The original country western music! Western Cowboys really did sing cowboy songs to the cattle at night. Singing songs like "Old Dan Tucker," "Nearer My God To Thee," "In the Sweet By and By" or "The Texas Lullaby" soothed jittery cows, which helped reduce the likelihood of stampede. Thunder and lightning were the most common causes of cattle stampedes. At night, if a storm came and the cattle started running, it was the cowboy's job to jump on his horse, head them off and round them up safely. The job was a dangerous one in the wild west, riding through the dark, with prairie dog holes all around, not knowing if the next turn would be your last.
That's why singing to cattle was so important. Two men on guard would circle around with their horses on a walk. If it were a clear night with the cattle bedded down and quiet, one man would sing a verse of a song, and his partner on the other side of the herd would sing another verse. They would go through a whole song that way, right through the night. The cattle songs and cowboy poetry below tell of a "free" life entwined in nature and work. You'll also see some modern cowboy poetry being offered here, showing that the traditions of life on the wild west range and the spirit of the old west are still very much alive. Enjoy the country music lyrics; they are part of western American History.