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ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger / Texas Rangers

DigiTrad:
TEXAS RANGERS


Related threads:
Texas Rangers melody origin (29)
Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger (9)
Origins/ADD: Songs about the Texas Rangers (38)
Lyr Req: Texas Rangers - Battle of Walker's C (5)


Allan C. 13 May 98 - 08:00 AM
Dale Rose 13 May 98 - 09:01 AM
Allan C. 13 May 98 - 10:35 AM
Art Thieme 13 May 98 - 11:32 AM
Roger Himler 13 May 98 - 09:50 PM
John Nolan 13 May 98 - 10:06 PM
RonU 14 May 98 - 12:20 AM
Susan of DT 14 May 98 - 04:38 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 16 May 98 - 06:15 PM
aldus 19 May 98 - 12:37 PM
Pablo 05 Mar 99 - 12:51 AM
Barry Finn 05 Mar 99 - 01:06 AM
GUEST,john in Canada 02 Aug 02 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Melani 02 Aug 02 - 03:03 PM
katlaughing 02 Aug 02 - 03:15 PM
MMario 02 Aug 02 - 03:20 PM
Charley Noble 02 Aug 02 - 05:38 PM
Art Thieme 02 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM
Wesley S 02 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM
masato sakurai 02 Aug 02 - 09:59 PM
Art Thieme 03 Aug 02 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Scotus (minus cookie) 06 Oct 06 - 04:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Oct 06 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Scotus (minus cookie) 06 Oct 06 - 09:43 PM
GUEST 01 Aug 07 - 02:10 PM
Joe Offer 16 Feb 08 - 04:04 PM
Joe Offer 16 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Feb 08 - 06:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Feb 08 - 08:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Feb 08 - 10:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Feb 08 - 11:35 PM
Joe Offer 17 Feb 08 - 02:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Feb 08 - 12:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Feb 08 - 04:45 PM
Joe Offer 18 Feb 08 - 12:22 AM
Lighter 18 Mar 21 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,# 18 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM
Joe Offer 20 Mar 21 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Julie Henigan 21 Jun 22 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jun 22 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: Texas Rangers
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 May 98 - 08:00 AM

Last night I opened up what is, thanks to this site and you kind folks, my large tome of lyrics to folksongs. I had been thinking about revisiting "Texas Rangers" to see what I could do with it. I had never really looked at the lyrics as they are shown on the database. I soon came to realize that the first verse is pretty much hacked to pieces. It appears to include, in its second line, a fragment from a completely different song (which I am fairly certain continues with "...rock you on his knee"). I am sure this first verse as shown has little in common with the lines I once heard recorded by Ian and Sylvia but I cannot remember them - it is that age thing rearing its ugly head again. Can someone please fill in the gap?
    TEXAS RANGERS

    Come all ye Texas Rangers wherever you may be,
    He will kiss you and he'll coax you,
    And
    One night the age of fifteen years I joined a royal band,
    We marched from San Antonio unto the Rio Grande.

    Note from Joe Offer (Feb 2008): this was a technical error in the Digital Tradition, and it has been corrected.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Dale Rose
Date: 13 May 98 - 09:01 AM

I just looked at it, too, the error looks to be a computer error of some kind.

The first verse: (Taken from the singing of the Cartwright Brothers on Yazoo 2022, When I Was A Cowboy, Vol.1)

Come all you Texas Rangers, wherever you may be
I'll tell you of some troubles that happened unto me
My name is nothing extra, so that I will not tell
And here's to all you Rangers, I'm sure I wish you well
Twas at the age of 17, I joined a jolly band . . .

Listening further to this version, I noted that it is not quite the same as that in the DT. Of course, it is possible to find any number of variations if you look hard enough, and who is to say that any one version is any more correct than any other. That is part of the folk process.

I did note that the words in the DT were taken from the book Southern Folk Ballads, written by Dr. Bill McNeil of the Ozark Folk Center. Then I checked and found 10 other songs from the same book.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 May 98 - 10:35 AM

Thanks, Dale. Now that I read them, I am sure that those are the words I had locked away in my mind.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 May 98 - 11:32 AM

I just decided to name my next child NOTHING EXTRA THIEME !!!

Thanks for the idea!

Art


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TEXAS RANGERS
From: Roger Himler
Date: 13 May 98 - 09:50 PM

THE TEXAS RANGERS

Come all you Texas Rangers, wherever you may be,
I hope you'll pay attention and listen unto me,
My name is nothing extry, the truth to you I'll tell,
I am a roving Ranger and I'm sure I wish you well.

'Twas at the age of sixteen I joined this jolly band,
We marched from San Antonio unto the Rio Grande,
Our captain, he informed us, perhaps he thought it right,
'Before you reach the station, boys, I'm sure you'll have to fight.'

I saw the Injuns coming, I heard them give a yell,
My feelings at this moment no human tongue can tell,
I saw their glittering lances and their arrows round me flew,
And all my strength it left me and all my courage, too.

We fought full nine hours before the strife was o'er,
The like of dead and wounded I never saw before,
And when the sun was rising and the Indians they had fled,
We loaded up our rifles and counted up our dead.

Now all of us were wounded, our noble captain slain,
The sun was shining sadly across the bloody plain,
Sixteen brave Rangers as ever roamed the West,
Were buried by their comrades with arrows in their breast.

'Twas then I thought of mother, who to me in tears did say,
"To you they are all strangers, with me you'd better stay.'
I thought that she was childish and that she did not know,
My mind was fixed on ranging and I was bound to go.

I have seen the fruits of ramblin', I know its hardships well,
I have crossed the Rocky Mountains, rode down the streets of Hell,
I have been in the great Southwest, where wild Apaches roam,
And I tell you from experience, you'd better stay at home.

From *Folk Songs of North America* by Alan Lomax. He says the song is related to Catnach broadside, *Nancy of Yarmouth*, became current about the time of the Battle of the Alamo, 1835, and spead back north-east and east, so it is now current among folk singers in New England and Southern Mountains.

