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I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?

DigiTrad:
GOODBYE, OLD PAINT
I RIDE AN OLD PAINT


Related threads:
Old Paint: What's a hoolian? (60)
(origins) Origins: I Ride An Old Paint (98)
Hoolian??????? (44)
old paint and goodbye old paint lyrics (3)
Lyr Req: Goodbye Old Paint (6)
Song Title please ?-I Ride an Old Paint (21)
(origins) Help: houlihan? - Old Paint (77)
Lyr Req: Riding Old Paint and Leading Old Ball (22)
Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint) (17)


GUEST,Erwanda 31 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Aug 04 - 11:48 PM
DonMeixner 31 Aug 04 - 11:50 PM
DonMeixner 31 Aug 04 - 11:54 PM
Amos 01 Sep 04 - 12:28 AM
Amos 01 Sep 04 - 12:35 AM
GUEST,VRDPKR 01 Sep 04 - 01:00 AM
DonMeixner 01 Sep 04 - 01:06 AM
Sorcha 01 Sep 04 - 10:07 AM
GUEST 01 Sep 04 - 10:19 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Sep 04 - 11:34 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Sep 04 - 11:40 AM
Sorcha 01 Sep 04 - 03:37 PM
Mary in Kentucky 01 Sep 04 - 08:25 PM
Mary in Kentucky 01 Sep 04 - 08:28 PM
Rapparee 01 Sep 04 - 09:09 PM
DonMeixner 01 Sep 04 - 09:44 PM
katlaughing 01 Sep 04 - 11:42 PM
Acme 02 Sep 04 - 12:26 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Sep 04 - 01:51 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Sep 04 - 01:57 AM
erwanda55 07 Sep 04 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,asdfghjkl 26 Sep 04 - 10:17 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Sep 04 - 12:58 PM
Tannywheeler 26 Sep 04 - 07:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Sep 04 - 07:16 PM
GUEST 12 May 10 - 02:03 PM
GUEST 02 Sep 10 - 11:52 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 11 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Bill 02 Sep 11 - 07:00 PM
katlaughing 02 Sep 11 - 07:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Sep 11 - 07:41 PM
katlaughing 03 Sep 11 - 12:06 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 17 - 10:03 PM
leeneia 14 Oct 17 - 03:26 PM
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Subject: I ride an old paint
From: GUEST,Erwanda
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM

In the song "I ride an old paint" does anyone know what "throw the houlighan" means?      When the song says "the fiery and the snufy are a-rarin' to go" ....any ideas? Great song but hard to explain to kids i'm singing with...thanks


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 11:48 PM

One of my favorites - nice of you to ask.

MANY diverse and edifying discussions exist in the forum upon this thread topic. Seek and ye shall find.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Learn to use the tools girly.....they are there....its time to feed youself.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: DonMeixner
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 11:50 PM

From the ContraCostaTimes


Dear Joan:

In a recently aired program promotion on the Western channel on Comcast, cowboy singer Rex Allen sings a song titled (I believe) "Old Paint." In the lyric, he sings "I'm goin' to Montan' just to throw the houlihan." What the heck is a houlihan? And why does one throw it? I cannot find any reference to this word. Can you?

Allen B., cyberspace

Dear Allen:

Cowboys developed different roping throws to suit conditions, terrain and the animal being roped. The Houlihan -- pronounced "hooley-ann" -- is the name of one such throw, used primarily for catching corralled horses.

When the cowboy throws a Houlihan, he holds the loop in his hand and, instead of swinging it over his head, brings it up across his chest and throws it in one continuous motion. The move is quick and controlled, and generally keeps the horse being roped from getting spooked.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: DonMeixner
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 11:54 PM

This is all from a Cowboy Poetry site that is inhabited by Baxter Black.

Barbara asks:

When we were in Missoula, Montana last month, we had dinner with a couple who lived there. We got to talking about songs about Montana and I sang "I Ride an Ol' Paint" for them. I had learned that song forty years ago in grade school. I seem to remember that the teacher explained what "the fiery and the snuffy" meant, but that explanation didn't sit well with our new Montana friends. I searched all over the internet for a site that might tell me, but the only one I found with footnotes said only that snuffy meant "snuff colored, or reddish-brown." Can you tell me who is right? Our friend from Montana said that fiery and snuffy referred to two different colored dogies and I think I remember my teacher telling me that it referred to the names of two locomotives waiting to take the cattle to market after the roundup. Thanks.


