THE TWISTER by Jay Snider

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THE TWISTER
by Jay Snider

If he bucks me off, he’ll have to shed his skin
Was the claim the twister made
He said,” There ain’t a bronc that’s drawed a breath
Can shake me loose from this Wade”

Strong words like those need provin’, son
Are you sure you’re up to the test
He said “Let’s catch one up, ya’ll stand aside
Watch this bronc rider do the rest”

Well, we were impressed by the twister’s sand
Thought, heck, this might even be fun
So we bunched ‘em up and circled ‘em round
And cut out the little red dun

He’s a spindly, sorta wild eyed colt
Long necked and a little light boned
But every puncher that had tried him before
In one jump, had been dethroned

“He’s bad as they come in these parts”, I said
The twister just shot me a grin
Said “Bad broncs are my business, if he bucks me off
He’ll have to jump right out of his skin”

So Charlie Bob roped him and snubbed him up close
Ole’ Slim got a mouthful of ear
It took Rusty and Bub and ole’ Jake to hold him
While the twister stacked on his gear

Then the twister stepped on, took a mighty deep seat
Charlie Bob pitched him his head
The colt went from round pen floor to tree top high
Then his north end went south instead

I’ve seen cowboys throwed higher and harder
But I can’t remember just when
And I reckon, Ole’ Snake, be a fittin’ name
Cause this colt just shed his skin

The twister, you see, learned his lesson well
‘Cause he now sings a different song
“It takes a plenty bad hombre to throw me off
But it sure don’t take him long”

© Jay Snider, used with permission
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

This photo of popular Oklahoma rancher, poet, and reciter Jay Snider is from Lawton, Oklahoma, 1979. He told us that the bull “belonged to F&F Rodeo Company and was simply called #33.”

“Twister” is on Volume Nine of The BAR-D Roundup CD from CowboyPoetry.com.

Jay has a recent CD, Classic Cowboy Poetry: The Old Tried and True, which showcases his fine reciting. He delivers poems by Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Will Ogilvie, Sunny Hancock, and others, to carry listeners back to time when, to quote Kiskaddon, “cattle were plenty and people were few.”

For a great look at how Jay Snider handles the classics, see a video of him reciting Sunny Hancock’s “The Bear Tale” at the 2010 Western Folklife Center National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Find Jay at Colorado’s 30th annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, October 4-7, 2018.  Jay joins Dave Stamey, Floyd Beard, Curt Brummett, Kristyn Harris, Sam Noble, Ken Overcast, The High Country Cowboys, Vic Anderson, Mark Baker, Sally Bates, Colt Blankman, Jack Blease, Rick Buoy, Patty Clayton, The Cowboy Way, Sam DeLeeuw, Thatch Elmer, Nolan King, Jo Kirkwood, Susie Knight, Allora Leonard, Maria McArthur, Slim McWilliams, Doc Mehl, Dave Munsick, Gary Penney, Hailey Sandoz, Lindy Simmons, Gail Starr, Miss V – The Gypsy Cowbelle, and Washtub Jerry.

He’ll be at the Red Steagall Cowboy Poetry Gathering, October 26-28, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas along with Yvonne Hollenbeck, Red Steagall, “Straw” Berry, Mikki Daniel, Don Edwards, Bobby Flores, Kristyn Harris, Jake Hooker, Chris Isaacs, Jean Prescott, Dan Roberts, Leon Rausch, and Hailey Sandoz.

November 7-11, 2018, find him at the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas, along with Adrian Brannan, Kevin Davis, Jeff Gore, Ross Knox, Chuck Milner, Caitlyn Taussig, and Rod Taylor.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com and at his web site, jaysnider.net.

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

MASTERS CD Series

 The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry produces compilation CDs of classic and contemporary poetry recitations. The CDs are offered to libraries in the Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week Rural Library project, given as premiums to the Center’s supporters, and available to the public.

The current CD series is MASTERS.

