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Throughout western movies and western lore it seems that every cowboy that ever herded and watched over cattle could also sing to soothe the critters when they bedded down for the night. But what if there was an exception? I was posed that question once which prompted the following rhyme.

Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.



I was out drivin’ cattle, one late summer day

With a greenhorn cowpoke named Danny O’Shea

The day went well, not a problem in sight

’Til the cows and crew bedded down for the night

T’was then young Dan thought he heard such a racket

That he leaped to his feet from beneath his wool blanket

“Good Lord in Heaven, what the heck is that noise?

Did a cougar or bear nab one of the boys?

“The sound started low, kinda like a dog’s growl

Then commenced ta screachin’, like a wild Banshee howl”

Dan’s eyes blinked wide, his knees started shakin’

’Til I told him his fears were sadly mistaken

“It’s just Little Joe, the pard that rides swing

Out ridin’ night guard—poor soul just can’t sing

Which ain’t all that bad, fact it’s guaranteed

When Joe’s ridin’ night guard, the cows won’t stampede

“‘Cause Little Joe’s croonin’, from out on the fringe

Is so danged awful it makes coyotes cringe

The nag Joe’s gotta ride is old and can’t hear

So’s it won’t bolt from under him, runnin’ in fear

“That’s why all our horses are hobbled each night

And have rags o’er their ears to curb undo fright

Them poor grazin’ bovines, well, they huddle as one

Too afraid to budge, ’til the new mornin’ sun

“When Joe rides into camp for coffee and grub

And the rest of the crew gives their ears a good rub

After they remove two or three cotton balls

And can rise to the murmur of low cattle calls

“Now Dan, grab some cotton and wedge it in tight

So the rest of us cowpokes can sleep well tonight

And when Joe moseys in, don’t make no big dealin’s

He thinks he’s Bing Crosby, ya might hurt his feelin’s

“And if you spot cowboys with fuzz in their ears

It ain’t ‘cause they’re crusty or up in their years

The more likely reason is this one simple thing

Little Joe rides their night guard, and he just plain can’t sing


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