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Ghost Riders in the Sky
Vaughn Monroe lyrics
An old cowpoke went ridin' out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A-plowin' through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw

Yippie aye ayy, yippie aye ohh
The ghost herd in the sky

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the riders comin' hard and he heard their mournful cry

Yippie aye ayy, yippie aye ohh
Ghost riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt their eyes were blurred
And shirts all soaked with sweat
They're ridin' hard to catch that herd
But they ain't caught 'em yet
'Cause they got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snortin' fire as they ride on hear their cry

Yippie aye ohh yippie aye ohh
Ghost riders in the sky

As the riders loped on by him he heard one call his name
"If you wanna save your soul from hell a-ridin' on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
A-tryin' to catch the devil's herd across these endless skies."

Yippie aye ayy, yippie aye ohh
Ghost riders in the sky

Yippie aye ayy, yippie aye ohh...

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#1
sung by Stan Jones

 
El Paso
Marty Robbins lyrics
Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl
Night time would find me in Rosa's cantina
Music would play and Felina would whirl

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina
Wicked and evil while casting a spell
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden
I was in love but in vain I could tell

One night a wild young cowboy came in
Wild as the West Texas wind
Dashing and daring a drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina the girl that I loved

So in anger I challenged his right for the love of this maiden
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore
My challenge was answered in less than a heartbeat
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor

Just for a moment I stood there in silence
Shocked by the foul evil deed I had done
Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there
I had but one chance and that was to run

Out through the back door of Rosa's I ran
Out where the horses were tied
I caught a good one it looked like it could run
Up on its back and away I did ride

Just as fast as I could from the West Texas town of El Paso
Out to the badlands of New Mexico

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless
Everything's gone in life nothing is left
It's been so long since I've seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death

I saddled up and away I did go
Riding alone in the dark
Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me
Tonight nothin's worse than this pain in my heart

And at last here I
Am on the hill overlooking El Paso
I can see Rosa's cantina below
My love is strong and it pushes me onward
Down off the hill to Felina I go

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys
Off to my left ride a dozen or more
Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me
I have to make it to Rosa's back door

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side
Though I am tryin' to stay in the saddle
I'm getting weary unable to ride

But my love for Felina is strong and I rise where I've fallen
Though I am weary I can't stop to rest
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest

From out of nowhere Felina has found me
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side
Cradled by two lovin' arms that I'll die for
One little kiss and Felina, goodbye.



#2


 
Cool Water
Vaughn Monroe lyrics
[Instrumental]

All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water
Cool water
Ole Dan and I with throats burned dry and souls that cry for water
Cool clear water

Keep a-movin' Dan don't you listen to him Dan he's a devil not a man
And he spreads the burning sand with water
Dan can you see that big green tree where the water's runnin' free
And it's waitin' there for me and you

The shadows sway and seem to say tonight we pray for water
Cool water
And way up there He'll hear our prayer and show us where there's water
Cool clear water

Keep a-movin' Dan don't you listen to him Dan he's a devil not a man
But he spreads the burning sand with water
Dan can you see that big green tree where the water's runnin' free
And it's waitin' there for me and you

[Instrumental]

Dan's feet are sore he's yearning for just one thing more than water
Cool water
Like me I guess he's like the rest where there's no quest for water
Cool clear water

Water.


#3

 
The Streets of Laredo (Cowboy's Lament)
Eddy Arnold lyrics
As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a poor cowboy wrapped up in white linen
Wrapped up 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 stepped by
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I was shot in the breast and I know I must die."

"Oh beat the drum slowly and play the pipe lowly
Play the Dead March as you carry me along.
Take me to the green valley there lay the sod o'er me
For I'm a young cowboy. I know I done wrong."

"Go fetch me a cup, a cup of cool water
To cool my parched lips." the poor cowboy said.
Before I returned the spirit had left him
And gone to his maker the cowboy was dead

We beat the drum slowly and played the pipe lowly
And bitterly wept as we bore him along
For we all loved our comrade so brave young and handsome
We all loved our comrade although he'd done wrong.


