks what he pays,
Tuh ride this old pony for uh couple of days.

He offers a ten spot. Sez I, "I'm yure man
Cause the bronk never lived that I couldn't fan;
No hoss ever lived, he never drew breath
That I couldn't ride till he starved plum tuh death.

"I don't like to brag, but I got this tuh say
That I ain't been piled fur many uh day."
Sez he, "Get your saddle, I'll give yuh uh chance."
So I gets in his buckboard an' drifts tuh his ranch.

I stays until morning an' right after chuck,
I steps out tuh see if that outlaw kin buck.
Down in the hoss corral, standin' alone,
Was this caballo, uh strawberry roan.

His laigs is all spavined an' he's got pigeon toes,
Little pig eyes and uh big Roman nose,
Little pin ears that touch at the tip
An' uh double square iron stamped on his hip

Yew necked an' old, with uh long lower jaw,
I kin see with one eye, he's a reg'lar outlaw
I puts on my spurs - I'm sure feelin fine -
Turns up muh hat an' picks up muh twine.

I throws that loop on im, an' well I knows then,
That before he gets rode, I'll sure earn my ten,
I gets my blinds on him, an' it sure was a fight
Next comes muh saddle - I screws it down tight

An' then I piles on im, an' raises the blind,
I'm right in his middle tuh see im unwind.
Well he bows his old neck, an' I guess he unwound,
Fur he seem tuh quit living down on the ground

He goes up toward the East, an' comes down toward the West,
Tuh stay in his middle, I'm doin' muh best,
He sure is frog walkin', he heaves uh big sigh,
He only lacks wings, fur tuh be on the fly.

He turns his old belly right up toward the sun,
He sure is uh sun-fishin' son-of-uh-gun,
He is the worst bucker I seen on the range,
He can turn on uh nickle an' give yuh some change.

While he's uh-buckin' he squeals like uh shoat,
I tell yuh, that pony has sure got muh goat.
I claim that, no foolin', that bronk could sure step,
I'm still in muh saddle, uh-buildin' uh rep

He hit on all fours, an' suns up his side,
I don't see how he keeps from sheddin' his hide.
I loses muh stirrup an' also muh hat,
I'm grabbin' the leather an' blind as a bat.

With uh phenomenal jump, he goes up on high,
An' I'm settin' on nothin', way up in the sky,
An' then I turns over, I comes back tuh earth
An' lights in tuh cussin' the day of his birth

Then I knows that the hosses I ain't able tuh ride
Is some of them livin' - they haven't all died,
But I bets all muh money they ain't no man alive,
Kin stay with that bronk when he makes that high dive.

From Songs of the Sage, by Curley W. Fletcher, 1931^^


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Metchosin
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 12:52 AM

Thanks Louie, that is the version I know, I love the descriptions and phrases used in it. Too bad the English language in North America has lost so much colour over the past fifty years or so.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 08:36 AM

With all respect, why type it out all over again when it's already in the DT, here?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Louie Roy
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 10:57 AM

Thanks Midchuch for having a blue clickity thing on the Strawberry Roan,but that is another version and not the way the author Curley Fletcher wrote it in 1915 Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Abby Sale
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:22 AM

Fletcher is also credited (if not proved) as the author of the mentioned, "The Castration of the Strawberry Roan." This would be no surprise, writers often produced a parlor and a bawdy version of songs simultaniously - same as movie producers do. I've sung this for a few cowboys who felt that "Castration..." gave a pretty good feel of the way a cowboy (wrangler) actually felt about his job.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Louie Roy
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 04:48 PM

If Curley Fletcher wrote the castration of the Strawberry Roan it isn't in his song book and I have all of his songs that were published.The book that was given to me in 1931 cost $ 2.00 the same book can still be purchased from the same publishing company but it cost $ 80.00 plus freight Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 09:11 PM

But have we found the sheep version of "Strawberry Roan" that was requested in the first post?
-Joe Offer-
I put three-wing (redundant) harvesting marks on the versions posted in this thread and in another thread (click) on this song. All of the versions are a bit different, so it's worth looking at all of them. Is it worth harvesting each of them for the Digital Tradition? I dunno. I'll scan and post some other versions and sequels and related songs, and then I'll ask Dick Greenhaus to stop by and choose the ones he wants.
Louie, if you have the version from Fletcher's songbook, I'd like to see it - but it needs to be exactly what Fletcher had, punctuation and all. Send me a personal message if you need help learning how to copy-paste your message so you can make corrections and get it exactly right.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: Strawberry Roan (Ohrlin Transcription)^^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:24 PM

