Song Lyric Sunday: “I’m An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)”

Jim picked “Cowboy/Gun/Hat/Horse/Western” as today’s theme, and there was only one song I could think of to do…

“I’m An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)” was written by Johnny Mercer for the 1936 movie Rhythm on the Range, which starred Bing Crosby, Frances Farmer, and Bob Burns. Bing sang it in the movie, as well as recording it with Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, and it shot all the way to #2 on the charts of the day. Der Bingle’s version of the song might be the original, but I much prefer the somewhat sultry version that Maryann Price of Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks delivered on their 1972 album Striking It Rich.

The lyrics, from LyricsFreak:

I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
But my legs ain’t bowed, and my cheeks ain’t tan
Well I’m a cowboy who never saw a cow
Never roped a steer ’cause I don’t know how
And I sure ain’t fixin’ to startin now
Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay, yippee-i-o-ki-ay

I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
And I learned to ride before I learned to stand
Well I’m a ridin fool who is up to date
I know every trail in the Lone Star State
‘Cause I ride the range in a Ford V-8
Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay, yippee-i-o-ki-ay

I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
And I come to town just to hear the band
I know all the songs that the cowboys know
‘Bout the big corral where the dogies go
‘Cause I learned them all on the radio
Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay, yippee-i-o-ki-ay

(Extra Lyrics from the Bing Crosby version)

I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
Where the west is wild round the borderland
Where the buffalo roam around the zoo
And the indian make you a rug or two
And the old Bar-X is the Bar-be-cue
Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay, yippee-i-o-ki-ay

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for September 1, 2019.

9 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “I’m An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)”

    1. Maryann Price was a good singer and looked a little like Linda Ronstadt. There are some fine female country singers: Patsy Cline, Lynn Anderson, Donna Fargo, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton etc. They choose material that works for them, which I think is why they can make it work.

      Liked by 1 person

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