#4
sung by Eddy Arnold
sung by Tex Ritter

 
Back in the Saddle Again
Gene Autry lyrics
[Instrumental]

I'm back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly jimson weed
I'm back in the saddle again

Ridin' the range once more
Totin' my old .44
Where you sleep out every night
And the only law is right
Back in the saddle again

Whoopi-ty-aye-oh
Rockin' to and fro
Back in the saddle again

Whoopi-ty-aye-yay
I go my way
Back in the saddle again

[Instrumental]

I'm back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly jimson weed
I'm back in the saddle again

Ridin' the range once more
Totin' my old .44
Where you sleep out every night
And the only law is right
Back in the saddle again

Whoopi-ty-aye-oh
Rockin' to and fro
Back in the saddle again

Whoopi-ty-aye-yay
I go my way
Back in the saddle again.


#5
sung by Gene Autry

 
High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)
Frankie Laine lyrics
Do not forsake me oh my darlin' on this our wedding day
Do not forsake me oh my darlin' wait wait along
I do not know what fate awaits me I only know I must be brave
For I must face a man who hates me

Or lie a coward a craven coward or lie a coward in my grave
Oh to be torn 'twixt love and duty supposin' I lose my fair haired beauty
Look at that big hand move along nearing high noon
He made a vow while in state prison vowed it would be my life or his'n

I'm not afraid of death but oh what shall I do if you leave me
Do not forsake me oh my darlin' you made that promise as a bride
Do not forsake me oh my darlin' although you're grievin' don't think of leavin'
Now that I need you by my side

Wait along wait along wait along wait along
Wait along wait along wait along wait along.



#6
sung by Frankie Laine
sung by Tex Ritter

 
Oh Shenandoah
Tennessee Ernie Ford lyrics
Oh, Shenandoah I hear you calling
Hi-oh, you rollin' river
O Shenandoah I long to hear you
Hi-oh, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Missouri, she's a mighty river
Hi-oh, you rolling river
When she rolls down her topsail shivers
Hi-oh, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Farewell my dearest I'm bound to leave you
Hi-oh, you rollin' river
Oh Shenandoah I'll not deceive you
Hi-oh, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.


#7
sung by The Weavers

 
Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Roy Rogers & Sons of the Pioneers lyrics
See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

[Instrumental with Whistling]

I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.


#8
sung by Roy Rogers &
sung by Slim Whitman

 
Home on the Range
Gene Autry lyrics
Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And th' skies are not cloudy all day

How often at night when the heavens are bright
With the light from the glittering stars
Have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.



#9
sung by Gene Autry
sung by Roy Rogers
Brewster Higley
His Home

 
Red River Valley
Gene Autry lyrics
From this valley they say you are goin'
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For they say you are takin' the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway the while

Do you think of the valley you're leavin'
Oh how lonely and dreary it will be
Do you think of the fond heart you're breakin'
And the sadness you've cast over me

For a long time my dear, I've been waiting
For the words that you never would say
And alas my poor heart you are breakin'
For they tell me you're goin' away

[Instrumental]

As you go to your home by the ocean
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley
And the love we exchanged mid the flowers

Come and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
But remember the Red River Valley
And the one that has loved you so true.


#10
sung by Gene Autry
sung by Suzy Bogguss

 
Big Iron
Marty Robbins lyrics
To the town of Agua Fria rode a stranger one fine day
Hardly spoke to folks around him didn't have too much to say
No one dared to ask his business no one dared to make a slip
For the stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip

Big iron on his hip

It was early in the mornin' when he rode into the town
He came ridin' from the south side slowly lookin' all around
He's an outlaw loose and runnin' came the whisper from each lip
And he's here to do some business with the big iron on his hip

Big iron on his hip

In this town there lived an outlaw by the name of Texas Red
Many men had tried to take him and that many men were dead
He was vicious and a killer though a youth of twenty-four
And the notches on his pistol numbered one an nineteen more

One and nineteen more

Now the stranger started talkin' made it plain to folks around
Was an Arizona ranger wouldn't be too long in town
He came here to take an outlaw back alive or maybe dead
And he said it didn't matter he was after Texas Red

After Texas Red

Wasn't long before the story was relayed to Texas Red
But the outlaw didn't worry men that tried before were dead
Twenty men had tried to take him twenty men had made a slip
Twenty-one would be the ranger with the big iron on his hip

Big iron on his hip

The morning passed so quickly it was time for them to meet
It was twenty past eleven when they walked out in the street
Folks were watchin' from the windows everybody held their breath
They knew this handsome ranger was about to meet his death

About to meet his death

There was forty feet between 'em when they stopped to make their play
And the swiftness of the ranger is still talked about today
Texas Red had not cleared leather 'fore a bullet fairly ripped
And the ranger's aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip

Big iron on his hip

It was over in a moment and the folks had gathered 'round
There before them lay the body of the outlaw on the ground
Oh he might have went on living but he made one fatal slip
When he tried to match the ranger with the big iron on his hip

Big iron on his hip

Big iron Big iron

When he tried to match the ranger with the big iron on his hip

Big iron on his hip.


