Mudcat Café message #4032362 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18855   Message #4032362
Posted By: GUEST,Jerome Clark
05-Feb-20 - 11:26 AM
Thread Name: Your favorite cowboy/western folk songs
Subject: RE: Your favorite cowboy/western folk songs
Ian Tyson's version of "Rambler Gambler" towers above any other I've ever heard. It still moves me decades after it first passed through my ears. I believe he learned it from Alan Lomax's LP "Texas Folk Songs."

It bears mentioning that his Western originals are realistic songs, about working lives rather than gunfighting ones or (as in the cowboy-pop likes of Gene Autry and associates) the alleged romance of the range.. The violent "Four Rode By," another of my favorites of his, is not a cowboy ballad but a true story about a crime spree in 1879 British Columbia.

In "Someday Soon" the line, though frequently misquoted, is "roughest row to hoe," not "road." Rows, not roads, are howed, and Tyson is a careful writer.

Though it may have been true at one time, it's been a long while since Tyson was a "pseudo-cowboy."