“Little Joe the Wrangler”


"Little Joe" runs away from home because of a parental remarriage. He is taken in by cowboys and learns how to herd cattle. When a storm starts blowing, he stops a stampede but is killed in the process


Larkin notes that, in a cattle ride, the horse wrangler (responsible for controlling the horses and bringing them to the riders as needed) stood low in the social hierarchy but often played a vital role when the herd was nervous or the riders busy. - RBW

Cross references


  • Jules Allen, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (Victor 21470, 1928; Montgomery Ward M-4344, 1933; Montgomery Ward M-4780, 1935)
  • Leon Chappelear, "Little Joe the Wrangler" Champion 45068, c. 1935; Montgomery Ward M-4950, 1936)
  • Edward L. Crain, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (Crown 3239/Conqueror 8010, 1932; Homestead 22991, c. 1932)
  • Harry Jackson, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (on HJackson1)
  • Goebel Reeves, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (Melotone M-12214, 1931; Panachord 25313, 1932; on MakeMe)
  • Arnold Keith Storm, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (on AKStorm01)
  • Marc "The Cowboy Crooner" Williams, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (Brunswick 269, 1928)


  1. Laws B5, "Little Joe the Wrangler"
  2. Randolph 203, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (1 text)
  3. Thorp/Fife I, pp. 28-37 (9-11), "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (4 texts -- one of them being "Sister Nell" and another a parody about "Joe... That hung that bunch of cactus on the wall," 1 tune)
  4. Logsdon 2, pp. 32-37, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Larkin, pp. 123-126, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Fife-Cowboy/West 79, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Darling-NAS, pp. 166-167, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (1 text)
  8. Silber-FSWB, p. 265, "Little Joe The Wrangler" (1 text)
  9. Saffel-CowboyP, pp. 207-208, "Little Joe, The Wrangler" (1 text)
  10. DT 373, LITTLEJO*
  11. Roud #1930
  12. BI, LB05


Author: N. Howard Thorp (1898)
Earliest date: 1908 (Thorp's "Songs of the Cowboys")
Keywords: cowboy death
Found in: US(NW,Ro,So,SW)