Little Joe, The Wrangler

Cat. #0671 (MFH #387) - As sung by Max Hunter, Springfield, Missouri on February 7, 1969

It's little Joe, th wrangler, he'll never wrangle more
And his days with th re-mu-da, they are o'er
T'was a year a-go last April when he rode into our camp
Just a little Texas stray and all a-lone

T'was late in th eve-nin when he rode up to our herd
On a little Texas po-ny he called "Chaw"
With his brgan shoes and over-alls, a tough-er look-in kid
You ne-ver in your life-time really saw

His saddle was a Texas "kak", built many years ago
With an OK spur on one foot lightly swung
His "hot-roll" in a cotton sack was loosely tied behind
And his canteen from th saddle horn was hung

He said he had to leave his home, his Dad had married twice
And his new Ma beat him every day or two
So he saddled up old "chaw" one night and "lit a chuck" this way
Thought he would try and paddle his own canoe

He said, if we would give him work he'd do th best he could
Though he did'nt know "Straight-up" about a cow
So th boss then cut him out a mount and kindly put him on
For he sort-o' liked this little kid somehow

He learned to wrangle horses, and to try to know them all
And to get them in at daybreak, if he could
And to follow the chuck wagon and to always hitch th team
And to help the "Cocinero" rustle wood

We had driven to th Peco's cause th weather had been fine
We were camped on th south side in a bend
When a norther came a-blowin, we had doubled up our guard
For it took us all to hold th cattle then

Oh, Little Joe, th wrangler, was called out with th rest
And scarcely had th kid got to th herd
When th cattle they stampeded, like a hailstorm 'long they flew
And all of us were ridin for th lead

Amid'st th streaks of lightin we could see a horse ahead
T'was little Joe, th wrangler, in th lead
He was ridin old "Blue Rocket" with a slicker o'er his head
To try an' check th leaders in th speed

At last we got them millin' and kind'a quited down
And th extra guard back to th camp soon went
But one of them was missin', and we knowed at a glance
T'was our little Texas stray, poor wrangler Joe

Next mornin', just at day-break, we found where Rocket fell
Way down in a washout twenty feet below
And beneath his horse, mashed to a pulp, his spurs had rung th knell
Was our little Texas stray, poor wrangler Joe