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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Dale Rose Lyr Req/Add: Platonia / Patanio (36) Lyr Add: PLATONIA (from Glenn Ohrlin) 19 Jan 01

transcribed from The Hell-Bound Train, A Cowboy Songbook, Glenn Ohrlin,University of Illinois Press, 1973

You gaze at this picture with wondering eyes
And then at the arrow that hangs by its side.
You say, "tell the story," you know there is one,
"Of the beautiful creature with eyes like the sun."
That name ever haunts me wherever I go.
I'll tell you a story, 'twill thrill you, I know,
Of the famous cow pony I rode on the range,
We called him "Platonia, the pride of the plains."

The country was new and the settlers were scarce,
The Indians were savage, bloodthirsty, and fierce.
We sent out our scouts, but we got no report.
They were lost, for they never came back to the fort.
The captain spoke up and said, "Someone must go
Get help from the border of New Mexico."
A dozen brave cowboys at once answered, "Here!"
But the captain saw me, I was standing right near.

Platonia beside me, his nose in my hand,
The cap knew my horse was the best in the land.
He said, "If there's any one soul can get through
And outrun the redskins, my boy, it is you."
Proudly I looked at my pony, I know
Platonia and I are both ready to go.
They all shook my hand, as I leaped he dashed forth,
We swung down the trail, I headed him north.

The black strikes a trot and he keeps it all night.
And just as the horizon's beginning to light,
Not very far back there arose up a wail,
I knew that the Indians were hot on our trail.
I stroked his black neck and I called him by name,
He answered my call by shaking his mane,
His dark body lengthened as faster we sped,
And my rifle kept popping as onward we fled.

The Indians surround us, I swung his head west.
The arrows keep falling, a blow to my chest.
I speak to my pony, the best on the range,
"Steady, Platonia, the pride of the plains."
Bloody the froth flowing down o'er his bit,
The arrows all marking where he has been hit.
Platonia, poor feller, I knew he was hurt,
But he dashes right onward and up to the fort.

I give them the message, there's a dull haze around.
My cow pony stumbles and then he goes down.
Though wounded and weak, I'm feeling right bad
For the best pony comrade that man ever had.
But before very long we are both pulling through.
Of his death years later I'll not tell to you,
Oh, many good horses I've handled the reins,
But none like Platonia, the pride of the plains.

I'll add more about the song tomorrow, or as soon as I can get around to it.

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