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Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy

Related threads:
Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy (Leadbelly) (56)
Lyr/Chords Req: When I Was A Cowboy . . . (19)


Bill Galbraith 24 Mar 98 - 12:16 PM
Ralph Butts 24 Mar 98 - 07:33 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 24 Mar 98 - 07:48 PM
Bill Galbraith 24 Mar 98 - 08:07 PM
25 Mar 98 - 09:51 AM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 98 - 05:24 PM
Les Blank 25 Mar 98 - 05:38 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 25 Mar 98 - 07:43 PM
Richard 25 Mar 98 - 07:51 PM
Will 25 Mar 98 - 09:58 PM
Richard 26 Mar 98 - 10:55 AM
dick greenhaus 26 Mar 98 - 01:36 PM
Sheye 26 Mar 98 - 02:04 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 26 Mar 98 - 07:29 PM
Art Thieme 26 Mar 98 - 10:29 PM
Art Thieme 26 Mar 98 - 10:36 PM
Wolfgang Hell 27 Mar 98 - 05:13 AM
RonU 28 Mar 98 - 12:14 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 28 Mar 98 - 02:05 AM
GUEST,tatankawitco1@yahoo.com 29 Mar 05 - 05:14 PM
Leadfingers 29 Mar 05 - 07:06 PM
RobbieWilson 29 Mar 05 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 29 Mar 05 - 08:30 PM
frogprince 29 Mar 05 - 09:06 PM
John Hardly 29 Mar 05 - 09:18 PM
Tannywheeler 30 Mar 05 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 30 Mar 05 - 06:22 PM
Mudlark 30 Mar 05 - 07:28 PM
folktheatre 27 Jan 06 - 04:20 PM
Rusty Dobro 28 Jan 06 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Paolo 24 Jan 08 - 06:55 PM
open mike 03 Feb 08 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Boney 27 Apr 09 - 01:04 AM
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Subject: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Bill Galbraith
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 12:16 PM

I'm looking for the words to an old Leadbelly song "When I was a Cowboy". This is not the same song as "When I was a Brave Cowboy" which is in the DT database. Anyone able to help?


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 07:33 PM

Bill.......

I've got it on an LP. If the words don't show up in a couple of days, let me know and I'll transcribe it.

Neat song.......Tiger


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN I WAS A COWBOY (from Leadbelly)
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 07:48 PM

This is what I hear on a CD called "Goodnight Irene" on the "Tradition" label. The liner notes attribute it to Leadbelly and J. Lomax.

When I was a cowboy out on the western plains, (2x)
I made a half-a-million puttin' on the bridle an' reins.

REFRAIN: Come a cay, cay, yippee, come a cay, cay, yippee, yippee, yippee, yay.
(2x)

Oh, de hardest battles, were there ever on the western plains, (2x)
When me an' a bunch of cowboys run into Jesse James. REFRAIN

When me an' a bunch of cowboys run into Jesse James, (2x)
The bullets was a-fallin' just like a shower o' rain. REFRAIN

Oh, de hardest battle were there ever on Bunker's Hill, (2x)
When me an' a bunch of cowboys run into Buffalo Bill. REFRAIN

SPOKEN: The boys had it all in for a man in the outskirts of town, and they had made the horses drunk. They had made them 45s drunk, an' the boys was already that they got drunk. An' all around that man's house them horses was a-walkin' and those 45s was a-talkin'. An' they sent their best regards to that man, an' here is what they said.

(SING AGAIN)
If your house catches afire, an' there ain't no water 'round, (2x)
Throw your jerry out the window; let the doggone shack burn down. REFRAIN

Come all you cowboys, don't ya wanna go, (2x)
To meet the Lone Ranger, an a range of Buffalo. REFRAIN

Murray


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Bill Galbraith
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 08:07 PM

Thanks so much for the lyrics. It really is an amazing song. First heard it the other night at a sing. I'll look for the CD also. If anyone knows of any other recordings, I'd appreciate knowing what they are.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From:
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 09:51 AM

I think the lyrics should read: I made a half a million, just pulling on the bridle reins.

and later, "throw your jelly out the window..."

At least, I've always heard them that way. Happy Traum did a nice version of the song as well...

http://www.camasnet.com/~asondahl


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 05:24 PM

You'll find another thread on this song here.
-Joe Offer-

Coma-cow-cow, coma-cow-cow, yicky-yicky-yea (that's how it's written in the book, I swear....)


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Les Blank
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 05:38 PM

Another nifty version is on the Vanguard CD,"Play One More" by Ian and Sylvia.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 07:43 PM

Thanks for the corrections.

Neither "jelly" nor "jerry" seem to fit in. I remember reading a book about early blues songs which quotes just the stanza "When your house catches a'fire" and they say "throw your trunk out the window". The book doesn't mention "When I was a Cowboy" so this stanza must be a separate entity that Leadbelly incorporated.

Bill, that CD is not American. "Tradition" might be the Australian label. The jewel case also has the names "Festival Records" and "RYKO" on it. It has the best version of Irene that I have ever heard him do.

Murray


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Richard
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 07:51 PM

It is also on a recording by Harry Jackson, Folkways, I believe. And there is a version by Cisco Houston and Woody Guthrie. Somewhere I read that Leadbelly spent a few months as a cowboy in his early days.

Richard.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Will
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 09:58 PM

"Festival Records" might be the Vancouver Folk Music Society label.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Richard
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 10:55 AM

It is. http://www.festival.bc.ca email fdi@festival.bc.ca 1-800-633-8282

Richard


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 01:36 PM

Murray- "Jelly", at least in Leadbelly's milieu, was a term referring to sexuality (must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that; jelly roll etc.) If throwing important things out of a burning house is what's referred to, jelly works fine.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Sheye
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 02:04 PM

latest joke of the day from the internet:

A fully-decked cowboy walks into the bar and takes a stool. A woman saddles up beside him and asks: "Are you a real cowboy?"

