The Jolly Cowboy

Southwest Region

This song was used as a way of passing information to runaway slaves on the Underground Railway as they escaped to Canada . It gave directions in code for slaves escaping between 1840 and 1860.  The illiterate slaves who were always in danger of being recaptured were aided by agents as they traveled north.


1.  My lover, he is a cowboy, hes brave and kind and true,
     He rides a Spanish pony, he throws a lasso, too;
     And when he come to see me our vows we do redeem,
     He throws his arms around me and thus begins to sing:

Refrain:          Ho, Im a jolly cowboy, from Texas now I hail,
Give me a quirt and pony, Im ready for the trail;
                         I love the rolling prairies, theyre free from care and strife
                        Behind a herd of long-horns Ill journey all my life.

2.  When early dawn is breaking and we are far away,
     We fall into our saddles, we round-up all the day;
     We rope, we brand, we earmarkI tell you we are smart;
     And when the herd is ready, for
Kansas then we start.

                        Oh, Im a Texas cowboy, as brave as I can be,
On my little Spanish pony I roam the wide prairie.
                        My trusty little pony is my companion true,
                        Oer creeks and hills and rivers hes sure to pull me through.

3.  When threatening clouds to do gather and herded lightnings flash
     And heavy rain drops splatter, and rolling thunders crash,
     What keeps the herd from running, stampeding far and wide?
     The cowboys long, low whistle and singing by their side.

            When in Kansas City our boss he pays us up,
We loaf around the city and take a parting cup;
            We bid farewell to city life, from noisy crowds we come,
            Range back to dear old
Texas , the cowboys native home.

4.  He is coming back to marry the only girl he loves,
     He says I am his darling,  I am his own true love;
Some day we two will marry and then no more hell roam,
     But settle down with Mary in a cozy cottage home.

            Ho, Im a jolly cowboy, from Texas now I hail,
Give me my bond to Mary,  Ill quit the Lone Star trail.
I love the rolling prairies;  Theyre free from care and strife
But Ill quite the herd of longhorns for the sake of my little wife.

Return to Southwest Region Lyrics Sheet Finale File MIDI File

With thanks to Sharon Ogorzalek
Created: July 2005, Last Updated: 07/28/10