#11
An Arizona Ranger


 
Don't Fence Me In
Gene Autry lyrics
Oh give me land lots of land under starry skies above
Don't fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don't fence me in

Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don't fence me in

Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
Can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in

[Instrumental]

Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
Can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in.


#12
sung by Gene Autry
sung by Bing Crosby and

 
Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
Michael Martin Murphey lyrics
"O bury me not on the lone prairie."
These words came sad and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day

"It matters not, so I've been told
Where the body lies when the heart grows cold
But grant oh grant this wish to me
Bury me not on the lone prairie."

"Bury me not on the lone prairie
Where coyotes howl the wind blows free
In a narrow grave six by three
O bury me not on the lone prairie."

"Bury me not..." his voice failed there
We took no heed of his dying prayer
In a narrow grave six by three
We buried him there on the lone prairie

The cowboys now as they roam the plain
They mark a spot where his bones were lain
Fling a handful of roses o'er his grave
With a prayer to God his soul to save.



#13

 
Desperado
Eagles lyrics
[Instrumental]

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh you're a hard one

I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But ya only want the ones that you can't get

Desperado oh you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger they're drivin' you home
An' freedom oh freedom well that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walkin' through this world all alone

Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're losin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences open the gate
It may be rainin' but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you
(Let somebody love you)
You  better let somebody love you before it's too late...


#14
sung by Eagles

 
Wildfire
Michael Martin Murphey lyrics
[Instrumental]

She comes down from Yellow Mountain
On a dark, flat land she rides
On a pony she named Wildfire
A whirlwind by her side
On a cold Nebraska night

Oh, they say she died one winter
When there came a killin' frost
And the pony she named Wildfire
Busted down its stall
In a blizzard she was lost

She ran callin' Wildfire
Callin' Wildfire
Callin' Wildfire

So by the dark of the moon, I planted
But there came an early snow
Been a hoot owl howling outside my window now
'Bout six nights in a row
She's coming for me, I know
And on Wildfire we're both gonna go

We'll be ridin' Wildfire
Ridin' Wildfire
Ridin' Wildfire

On Wildfire we're gonna ride
Gonna leave sodbustin' behind
Get the hard times right on out of our minds
Ridin' Wildfire

[Instrumental]


#15

 
Cattle Call
Eddy Arnold lyrics
[Yodels]

The cattle are prowlin'
The coyotes are howlin'
Way out where the dogies bawl
Where spurs are a jinglin'
A cowboy is singin'
This lonesome cattle call

[Yodels]

He rides in the sun
'Til his day's work is done
And he rounds up the cattle each fall

[Yodels]

Singin' his cattle call

For hours he would ride
On the range far and wide
When the night winds blow up a squall
His heart is a feather
In all kinds of weather
He sings his cattle call

[Yodels]

He's brown as a berry
From ridin' the prairie
And he sings with an old western drawl

[Yodels]

Singin' his cattle call.

[Yodels]


#16
sung by Eddy Arnold
sung by Slim Whitman

 
Pancho and Lefty
Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson lyrics
Livin' on the road my friend, was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
An' your breath is hard as kerosene
Weren't your momma's only boy, but her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
Sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boy, his horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know on the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dyin' word, ah but that's the way it goes

All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can't sing the blues all night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth
Th' day they laid poor Pancho low, Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go, there ain't nobody knows

All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
We only let him slip away out of kindness I suppose

[Instrumental]

The poets tell how Pancho fell, and Lefty's livin' in cheap hotels
The desert's quiet, Cleveland's cold
And so the story ends we're told
Pancho needs your prayers it's true, but save a few for Lefty too
He only did what he had to do, and now he's growing old

All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
Only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose

A few gray Federales say, could've had him any day
We only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose.