From Glenn Ohrlin's the Hell-bound Train, A Cowboy Songbook:

The late Curley Fletcher's "Strawberry Roan" is another cowboy song familiar throughout the United States and Canada. George B. German reports hearing both Curley Fletcher and Romaine Lowdermilk sing about the old roan outlaw in Arizona in the twenties. When German started broadcasting at Yankton, South Dakota, in 1928, this was the first song he performed. It was sung by many of my childhood friends and by an aunt and uncles on my mother's side of the family.
Curley Fletcher was himself a bronc rider and knew what he was writing about. I have Curley's booklet, Songs of the Sage (1931), that includes "The Strawberry Roan." It also contains photos of the curly-headed Fletcher riding bucking horses and bulls, bulldogging, and trick roping. The photos are interesting, as the clothing, saddles, and livestock are typical of the early twenties. The bull-riding pictures were taken before the advent of Brahma bulls to the rodeo arena; they show Curley decked out in the old angora fur chaps and riding a spotted bull of doubtful breeding. Cowboy artist, rodeo hand, and movie rider Walt Larue used to mention Curley Fletcher when we would discuss songs; they had worked together in western movies.
The story is always the same, but a few words are usually different, such as "hangin' round town," "layin' round town," and so on. In some versions the strawberry roan is branded with a big "44" brand or a "map of Chihuahua." In Curley Fletcher's original poem the roan is carrying a "double square" brand. The old Double Square ranch in Nevada actually was known among cowboys as having a cantankerous bunch of horses. I've seen several broncs in West Coast rodeo strings bearing this brand.

STRAWBERRY ROAN
(Curley Fletcher)

I was hangin' round town just spendin' my time,
Out of a job, not makin' a dime,
When a stranger steps up, says he, "I suppose
That you're a bronc fighter by the looks of your clothes."
"Well, you guesses me right, I'm a good one," I claim,
"Do you happen to have any bad ones to tame?"
He said, "I've got one, a bad one to buck,
And at throwin' good riders he's had lots of luck."

He says that this pony ain't never been rode,
The man that gets on him is bound to get throwed.
Well, I gets all excited and asks what he pays
If I ride this old cayuse a couple of days.
He offers me ten. Says I, "I'm your man,
For the bronc never lived that I couldn't fan,
For the bronc never lived or ever drew breath
That I couldn't ride till he starved plumb to death."

He says, "Get your saddle, I'll give you a chance."
We hops in the buckboard and rides to his ranch.
I stays until morning, and right after chuck
I goes out to see how this outlaw can buck.
Down in the horse corral, standing alone,
Is this caballo, a strawberry roan.
He had little pin ears that touch at the tip,
And a "double square" brand was stamped on his hip.

His legs are all spavined, he's got pigeon toes,
Little pig eyes, and a long Roman nose.
He's ewe-necked and old, with a long lower jaw,
I can see with one eye he's a regular outlaw.
I buckles on my spurs and was sure feelin' fine,
Pulls down my hat and I coils up my twine.
I throws my loop on him, and well I knew then,
If I ride this old pony I sure earn my ten.

I gets the blinds on him, it sure was a fight.
My saddle comes next and I screws her down tight.
Then I piles on him and raises the blind,
And it's get out of the way to see him unwind.
He bowed his old neck and he leaped from the ground.
Twenty circles he made before coming down.
He went up in the east and went down in the west,
To stay in his middle I'm doin' my best.

He sure was a frog walker, he heaves a big sigh.
He only lacked wings for to be on the fly.
He turned his old belly right up to the sun,
He sure is a sunfishin' son of a gun.
He was the worst bucker I seen on the range,
He can turn on a nickel and give you some change.
While he's a-buckin' he squealed like a shoat.
I tell you that pony has sure got my goat.

He hits on all fours and turned up his side,
I don't see how he keeps from losin' his hide.
I loses my stirrups and also my hat,
I starts pullin' leather as blind as a bat.
With a phenomenal jump he goes up on high
And leaves me a-settin' up there in the sky.
And then I turned over and comes back to earth,
And I lit into cussin' the day of his birth.

