The Songs He Sang
The Chis(h)olm Trail: Lyrics
As performed by Cisco Houston
Foot in the stirrup and my hand on the horn I'm the best darn cowboy ever was born Chorus: Singing ki yi yippee yippee yi yippeo Singing ki yi yippee yippee yay Well, I started up the trail October twenty-third Started up the trail with a 2-U herd Chorus: Up every morning before daylight And before I sleep the moon shines bright Chorus: With a ten dollar horse and a forty dollar saddle I'm going down to Texas for to punch them cattle Chorus: Well old Ben Bolt was a fine old boss And he went to see his gal on a sore-back hoss Chorus: There's a stray in the herd and boss said kill it So I shot him in the rump with the handle of a skillet Chorus: And I went to the boss to draw my roll And he had me figured out nine dollars in the hole Chorus: Ropin' and a-tyin' and a-brandin' all day I'm a-working mighty hard for a-mighty little pay Chorus: Well I went to the boss and we had a little chat And I hit him in the face with my old slouch hat Chorus: With my foot in the stirrup and my hand on the horn I'm the best danged cowboy ever was born Chorus: Well I'm gonna get married just as quick as I can And I won't punch cattle for no darn man Chorus:
The opening tune on one of Cisco's finest efforts, be brings the proper blend of jaunty good-humor and nonsense to a silly song. And the lyric "I'm a-working mighty hard for a-mighty little pay" sounds like one most of us could connect with. Apparently, as in many other things, Folkways was a bit casual about how Chisholm should be spelled. Done one way on Cowboy Ballads, another on Frontiers.