The story comes from the early experience of the Texas Rangers when they were armed with rifles. The Rangers were *out-gunned* by the Indians who could shoot their arrows multiple times in the period it took the Rangers to reload their single-shot muskets. In 1840, the Rangers became armed with the Colt six-shooter. It evened the odds considerably. The song was sung by both sides in the Civil War.

Roger in Baltimore


    I proofed this and found no mistakes - it appears to be an exact transcription from Lomax. Note that Our Singing Country has an additional verse, which John Nolan posted below.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: John Nolan
Date: 13 May 98 - 10:06 PM

Verse 3.
And when the bugle sounded, our captain gave command
"To arms, to arms," he shouted, "and by your horses stand,"
I saw the smoke ascending, it seemed to reach the sky
And then a thought, it struck me boys, my time had come to die.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: RonU
Date: 14 May 98 - 12:20 AM

Michael Martin Murphy does a fair rendition of this song on his "Cowboy Songs" album.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Susan of DT
Date: 14 May 98 - 04:38 AM

The second line in the McNeil book is:

I'll tell to you a story that happened unto me


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 16 May 98 - 06:15 PM

Ian and Sylvia sang this, to somewhat different lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: aldus
Date: 19 May 98 - 12:37 PM

Seems to me that there is a Canadian version of this about the North West Mounties.. is there ?


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Pablo
Date: 05 Mar 99 - 12:51 AM

any other old songs about Indians (native Americans)or encounters with them? Besides Kaw Liga. Because he was wooden, you know.


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Subject: RE: Texas Rangers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Mar 99 - 01:06 AM

Hi pablo, one that I've sung for ages & have never grown tired of is "Sioux Indians" (it's in the DT). If you enter @Indian into the search box you'll find some in the database. Barry


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Subject: the Texas Rangers
From: GUEST,john in Canada
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 02:42 PM

Come all you Texas Rangers wher ever you may be
I'll tell of some trouble that happened unto me
My name is nothing extra so that I will not tell
But hears to all you rangers I surely wish you well

Was at the age of seventeen I joined the jolly band
We marched from San Antonio Down to the Rio Grand
----------------------------------------------------------
That as far as i remember but I think Ian and Silvia
Did it in one of their early albums.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TEXAS RANGERS (from Ian and Sylvia)
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:03 PM

Here is Ian and Sylvia's version as I remember it:

Come all you Texas Rangers, wherever you may be,
I'll tell you of some troubles that happened unto me;
My name is nothin' extra, so that I will not tell,
And here's to all you Rangers, I'm sure I wish you well.

'Twas at the age of seventeen I joined the jolly band;
We marched from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande.
Our captain he informed us, perhaps he thought it right,
"Before we reach the station, boys, we'll surely have to fight."

And when the bugle sounded, our captain gave command.
"To arms, to arms!" he shouted, "and by your horses stand!"
We saw the smoke ascending, it seemed to reach the sky,
And then the thought it struck me, my time had come to die.

We saw the Indians coming, we heard them give a yell.
My feelings at that moment no human tongue can tell;
I saw their glittering lances, their arrows 'round me flew,
And all my strength had left me, and all my courage too.

We fought for nine hours fully, before the strife was o'er;
The likes of dead and wounded I never saw before.
And when the sun had risen, and the Indians they had fled,
We loaded up our rifles, and counted up our dead.

And all of us were wounded, our noble captain slain;
The sun was shining sadly across that bloody plain.
Sixteen of braver Rangers than ever rode the West
Were buried by their comrades with arrows in their breast.

And now my song has ended; I guess I've sung enough.
The life of any Ranger you see is very tough.
And if you've got a mother that don't want you to roam,
I advise you by experience, you'd better stay at home.


    Melani's memory is very good. Here's my transcription from the Ian & Sylvia recording.
    -Joe Offer-

Texas Rangers (Ian & Sylvia version)

Come all you Texas Rangers, wherever you may be,
I'll tell you of some troubles that happened unto me;
My name is nothin' extra, so that I will not tell,
And here's to all you Rangers, I'm sure I wish you well.

Was at the age of seventeen I joined the jolly band;
We marched from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande.
Our captain he informed us, perhaps he thought it right,
"Before we reach the station, boys, you'll surely have to fight."

And when the bugle sounded, our captain gave command.
"To arms, to arms!" he shouted, "and by your horses stand!"
I saw the smoke ascending, it seemed to reach the sky,
And then the thought it struck me, my time had come to die.

I saw the Indians coming, I heard them give a yell.
My feelings at that moment no human tongue can tell;
I saw their glittering lances, their arrows 'round me flew,
And all my strength had left me, and all my courage too.

We fought for nine hours fully, before the strife was o'er;
The likes of dead and wounded I never saw before.
And when the sun had risen, and the Indians they had fled,
We loaded up our rifles, and counted up our dead.

And all of us were wounded, our noble captain slain;
The sun was shining sadly across that bloody plain.
Sixteen of braver Rangers than ever rode the West
Were buried by their comrades with arrows in their breast.

And now my song has ended; I guess I've sung enough.
The life of any Ranger you see is very tough.
And if you've got a mother that don't want you to roam,
I advise you by experience, you'd better stay at home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:15 PM

And, here it is in the DT: Texas Rangers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: MMario
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:20 PM

Several variants are in the Max Hunter collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:38 PM

Grand! I remember Tex Ritter singing a version of this one on an old "78" back in the 1940's.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM

Art Rosenbaum does the finest version of this song that I have ever heard. Just him and his banjo. An absolutely stunning rendition frailed I think---but it might be picked. It never would've come into my head to do it on a banjo or to do it this way---but it's thoroughly old-timey. I doubt he ever heard any old timer do it this way. Does anyone out there know where Mr. R. got it?? Somehow, I think this was all Art Rosenbaum. It leads off a tape of favorites I put together recently.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM

Theres a good spooky version of it recorded by Peter Rowan and Jerry Douglas on their CD called "Yonder". It's worth checking out.


