The Strawberry Roan

The Strawberry Roan

There's not much I can add to general knowledge about western America's greatest horse ballad, except to throw in a few personal and regional associations:
The Strawberry Roan
I was hanging round town, just spending my time,
Being out of a job and not earning a dime,
A fellow walks up, and he says, "I suppose
You're a bronc rider, from the looks of your clothes."
"Well, you figured me right, and I'm a good one, I claim.
Would you happen to have any outlaws to tame?"
He says, "I've got one and a good one to buck,
At throwing top riders he's had lots of luck."

He says this here's one pony that's never been rode,
And the man that gets on him is bound to get throwed.
I got all het up and I asked what he'd pay
To ride this old nag for a couple of days.
Well, he offered me ten, and I says, "I'm your man,
For the bronc isn't living that I couldn't fan."
He says, "Get your saddle, I'll give you the chance."
So we hopped in his buckboard and rode to his ranch.

Out in the horse corral, standing alone,
Is an old cavallo, a strawberry roan,
Little pin ears that touch at the tip,
A big 44 brand upon his left hip.
He was spavined all round, and he had pigeon toes,
Little pig eyes, and a big roman nose,
U-necked and old, with a long lower jaw,
You could tell at a glance he's a regular outlaw.

Well, I buckle on my spurs, and I'm sure feeling fine,
I pull down my hat and I pick up my twine,
Throw my loop on him, and well I know then,
Before he gets rode, I'll sure earn my ten.
I get the blinds on him with a terrible fight,
Next comes the saddle, and I cinch him up tight.
Then I step on him and raise up the blinds--
"Get out of the way, boys, he's bound to unwind!"

Well, I threw him his head, and I'll say he unwound,
He seemed to quit living down here on the ground,
Went up in the east and come down in the west,
I'm sitting up on him and doing my best.
He sure was a frog-walker, he heaved a big sigh,
He only lacked wings for to be on the fly.
Turned his old belly right up to the sun,
He sure was a sunfishing son of a gun.

He's about the worst bucker I've seen on the range,
He could turn on a nickle and give you some change.
I lost both my stirrups and also my hat,
I'm reaching for leather and blind as a bat.
He come down on all fours, and he went up on high,
And he left me a-spinning up there in the sky.
Turned over twice and I come down to the earth,
And I lit into cussing the day of his birth.

Now I know there's ponies that I cannot ride,
There's some of them living, they haven't all died,
But I'll bet my money there's no man alive
Who can stay with old Strawberry when he makes his high dive.