“The Cowboys' Christmas Ball”


"Way out in western Texas where the Clear Forks waters flow... It was there that I attended the Cowboys' Christmas Ball." The location is described, as are all the people who show up. The singer expects to recall the excitement forever


Although often quoted, the difficult form of this piece (six twelve-line stanzas!) seems to have kept it from securing a firm place in oral tradition; Thorp/Fife list seventeen printings but only one field recording, and Ohrlin admits that his version is shorter than the original. Cannon has a versin chopped down to five stanzas, which he calls "folk song length." - RBW

Cross references


  1. Thorp/Fife XVI, pp. 219-224 (33-36), "The Cowboys Christmas Ball" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Ohrlin-HBT 60, "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Saffel-CowboyP, pp. 56-58, "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball" (1 text)
  4. ADDITIONAL: Hal Cannon, editor, _Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering_, Giles M. Smith, 1985, pp. 17-19, "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball" (1 text)
  5. Roud #4634
  6. BI, TF16


Author: Larry Chittenden
Earliest date: 1893 (Chittenden's "Ranch Verses")
Keywords: cowboy party dancing
Found in: US(SW)