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Subject: Origins: Texas Rangers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 09:59 PM

Texas Rangers [Laws A 8/Sh 179] (From Folk Music Index)

Rt - Battle of Mill Springs
At - Come All You Southern Soldiers ; Gallant Ranger ; Longstreet's Rangers ; Come All Ye Southern Soldiers
Rm - Tramps and Hawkers ; Peter Emberly/Emerly ; Joseph Looney
Mf - Come All You Coal Miners

1. American Ballads and Songs, Scribners, Sof (1972/1922), p163
2. Native American Balladry, Amer. Folklore Society, Bk (1964), p123
3. Grey, Sara. Sara Grey, Folk Legacy FSI-038, LP (1970), cut#B.02
4. Ian and Sylvia (Ian & Sylvia). Northern Journey, Vanguard VSD 79154, LP (196?), cut# 9
5. Joines, Paul. Ballads and Songs of the Blue Ridge Mountains., Asch AH 3831, LP (1968), cut#A.12 (Roving Ranger)
6. Matthews, Sloan. Cowboy Songs, Ballads and Cattle Calls from Texas, Library of Congress AFS L28, LP (1952), cut#A.05
7. McClintock, Haywire Mac. Hallelujah, I'm A Bum, Rounder 1009, LP (197?), cut# 4
8. New Lost City Ramblers. Old-Time String Band Songbook, Oak, Sof (1964/1976), p134
9. New Lost City Ramblers. New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 2, Folkways FA 2397, LP (1960), cut#A.07
10. Riddle, Almeda. Granny Riddle's Songs and Ballads, Minstrel JS-203, LP (1977), cut#B.01 (Come All Ye Texas Rangers)
11. Riddle, Almeda. Singer and Her Songs. Almeda Riddle's Book of Songs, Louisiana State, Bk (1970), p 14
12. Rosenbaum, Art (Arthur). Five String Banjo, Kicking Mule KM 108, LP (1974), cut# 9
13. Seeger, Mike. Second Annual Farewell Reunion, Mercury SRMI-685, LP (1973), cut# 3
14. Shiflett, Robert. Southern Folk Ballads, Vol. 1. American Originals: A Heritage..., August House, Sof (1987), p. 44
15. Warner, Jeff; and Jeff Davis. Wilder Joy, Flying Fish FF-431, LP (198?), cut# 10


Texas Rangers, The [Laws A8] (From The Traditional Ballad Index)

Texas Rangers, The [Laws A8]

DESCRIPTION: The singer has left family and girlfriend to join a troop that finds itself fighting Indians. Many of the whites are killed; the singer describes the fight and what he left behind.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1874
KEYWORDS: battle Indians(Am.) warning army Civilwar fight violence war mother sister soldier
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
July 21, 1861 - First battle of Bull Run/Manasses fought between the Union army of McDowell and the Confederates under Johnston and Beauregard. (There was a second Bull Run battle a year later, but "Come All Ye Southern Soldiers" probably refers to this one, since it's the soldier's first battle)
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,NW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (42 citations):
Laws A8, "The Texas Rangers" (sample text in NAB, pp. 37-38)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 336-339, "Texas Rangers" (3 texts plus plus mention of 5 more, 1 tune)
Randolph 177, "The Texas Rangers" (3 texts plus 2 fragments, 2 tunes)
Abrahams/Riddle-ASingerAndHerSongs, pp. 14-15, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 150, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 161-163, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #155, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bronner/Eskin-FolksongAlivePart1 34, "Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 130, "Come, All Ye Roving Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 95, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text plus mention of 2 more)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 84, p. 106, "The Texas Rangers" (1 fragment)
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 352-354, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 20, "The Texas Rangers" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Flanders/Ballard/Brown/Barry-NewGreenMountainSongster, pp. 226-228, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text plus 1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 105, "Western Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-HeritageBookOfBallads, pp. 138-139, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
McNeil-SouthernFolkBalladsVol1, pp.44-46, "Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 234, "The Texas Ranger" (2 texts plus mention of 2 more; the "B" text is a Civil War adaption)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 234, "The Textbook Ranger" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 96, pp. 227-228, "The Texas Cowboy" (1 text)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #8, "Longstreet's Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune); #17, "The Texas Rangers" (2 text, tune referenced)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, pp. 191-192, "The Roving Ranger" (1 text)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 73, "The Texas Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 179, "Come all ye Southern Soldiers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thomas-BalladMakingInMountainsOfKentucky, p. 45, (no title) (1 text)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol1, pp. 45-47, "Rebel Soldiers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 245-247, "Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 169, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tinsley-HeWasSinginThisSong, pp. 62-67, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, pp. 134-135, "Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ohrlin-HellBoundTrain 53, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 73, pp. 163-164, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text)
Welsch-NebraskaPioneerLore, pp. 31-32, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 63, "War Song" (1 text)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol2, p. 23, "Texan Rangers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AmericanFolkSongsARegionalEncyclopedia2, pp. 518-519, "Remember the Alamo" (1 text plus a Wehman broadside)
Shay-BarroomBallads/PiousFriendsDrunkenCompanions, pp. 152-153, "Texas Rangers" (1 text)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 161-162, "The Texas Rangers" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 274, "Texas Rangers" (1 text)
Saffel-CowboyPoetry, pp. 180-181, "Texas Rangers" (1 text)
DT 363, TEXRANG*
ADDITIONAL: Julie Henigan, "Ozark Ballads as Song and Story," article in _Missouri Folklore Society Journal_, Volume 27-28 (cover date 2005-2006, but published 2015), pp. 159-185; pp. 166-167, "Texas Rangers" (1 text, as sung by Almeda Riddle)

