The mythology of the cowboy in the Wild West of the United States has its roots in the open-range cattle drives of the 1870s-1880s. This particular cowboy lament discusses the end of the period, when barbed wire made it affordable to fence in large areas for ranches. Historical notes are provided. This particular cowboy song gives students practice with arpeggios and “call-and-response” music. The piece should probably be repeated 4 times if performed in a recital–or even better, have the lyrics printed and have a sing-a-long, doing all 4 verses.
Key: F Major
Mood: sad, mournful
Pedagogy: arpeggios, repeats, rolled chords, fingering