Petersen: Worry Blues
Ranching and farming are occupations wherein just when one hopes things are getting better, another calamity drops out of the blue, rears an ugly head, makes one chase one’s tail, causes one’s blood pressure numbers to go off the chart and indubitably increases one’s proficiency in the art and practice of cussing. The following is in four-four rap time. Slap your knee, whack a tambourine or bang on somebody’s hollow head to keep the beat. It helps if you groan at the end of each verse.
If you want to be a rancher, here’s what to do,
Borrow money from your banker, he likes to worry, too,
Then sweat in the heat while you’re waiting for rain,
Misery’s part of the ranching game.
Well it didn’t rain today and it didn’t last night,
The grass is turning brittle and the pastures look a fright,
The springs in the hills are flowing pretty slow,
When will it rain? Nobody knows.
Well, it got so hot the hens quit layin’,
Now they just sit around a-cluckin’ and a-prayin’,
And all of the bugs are hatching again,
Some of ‘em act like they’re real old friends.
And the dogs and the cats are layin’ all around,
With their tongues hangin’ out and draggin’ on the ground,
If they see a critter movin’, and it’s goin’ real fast —
It’s too hot to chase, they’d just let ‘em pass.
The pumps belch mud, and the streams go dry,
And the sun beats down and skin begins to fry,
And the wind stirs dirt all across the land,
And the dust gets thicker than a Copenhagen can.
Ranchers wean early, so the cows eat less,
Oh, when will it rain? Nobody can guess.
Ranchers sell down, no grass on the ground,
And not much hay anywhere around.
And the beat goes on with more of the same
But hey, you’re a rancher; it’s the name of the game
When you’re up to your chin with troubles galore
That’s when the fates will dump even more
Your horse gets bit by a danged rattlesnake
And the bull breaks through the south 40 gate
There’s wild fires burning all over the state
What’ll be next? Can’t guess your fate.
And season follows season year after year
And your body grows weak and your mind goes queer
The sun comes up and the sun goes down
But you keep on goin’ — round and round
Cuz a rancher’s creed says stick like glue,
Wear out your life like an old worn shoe,
Still, you always know, though you fuss and stew,
Deep in your soul, you’re doing what you love to do!❖