A Song To The Cowboy

October 6, 2021 10:07am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 12 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

“Cowboys ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold
They’d rather give you a song than diamonds or gold
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levis
And each night begins a new day
If you don’t understand him, and he don’t die young
He’ll probably just ride away”

I sat at my computer concentrating on something intently. Outside it was lashing with rain, that sideways rain that beats viciously at the windows. Summer is dying and being blown away by the cool whips of autumn. I could feel it starting to seep into my bones. Time for a jumper. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, tossing and turning with a mind full of nonsense and fears about inevitabilities. This made me wake up tired, ready to sleep some more but unable to as my inner clock doesn’t allow it. Half a mug of tea sat on my desk amongst other things yet to be filed away creating chaos in my workspace. 

The heavy knock at the front door made me jump. The dogs reacted instantly, leaping at the entrance between the hall and kitchen. Terrorists on the territory. We will assist in their demise. I hushed them with sharp words and moved through the middle section, locking them behind. 

I hate how loudly people knock at my door. I need a doorbell. I have a button outside but it doesn’t work. Inside my porch I have an antique brass bell. People arriving also try this but it is there for decoration and doesn’t have a clanger. That’s when they knock fiercely, annoyed and frustrated. 

The man stood there with his clipboard and tool bag. I forgot he was coming. I told him this as a way of apology which wasn’t the right thing to say. He had come to service my vacuum cleaner. This must sound very strange and that’s because it is. I have a world class hoover that needs to be serviced annually like a prestige car. I had to trudge upstairs to get it because it is housed with the carpeted areas and not downstairs with the hard floors. The machine was heavy and cumbersome which made me irritated with the man.The cowboy. I tried to be nicer.

“Do you want a drink?” 

“No, I’m alright. Where can I work?” He stood in the hallway looking concerned at the two big shapes through the opaque panels in the door. 

I opened the lounge door beside him. “You can work in here, don’t worry, I won’t let the dogs out.”

He gets to his job and I went to shut the front door. I spied a package that the postman had left on the windowsill in my porch. The postman doesn’t knock – he knows I won’t hear it so he leaves prizes for me to find. My mood lifted as I noticed the American postal packet. I like that the American postal service has a packet shaped for anything. You don’t get that here. I remembered being taken to a place called the Container Store in America. Why are you taking me to a shop full of boxes? I had thought. I ended up getting lost in that shop, fascinated that there’s boxes for just about anything. Americans must be so orderly. How had I lived without some of these boxes in my life? Why did we not have this store in England? 

I picked up the packet and took it to my table. I didn’t know who it was from or what it was – I wasn’t expecting anything. I looked at it for a few seconds, relishing in the surprise. I tried to imagine what waited for me inside. 

My friends, Mr & Mrs B had sent me a lovely card and an old book of Cowboy Songs. In the past they have sent me many old cowboy books, found in old stores and posted out to me.

I fingered the old book and smiled. I lifted it up to my nose and smelt it with my eyes closed hoping to breathe in the memories of an old life. I opened the first page and there, sellotaped to the front sheet was somebody’s name and address. Barbara Martin from Chatanooga. How can anyone say Chatanooga and not feel like dancing? How proud she must have been of this book to do that! She is remembered now by a stranger in another land; her book sat on a table in medieval middle England. I wonder what she would have thought to that?

I flicked through the songs about the wild cowboy – instantly transported to the old frontier. 

The ultimate bad boy. Reckless and rollicking. Yearning to belong and yet belonging to nothing. God fearing and strong but with the devil constantly on his shoulder testing his faith. Searching for love and killing it the next day.

Dirt on his boots. Sweat on his brow. A full days work for little pay.

Scooping up the same ole serving from a dutch oven at noon. A food that still comforts to this day.

Travelling through the wilderness and beauty where he rides to find answers. Comfort found in the red giants that speak to him.

“And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky
Talk to God and listen to the casual reply”

 

I looked back out of my window through the grey sky. Left with melancholy and yearning; wishing to walk through the jimson weed and sand-burrs; stopping to fill my belly with prickly pear and cholla. 

Thank you Mr & Mrs B for making a dreary day turn into a dreamy ride through the old west, along with the cowboys for company, on a dusty old trail unspoilt by man.

Before I lament any further, I leave you with a sneaky little page found tucked inside Barbara’s book.

 

12 Comments

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Have checked when ‘The Streets of Laredo’ was a hit. It was Marty Robbins in 1960 and I can remember it. Maybe I heard it again in later years!

You are correct! I like a bit of Marty Robbins.

Getting unexpected presents from far away lands is always fun. I haven’t received anything in a while. Young people just don’t appreciate the mail. You should visit Utah. That would give you those old west vibes. It is beautiful there.

I love it! I think snail mail is fabulous. I often send out random cards or notes to people.
I would love to visit Utah – it’s one on my bucket list.

Since I live a stone’s throw (literally) from the old Hashknife Cattle Company’s Pony Express Route, I offer this. It’s what I thought of when I read your post: A song by Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – Mamas don’t let your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys…

Cowboys ain’t easy to love
And they’re harder to hold
They’d rather give you a song
Than diamonds or gold
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levis
And each night begins a new day
If you don’t understand him and he don’t die young
He’ll probably just ride away

[Chorus: Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson]
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
‘Cause they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone
Even with someone they love

[Verse 2: Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, & Both]
Cowboys like smoky old pool rooms
And clear mountain mornings
Little warm puppies and children
And girls of the night
Them that don’t know him
Won’t like him and them that do
Sometimes won’t know how to take him
He ain’t wrong, he’s just different
But his pride won’t let him
Do things to make you think he’s right

It’s a favourite of mine, LL. You can’t beat Waylon Jennings – he has the best country voice ever. My step-father used to play his songs when I was younger and I’d moan about them, calling them depressing! If he could hear me now and see the places I’d been, like Luckenbach etc, he would not believe it!

it’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat weather!

never answer the door. unless it’s the postman who rings twice. or if a man identifies himself as: I Am The One Who Knocks.

the only vacuum salesperson you can trust is Melissa Maker

the only cowboy song i know is Old Town Road. and only cos Trent Reznor secretly wrote it…

*)

Melissa Maker! Awww.

“I got the horses in the back
Horse tack is attached
Hat is matte black
Got the boots that’s black to match”

Uncle Sigh’s favourite song. *)

JULES, You would love my 2 favorite Cowboy songs, “Heap Big Smoke But No Fire” and “Blood On The Saddle”. Another reason to visit me in Ottawa….

I shall go and listen to them now, Cindy!

There’s always good reason to go visiting! One day, Cindy, I’ll come knocking!

I’m with LL and love the W&W version. Most awesome.
Here in Texas it’s ferociously windy, gale force almost. Maybe there’ll be lashings of rain, and a tornado as clouds are cool whipped across the sky while we watch the fury of the elements play out from the porch. Please!
In fact, even a drop of rain would do…

I prefer Waylon’s voice to Willie’s.
“lashings of rain, and a tornado as clouds are cool whipped across the sky” are you trying to be clever, LSP? Hm? Are you art philosophising?

Do we need to have a chat on the balcony?

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