We told Barbara:

In the Songs of the Wild West, with commentary by Alan Axelrod, fron the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1991, the author says "...fiery (another term for paint) and the snuffy (a buff- or snuff-colored horse)..."

A pard weighed in:

Regarding the meaning of "the fiery & snuffy" have always meant (to me) that the ones prone to spooking & snorting (the fiery & the snuff-y) are just LOOKING for an excuse to stampede. Seems
perfectly obvious! And therefore, you would want to "ride around them SLOW."

Hope this helps


Don


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Amos
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 12:28 AM

While a locomotive could be -- with a LOT of stretch of imagination -- thought to be both fiery and snuffy, I am pretty confident the context would not support your teacher's opinion, which I am willing to also bet was unsubstantiated.

I have always tended in my own thoughts toward the notion of them being differently behave dogies, as described above by "a pard" of Don's. But that is also an opinion baed on context.

Wish we had an authoritative answer. Will advise if I find one!


A


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Amos
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 12:35 AM

Webster's online does offer "snuffy" as a synonym for irascible, and likewise includes "fiery" as a synonym for "testy". So the notion that these are bad-tempered dogies, and a possible risk for causing a stampede if you don't keep them calm, is consistent.

A


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: GUEST,VRDPKR
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 01:00 AM

Yep.

This is Charlie Willis's night herding song, according to Jim Bob Tinsley's book "He Was A'Singin' This Song". He worked for the Stadler Bros Ranch in Texas for some twenty years after the Civil War and made about ten trips from the home ranch to Wyoming to stock new ranches there.

He worked as the night hawk, the wrangler, for the crew. His job was to rope out the mounts every morning. Different outfits do this differently, but often it is the job of the wrangler to rope out the horse each cowboy will start the day with. He will "throw the hoolihan" for the outfit.

Also, in the earliest version of this, from Jesse Morris, who learned it from Charlie, collected by Alan Lomax in the '40's, there is a verse that says

Old Paint had a colt
Down on the Rio Grande
The colt couldn't pace
And we called her Cheyenne

Goodbye, Old Paint, we're leaving Cheyenne

Old time cowboys woulldn't try to break a horse until it was five years old or so. They were'nt considered strong enough to bear the weight or do the work. If the herd is bound for Wyoming and Paint has a colt that is weaned but not old enough to make the trip, (can't keep pace) it would be left at the home ranch. Mothers and colts will stay together for years in the wild. The song is about leaving Cheyenne, the colt, at the home ranch while Paint and Charlie go North.

Charlie is talking to Old Paint, who is reluctant to leave.

Least. that's how I explain it.

Verde Picker


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 01:06 AM

More history. Ain't it grand.

Thanks Verde


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 10:07 AM

Somewhere around here there is another long thread about a houlihan...


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 10:19 AM

click


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:34 AM

All of this was made clear, with lyrics and quotes, in thread 4070 (post by Dicho): Help Hoolihan Old Paint

Non-westerners confuse the two terms, "Hooleyann," a roping term as described above, and "Houlihan," which usually means to throw a whing-ding or celebration, or paint the town red.

"Houlihan" in rodeo also meant a now barred bull-dogging practice where the performer leaped forward and alighted on the horns of the steer to knock the steer down without having to twist him with a wrestling hold. See "Western Words" by Ramon F. Adams, 1944, p. 79.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:40 AM

Haven't learned my numbers- 14070! Guest also posted this link.
Hoolihan Old Paint


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:37 PM

I am a Westerner, born and bred. My dad was a working cowboy and I have NEVER heard houlihan to describe a wild drunken party. Hooey, maybe. Only meaning I ever heard was the loop to catch a horse.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 08:25 PM

Erwanda, usually there are relevant threads listed at the top of the page for each song thread. This thread may be too new for that...but I didn't see any on the other page in Guest's clicky. You could search in the search box for info on this song...just type the name of the song into the box.

I love this song. I may have mentioned before that "I Ride an Old Paint" is used in Aaron Copland's Rodeo, Saturday Night Waltz. (Not to be confused with "Goodbye Old Paint" used in Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid.)


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 08:28 PM

Oops, I lied, the links are there now.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 09:09 PM

I've heard the cowfolks around here talk about a "hooley" in terms of a raucous party, but I've only heard them speak of a houlihan as a roping term.

Different sections of the West use different words -- and differrent things, too. Wooly chaps (and that's pronounced "shaps," not "chaps") might be used in Montana but they'll get you laughed at in Tucson. A double barreled saddle rig, also used around here quite a bit, is thought effeminate in other sections.

