I was a Cowboy

I was signing books this weekend and talking to a lady who had bought my books for her husband in October. She said that her husband wanted to know about the song that Two-Bit and B.G.E. sing in Victory Road. It was written by my friend Mark Bowling….I thought that I would repost the passage here, and put a link to Mark singing I was a Cowboy.

“It was later on as that campfire was dying down and the artillery fire had dropped off when Sam heard two soldiers that he recognized as Hoar and Beams singing a cowboy’s lament in fine tenor voices, and the song moved him to tears:

I met an old man at a roadside cantina

Somewhere in New Mexico

He said sit down son and I’ll tell you a story

About this one horse rodeo

Well a long time ago I was born down in Texas

But here’s where I’ll make my last stand

My pa was a farmer but I was cut different

I never could work the hard land

 

Oh but I was a hero and I was a cowboy

Out on the range I would ride like the wind

I pray that some day, the good Lord will take me

And let me go back there again

To ride on the range with my friends

 

I fell in love with a young senorita

When I was just barely a man

She stole my heart but I still had to leave her

And go chase that old wild wind

 

Oh but I was a hero and I was a cowboy

Out on the range I would ride like the wind

I pray that some day, the good Lord, He will take me

And let me go back there again

To ride on the range with my friends

 

I said I don’t know how I made it this far

My good friends have all passed away

So I took all I had and I bought this cantina

And here’s where I’ll spend my last days

 

Oh but I was a hero and I was a cowboy

Out on the range I would ride like the wind

But I know that some day, the good Lord, He will take me

And let me go back there again

To ride on the range with my friends

Yippee ki-yi-yay git along little dogies.

It was a fine song, Sam had reflected, and it made him terribly homesick—even after the mood was broken when a passing soldier called out in the dark, “Hey!  Did that senorita have big tits?”

Beams’ answer led to scattered laughter among the company soldiers that were still awake, “You bet, partner!  B.G.E. stands for Big Goddamned Enchiladas!”

As the laughter died away, and the encampment became as quiet as it could be with thousands of soldiers, Sam had tried to remember the words to the song.  Sam may have been a cowboy, but he had no notions of being a hero—he wasn’t Perkin.  Sam had been commended for his role in the defense of a little bridge at Mount San Chirico, but to Sam the medals held little value.  Fighting was a ticket home, and the war meant little more to Sam than that.  Finish this battle and move on to the next one, then the one after that until there were no more battles to fight.  Then he could go home to Texas and Margaret.  One day, Sam thought, maybe the good Lord will take me, and let me go back there again.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s