#17

 
Little Joe the Wrangler
Red Steagall lyrics
Little Joe the wrangler will wrangle never more
His days with the remuda they're all done
Long about last April that he rode into our camp
Just a little Texas stray and all alone

'Twas long late in the evenin' when he rode into our camp
On a little old brown pony he called Shaw
With his brogan shoes and coveralls a harder lookin' kid
You never in your life had seen before

His saddle was a southern kack built many years ago
And an OK spur on one foot idly hung
His hot roll in a cotton sack was loosely tied behind
And a canteen from the saddle horn he'd slung

Said he'd had to leave his home because his Pa had married twice
And his new Ma beat him every day or two
So he saddled up old Shaw one night and lit a shuck this way
Thought he'd try and paddle now his own canoe

Said he'd try and do the best he could if we'd only give him work
Though he didn't know straight up about a cow
So the boss he cut him out a mount then kinder put him on
Then we knew he liked our little stray somehow

He taught him how to herd the horses 'n learned to know 'em all
And to round 'em up by daylight if he could
Then to follow the chuck wagon and to always hitch the team
And to help the cocinaro rustle wood

We'd driven to Red River and the weather it was fine
We had camped down on the south side in a bend
When a Norther started blowin' and we called the extra guards
'Cause it took all hands to hold the cattle in

Now little Joe the wrangler was called out with all the rest
And barely had the kid got to the herd
When the cattle they stampeded like a hail storm long they flew
With all of us a-ridin' for the lead

'Tween the streaks of lightnin' we could see a horse ahead
'Twas little Joe the wrangler in the lead
He was ridin' ol' Blue Rocket with his slicker o'er his head
An' he's tryin' to check the leaders in their speed

We finally got 'em millin' and they sorta quieted down
And the extra guard back to the camp did go
But one of them was missin' and we all knew at a glance
'Twas our little Texas stray poor wrangler Joe

Found 'im there at sunup where ol' Blue Rocket fell
In a washout some twenty feet below
Beneath his horse smashed to a pulp his spurs had rung the knell
For our little Texas stray poor wrangler Joe

Now little Joe the wrangler will wrangle never more
His days with the remuda they're all done

[spoken]
Long about last April when he rode into our camp
Just a little Texas stray and all alone.


#18
sung by Red Steagall
sung by Don Edwards
N. Howard "Jack" Thorp

 
They Call the Wind Maria
Harve Presnell lyrics
Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

A way out here they got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire's Joe
And they call the wind Maria

Maria blows the stars around
And sends the clouds a-flyin'
Maria makes the mountain sound
Like folks were up there dyin'

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Before I knew Maria's name
And heard her wail and whinin'
I had a girl and she had me
And the sun was always shinin'

But then one day I left my girl
I left her far behind me
And now I'm lost so gol dern lost
Not even God can find me

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Out here they got a name for rain
For wind and fire only
But when you're lost and all alone
There ain't no word but lonely

And I'm a lost and lonely man
Without a star to guide me
Maria blow my love to me
I need my girl beside me

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Maria, Maria
Blow my love to me.



#19
Harve Presnell

 
Coyotes
Don Edwards lyrics
[Instrumental]

Was a cowboy I knew in south Texas
His face was burnt deep by the sun
Part history, part sage, part Mexican
He was there when Pancho Villa was young

And he'd tell you a tale of the old days
When the country was wild all around
Sit out under the stars of the Milky Way
And listen while the coyotes howl

And they go... Whoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hooi hoo hoo
Whoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hoo yip hoo hoo

Now the longhorns are gone
And the drovers are gone
The Comanches are gone
And the outlaws are gone

Geronimo's gone
And Sam Bass is gone
And the lion is gone
And the red wolf is gone

Well he cursed all the roads and the oil men
And he cursed the automobile
Said this is no place for an hombre like I am
In this new world of asphalt and steel

Then he'd look off some place in the distance
At somethin' only he could see
He'd say all that's left now of the old days
Damned old coyotes and me

And they go hoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hooi hoo hoo
Hoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hooa hoo hoo

Now the longhorns are gone
And the drovers are gone
The Comanches are gone
The outlaws are gone

Now Quantro's gone
Stand Watie is gone
And the lion is gone
And the red wolf is gone

One mornin' they searched his adobe
He disappeared without even a word
But that night as the moon crossed the mountain
One more coyote was heard

And he'd go hoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hoo yip hoo hoo
Hoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hoo yip hoo hoo

Hoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hoo yip hoo hoo
Hoo yip hoo yip hoo
Hoodle oo yip hoo hoo yip hoo hoo...


#20
sung by Don Edwards

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Website Copyright 2016 Skip Skipson. All rights reserved. Copyright of all songs, lyrics, images, performances, etc. presented or linked to here remains with the owners of that material. This compilation is intended only for commentary, research, teaching, and scholarship. Other uses are strictly prohibited.
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