THE ROMANCE OF WESTERN LIFE, by Gail Steiger

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THE ROMANCE OF WESTERN LIFE
lyrics by Gail Steiger

The old black bull
got stuck in the mud
for six hours we pushed and we pried
finally took four horses
to pull him free
and when we got our ropes untied
he looked up at the sky
then he give out a big sigh
and he laid down his head and he died

we started for town
but the truck broke down
we walked home five miles in the rain
and we’d have been glad for that
but we had hay on the ground
and the timing was kind of a shame

and the romance ain’t completely gone
to this cowboy life we’ve chose
but the bliss that I’d been counting on
well it comes and then it goes
I could have been a lawyer or something
but it’s too late for that now
cause the only thing I know anything about
is a damned old hereford cow

well the creek come up
took the watergap down
our yearlings were nowhere to be found
only taken us a week to gather em all
be easier the second time around
at least that’s what I thought
till I seen Shorty there looking blue
just before we left for town
he turned our horses out there too
(they went with the yearlings)

and the romance ain’t completely gone
but it’s wearing kind of thin
I know that there’s a lot of things
I maybe could have been
I could have been a fireman
but it’s too late for that now
cause the only thing I know anything about
is a damned old hereford cow

no the romance ain’t completely gone
to this cowboy life we’ve chose
but the bliss that I’d been counting on
well it comes and then it goes
I could have been a lot of things
and I guess I still could now
but the only thing I really care about
is a damned old hereford cow

© 1986, Gail Steiger
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Listen to Gail Steiger sing his song , which is also on his cd of the same name.

Nothing replaces experience when it comes to authenticity in writing. Gail Steiger is a songwriter, filmmaker, and cowboy who has been the foreman of the remote 50,000 acre Spider Ranch in Yavapai County, Arizona since 1995.

In a 2014 interview Gail Steiger commented on the song:

It was originally titled “A Cowboy Looks at 45 On A Real Bad Day.” And I had a brother that I do a lot of work with, and I usually play stuff for him before I embarrass myself in public.

And he said, well, you might get away with that song, but you’re going to have to lose the title. It’s just way too negative. He said if you call that song “The Romance of Western Life,” it will put a whole different spin on things. So that’s where this song came from.

He told us the song is “… is really just an updated version of ‘Real Cowboy Life,'” which was written by his grandfather, Gail I. Gardner, who was perhaps best known for writing “The Sierry Petes.” Stay tuned here for “Real Cowboy Life” on Friday.

Find more about Gail Steiger at gailsteigermusic.com.

He joins the impressive lineup at the Western Folklife Center’s 36th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, January 27-February 1, 2020.

Thanks to Amy Hale Steiger for lending this photo of Gail Steiger. She works with her husband on the Spider Ranch and is also an award-winning writer and poet. Find more about her at her site, amymhale.com.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)