Roud #480
RECORDINGS:
Cliff Carlisle of WLAP, "T For Texas" (Gennett 7206/Supertone 9651 [as Amos Green], 1930)
Cartwright Brothers, "Texas Ranger" (Victor V-40198, 1930; Bluebird B-5355/Montgomery Ward M-4460/Sunrise S-3436, 1934; rec. 1929; on AuthCowboys, WhenIWas1, StuffDreams2)
Leo Gooley, "The Texas Rangers" (on ONEFowke01)
Paul Joines, "Roving Ranger" (on Persis1)
Sloan Matthews, "The Texas Rangers" (AFS, 1940s; on LC28)
Harry "Mac" McClintock, "The Texas Rangers" (Victor 21487, 1928)
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner, "The Texas Rangers" (Vocalion 5177/Brunswick 168 [as Robert Gardner], 1927)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Texas Rangers" (on NLCR02)
Ernest Stoneman, "The Texas Ranger" (OKeh 45054, 1926); Ernest Stoneman [and Eddie Stoneman], "Texas Ranger" (Vocalion 026320)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Come All Ye Southern Soldiers" (words, structure, plot)
cf. "The Western Rangers" (derivative text)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Texas Soldier
NOTES [1161 words]: Laws lists this as a native American ballad, and in its current form, it certainly is. Belden and others, however, note many similarities to British ballads; it is likely an extensive reworking of some earlier piece. - RBW
Digital Tradition notes, "Probably a rewrite of a Civil War song." Bingo; it's almost word-for-word identical to "Come All Ye Southern Soldiers," with only names, places and enemies changed. - PJS
This particular case is rather a conundrum. Paul Stamler supplies this description of "Come All Ye Southern Soldiers," known primarily from collections by Sharp in the North Carolina mountains: "Singer joins the 'jolly band' to fight for the South; their captain warns that before they reach Manassas they'll have to fight. Singer hears the Yankees coming and fears for his life; the battle is bloody and several of his comrades are lost. Singer invokes mothers, sisters, and sweethearts, and warns prospective soldiers that 'I'll tell you by experience you'd better stay at home.'"
That this is recensionally different from "Texas Rangers" is clear; I would normally agree with Paul in splitting the two. Laws, however, explicitly lumps them, and throws in Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida's "Longstreet's Rangers" (another song I would split if it were just me) and of course Roud lumps them also. Given how rare "Southern Soldiers" and "Longstreet's Rangers" are, I decided to do the same, although I would explicitly note that these texts are deliberate rewrites (Morris, for instance, splits "Longstreet's Rangers" from his two "Texas Rangers" versions).
To add to the fun, Welsch-NebraskaPioneerLore, p. 31, says of this that it is "Said to be the first important ballad of the Far West, 'Texas Rangers' became current about the time of the Battle of the Alamo (March 6, 1836) and made a great impression upon the whole country." But that's based on a Lomax story, so its reliability is dubious.
The "Longstreet's Rangers" version is especially interesting. It is clearly another Civil War version; not only does it mention "Longstreet" (Lt. General James Longstreet, Robert E. Lee's second-in-command for most of the time Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia), but it also says that the troops marched "from the Rappahannock Unto the Rapidan." This clearly places the song in the Civil War, probably in the period from late 1862 (Battle of Fredericksburg, when Ambrose Burnside failed to cross the Rappahannock) to early 1864 (Battle of the Wilderness, when Lee was finally forced from the Rapidan/Rappahannock region). Both the Battle of Chancellorsville and the Battle of the Wilderness were fought between the Rapidan and the Rappahannock, and there were countless raids in the region as well.
But there are a number of problems with this text (which Morris says originated in Ohio). One is the mention of "Longstreet's Rangers" itself. "Rangers," in a Civil War context, surely means cavalry (very possibly irregular cavalry), and James Longstreet served entirely with infantry, from the time he commanded a brigade at First Bull Run to the time he surrendered his corps at Appomattox. Nor did he raise a unit of rangers; he went directly from being a Union paymaster to being a Confederate Brigadier (Boatner, p. 490).
So what unit might be meant? The first thing that came to my mind was "Mosby's Rangers." It scans like, and has the same vowels as, "Longstreet's Rangers" -- and "Mosby's Rangers" were a real unit, which fought on the Virginia front; John S. Mosby, a former lawyer, organized a group of partisans who came together to raid, then vanished back to their home (HTIECivilWar, p. 514). They were so effective that a part of Virginia came to be called "Mosby's Confederacy" (Boatner, p. 571), and fought off repeated attempts to destroy them -- they fought so well that Grant authorized the use of terror tactics to suppress them (HTIECivilWar, p. 514), but it didn't work. (It is ironic to note that Mosby and Grant later became friends, and Mosby supported Grant for President). Fans of Mosby have claimed that he prolonged the war by months by siphoning off so many troops who would otherwise have been able to attack Lee (Boatner, p. 571).
The problem with the Mosby hypothesis is that Mosby operated mostly in the Loudoun Valley area (Boatner, p. 571), far from the Rappahannock front; it's actually north and west of Washington, D.C., in the area around Leesburg. His command was not organized until January 1863, and although it had some part in the Gettysburg campaign, it was not involved in the later stages (DAB, volume VII, p. 272; entry on John Singleton Mosby); its activities in that year are not a good fit for the battle in the song.
Another possibility is that the troops were called "Longstreet's Rangers" because, although they were infantry, there were actual Texas troops fighting in Longstreet's corps. Possibly the best single unit in Lee's army was the so-called "Texas Brigade," whose most famous commander was John Bell Hood. (McPherson, pp. 118-119, tells how Hood's division, "perhaps the hardest fighting outfit in the Army of Northern Virginia," was forced to halt their first decent meal in three days to save the day at Antietam. Save the day they did -- and were almost destroyed in the process; the First Texas is thought to have taken 80% casualties in the fight). The Texans also came close to winning the Battle of Gettysburg on the second day, and they were at the heart of Longstreet's great breakthrough at Chickamauga. And they were part of Longstreet's Corps from the day that unit was created. So it would be reasonable to call this brigade "Longstreet's Texas Rangers" -- but I've never heard that title used.
Finally, John D. Imboden's cavalry brigade was composed mostly of rangers -- one of its regiments was, in fact, the Virginia Partisan Rangers, Imboden's own organization (Sears, p. 57). Unlike Mosby's rangers, it did go into Pennsylvania -- but it didn't fight much, and it's hard to see how "Imboden" could have been turned into "Longstreet." If this is in fact the unit involved, it might make more sense to refer to its action during Jubal A. Early's 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign (Boatner, p. 423).
None of these fits very well with the description of the battle in the song, which is said to have lasted nine hours. Cavalry fights tend to be short. The one major exception was the Battle of Brandy Station (June 9, 1863), fought at a time when the Confederate army was starting the move north that would end at the Battle of Gettysburg. Some units were in action for close to twelve hours; the battle itself lasted for sixteen (Sears, p. 72)
To sum up, we have no good fit for the unit of this song. Mosby's Rangers, Imboden's rangers, and the Texans weren't at Brandy Station; no partisan battle lasted nine hours; and the Texans weren't cavalry. But they all might have contributed parts. Which is just what one would expect from an adaption of an older song. - RBW
Bibliography
  • Boatner: Mark M. Boatner III, The Civil War Dictionary, 1959 (there are many editions of this very popular work; mine is a Knopf hardcover)
  • DAB: Dumas Malone, editor, Dictionary of American Biography, originally published in 20 volumes plus later supplementary volumes; I use the 1961 Charles Scribner's Sons edition with minor corrections which combined the original 20 volumes into 10
  • HTIECivilWar: Patricia L. Faust, editor, Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War, Harper & Row, 1986 (I use the 1991 Harper Collins edition)
  • McPherson: James M. McPherson, The Battle Cry of Freedom (The Oxford History of the United States: The Civil War Era), Oxford, 1988
  • Sears: Stephen W. Sears, Gettysburg, Houghton Mifflin, 2003
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 07:09 AM