Then I knows there's old ponies I ain't able to ride.
There's some of them livin', they haven't all died.
But I bet all my money the man ain't alive
Can ride old Strawberry when he makes his high dive.

Source: The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook, Glenn Ohrlin, University of Illinois Press, 1973.

JRO^^^
In the Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing, Guy Logsdon says Curley Fletcher wrote the original song in 1914. It was printed in the Globe Arizona Record on December 16, 1915, under the title "The Outlaw Bronco." Two years later, Fletcher included it, with revisions to the original poem, under the title "The Strawberry Roan" in his first collection of poems, Rhymes of the Roundup. It did not take long for some unknown singer to set the words to music, and it soon became a cowboy favorite. The first printing of a field-collected text was in 1925 after Freda Kirchwey, a journalist and writer, heard a cowboy named Charlie sing it in the Green River Valley country of Wyoming....

The song did not have a chorus as originally written. In 1931, two Hollywood songwriters, Fred Howard and Nat Vincent, published a sheet music version that included a chorus and other alterations they had written. Fletcher had asked them to help promote the song, but was furious over their tampering with it...in order to get even with them, Fletcher wrote the bawdy version, including a chorus.

[I couldn't figure out from Logsdon's book which of the three bawdy versions was written by Fletcher - I gather it's version "B" (below)]


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Subject: Add: He Rode the Strawberry Roan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:43 PM

He Rode the Strawberry Roan

"The Strawberry Roan" inspired many sequels and parodies, both sentimental and bawdy. This one is about Harry Knight, former top bronc rider and now one of the world's largest rodeo producers. My first clue to this song came during George Williams's editorship of the Rodeo Sports News, the official publication of the Rodeo Cowboys Association. In his column and elsewhere George Williams got in a lot of rodeo history and scraps of songs and poems. I finally got the words from D. K. Wilgus of the John Edwards Memorial Foundation at UCLA.
This parody was written by Canadian singer Wilf Carter (better known in the States as "Montana Slim"). Carter was at one time a dude wrangler at Banff, in the Canadian Rockies; he tried bronc riding at the Canadian rodeos and was a friend of many great rodeo hands through the twenties and thirties. A Canadian friend, Jack Lauder, says that a lot of good bronc riders came out of Banff in Harry Knight's heyday. Wrangling dudes was their primary occupation, however.

HE RODE THE STRAWBERRY ROAN
(Wilf Carter)

We're all layin' round, spinnin' some yarns.
Up rides a stranger and stops at the barns.
His chaps were gold-spotted, on the leg at the right
Was a name in gold spots, `twas Harry H. Knight.

He looked like a kid that had just left his home,
And I says, "Say, young feller, how long have you roamed?"
He says he's no phony and loosened a cinch,
Took a seat in the shade on a rickety bench.

Then up comes the boss. "Whose bronco is that?"
"That kid's over there in a ten-gallon hat."
The boss looks him over, "S'pose you wants a job?"
He said that he did, so he says, "See here, lad,

"In the mornin' we're roundin' up a bunch o' mustangs,
I think I can use you if you're a good man."
Next morning we started on the old prairie trail,
To round up them horses back to the corral.

Fin'ly we sights `em, starts chasm' `em back,
But the kid he's done missin' in a ten-gallon hat.
So we sees him come on a horse white with foam,
An' ahead of him, snortin', come a strawberry roan.

"Say! Here's one you missed, he sure made me ride."
We tells him no man livin' can stick to that hide.
"I'd just like to try him, doggone that ol' hide,
I've never seen a pony that I couldn't ride."

Well, right after chuck, took a good snort o' rum,
We sit on the corral bars to watch all the fun.
He uncoiled his rope like a hiss of a snake,
Ol' Strawberry ducked just a second too late.

Well, he gets his ol' saddle, screws her down tight,
Ol' Strawberry stands there a-shakin' with fright.
He woke with a snort when he felt the sharp spur
Rake down his two shoulders an' back to his rear.

Across the corral he goes like a shot,
While the kid started fannin' that ol' ten-gallon hat.
The way that horse bucked no man can describe,
His tail's all that saved him from losin' his hide.

We kept a-yellin' with all our might,
"Ride him, cowboy, you're winnin' the fight!"
He lay down an' rolled, squealed like a rat,
But the kid kep' a-fannin' that ten-gallon hat.

