“Lee's Ferry”


"Come all you roving cowboys, bound on these western plains... We'll go back home again... We'll cross over Lee's Ferry, oh, and go back home this year." The cowhands agree that they will go home, but they grow old without ever returning


Lee's Ferry (named for Mormon pioneer John D. Lee) was at one time the only way to cross the Colorado River in Arizona. The region north and west of the river (the "Arizona Strip"), surrounded on two sides by river, and with desert to the west and hills to the north, was decent cattle country but very isolated. Hence this song.

For more about John D. Lee, very little of it good, see the notes to "The Mountain Meadows Massacre" [Laws B19]. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Ohrlin-HBT 37, "Lees' Ferry" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Ohr047


Author: Romaine Lowdermilk
Earliest date: 1967
Keywords: cowboy home travel age
Found in: US