Masato---Just amazing--once again.

Art


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Texas Rangers (from Ian & Sylvia)
From: GUEST,Scotus (minus cookie)
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 04:13 PM

I believe that Jean Ritchie taught 'The Texas Rangers' to a Scottish traditional singer (Jane Turrif?) in the 1950s and she, thinking the Indians were in India, assumed the Rangers were a British outfit and added an extra verse admonishing them to beware of tigers!

Jack


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Texas Rangers (from Ian & Sylvia)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 04:20 PM

Scotus, (Jack), that would be an interesting version to see!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Texas Rangers (from Ian & Sylvia)
From: GUEST,Scotus (minus cookie)
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 09:43 PM

My information came from that fine American ballad singer Sara Grey.

Jack


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Texas Ranger
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 02:10 PM

Come all ye Texas Rangers, who ever you may be
And I'll tell you all a story that happened unto me
My name is nothing extra so that I will not tell
And here's to all ye Rangers, I'm sure I wish you well

'Twas at the age of seventeen I joined our jolly band
We marched from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande
Our captain, he informed us, perhaps he thought it right
"Before this day is over lads, you'll surely have to fight"

And when the bugle sounded, the captain raised his hand
"To arms, to arms", he shouted, "And by your horses stand"
We saw the smoke ascending, it seemed to reach the sky
And then the thought, it struck me, my time had come to die

I saw the Indians coming, I heard them give a yell
My feelings at that moment, no human tongue could tell
I saw their glittering lances, their arrows 'round me flew
And all my strength had left me then, and all my courage, too

We fought for nine hours fully before the strife was o'er (over)
The like of dead and wounded I never saw before
And when the sun had risen and the Indians, they had fled
We loaded up our rifles, and counted up our dead

And all of us were wounded, our noble captain slain
The sun was shining sadly across that bloody plain
Sixteen a brave young ranger as ever rode the west
Were buried by their comrades with arrows in their breast

And now my story's ended, I think I've said enough
The life of any Ranger, you see, is plenty tough
So if you have a mother who don't want you to roam
I advise you - from experience - you'd better stay at home
    Note from Joe Offer (Feb 2008): this is almost the same as Melani's post of the Ian & Sylvia lyrics (above). Note that there are slight but interesting differences in in the first and second verses.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Texas Rangers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 04:04 PM

For the record, here is the version of "Texas Rangers" that currently appears in the Digital Tradition. It appears to be an exact transcription of the lyrics in Volume 1 of McNeil's Southern Folk Ballads. Note that the first verse follows the tune, and then it takes two verses to fit the tune thereafter.

TEXAS RANGERS

Come all ye Texas Rangers wherever you may be,
I'll tell to you a story that happened unto me.
One night the age of fifteen years I joined a royal band,
We marched from San Antonio unto the Rio Grande.

And yet the captain told us,
Perhaps he thought it right,
" Before we reach the station, boys,
I'm sure we'll have to fight"'

We saw the Indians coming,
We heard them give their yell;
My feelings at that moment
No tongue could ever tell.

We saw their glittering lances,
Their arrows round us hailed.
My heart was sink (sic) within me,
My courage almost failed.

I thought of my old mother,
Who in tears to me did say:
"To you they all are strangers,
With me you'd better stay."

I thought her weak and childish,
And that she did not know,
For I was bent on roaming
And I was bound to go.

We fought them full five hours
Before the fight gave o'er.
Three hundred of our soldiers
Lay weltering in their gore.

Three hundred noble rangers
As ever trod the West,
We laid them by their comrades,
Sweet peace to be their rest.

Perhaps you have a mother,
Likewise a sister too,
And maybe so a sweetheart
To weep and mourn for you.

If this should be your condition,
And you are bound to roam,
I advise you from experience
You'd better stay at home.