He turned an' looked back, just seemed to say,
"It's all right, ol' feller, you've won out today.
You're the first guy that's ever been known
To stay on my back, I'm ol' Strawberry Roan."

Poor ol' Strawberry Roan,
All the guys tried to board him got thrown.
But a kid came from Banff, an' he took a big chance,
But he rode the ol' strawberry roan.

Source: The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook, Glenn Ohrlin, University of Illinois Press, 1973.

JRO


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:48 PM

Louie, that book must be a real treasure. I'll bet my dad had the same one back then. Thanks for posting the lyrics as Curly wrote them.

Joe, I would think the way Curly wrote them, as documented in the earliest printing, would definitely warrant being in the DT. I can't get at my Lomax right now, but as near as I can remember those are the same words and they look the same as what my dad sings.

I love this song, it is part of my very earliest childhood memories. We children were always requesting it of dad.

kat


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Subject: ADD: Fate of Old Strawberry Roan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:58 PM

The Fate of Old Strawberry Roan

In this song by Wilf Carter the old bronc cashes in. There have been other "Strawberry Roan" sequels out of Canada, including "The Son of Strawberry Roan." Curley Fletcher, author of the original "Strawberry Roan," was a Californian and a typical West Coast-style buckaroo. The language in his original poem plus his bawdy "Castration of the Strawberry Roan" has a saltier flavor than the Canadian sequels I have been able to find.

THE FATE OF OLD STRAWBERRY ROAN
(Wilf Carter)

A bunch of us boys sittin' on the corral,
Talkin' `bout old Strawberry, a real cowboy pal,
Of throwin' most cowboys time after time,
Turning in circles as small as a dime.

From the west rides a stranger, the ranch Lazy J.
"Just wonderin', boys, if you seen any strays?"
An old .45 hung low on his hip,
A cigaret butt burnin' close to his lip.

"What's all the attraction in that there corral?"
"Why, just an old roan, a real cowboy pal.
Harry Knight's only guy ever rode that old roan.
Go ahead, stranger, ride him, but I think you'll get thrown."

"I'll just call your bluff on that little red roan.
Here's one cowboy left he never has thrown.
Stick on that saddle, I ain't got much time,
I've heard how that cayuse could really unwind."

He swung to the saddle with the greatest of ease.
Old Strawberry seemed just to float in the breeze,
And under his belly we saw the blue sky.
We yelled at the stranger a parting good-bye.

Then we saw a sight that surely read fate
As Strawberry went over the old corral gate.
A flash of a hand and out come a gun,
While on the corral the pair of them hung.

We rushed to the rider, his right foot held tight.
Old Strawberry lay there, a pitiful sight.
"Say, fellers, no hurry, I stopped him with lead."
One look at that roan and we knew he was dead.

Soon all the ranch hands were gathered around,
It seems all were shocked as we gazed at the ground.
"I'm really sorry, boys," said a voice very low,
"Was me or that cayuse, and one had to go."

We uncinched the saddle and called it a day,
Old Strawberry Roan has gone on his way.
That evening at sunset we laid him to rest
At the head of his grave we all signed this request:

"Poor old Strawberry Roan,
All the names signed below he has thrown.
His saddle hangs here, please leave it alone.
This marks the fate of old Strawberry Roan."


Source: The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook, Glenn Ohrlin, University of Illinois Press, 1973
JRO


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Subject: ADD: The Castration of the Strawberry Roan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 11:24 PM

THE CASTRATION OF THE STRAWBERRY ROAN
Original Title: The Emasculation of the Strawberry Roan

Text A (Baxter Black version)

I was layin' round town in a house of ill fame,
Laid up with a rough, tough hustlin' dame,
When a hop-headed pimp with his nose full of coke
Beat me outta that woman and left me stone broke.

When up steps a feller and he says, "Say, my lad,
You any damn good ridin' horses that's bad?"
I says, "You damn right! That's one thing I can do,
I'm a second-rate pimp, but a good buckaroo.

"Bring on your bad horses `cause I never saw one
That had me a guessin' or bothered me none."
He said, "Guess again, there's one horse that I own,
You might have heard of him, the Strawberry Roan."

I says, "I guess we've all heard of that ball bearin' stud,
He's got epizootic, the glanders, and crud,
He's the worst fuckin' outlaw that ever been foaled,
He hadn't been rode, and he's twenty years old."

