Save a horse, ride a (gay) cowboy

June 19, 2007

I was listening to ITunes on Shuffle mode. Most of the music on my new computer, I’m only peripherally familiar with. The song that came up was one I haven’t heard yet, called “Tom Sherman’s Barroom” performed by Dick Devall. This is off a compilation that I borrowed from KSPC. It’s called “Before the Blues: The Early American Black Music Scene – Classic Recordings from the 1920s and 1930s”. Highly recommended.

Anyways, with a squeal of delight I realized that on the Dick Devall track the chorus was “I’m a gay cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong” Hmmmm…… Tragic gay cowboys sounds familiar….Well I posted the rest of the lyrics and you can conjure up the meanings as you will.

TOM SHERMAN’S BARROOM
(Traditional)

As I rode down to Tom Sherman’s barroom
To Tom Sherman’s barroom one morning in May
‘Twas there I spied a gay, handsome cowboy
All dressed in white linen as cold as the clay

I knew by your outfit that you were a cowboy
That’s what they all said as you go riding along
Come gather around me, (you) said the jolly cowboy
And listen to me, comrades, said he

It’s each and all may learn and take warning
And quit your wild roving before it’s too late
It was once in the saddle I used to go dashing
It was once in the saddle I used to be gay
First taking to drinking and then to card playing
Got shot through the breast and now I must die

Oh bear the news gently to my grey-headed mother
And whisper then lowly to my sister so dear
And don’t forget the words that I’ve told you
For I’m a gay cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong

Oh beat your drum loudly and play your fife slowly
And play your dead marches as you carry me along
Oh take me to the graveyard and roll the sod o’er me
For I’m a gay cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong

Six jolly cowboys to balance my coffin
Six pretty girls to sing me a song
Oh take me to the graveyard and roll the sod o’er me
For I’m a gay cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong

Oh bring unto me a glass of cold water
A glass of cold water, that poor boy cried
And when I returned, the spirit had left him
And, gone to the Giver, the poor boy had died

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