From Southern Folk Ballads, McNeil
Collected from Robert Shiflett, Virginia, 1962
DT #363
Laws A8
Note: Probably a rewrite of a Civil War song.
@battle
filename[ TEXRANG
TUNE FILE: TEXRANG
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


Click to play (McNeil)


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Subject: ADD Version: Texas Rangers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM

Up above, Roger posted the lyrics from Alan Lomas, The Folk Songs of North America (p. 331), which says it got the song from Our Singing Country (Lomax & Lomax, p. 245). Singing Country has significant differences in the lyrics, and includes a third ('bugle') verse that isn't in Folk Songs of North America:

TEXAS RANGERS

1. Come all you Texas Rangers, wherever you may be,
A story I will tell you which happened unto me.
My name is nothing extry, the truth to you I'll tell,
I am a Texas Ranger, so, ladies, fare you well.

2. It was at the age of sixteen that I joined the jolly band,
We marched from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande.
Our captain he informed us, perhaps he thought it right,
"Before we reach the station, boys, you'll surely have to fight."

3. And when the bugle sounded our captain gave command,
"To arms, to arms," he shouted, "and by your horses stand."
I saw the smoke ascending, it seemed to reach the sky;
The first thought that struck me, my time had come to die.

4. I saw the Indians coming, I heard them give the yell;
My feelings at that moment, no tongue can ever tell.
I saw the glittering lances, their arrows round me flew,
And all my strength it left me, and all my courage too.

5. We fought full nine hours before the strife was o'er,
The like of dead and wounded I never saw before.
And when the sun was rising and the Indians they had fled,
We loaded up our rifles and counted up our dead.

6. And all of us were wounded, our noble captain slain,
And the sun was shining sadly across the bloody plain.
Sixteen as brave Rangers as ever roamed the West
Were buried by their comrades with arrows in their breast.

7. 'Twas then I thought of Mother, who to me in tears did say,
"To you they are all strangers, with me you had better stay."
I thought that she was childish, the best she did not know;
My mind was fixed on ranging, and I was bound to go.

8. Perhaps you have a mother, likewise a sister too,
And maybe so a sweetheart to weep and mourn for you;
If that be your situation, although you'd like to roam,
I'd advise you by experience, you had better stay at home.

9. I have seen the fruits of rambling, I know its hardships well,
I have crossed the Rocky Mountains, rode down the streets of hell,
I have been in the great Southwest where the wild Apaches roam,
And I tell you from experience, you'd better stay at home.


Source: Our Singing Country, John and Alan Lomax, 1941, pp. 245-246

Tune and first stanza from Pauline Farris, Gladys Wilder, Dora Lewis, and Reda West at Liberty, Kentucky, 1937. Singing Country says other verses come from Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs, p. 359 - but I can't find it there. The lyrics (no tune) are in John Lomax Cowboy Songs (1916 edition, pp. 44-46) - no significant differences from Singing Country.


Click to play (Lomax)


    I hope you don't mind that I did some moving around when I consolidated the "Texas Ranger" threads. I kept the "Texas Ranger" song in one thread, and moved all others into the "Songs About the Texas Rangers" thread.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 06:26 PM

THE TEXAS RANGERS

1
Come all ye Texas Rangers,
Wherever you may be,
A story I will tell you
Relating unto me.

2
My name 'tis nothing extra,
I'm sure I will not tell;
I am a Texas Ranger-
I'm sure I wish you well.

3
'Twas at the age of sixteen
I joined the jolly band
And marched from San Antonio
Across the Rio Grande.

4
We saw the Indians coming,
Our captain gave command:
"To arms, to arms! he shouted,
And by your horses stand!"

5
We saw their glittering lances,
The arrows round us hail.
My heart did sink within me,
My courage almost fail.

6
We saw the Indians coming,
We heard them give the yell.
My feelings at that moment
No human tongue could tell.

7
We saw the smoke ascended,
It almost reached the sky;
My feelings at that moment-
My time had come to die.

8
We fought for ten long hours
Before the strife was over.
The like of dead and wounded
I never had seen before.

9
Nine hundred noble rangers
As ever trod the West
Lie buried 'side their comrades
With arrows in their breast.
or
Sweet peace may be their rest.

Version F, received in 1912, from the MS of L. D. Cochrane of Harrison County, [MO], 'May 29, 1880.' Belden says Mr. Cochrane came to Missouri from Ohio. It is stated that the version has 14 verses but only the above are given. The Belden text is confusing; with mention that some verses are the same as those of version E.
"Across the Rio Grande" would place the action in Mexico.

H. M. Belden, ed., 1940, "Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society," pp. 338-339. Musical score same as version E, which will be given in a later post.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 08:38 PM

THE TEXAS RANGERS

1
Come all ye Texas Rangers,
Wherever you may be,
A story I will tell you
Relating unto me.

2
'Twas at the age of sixteen
I joined the jolly band
And marched from San Antonio
Across the Rio Grande.

3
Our captain he informed us,
Perhaps he thought 'twas right,
"Before you reach the station,
See, boys, you'll have to fight."

4
I saw the Indians coming,
I heard them give their yell;
My feelings at that moment
No human tongue can tell.

5
I saw the smoke ascending,
The bullets round me hailed.
My heart it sank within me,
My courage almost failed.

6
When some as noble Rangers
As ever trod the West
Fell mangled with their comrades,
Sweet peace may be their rest!

7
I thought of my old mother;
In tears she said to me:
"Come all ye Texas Rangers
And stay at home with me."

8
I thought her old and childish,
The best she did not know;
My mind was bent on roaming
And I was forced to go.

9
Perhaps you have a mother,
Likewise a sister too,
And also a loving sweetheart
To weep and mourn for you.

10
If this be your condition,
Although you're bound to roam,
I tell you from experience
You'd better stay at home.

Version E, with music. "Given to me in 1912 by Miss Arretta Watts," [MO], "as sung by her father, who came to Missouri when a young man from Virginia." pp. 337-338, Belden, ref. above.