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MASTERS: VOLUME TWO (April, 2018) contains over 60 tracks in a double CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker. Many of today’s top reciters and poets—including individuals,  siblings, couples, parents and children—bring forth Barker’s humor and humanity. Andy Hedges introduces the CD.

Find more about MASTERS: VOLUME TWO here.

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The first CD in the series. MASTERS (2017), includes the works of Larry McWhorter, J.B. Allen, Sunny Hancock, and Ray Owens, reciting their poetry in recorded poems, “live” performances, and their recitations of other masters’ works (Buck Ramsey, S. Omar Barker, and Henry Herbert Knibbs). Jay Snider introduces the CD.

Find more about MASTERS (2017) here.

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Previous to the MASTERS series, the Center produced ten volumes of The BAR-D Roundup.

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The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—is held each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster—by Clara Smith in 2018; by Jason Rich in 2017; by Gary Morton in 2016; by Don Dane in 2015; by Jason Rich in 2014; Shawn Cameron in 2013; by R.S. Riddick in 2012, Duward Campbell in 2011, Bill Owen in 2010, Bob Coronato in 2009; William Matthews in 2008; Tim Cox in 2007; and Joelle Smith in 2006—are offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Project. The outreach program is a part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Join us and be a part of it all.

OF HORSES AND MEN by Jay Snider

jaybudisaacsphoto by Bud Isaacs

 

OF HORSES AND MEN
by Jay Snider

It’s been told of good horses lost
In simple words that cowboys use
He dern sure was a good one
He’s the kind you hate to lose

He’s the kind you could depend on
In the river and the breaks
In rough country and wild cattle
He’d be the one you’d take

His efforts weren’t ruled by stature
With him you’d finish what you’d start
His limits were governed only
By the dimension of his heart

His expectations were simple
Merely fairness from a friend
But when he’d feel the need to run
It’s best not to fence him in

Pure poetry in motion
As across the plains he’d fly
A tried and true compadre
In a seasoned cowboy’s eye

His courage was unmatched by mortal men
From conquistadors to kings
Cowboys sing his praises
At roundups in the spring

Ain’t it strange how thoughts of horses lost
Mirror those of men passed on
And though they’ve gone to glory
Their spirit’s never gone

Sometimes simple words seem best
When final words we choose
He dern sure was a good one
He’s the kind you hate to lose

© 2003, Jay Snider, used with permission
Third-generation Oklahoma cowboy and rancher Jay Snider told us about his poem:

The inspiration for this poem came to me on December 7, 2002. I had to put down a little bay stud that we owned for near a dozen years. Cancer had invaded one of his kidneys and the vet gave him little hope. It truly was a sad day for us. I remember telling my wife and sons,  “Doc sure was a good one. He’s the kind you hate to lose.”

That same day, I had been asked to do a poem at an old man’s funeral that lived north of where we live. He was as good a cowman as ever came out of our country. After the service, his eldest son said to me, “Dad sure was a good one. He’s the kind you hate to lose.”

I could not get those words out of my mind. I started this poem that night; however, I could not finish it until March 19, 2003 when we received word that Larry McWhorter had passed away. Then it came to me what I had been trying to say all along.”

Jay is appreciated as well for his fine reciting. Enjoy his rendition of Sunny Hancock’s (1931-2003) “The Bear Tale” in a video from the Western Folklife Center’s 2011 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering here.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com, and at his site.

This 2013 photo of Jay Snider is by Bud Isaacs, used with his permission.

