Agnes and Alice |

Agnes and Alice

Two old cowgirls, Agnes and Alice, sat on the veranda of the Home for Old Cowgirls reminiscing about days gone by. “Listen to this,” declared Agnes and read out a review of the first National Cowboy Poetry Gathering held in Elko, Nev., back in 1985.

Previous to that year, western-states folklorists dug, dredged, researched, culled and harvested poetry penned by cowboys who — according to accepted explanations — would sit around campfires and recite poems. The folklorists intended to bring together the cowboy poets as a way to preserve the history and culture of the American West. Cowboy poetry gatherings are still going strong today, not only in Elko, but in numerous other states…

Alice, interrupting: “You keep saying cowboy. Didn’t they find any cowgirl poets?”

Agnes: “Well, I don’t suppose they looked.”

Alice: “Heck’s sake, that’s not right. You’n me been writing poetry and songs since we were big enough to operate a pen ‘n pencil.”

Agnes: “Well, that’s just the way it is. Been that way since Adam was a dude.”

Alice, grumbling: “Heck, I’ve been working on a cowgirl poem. Just finished writing one and I put it to a tune. Wanna hear it?”

Agnes: “Sure. You bet.”

At which point Alice fetched her guitar and warbled the following.

I’m An Old Cowgirl (tune: I’m An Old Cowhand)

I’m an old cowgirl from Montana Land

And I’m gettin’ old, but I’ve still got sand

I’m a cowgirl who used to chase them cows

And I roped them steers cuz I knew just how

But I shore ain’t fixin’ to do that now.

Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay, yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

I’m an old cowgirl from Montana Land

And I learned to ride ‘fore I learned to stand;

But my knees are bad, and I’ve put on weight

Well, a rockin’ chair’s gonna be my fate

But I’ll ride my hoss till I’m eighty-eight.

Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay, yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

I’m an old cowgirl from Montana Land

And I came to town just to join the band

I know all the songs that the cowboys know

And I’ll sing my songs on the cowgal show

And yodel a tune on the radio

Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay, yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

I’m an old cowgirl from Montana Land

Where the West is wild and it sure is grand

To live out here where the buffalo roam

Where mountains rise like a beautiful poem

It’s a place I love, and I call it home

Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay, yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

Alice ended her song with a riff on the guitar and a big grin while shouting:


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