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Lyr Add: The Camp-fire Has Gone Out

14 Aug 14 - 11:05 PM (#3651111)
Subject: Lyr Add: The Camp-fire Has Gone Out
From: Rex

I was thanking our friend Q for pointing out some of the great material in Jack Thorp's second (1921) edition of Songs of the Cowboys. He suggested I post some of it myself. So here goes.
Below is exactly how this song appears in the above book. Thorp writes that he first heard it sung in the San Andreas and that the singer might have been 'Gene Rhodes. That would be his friend and author Eugene Manlove Rhodes who had a ranch in the San Andreas as did Thorp at the time. The Camp-fire Has Gone Out tells of a passing of a way of life. How the railroad was driving freight wagon business out of existance.


Author unknown.
First heard this sung in San Andreas Mountains.
I think it was by 'Gene Rhodes.

Through progress of the railroads our occupation's gone;
So we will put ideas into words, our words into a song.
First comes the cowboy; he is pointed for the west;
Of all the pioneers I claim the cowboys are the best;

You will miss him on the round-up; it's gone, his merry shout, —
The cowboy has left the country and the camp-fire has gone out.

There is the freighters, our companions; you've got to leave this land;
Can't drag your loads for nothing through the gumbo and the sand.
The railroads are bound to beat you when you do your level best;
So give it up to the grangers and strike out for the west.

Bid them all adieu and give the merry shout, —
The cowboy has left the country and the camp-fire has gone out.

When I think of those good old days, my eyes with tears do fill;
When I think of the tin can by the fire and the coyote on the hill.
I'll tell you, boys, in those days old-timers stood a show, —
Our pockets full of money, not a sorrow did we know.

But things have changed now; we are poorly clothed and fed.
Our wagons are all broken and our ponies 'most all dead.
Soon we will leave this country; you'll hear the angels shout,
"Oh, here they come to Heaven, the camp-fire has gone out."