 

HE ALWAYS RODE GOOD HORSES lyrics by Jay Snider and Jean Prescott

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HE ALWAYS RODE GOOD HORSES
lyrics by Jay Snider and Jean Prescott

He always rode good horses
From my memory as a kid
I hoped to have my horses work
The way his always did

But my youthful lack of patience
So often got me throwed
That same old lack of patience
In my horses plainly showed

So I sat down at the drawing board
He’d built throughout the years
His words, though not abrasive
Only reinforced my fears

(Chorus)
Trust ain’t freely given
It’s elusive, slowly earned
A man’s the mirror image of
The things his horses learned

“It’s gentle hands that make a good mount
Not fear nor fight nor dread
Good men ride good horses
That’s all that need be said”

With trust, respect soon follows
Like a wobbly legged foal
They both are most important
If good manners is your goal

His choice of words cut fast and deep
Just like a surgeon’s knife
Yet changed my perspective
And rearranged my life

Do what’s right while you’re still living
Makes no difference when you’re dead
Good men ride good horses
That’s all that need be said

Trust ain’t freely given
It’s elusive, slowly earned
A man’s the mirror image of
The things his horses learned

“It’s gentle hands that make a good mount
Not fear nor fight nor dread
Good men ride good horses
That’s all that need be said

“If he rebels from disrespect
He’s trying hard to say
Let me spur you in the shoulder
And see how long you’ll stay

“But given half of half a chance
He’ll rise up to the task
And die a thousand mournful deaths
Just doing what you ask”

So, ask yourself this question
Of this noble gallant steed
Would you do the very same for him
If asked a fearful deed

Trust ain’t freely given
It’s elusive, slowly earned
A man’s the mirror image of
The things his horses learned

“It’s gentle hands that make a good mount
Not fear nor fight nor dread
Good men ride good horses
That’s all that need be said”

At his service, just this morning
A tear fell as they read
He always rode good horses
That’s all that need be said

© Jean Prescott/Jay Snider, Line Camp Music
These lyrics should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

The collaboration between Jay Snider and Jean Prescott is a standout on the new Satisfied Hearts from Jean and Gary Prescott. Listen to the song  here.

It’s been twenty years since Jean and Gary Prescott recorded together, and they have made up for lost time with their new release. After working offshore for years, Gary has returned to Texas to raise horses and cattle and get back to songwriting and performing. Each are outstanding songwriters and performers in their own right and their talents shine on this new release.

Listen to a recent interview (and tracks from Satisfied Hearts) with Jean Prescott on
Equestrian Legacy Radio, hosted by Gary I. Holt and Bobbie Jean Bell.

Few songwriters collaborate with as many poets as Jean Prescott. She is known particularly for her work with Yvonne Hollenbeck, and this album includes collaborations with Deanna Dickinson McCall, Darrell Arnold, Chris Isaacs, the late Pat Richardson, Jeff Gore, Debra Coppinger Hill and Jay Snider. There are also selections by songwriters Randy Huston, Joyce Woodson, and others. One song is a tribute to the memory of Buck Ramsey and another features the late Ed Stabler’s arrangement of Henry Herbert Knibbs’ classic “Where the Ponies Come to Drink.”

Find Satisfied Hearts” at jeanprescott.com and CDBaby. You can also message Jean on Facebook at Jean Prescott Music to order.

Find more about Jean Prescott at CowboyPoetry.com and at her web site, jeanprescott.com.

Oklahoma rancher, poet, reciter, and songwriter poet Jay Snider wrote his lyrics in 2008 and told us that this song was inspired in part by an introduction Joel Nelson gave him at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, saying that Jay “rode good horses.” Jay comments, “To a horseman that is the ultimate compliment, especially coming from a horseman such as Joel. It stuck with me and looking back on the years, most all the ‘great’ men I’ve known have ridden good horses.”

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com and at jaysnider.net.

HEROES OF OLD by Jay Snider

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HEROES OF OLD
by Jay Snider

The end of the trail is a cross we all bear.
We’re all branded the day of our birth.
Make no mistake, it’s the choices we make
plot the course that we ride here on earth.

With luck we have gathered up heroes
like our daddies and granddaddies did.
The face and name likely won’t be the same
as the heroes they knew as a kid.

What shall we do when our heroes are gone
and we’re thinking we’re here all alone?
It’s not courage we lack, so we’ll follow his track,
pull his hat down real tight and ride on.

If ever their trails be forgotten
all heroes may cease to exist.
The hats that they wore should be passed ever more
and new names must be scribed to the list.

