A Few Decent Songs About Horses and Mules

My grandad used to sing these first two to me.  I think I probably knew both of them by heart before I began grammar school in 1949:


By the time Marty Robbins recorded this and started it playing on the radio I knew it well enough to make everyone in hearing distance wish it hadn’t played by singing along with it.


This Woody Guthrie version is probably my favorite.


When Jimmy Driftwood recorded this it had everyone in the country singing along when it played on the radio or jukebox.


Strange, strange song. I count it as one of the best CW songs of the 20th Century.


There was an old lady named Mrs. McCormick who had dementia living down the road from us.  If she was outdoors when I walked past she’d usually pay me a nickle to sing this to her.  That, and the fact she thought her husband left on the stagecoach last week and ought to be back soon provides a measure of how far gone she was.  Mrs. McCormick was the only person I ever encountered in almost 70 years wanted to hear me sing more than once.

Old Jules


16 responses to “A Few Decent Songs About Horses and Mules

  1. Oh! What wonderful memories! I remember all of these. Don’t forget this one that always made me cry: Johnny Horton’s Comanche the Brave Horse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkIlxZxeK1s
    Thanks for this great post.

  2. Jools’ Jaunts: I’m obliged you came by for a visit and reminded me of that one. Hadn’t thought of it in decades. Gracias, Jules

  3. What would the world have been without horses, mules and men?
    Song and dance, and old ladies who lost their head?

    What would the world have been?

  4. Thanks for the memories.

  5. and of course the infamous… “Wild Fire”

    your blog is always a pleasure to visit(~_~)

    • Hi there zendictive. Hope you’re having a fine morning. I appreciate you. I overslept a bit and am sitting here trying to draw a bead on whether it’s going to be dry enough and warm enough to do outside work, or whether I’m going to be indoors having to make critical life decisions about whether to work on a blog post, or read more on Chancellorsville, by Stackpole. Jeanne sent me the book and it arrived a couple of days ago. Since then it’s been trying to wedge itself into all my waking moments. Thanks for stopping by. Jules

  6. I think Cohen is one of the best poets of the 20th Century 🙂

    • aremophila: I agree frequently. I only disagree when I stop to remember some of my other favorite 20th Century poets, at which time I shrug and bunch them together as best without trying to measure them against one another. Cohen’s the only one of them distinguishes himself by also putting the works to music, though. Gracias, Jules

  7. Great post and good blog! Ann

  8. Unlike some of the other people here, I only remember the Frankie Lane song. Goes to show you how protected (or ignorant?) some of us northerners can be, I guess. As for the horses, I’ve been lucky enough to see them running wild in parts of Nevada. Not something you’ll ever see anymore in western NY (or anywhere else east of the Mississippi, probably). But all of the great horse cultures are dead and gone. And that’s sad.

    • Hi Paul. Thanks for coming by for a read. I expect exposure to some of that type music might be, or have been, fairly limited for a lot of northerners back in the day. The only time I’ve ever seen wild horses was on the Rez …. San Felipe, I think, north of Albuquerque. Those were starving to death something awful. Glad for your visit. Gracias, Jules

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