CHORUS:
Oh! the Strawberry Roan, how many colts has he thrown?
He's got gonorrhea, the cankers, and syph,
He's strictured with clap but his cock is still stiff,
Oh! that renegade Strawberry Roan.

The upshot of it was that I found myself hired
To snap out some colts that that breed stud had sired;
They was knot-headed cayuses just like their dad,
Most of `em roan, and all of `em bad.

From mornin' till night how those bastards did fight,
Till my ass drug my tracks out way before night,
With my balls in my boots and my mouth full of shit,
I's plum tuckered out and all ready to quit.

When up steps the boss and he says, "That's enough,
Them strawberry roan colts is just too damn tough;
I'm plum sick and tired seem' you take them falls,
Rope that man-killin' stud and we'll carve out his balls."
CHORUS:
Oh! the Strawberry Roan, we went out to unbend his bone;
I built a big loop and went in the corral,
Roped his front feet, and he farted and fell,
And we flattened ol' Strawberry Roan.

The boss held his head, and I hog tied his legs,
Got out my jackknife and went for his eggs;
When I carved on his bag, he let out a squall,
And squealed like a pig when I whittled one ball.

But all I could locate was one of his nuts,
The other was hidden somewhere in his guts;
So I rolled up my sleeves and all over blood
I fished for the seed in the guts of that stud.

I thought I had found it, I felt something pass,
But it was only a turd on the way to his ass;
Just then I heard one of them blood-curdlin' squalls,
And I looked and the roan had the boss by the balls.

I tromped on his head, but it wasn't no use,
He was just like a bull dog, he wouldn't turn loose;
So I untied his legs, and he got to his feet,
But the boss's voice changed, and I knew we was beat.

CHORUS:
Oh! the Strawberry Roan, I advise you to leave him alone,
He's a knot-headed cayuse with only one ball,
And the boss he's a eunuch with no balls at all,
Lay off of the Strawberry Roan.


Text B (contributed by Dallas "Nevada Slim" Turner)

No job and no money, I'm shit out of luck,
And I'm stranded in Elko, a drunkard to fuck.
Down at the Commercial I runs into Mitch,
And he sez to me, "Fletch, you old sunuvabitch.

"Well, what ya been doin'? Pard, how have ya been?
It's shore good to see you in these parts again.
Lay off uv that redeye, get rid of that whore,
And I'll take you on at the old Forty-Four."

So I sez, "Mitch, you bastard, ya just made a deal,
I'm busted, I'm hungry, could do with a meal."
We jumps in the buckboard, and we're headed south,
The bull shit is flowin' from Frank Mitchell's mouth.

He sez, "Fletch, I'll tell you, in case ya ain't heard,
I bought a damned outlaw, a frog walkin' turd.
I call him Strawberry, hell, Fletch, he's a roan,
And you'll wish to Christ you had left him alone."

We got to the ranch, and I takes out my gear,
I heads for the bunkhouse, I'm nursin' a beer.
I'm still kind o' wobbly, I still got the shakes;
I shit like a wild cat, my damned belly aches.

I slips off my Levis, my Stetson I doff,
I flops on a bunk and starts sleepin' it off.
I gotta be ready, tomorrow's the day,
I'll ride that Strawberry who's feedin' on hay.

I rolls out at sun up, I've still got the shits,
I fills up on coffee to sharpen my wits.
And then we all saunters down to the corral,
And there stands Strawberry, he's purty as hell.

He lets out a nicker and tosses his head,
There's blood in his eyes and that blood's turnin' red.
I sez, "You damned outlaw, just wait till I'm through,
`Cause I'm gonna kick all the shit out of you."

I takes my reata, I makes me a loop,
Old Strawberry's ready, he lets out a poop.
I walks right up to him, he offers no sass,
But reached down and bit out a piece of my ass.

The hands were all laffin' and doin' a dance,
I'm hurtin' and jumpin' and shittin' my pants.
They throws on my Hamley and I climbs aboard,
And he starts into buckin' like a Model T Ford.

Well, talk about buckin', he lets out a fart,
And it seems to ol' Fletch that the world's come apart.
He goes to sunfishin' and takes to the air,
A-doin' his damndest to leave me up there.