It’s a task that is chocked full of danger
and cursed with the Devil’s own kiss.
Lift high up your cup for the kids looking up
are the targets we must never miss.

The tracks that we make, they will follow.
We must never veer from that trail.
Never give up the fight because right is still right.
That code they set down without fail.

Take care of the hat that you’re wearing.
Protect it as if it’s pure gold.
Don’t ever look back, place your hat on the stack.
That’s the makings of heroes of old.

©2017, Jay Snider, used with permission
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

Oklahoma rancher, poet, and songwriter told us that he has been working on this poem since his father passed away, and while driving home from the Cochise Cowboy Poetry Gathering, he finally put it together, pulling off the road several times to work on it. Jay’s father was a top roper and rodeo cowboy and his grandfather was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Jay Snider’s recent CD, Classic Cowboy Poetry: The Old Tried and True, showcases his fine reciting. Like some poetry time traveler, he delivers poems by Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Will Ogilvie, Sunny Hancock, and others, to carry you back to time when, to quote Kiskaddon, “cattle were plenty and people were few.”

Enjoy his rendition of Sunny Hancock’s (1931-2003) “The Bear Tale” in a video from the Western Folklife Center’s 2011 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering here.

Jay Snider introduces the new CowboyPoetry.com CD, MASTERS, which includes the poetry of Larry McWhorter, J.B. Allen, Sunny Hancock, and Ray Owens.

A great friend of the BAR-D, Jay just obtained a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com,  and visit his web site, JaySnider.net.

Pictured above are four generations of Sniders: Jay, his father, his son Jason, and granddaughter Ruby Jean. The picture below includes Jay, his father, his son Rusty, and grandson Rowdy.

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TYRONE AND TYREE by Jay Snider

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photo © 2016, Sandy Seaton Sallee

TYRONE AND TYREE
by Jay Snider

I’ve learned lots of lessons
’bout cowboyin’ up
’cause I’ve been a cowboy
since I was a pup

And my dad taught me
just like his dad taught him
rewards without effort
come seldom and slim

And if workin’ for wages
or bossin’ a crew
a job left half finished
reflects upon you

And good leaders of men
who while bossin’ the crew
won’t ask of their men
what they wouldn’t do

‘Cause men are just men
and it’s by God’s design
we all pull on our britches
one leg at a time

But some men are leaders
while others hold back
they stray off the trail
and are hard to untrack

But with proper persuasion
will likely fall in
’cause that’s just the nature
Of hosses and men

Which put me to thinkin’
’bout Tyrone and Tyree
the best team of Belgians
you ever did see

Why they’d lay in those collars
and pull stride for stride
work sunup to sundown
till the day that they died

But Tyree would get balky
not pull like he should
so Tyrone would reach over
and scold him right good

Then the load they were pullin’
would even right out
that’s the lesson in life
that I’m talkin’ about

‘Cause some hosses are leaders
while some will pull back
they’ll stray off the trail
and are hard to untrack

But with proper persuasion
will likely fall in
see, that’s just the nature
of hosses and men

Which put me to thinkin’
’bout what Dad had said
and a couple of visions
then danced in my head

In my mirror, while shavin’
which one will I see
could I be Tyrone
or would I be Tyree

And to leaders of men
let’s all raise a cup
here’s to pullin’ your weight
and to cowboyin’ up

© 2005, Jay Snider, used with permission
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author’s permission.

Here’s a poem that might inspire some New Year’s resolutions.

Popular Oklahoma rancher, poet, and songwriter Jay Snider is a crowd pleaser on stages across the West. He is appreciated as well for his fine reciting.

Jay Snider has a grand new CD, Classic Cowboy Poetry: The Old Tried and True, which showcases his fine reciting. Like some poetry time traveler, he delivers poems by Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Will Ogilvie, Sunny Hancock, and others, to carry you back to time when, to quote Kiskaddon, “cattle were plenty and people were few.” Find more at http://www.jaysnider.net (and more about him and more poetry at CowboyPoetry.com).

