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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
rich r Favourite cowboy songs (97* d) RE: Favourite cowboy songs 28 Aug 99


The version of Sierry Petes in Kaite Lee's book definitely contains the line "I'm sick of this cow-pyrography" in the fourth verse. She got it straight from Gail Gardner in some meetings with him. Gardner also reported that the name is derived from the Sierra Prieta Mountains located west of Prescott AZ. According to Gail, an old miner in that region always called them the Sierry Petes, not peaks as might be expected. Gardner scoffed at various liner notes on versions of the song including a discussion of the meaning of "cow-biography" that one liner note writer tried to describe. Quoting from Katie Lee's book:

"Oh, it means workin' with cattle, does it?" he (Gardner) snorts, "Now ain't that nice to know, since it doesn't at all, even if "cow-biography" was the right word, which it ain't! Katie, there's a perfect example of how not knowin' can bitch the meaning and ruin the 'colorful language' all to hell. The word is "cow-pyrography". As defined in Webster's, pyrography is the art of producing designs or pictures as on leather by burning with a hot iron or instrument. When I was a little button around the turn of the century the ladies had pyrography sets and burned pictures on leather sofa pillows or table covers. So, naturally, cow-pyrography is burning designs on a cow's hide. In the second printing of my n"Orejana Bull" I changed it to 'the smell of burnin' hair' because nobody knew what pyrography meant, and what the cowboys made of that word was fearful and wonderful indeed!"

"There you go tampering with the original" (K Lee)

"Hell, I didn't change it until 1950. By then there wasn't nuthin' more they could do with it" (Note: he originally wrote the poem in 1917)

Gardner also describes where the name Buster Jig came from. It seems when he was a tyke his nickname was "Buster". He dad J. I. Gardner, owned a store. The sign on the store front had the initials so close together that they looked like JIG.

rich r rich r


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