He's buckin' and bawlin' and playin' no pranks,
My Garcia gut-hooks are fuckin' his flanks.
When all of a sudden he lands on all four,
That bastard's as useless as tits on a boar.

He starts his frog walkin', and sure as you're born,
I'm crackin' my balls on that damned saddle horn.
I loses both stirrups, my Stetson, my rein,
And I makes a grab for that shitass's mane.

The corral was all muddy and slicker than glass,
I lands on a rock and I busted my ass.
Old Strawberry's chargin', he's mean, yes sir-ee,
That bastard's a-kickin' the shit out of me.

Now I'm here to tell you that bastard could kick,
I sez, "Motherfucker, I'll slice off your prick."
I takes my old jackknife and I made a stab,
But Strawberry's wiser `cause he made a grab.

I lays in the mud, its the end of the trail,
Old Strawberry turns and he lifts up his tail,
For I was the loser, went down in disgrace,
And now that it's over, he shits in my face.

Text C, "Bumming Around Town"

I was bumming around town, not spending a dime,
So steps in a whorehouse, to have a good time.
Up steps an old bitch, who says I suppose,
That your a good cunt-man, by the cut of your clothes.

I'm a young airman a'building my fame.
Do you happen to have any old whore to tame?
Yes, I am one that you cannot fuck;
At throwing good riders, I've had lots of luck.
So I lays an old ten spot right down on the line,
And she steps in the bedroom and pulls down the blind.

She lay on the bed with a horrible groan
The hair on her ass was strawberry roan;
She commenced her wild movement, and I made my pass,
And landed my donneker right square in her ass.
Now, I'm telling you boys that old gal could step,
And I was an airman a'building my rep.
With a hell of a lunge and a god-awful cry,
She left me a'sitting way up in the sky.

I turned over twice `ere I came back to earth,
And I lay there a'cussing the day of her birth;
Now I'm telling you boys, there's no pilot alive,
That can ride that old bitch when she makes that high dive.

Source: The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (and Other Songs Cowboys sing), Guy Logsdon, University of Illinois Press, 1989

JRO


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: NH Dave
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 12:16 AM

Along the same line, Toby Hughes, of In Country fame, did a song titled "Tchepone" (click), a VN War update, which is in the Database. In this case, a bored fighter pilot gets suckered in to flying a bomb run over Tchepone, which is SUPPOSED to be a quiet peaceful town just north of the DMZ.

Unfortunately the town, small though it was, was thoroughly protected by antiaircraft artillery and rockets of all shapes and descriptions, and he gets pretty thoroughly hosed.

The town's name is pronounced as if the initial "T" were abent, Chee' pone.

DAve


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 10:17 AM

Louie Roy: It's no surprise that Fletcher did not (or was not permitted to) include his bawdy version. In fact, NO bawdy versions of cowboy songs were printed together with parlor versions or in any scholarly book until Logsdon in 1989. To date, there is still no scholarly work on, eg bawdy sailor or logging or railroad songs and you know there must have been many of them, too.

Joe, well posted, good research. I got curious when I first read Logsdon, what all those diseases were. Took a while to look up but I'm glad I did - no particular surprise but they were very well chosen, not just any old diseases:

epizootic = an interspecies STD - equine influenza (distemper)
glanders = a highly contagious, debilitating equine STD; transmittable to & usually fatal in cowboys. Includes pustules & ulcerating lesions.
crud = build-up of filth & crusts
cankers = corroding or gangrenous ulcers, especially at the mouth
strictured = abnormal narrowing of any body passage


(Notice that repeated interspecies reference - why should shepherds have all the fun?)

Plus: cayuse = a wild, scrubby horse &
strawberry roan = red on red coloring
kat, Lomax isn't aware it's Fletcher's on 1916 Cowboy but he does credit him in the 1938 edition. He uses the text direct from I think that and "Night-Hearding Song" are the only songs in the book attributed (rightly or not) to a single author.

And yes, I'm still hoping to see the sheepherding song.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 10:57 AM

Sorry:

kat, Lomax isn't aware it's by Fletcher in the 1916 Cowboy but he does credit him in the 1938 edition. In that one he uses the text direct from Songs of the Sage.

