photo ©2017, Gary Allegretto. Request permission for use.
by Rod Nichols (1942-2007)
Lord knows why the boss ever hired him,
he wuzn’t what you’d call a hand,
he stayed in our way or in trouble,
not much of a cowboy that man.
I think that the boss would’ve fired him,
just waited to find the right way,
til after our supper one evenin’
he took a mouth-organ and played.
It might have been Red River Valley
or Down In The Valley so low
or Kathleen or Come To The Bower,
to this day I don’t rightly know.
But that doesn’t really much matter
cause whatever tune that he played,
when that rascal pup started playin’
we all wuz right glad that he’d stayed.
Have you felt the warm wind on the prairie,
the soft mourning call of a dove,
then you may have some sort of feelin’
for what we wuz all thinkin’ of.
The cares of the day soon forgotten,
they vanished without any trace,
there wuzn’t an hombre among us
without a big smile on his face.
The Lord gives to each man a talent
to use or to hide as he may,
there wuzn’t no doubt ’bout his talent
whenever that feller had played.
Lord grant me just one little favor,
please help me a bit now and then,
to call on just half of such talent
to shine as a light before men.
© 2002, Rod Nichols
This poem should not be re-posted or reprinted without permission
Texas poet Rod Nichols is greatly missed by his many friends. He wrote this poem soon after September 11, 2001, and he told us, “… I have never seen so much interest in cowboy poetry, story telling, music and western art as I have seen since the Sept. 11th attack. I think folks are beginning to look for answers in our past and the American cowboy fills the bill. Here is one more that speaks to the use of the talents that the Good Lord has given us all whatever they may be.”
Find more about Rod Nichols at CowboyPoetry.com.
This photo is by top harmonica player, popular entertainer, and educator Gary Allegretto. He comments that it is, “My very rare and ornate Hohner “Trumpet Call” harmonica. A gift from my father, it is nearly 100 years old. Monetarily it’s probably worth more than my pickup truck…sentimentally of course it’s priceless.”
Gary is on his way to Hawaii to perform in coming days. Find him as a headliner at the 32nd annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, March 2-3-2018 and at many other events and venues across the West and beyond. Find more at garyallegretto.com.