A version A, not printed, was "From a manuscript lent to me in 1904 by Harry Fore, compiled in Gentry County in the seventies of the last century. Ten stanzas."

THE TEXAS RANGER

1
About the age of sixteen
I joined a jolly band
And marched through Western Texas
Unto the Rio Grande.

2
Our captain he informed us,
Perhaps he thought it right:
"Before we reach the station,
Brave boys, we'll have to fight."

3
I saw the Indians coming,
I heard them give a yell.
My feelings at that moment
No human tongue can tell.

4
Our bugle it was sounded,
Our captain gave command.
"To arms, to arms!" he shouted,
"And by your horses stand."

5.
I saw the dust arising;
It seemed to touch the sky.
My feelings at that moment:
"Oh, now's my time to die."

6
I saw the glitering sabers,
The arrows round us flew,
And all my strength it left me
And all my courage too.

7
We fought them full nine hours;
And when the strife was o'er
The like of dead and wounded
I never saw before.

8
And two as good old captains
As ever ranged the West
Were lying side by side
With arrows in their breasts.

Version D, p. 337, "Reported by C. H. Williams from Bollinger County in 1906 as sung by a country boy there about fifteen years before."
Belden, ref. above.

Taking these versions together, it seems likely that all came from the same printed source, and were varied by the singers. They are badly garbled history.

"...marched through Western Texas Unto the Rio Grande" may seem more likely than "...marching from San Antonio across the Rio Grande, however, the rangers were in skirmishes with a combined force of Mexican soldiers and Commanche warriors more than once. This would explain references to "glittering sabers" and "glittering lances." as well as to "arrows."

"...150 rangers under Capt. John Coffee "Jack" Hays figured prominently in helping the Mexican invasions of 1842 and in successfully protecting Texans against Indian attacks over the next three years." In the Mexican War, the Rangers, under Hays and Samuel Walker, figured prominently, notably at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and provided helpful information and support to American forces at Buena Vista. Hays first encounter with Mexican Forces was at Laredo, when his group engaged Mexican cavalry (1836). Capt. Hays (later major) engaged Comanche and Mexican forces in 1846, aided by Mexican and Indian volunteers. These fights took place at Plum Creek, Bandera Pass, Painted Rock and other localities.
A notable encounter was at Salado, where his rangers fought Mexican soldiers under Adrian Woll (Woll, born in France, spent most of his life in Mexico and was quartermaster general for Santa Anna during the invasion of Texas. Later, he was with the group that offered the crown of Mexico to Maxmillian. He returned to France after the failure of the Habsburg takeover and died there in 1875). See Texas Handbook.

The poem may refer to this period, or to later events in 1858-1859 when, under Captain John S. "Rip" Ford, they fought the Comanches and against Juan Cortina, the "Red robber of the Rio Grande," but in the latter case "not too successfully."

The Handbook of Texas- http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/met4.html


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 10:42 PM

Addition to version in "Our Singing Country," posted above by Joe. NOTE: There are some minor differences in the lyrics- 'ladies' in the first verse are replaced by an audience of rangers, and an additional verse at the end.

1
Come, all you Texas rangers, wherever you may be,
I'll tell you of some troubles that happened unto me.
My name is nothing extra, so it I will not tell,-
And here's to all you rangers, I am sure I wish you well.

2-9 No changes.

10
And now my song is ended; I guess I have sung enough;
The life of a ranger I am sure is very tough.
And here's to all you ladies, I am sure I wish you well,
I am bound to go a-ranging, so ladies, fare you well.

other verses the same as those posted by Joe. John A. Lomax, 1925, "Cowboy Songs," pp. 44-46. No notes, no score. I do not know if this was in the original 1910 edition or added in the revision of 1916.

In 1938, Lomax and Lomax printed the song in 11 verses, in "Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads," pp. 359-361, with musical score taken from Shoemaker, "Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania," p. 91, "Cf. "The Ex-Ranger's Song" (not seen). There are some minor differences in the lyrics and the musical score is slightly different-

TEXAS RANGERS

1
Come all you Texas rangers, wherever you may be,
I'll tell you of some troubles that happened unto me.
My name is nothing extra, so it I will not tell-
And here's to all you rangers, I'm sure I wish you well.

2-9
Same as posted by Joe.

10
I am a harmless ranger, as I have said before,
My mother and my sister are on this earth no more;
The reason why I ramble, now you can plainly see,
I have no wife or sweetheart to weep and mourn for me.

11
And now my song is ended; I guess I have sung enough;
The life of a ranger I am sure is very tough.
And here's to all you ladies, I am sure I wish you well,
I am bound to go a-ranging; so, ladies, far you well.

The extra verses about rambling weaken the song.
_____________________________
Speculation- Song not originally from Texas? No early collections seem to be from there. Further checking necessary.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 11:35 PM

Charlie Russell, in his story "Longrope's Last Guard," on night guard, let the cattle know where he was by singing "Texas Rangers." In Glenn Ohrlin, "The Hell-Bound Train," p. 129. The song was a favorite with cowboys. Russell commented that the song was a long one and few cowboys knew all the verses.
Ohrlin gives a version, with score, pp. 130-131.

Austin and Alta Fife, 1970, "Ballads of the Great West," comment that there are scores of versions, and quote one from Halpert, "New York Folksong Collection." It dwells more strongly than most on thoughts of mother, a sweetheart, and dead parents "on the golden shore," than most. "Five hundred rangers" are killed in this version.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 02:56 AM

I added MIDI files for the McNeil and Lomax (North America) versions, I have to say that neither one sounds like the song I know - I sing the Ian & Sylvia version. Where'd it come from?


