The story of “Cowboy’s Lament” By Burl Ives.

“Cowboy’s Lament,” had its origins in Ireland in the early 1800’s in a song called “The Unfortunate Rake.” When it made its way to the Western US, the theme, lyrics and title changed to “Cowboy’s Lament” or “Streets of Laredo,” . A cowboy in Kansas named F.H. Maynard wrote the lyrics , and the song became one of the best-known of all traditional cowboy songs.

YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel
YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

Cowboy’s Lament

By OJ Sikes

Source photo - www.cowboypoetry.com
Source photo – www.cowboypoetry.com

This song, “Cowboy’s Lament,” had its origins in Ireland in the early 1800’s in a song called “The Unfortunate Rake.” When it made its way to the Western US, the theme, lyrics and title changed to “Cowboy’s Lament” or “Streets of Laredo,” to better fit the new locale. In 1876, a cowboy in Kansas named F.H. Maynard wrote the lyrics we know today, and the song became one of the best-known of all traditional cowboy songs.

It was one of the first songs recorded by Burl Ives, one of the country’s most important folk singers, who called himself The Wayfaring Stranger. His 1941 recording for the Okeh label, a subsidiary of Columbia, is a classic.

 

DJ O.J Sikes

Western Music Time

Burl Ives – Cowboy’s Lament Lyrics
As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy all wrapped in white linen
Wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay

I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy
These words he did say as I boldly walked by
Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I’m shot in the breast and I know I must die

It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing
Once in the saddle I used to go gay
First down to Rosie’s and then to the card house
Got shot in the breast and I’m dying today

Get sixteen gamblers to carry my coffin
Get six jolly cowboys to sing me a song
Take me to the graveyard and lay the sod o’er me
For I’m a young cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong

Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin
Get six pretty maidens to sing me a song
Take me to the valley and lay the sod o’er me
For I’m a young cowboy, I know I’ve done wrong

Oh beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Play the Dead March as they carry me along
Put bunches of roses all over my coffin
Put roses to deaden the clods as they fall

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy all wrapped in white linen
Wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay

Source Photo Wikipedia
Source Photo Wikipedia