"Well," he says, "I ride horses, wrangle cattle, take care of the herds. I guess I'm a real cowboy. How 'bout you?"

"I'm a lesbian." She replies.

What's a lesbian? asks the cowboy.

She answers, "I'll put it to you this way: I think of women all day long. I admire their beauty and want to be with them and they are always on my mind."

Sometime later an elderly couple approach the cowboy, "Are you a real cowboy?"

He thinks for a moment and answers, "I used to think I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian."

old joke, but cute


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 07:29 PM

I thought of the sexual connotatioins Dick (always do :) I even thought it meant his wife/partner. I suppose it could mean himself, the "jelly" being his most important part, like "get your ass over here!" or something like that.

Murray


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 10:29 PM

JELLY=jelly roll=Toss your "LADY" out the window and let "everything else" burn down!

Listen to "Jelly Jelly" by Josh White. "It's jelly, jelly, jelly, Jelly stays on my mind, Jelly roll killed my daddy, Drove my mama stone blind."/

Josh's JELLY is venereal disease=nookie=the downside of sex. Another paradox! AIDS teaches a similar lesson.

And there's always JELLYROLL MORTON.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 10:36 PM

WHOOPS, I forgot!

On LEADBELLY'S LAST SESSIONS---Huddie tells Fred Ramsay he wrote the song to make fun of GENE AUTRY. ie. "made a half a million dollars just pullin" on the bridle reins"

Art


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 27 Mar 98 - 05:13 AM

I have a faint recollection that Hamish Imlach sung this song on his record "Sporting life". The title he gave to this song was "Western cowboy".

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: RonU
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 12:14 AM

Sorry, but I just gotta do this:

Doc to cowboy: Good news-bad news. Cowboy:Bad news ? Doc: Gotta cut both your legs off Cowboy: Good news ? Doc: There's another cowboy in the lobby wants to buy your boots.


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Subject: RE: When I Was a Cowboy
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 02:05 AM

Art, I always thought Leadbelly had his toung in his cheek when he sang that. I have the last sessions and I don't remember that part. On my recording the voices are much softer than the music, and I might have missed it.

There is also Woody Guthrie's "Buffalo Skinners" that has a similarity to this song, but I guess it is a generic cowboy song and there are lots of things similar.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: GUEST,tatankawitco1@yahoo.com
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:14 PM

Shannon Lawson does a great version of this tune, you can find it on his CD "the acoustic livingroom session". His website is http://wwww.shannonlawson.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 07:06 PM

Just to put my Two pennorth in , Ralph mcTell wrote a song with the same title , And NO I am not going to run a comparison !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:27 PM

Rory Gallagher did an ace version of this with some amazing acoustic guitar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:30 PM

...and this good song will be on one of my two almost-ready-for-release (I think) new CDs on Folk Legacy Records.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:06 PM

Pu-leese let us know when they're available, Art!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:18 PM

Terrific version of this song on "Away Out On The Mountain" by Tim and Mollie O'Brien. (you can hear sound sample on amazon)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 06:11 PM

Hi, guys.
When I listen to the Leadbelly recording I've heard of this song, I hear the chorus as:
"Come a keye-keye yickee
Come a keye-keye yickee-yickee yay"

I don't hear it as "yippee". Am I unbalanced? Weird?       Tw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 06:22 PM

"Yicky" is what I hear quite clearly as Lead Belly sings it. And that's how it's usually written.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Mudlark
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 07:28 PM

Yicky it is and Yicky I sing it. Great song. I love Leadbelly!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: folktheatre
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 04:20 PM

Hi. I've tried my best to translate some of the lyrics but they just don't make sense. I did the same with Alberta once and that just turned into jibberish. Someone's gotta have the 'real' lyrics in a book somewhere. It's such a great song and I'd love to do it this away.

Here you are (slips away quietly...)...

WHEN I WAS A COWBOY


Come along all you cowboys,
Don't you wanna go,
And meet the lone ranger ridin on the range of buffalo.
I am the baddest? cowboy that ever met cattle. ??????

woo-oo-oo

Many years I rambled,
Drinkin liquor I stambled????,
Then one day I thought I'd share with him.

I met you good lookin lady,
Said: Don't you wanna be my baby,
I thought I'd build me a cottage in my ol' home town.

woo-oo-yeah

Went up to my good house,
She was sitting there alone,
I am a .... poor cowboy and a very long way from home.

When I leave my good house,
she was a rocking in the rocking chair,
she said when you leave the house will you leave a dime for beer?

Woo-oo-oo

Come along you cowboys,
Better come along and go,
To meet your lone ranger ridin' on the range of buffalo.

Well heard her softly calling,
When the morning sun is low,
Then the cowboy gets up in the morning holler yipee yipee kay aye yo.

Yippee-yay-eye


ahem.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 12:10 PM

So I take it that the verse I include:

'Oh, de hardest battles, were ever on the western prairie' x2
'When me an' a bunch of cowboys run into Julian Clary'

might not be authentic, then?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: GUEST,Paolo
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:55 PM

When I was a cowboy. There's one on a Happy Traum album. It should be American Stranger. There's anothe one on Ralph Albert and Sidney by Ralph Mc Tell (no links each other) which chords I still try to find (Mc Tell is too difficult form me).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: open mike
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 07:52 PM

interesting that Leadbelly
could capture this cowboy experience. Huddie Ledbetter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I Was a Cowboy
From: GUEST,Boney
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 01:04 AM

Another version that I know is by Chris Wilson (Australian). It is on his "Spiderman" album.


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