Enjoy his rendition of Sunny Hancock’s (1931-2003) “The Bear Tale” in a video from the Western Folklife Center’s 2011 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

See a Western Horseman video about Jay Snider by Jennifer Denison here.

Just a few of the places you’ll find Jay Snider in coming months include: the 4th annual Western Music & Songwriters Series, January 28, 2017 in Tooele, Utah; the 31st Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, February 24-25, 2017, in Alpine; and the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, February 3-4, 2017, in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com, and visit JaySnider.net.

This photo is by popular poet and wilderness guide Sandy Seaton Sallee, from December, 2015. She described it, “Fred and Frank, our big blue Brabant/Percheron team, near our home above the Yellowstone River. Airedale pup Kate enjoyed the ride!” Sandy and her husband Scott run Black Mountain Outfitters, located in the heart of Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park in Montana and also Slough Creek Outfitters, offering world-famous Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout fishing. Find more about Sandy Seaton Sallee at CowboyPoetry.com, .

OF HORSES AND MEN by Jay Snider

jaybudisaacsphoto by Bud Isaacs

 

OF HORSES AND MEN
by Jay Snider

It’s been told of good horses lost
In simple words that cowboys use
He dern sure was a good one
He’s the kind you hate to lose

He’s the kind you could depend on
In the river and the breaks
In rough country and wild cattle
He’d be the one you’d take

His efforts weren’t ruled by stature
With him you’d finish what you’d start
His limits were governed only
By the dimension of his heart

His expectations were simple
Merely fairness from a friend
But when he’d feel the need to run
It’s best not to fence him in

Pure poetry in motion
As across the plains he’d fly
A tried and true compadre
In a seasoned cowboy’s eye

His courage was unmatched by mortal men
From conquistadors to kings
Cowboys sing his praises
At roundups in the spring

Ain’t it strange how thoughts of horses lost
Mirror those of men passed on
And though they’ve gone to glory
Their spirit’s never gone

Sometimes simple words seem best
When final words we choose
He dern sure was a good one
He’s the kind you hate to lose

© 2003, Jay Snider, used with permission
Third-generation Oklahoma cowboy and rancher Jay Snider told us about his poem:

The inspiration for this poem came to me on December 7, 2002. I had to put down a little bay stud that we owned for near a dozen years. Cancer had invaded one of his kidneys and the vet gave him little hope. It truly was a sad day for us. I remember telling my wife and sons,  “Doc sure was a good one. He’s the kind you hate to lose.”

That same day, I had been asked to do a poem at an old man’s funeral that lived north of where we live. He was as good a cowman as ever came out of our country. After the service, his eldest son said to me, “Dad sure was a good one. He’s the kind you hate to lose.”

I could not get those words out of my mind. I started this poem that night; however, I could not finish it until March 19, 2003 when we received word that Larry McWhorter had passed away. Then it came to me what I had been trying to say all along.”

Jay is appreciated as well for his fine reciting. Enjoy his rendition of Sunny Hancock’s (1931-2003) “The Bear Tale” in a video from the Western Folklife Center’s 2011 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering here.

See a Western Horseman video about Jay Snider by Jennifer Denison here.

Take the opportunity to hear Jay on the new “Del Shield’s Western World” radio show, on the Better Horses Network. It includes conversation and Jay’s recitations of classic poetry, Bruce Kiskaddon’s “When They’ve Finished Shipping Cattle in the Fall,” Will Ogilvie’s “Pearl of the Them All,” and Luther Lawhon’s “The Good Old Cowboy Days,” all from his recent The Old Tried and True: Classic Cowboy Poetry CD.

A few places you’ll find Jay in coming months are the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering & Western Swing Festival, in Fort Worth October 25-27, 2016; the Working Ranch Cowboy Association Finals in Amarillo, November 10-13, 2016; the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in Sierra Vista, Arizona, February 3-4, 2017; and the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, February 24-25, 2017.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com, and at his site.

This 2013 photo of Jay Snider is by Bud Isaacs, used with his permission.

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