Click to play (McNeil)



Click to play (Lomax)


Click to play (Ohrlin)


Click to play (Almeda Riddle)



The version I know is this one at Max Hunter. I can't transcribe notation by ear, and can't find a printed copy of this tune.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 12:15 PM

Joe, the tune at Max Hunter is very much the tune used by Glenn Ohrlin. See "The Hell-Bound Train," no. 53, pp. 129-131.
If you don't have this book, I will email the score.

"The song is still in tradition in our section of the Arkansas Ozarks, being sung by Mrs. Ollie Gilbert, Raymond Sanders, myself, and others." Ohrlin.

Moreover, the words used by Tom Aley are very much the words used by Ohrlin (e. g. both have "My name is nothin' extry..." and it is sung the same way, with the high notes on 'extry'." Ohrlin and Aley are both Arkansawyers, and Ohrlin says many of the old cowboy songs are preserved there.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 04:45 PM

Sara Jo Fendley and Mary Susan Hensley sing nicely, Wolf Collection:
Texas Rangers

The Indians become yankees ("We saw the Yankees coming,").
______________________________________

Almeda Riddle gives lyrics for her version, with score, in R. D. Abrahams, ed., 1970, "A Singer and Her Songs, Almeda Riddle's Book of Ballads," pp. 13-15, Louisiana State Univ. Press. Also close to the Aley version. She sticks with 'Indians.'


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 12:22 AM

Here's the tune from Glenn Ohrlin's The Hell-Bound Train. Doesn't sound like the Ian & Sylvia tune to me.

Click to play (Ohrlin)


Lyrics from Ohrlin aren't much different from what's posted above.
Q keeps telling me I haven't got the right tune, but I'm transcribing exactly what I see in the songbooks. I think if I left out the ornamentation from the Ohrlin tune, it would sound pretty much like the Ian & Sylvia version. Q says the Almeda Riddle version (from A Singer and Her Songs) is going to soung like Ian & Sylvia, but I don't think so.

Click to play (Almeda Riddle)



-Joe-


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 21 - 11:40 AM

Union (Saint George, Utah), April 16, 1896:

                           THE TEXAS RANGER

Come all you Texas Rangers
Wherever you may be,
Come on you jolly rovers
And listen unto me.
My name is nothing extra,
The truth to you I'll tell,
For I'm a Texas ranger,
And I wish you all as well.
I was at the age of sixteen,
I joined this jolly band
We marched from San Antonia [sic]
All down the Rio Grande.
Our captain he informed us -
Perhaps he thought 'twas right -
"Before we reach the station,
Brave boys, you'll have to fight."

We saw the Indians coming,
We heard them give a yell.
My feelings at that moment
No human tongue can tell,
I thought of my dear mother,
Whose tears to me did say,
"My boy, they all are strangers,
At home you'd better stay."
But she being old and childish,
I thought she didn't know
What it was to be a ranger,
So a ranger I did go.
We saw the dust arising,
It nearly reached the sky -
My feeling at that moment,
Is now my time to die?

Our bugle it then sounded,
Our captain gave command
"To arms! To arms!" he shouted,
And by your horses stand!"
We fought for full nine hours
Before the strife gave o'er,
So many dead and wounded,
I'd never seen before.
Five hundred noble rangers,
As ever trod the west,
Lay dying in the evening,
With arrows in their breast.
Perhaps you have a mother -
Likewise a sister too -
Perhaps you have a sweetheart
To weep and mourn for you;
Be this be your situation,
Although you expect to roam,
I have taught you by experience,
You'd better stay at home.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM

https://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=695

More versions at that link.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Mar 21 - 10:12 PM

# led me to a rather nice page on two versions of "Texas Rangers."

https://www.bethsnotesplus.com/2015/11/texas-rangers.html


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Subject: ADD: Come All You Recluse Spiders (Julie Henigan)
From: GUEST,Julie Henigan
Date: 21 Jun 22 - 04:07 PM

The following is a parody of "Texas Rangers," which I came up with because of the convergence of two otherwise unrelated circumstances: to wit, the failing fortunes of the Texas Rangers baseball team in the 2011 World Series and my discovery and annihilation of a brown recluse spider which I found in the basement around that time. I remember thinking about how late in the year it was to find one, as they used to hibernate by September. After I smashed it, however, I began to think about what life might be like from the spiders' perspectives and this song was the result of my empathetic imaginings.

COME ALL YOU RECLUSE SPIDERS
(words, Julie Henigan, copyright 2011; tune, traditional)

Come all you recluse spiders, wherever you may be,
That dwell in barns and basements, and in attics make so free,
If humans dwell amongst you, your lives they’ll seek to take,
And hire exterminators, which will make your hearts to ache.

Perhaps you may have spiderlings, perhaps you may have none;
Your mates you may have eaten before their time has come.
But if you have survived this long, you’ll surely rue the day
When those cruel men from Orkin your basement come to spray.

For they’ll come with sprays and poisons and toxins of the best,
They’ll spray you when you’re hunting and when you are at rest;
If you are hit directly, you’ll die as in a trance,
But otherwise you’ll end your days in a neural-toxic dance.

But worse by far than poison are the glue traps that you find,
For once you’ve trod upon them, boys, you cannot change your mind.
Instead of dying swiftly as nature might intend,
With thirst and with starvation you’ll meet a grisly end.

Perhaps I’ll go to Arkansas, where they have woods galore,
Perhaps I’ll go to Texas and roam the desert floor;
But I’m bound to keep a-roving until I find a place
Where none of those bold Orkin men will ever show his face.

And now to end my story and finish up my song,
The life of a recluse spider, boys, is sometimes not too long.
But here’s to all you females, when you don’t prove unkind,
So, farewell, dear old mother, and the mate I leave behind.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: the Texas Ranger / Texas Rangers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jun 22 - 10:46 PM

Thank you, Julie. That's a classic! Can't say I'd recognize a recluse spider if I saw one, but we have plenty of black widow spiders here in the California Sierra Foothills. And snakes, too.


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