This can lead to confusion.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 09:44 PM

In my Jules Verne Allen book of Cowboy Lore, copyright 1933 by The Naylor Company describes Hoolihaning as leaping foreward and lighting on the horns of a steer to bring the animal down in a bulldogging event at the rodeo. It further states that it is also not done at any reputable rodeo.

So there is yet another view of the thing.

Don


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:42 PM

I thought that was the only way to bring a steer down in a bulldogging event....guess the rodeos in Wyoming weren't reputable!**BG**

I never heard my dad use either term, but will call him, tomorrow, to see if he's up to a query. He did sing this one, so I reckong he's got some kind of interpretation. Western Colorado had all kinds of its own terms and uses for regular words.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Acme
Date: 02 Sep 04 - 12:26 AM

The discussion of terms reminds me of a song I have that Sam Hinton sings, and before hand he describes the various terms used in the song. A very handy thing to do for future generations. I don't see that tape around here--the song name will come to me once I hit "send."

This thread also reminds me of "The Strawberry Roan." There are some good cowboy terms used in that, as I recall. All I can remember now are the chorus and a few snippits of the words. I'm not going to be happy until I dig out all of these various tapes and compare the songs. (A nice way to end the evening!) I think I have it on a tape by Barre Toelken and he also sings it in Yiddish. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Sep 04 - 01:51 AM

In thread 21644, containing Jules Allen songs, I have added his version of "Good Bye, Old Paint," from his "Cowboy Lore."
Jules Allen

To thread 14070, Help, Houlihan, Old Paint, have been added restatements of the definitions of hooley-ann, houlihan, and hooligan.
Hoolihan Old Paint

Sorcha, if your dad called throwing a loop to catch a horse a "houlihan, perhaps he was just trying to protect you from the true meaning of the word.
Seriously, however, Rapaire (and you) have a point. Much literature deals with the cattle drives from Texas to the railhead, or to Montana and the Canadian border. This was a short-lived phenomenon, apart from the normal ranching practice that grew up in the 1880s and later. Locally, there were considerable diferences in cowboy culture from region to region. Words were misunderstood and mis-used. Cowhands had a common occupation but different subcultures.

Walt Coburn, in his book "Pioneer Cattleman of Montana," about Robert Coburn who came to Montana in the 1870s and had a large ranch in the 1880s, speaks of some of these differences. He says some big Texas outfits trailed herds into Montana and established additional ranches there, including the XIT, 777, IXL and Turkey Track.
The Texans were born and raised in the cattle industry while many of the ranchers and cowhands in Montana had learned the trade by doing. "Some of the cowhands who came up the long trail ...were tough gun hands... They were a different breed of cowhand for the most part, and most of them spoke border Mexican like natives."
They wore a higher-crowned wider-brimmed hat..."with no dents except a crease down the middle...some tucked their pants legs into their boots...wore large-shanked spurs with rowels that chimed like tinkling bells...rode a double-rigged saddle...shorter ropes...shotgun pull-on chaps or batwing chaps...horses in the remuda were a smaller breed.
"Montana cowpunchers rode a larger-boned, longer-legged horse, stout enough to buck winter showdrifts...Morgan or cross between a Percheron stallion and a Hambletonian mare, or the Nez Perce Appaloosa type."
Conditions were quite different in the Arizona-western New Mexico area, and diffeent customs prevailed from either the Texas or Montana practices.

In none of the books I have about the old ranching days have I found terms like houlihan or Hooley-ann being used. The boys went down to the "hole" (the saloon area). A big whing-ding was called a "jamboree" in Coburn's book. In roping, cowhands threw a loop. That's why I suggest that the terms were late, perhaps originating with the Wild West shows (there were many) and the fledgeling rodeos (The Cheyenne get-to-gether started in 1897).

Sorcha, I wonder if the average working cowboy of some 50 years ago or more, such as your dad, were given a copy of Adams' "Western Words," how many terms would he find that he had never heard or had heard with another meaning.   
A great grandfather of mine was driving cattle for the Commissary in the Civil War period and eventually owned ranches later sold to the Maxwell Grant in New Mexico. Another ranched and mined in southern Colorado from 1877 on. In stories told by a grandfather, few of these terms appeared, and when they did, they were Spanish.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Sep 04 - 01:57 AM

Kat, I also wonder what roping terms your dad used. Or did he just "throw a loop" suitable to the purpose.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: erwanda55
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 01:32 PM

Thank you for postings and old posts... I will be much better informed this week!