I think this one and "Night-Hearding Song" are the only songs in the book attributed (rightly or not) to a single author.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 11:37 PM

I am looking for an archive of the Globe "Arizona Record" through Northern Arizona Univ. Until the original article is found, the version in Glenn Ohrlin's book as offered by Joe Offer is the "closest to original" we have.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GIRL ON THE STRAWBERRY ROAN
From: John Kidder
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 01:41 AM

Here's one with at least a reference to sheep herding (end of the third verse). This is from Katie Lee's wonderful book "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle", Northland Press, Flagstaff, 1976. Lee says she had this from Billy Simon who got it in the 30s from Tex France ("a kind of radio and Western singer - not a cowboy", and she says that Romy Lowdermilk attributes it to J. Western Warner.

"The Girl on the Strawberry Roan"

Now you have all heard o fthe Strawberry Roan,
Tha famous old bronc and the boys he has thrown.
Let me tell you a tal that will make your head swim
How a blame country girl took that all out of him.
His fame is braadcasted until she got upset,
"I know I can ride him, and straight up, I'll bet."
So she bid farewell to her old folks at home
And lit out to find that old Strawberry Roan.

Oh, that Strawberry Roan, oh, that Strawberry Roan,
I'll find hime, I'll ride him, I'll break his old heart,
I'll pound on his lattice right from the start,
On the ribs of that Strawberry Roan.

Well she found that old horse at a big rodeo,
I'm telling you, boys, it was half of the show.
He came out of the chute buckin' straight up
Making kangaroo jumps, and he wouldn't let up,
Till she crawls on him, and bit hs crop ear,
Right then and there they left this old sphere,
But the girl's settin' pretty and seemed right at home,
As she spurred the full length of the Strawberry Roan.

Oh, that Strawbery Roan, oh, that Strawberry Roan,
He can't jump a lick, he's puddin' to ride,
She is making lace curtains out of his old hide,
The hide of that Strawberry Roan.

Now while he's a buckin', she jumps to the ground,
Then back in the saddle with one single bound,
She's making a monkey of old Roany's hide,
Says she'd like to have him for her kid sis to ride.
She 'lows that her grandma could ride him to town,
Take a settin' of eggs to the old widder Brown,
Now a man that can't ride him should never compete,
But go back to his hiome ranch and start herdin'g sheep.

Oh, that Strawberry Roan, oh, that Strawbery Roan,
There was never a Cowboy that couldn't be throwed,
And never a Bronc that couldn't be rode,
including that Strawbery Roan.

Now this old outlaw is hitched to a cart,
A Chink huckster bought him, and he works right smart,
He peddles onions, and string beans and peas,
Old Roany's plumb gentle, and sprung at the knees,
As he patiently waits at some lady's back door,
You can see on his left hip that old Forty-Four. So cowboys beware before it's too late,
Or like Roany you'll be waitin' at some lady's gate.

Oh, that Strawberry Roan, oh, that Strawberry Roan,
Like salty young cowboys, he roamed far and wide,
But now he's a-waitin' while women decide,
He's a busted old Strawberry Roan.

John Kidder


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 08:47 PM

"The Outlaw Bronco." The Arizona Dept. of Library Archives and Public Records has the Globe Arizona Record for Dec. 16, 1915 and is sending me a copy of the poem by "Curley" Fletcher. Should have it in a few days.


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 06:24 PM

Guest Gene posted a version that is mentioned by John I. White in his book, "Git Along, Little Dogies." It was first published in 1931 by Vincent, Howard and Freeman as sheet music. The "original" poem by "Curley" Fletcher was printed on the inside back cover.


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Subject: ADD: Strawberry Roan - original^^
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:35 PM

Here is the version printed in the Arizona Record, Thursday, December 16, 1915, and reprinted with two corrections in John I. White, "Git Along, Little Dogies," p. 143-145 (with partial sheet music to the tune by Nubbins of the Arizona Wranglers, ca. 1930). The words below are from a photocopy of the newspaper kindly provided by Dena McDuffie, Archivist, Southern Arizona Div., Arizona Historical Society.

THE OUTLAW BRONCHO
(Curley Fletcher)

I was loafin' around just spendin' muh time
Out of a job and I hadn't a dime,
When a feller steps up and sez he "I suppose
That yore uh bronc fighter by the looks o' your clothes."

Well I thought he was right and I told him the same,
Then I asks has he got any bad ones to tame.
He says he has one a bad one tuh buck,
And fur piling good cowboys he has lots uh luck.

