|Artist:||Marty Robbins (English)|
|Chord names:||Not defined|
Jack Thorp wrote “Little Joe” on a paper bag sitting by the campfire one night in 1898, while helping trail a herd of O cattle from Chimney Lake, New Mexico to Higgins, Texas.
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Little Joe, the wrangler, he’ll wrangle never more;
His days with the cavvy they are done.
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'Twas about the end of April that he rode up to the herd
Just a little Texas stray and all a-lone.
'Twas long late in the evening when he rode up to the herd
On a little old brown pony he called Chaw;
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With his brogan shoes and overalls a tougher looking kid
I never in my life had saw before.
His saddle was a southern kack built many years ago,
An O.K. spur on one foot idly hung,
While his "hot roll" in a cotton sack was loosely tied behind
And a canteen from his saddle horn was slung.
He said he'd had to leave his home, his ma had married twice
And his new pa beat him every day or two;
So he saddled up old Chaw one night and "lit a shuck" this way
Thought he'd try to paddle now his own canoe.
He said he'd do the best he could if we just give him work
Though he didn't know "straight up” about no cow
So the boss he cut him out a mount and kinder put him on
For I guess he sorta liked the kid somehow.
Taught him how to herd the horses and to learn to know them all
To round 'em up by daybreak if he could
To trail the old chuck wagon and to always hitch the team
And help the "cosinero" rustle wood.
We'd pushed ‘em to Red River, the weather it was fine;
We’d camped down on the south side of the bend
When a norther started blowing and we doubled up our guards
For it took all hands to hold the cattle then.
Little Joe the wrangler was called out with the rest
And scarcely had the kid got to the herd
When the cattle they stampeded; like a hail storm, long they flew
And everyone was riding for the lead.
"Tween the streaks of lightning we could see a horse out front
'Twas little Joe the wrangler in the lead;
Riding "old Blue Rocket" with his slicker o’er his head
Trying to check the leaders in their speed.
We finally got them milling and kind of quieted down
And the extra guards back to the camp did go
But one of them was missin' and we all knew at a glance
'Twas our little Texas stray poor wrangler Joe.
Next morning just at sunup we found where Rocket fell
In a washout nearly twenty feet below
‘Neath his horse his life was gone, his spur had rung the knell
For our little Texas stray -- poor wrangler Joe