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint (help?)
From: GUEST,asdfghjkl
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 10:17 AM

hope someone can help me out with this-- i recently rented a copy of the film Lorenzo's Oil and in one scene Susan Sarandon's character's sister plays the guitar while singing this song-- however with an alternate melody (either that or I must be really tone deaf). However I haven't been able to find that particular tune anywhere; does anyone know how many versions of this song exist? thanks


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:58 PM

Singers often vary the tune to suit their voice and their taste. The Fifes noted a similarity in part to "The Waggoneer's Lad," which I have heard used. I have heard some with a good upper range move parts of some couplets up to give variety while others are kept almost to a low monotone.
I just looked at three, Lomax, ABFS, Fife & Fife and Jules Allen. The waltz tempo is the same, but emphasis, and therefore 'feel,' are different. Just looking at three words- In Verne, in the phrase 'my pony won't stand,' po of pony is very low while 'ny' is high and glides into a descending two-note 'won't. In Lomax, 'po' is high and 'ny' drops slightly, to rise again on 'won't.' In Fife, all are middle to low scale.

Not having seen the film, I don't know what tune or tune variance was used. The music arranger may have used a new tune altogether.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 07:08 PM

2-cents worth: I remember being told as a child that the "fiery an' snuffy" referred to branding process and equipment. This is about getting a herd together (roundup) and ready for the trip. Those who told me were not necessarily trailriding cowhands.   Tw


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 07:16 PM

fiery and snuffy has been dealt with before in more that one of these threads (listed at the top). Amos, in this thread, his second post, has the accepted meanings.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:03 PM

What the heck is a houlihan? And why does one throw it? -- It is a loop thrown by the wrangler catching horses out of a corral each morning for all the cowboys. The corral on a cattle drive usually consisted of a single rope to contain the remuda. Each cowboy was not permitted inside to catch their own horse because of the possibility of spooking the rest. The wrangler moved slow and easy and the houlihan was a large loop brought across the chest and over the head of the roper in one sweeping motion. The horses got used to the loop and the person doing the ropeing.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 11:52 PM

I ride an ole paint I lead an old Dan I'm going to Montana to throw the
hoolihan. They (something) in the too lies (?)they water in the draw and Fiery and Snuffy are rear in to go?

This is as close as I can remember the lyrics. Does anyone have the correct words to this song. I'm doing a cowboy musical program and I would like to use this song. I remember the tune but, not the words.
Can anyone help?

(click for lyrics)


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 08:59 PM

The lyrics are:
I ride an old paint and I lead an old dam and I'm gone to Montana for to throw the hoolian, they feed in the coolies they water in the draw their legs are all spavined their backs are all raw.
Chorus:
Ride around little doggies ride around as them a slow cause they're fiery and a snuffy they're rarin to go.
Old Ben Jones had two daughters and a song, one went to Denver the other went wrong, wife got killed in a pool-room fight but he's still a'singin from mornin 'til night
Chorus:
Well he's wild and he's wooly and he's full of fleas and he ain't been curried below the knees, well there ain't a horse that can't a be rode and there ain't a man who can't be throwed.
Chorus


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 07:00 PM

Houlihan is surely a variant of 'hooligan'- a wild riotous time.
Why would he want to go to Montana to throw ropes? When a cowboy gets to the end of the trail, the olnly thing he wants to do is have a good time!


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 07:27 PM

Hi Guest, Bill, if you read the rest of the thread, you will see some answers, plus, if you click the links to related threads (listed up above), you'll find even more.


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 07:41 PM

This has been stomped into the dust, hasn't it?

Houlihan is an Irish stew. Or is that mulligan?


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 12:06 AM

Those hooligans throwing the houlihans were probably trying to rope in some of Mrs. Mulligan's stew!:-)


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 10:03 PM

"Houlighan" refers to the ranch where the singer of the song is employed. If you keep that in mind you'll see that the verse makes sense.

Dave

Idaho


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Subject: RE: I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy?
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Oct 17 - 03:26 PM

All is resolved. Open this document:

https://www.loc.gov/folklife/LP/CowboySongs_opt.pdf

Go to page 3 and read all about it, including what a hoolihan is.

I love this quotation from the author:

As a footnote, Morris in one letter adds:
"Many publishers swiped my song and had it
published, and many old maverick 'Paints'
were running wild and unbranded."


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