Well I gets all excited and asks what he pays,
Tuh ride that old pony a couple uh days.
He offers ten dollars Sez I "I'm yure man,
Fur the bronk never lived that I couldn't fan."

I don't like to brag but I got this tuh say,
That I ain't been throwed fur many a day.
Sez he git yur saddle I'll give yuh a chance,
So I gits in his buckboard and drifts tuh his ranch.

I stays until mornin' and right after chuck,
I steps out tuh see if that outlaw kin buck.
He was down in the hoss corral standing alone,
A snakey eyed outlaw, a strawberry roan.

His legs is all spavined he's got pigeon toes,
Little pig eyes and a long roman nose.
Little pin ears that touched at the tip,
An X. Y. Z. iron stamped on his hip.

Yew necked he is with a long lower jaw.
All the things that you'll see on a wild outlaw.
Well I puts on muh spurs I'm sure feelin' fine,
Turns up muh hat and picks up muh twine.

I dabs that loop on him and well I knows then,
That before he is rode I'll sure eard that ten.
Igets my blinds on him it shore is a fight,
Next comes muh saddle I screws it down tight.

Then I gets on him I sez 'raise the blind,
Move out uv his way and les see him unwind."
Well be bows his old neck and I guess he unwound,
For he ain't spendin' much uv his time on the ground.

He turns his old belly right up to the sun,
He shore is a sunfishing son-of-a-gun.
He goes up toward the east and comes down toward the west,
To stay on his middle I'm doin' my best.

He is the worst bucker I sees on the range,
He could turn on a dime and give you back change.
He hits on all fours and turns up on his side,
I don't see how he keeps from sheddin' his hide.

I tell yuh, no foolin', that caballo can step,
I was still in my saddle, abuildin' some rep.
Away goes muh stirrups and I loses* muh hat,
I'm grabbin' the apple and blind as a bat.
*looses in the newspaper

He shore is frog walkin' he heaves a big sigh,
He only lacks wings fur tuh be on the fly.
An while he's a bucking he squeals like a shoat,
I tell yuh that pony has shore got muh goat.

With a phenominal jump he kicks her in high,
And I'm settin' on nothin' way up in the sky.
And then I descends, I come back tuh earth,
And I lights into cussin' the day of his birth.

Then I knows that the hosses I ain't able tuh ride,
Is some uv them livin', they haven't all died.
And I bets all muh money that no man alive,
Can stay with that bronk when he makes that high dive.
^^


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:02 AM

Ah, at long last! Thank you very much, Dicho!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - Sheepherder version?
From: GUEST,Corrine
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 11:33 AM

thanks alot Joe Offer. I've been looking for the words to the version of Strawberry roan that my late grampa sang. Now I know it was the Fate of Strawberry Roan. And now we in our family now know all the words. thanks alot!!


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - ( & Sheepherder version?)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 01:19 PM

Louie Roy, posted the words to "Strawberry Roan" that Curley Fletcher published in his little book, "Songs of the Sage," 1931

Dicho (I confess, this was an old monicker of mine that I changed because someone was getting my personal information) posted the words as published in Fletcher's earlier version, "The Outlaw Broncho," Arizona Record, Dec. 16, 1915.

The version attributed to Curly (sic) Fletcher in the DT is not by Fletcher.

The version Joe Offer posted is Ohrlin's slightly revised version.

At no time did Fletcher ever use a "refrain."


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - ( & Sheepherder version?)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Apr 14 - 07:07 PM

Thanks, Q, for putting me on to a good thread. So, do we think that Montana Slim wrote the melody, or that he (or someone else) adapted a traditional fiddle tune?

I'm particularly interested in how that tune came to be used by Australian country singer Tex Morton for his version of 'The Wild Rover' in 1941. Would he have been more likely, I wonder, to have heard the tune from the 1933 'Strawberry Roan' movie, or from a Montana Slim recording I have little idea of how far these things spread)? Does anyone have access to Slim's alternative version 'The Booze Hound's Lament', mentioned further up this thread?


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Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan - ( & Sheepherder version?)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 19 Apr 14 - 12:44 AM

Tex Morton was singing hillbilly/cowboy songs in NZ the 1930s so I'm sure he listened to anything he could find. No doubt he saw the movie but it's possible he heard it from another source before that.
Robyn


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