Keep Your Girl Nailed Down when the Rodeo’s in Town


Poem inspired by absolutely true stories:

Any girl that ain’t squarely and firmly nailed down
Is purely at risk when the rodeo comes to your town
One bull rider we know stole the drummer’s girl
They run off together, give the circuit a whirl
That weren’t me; heard the story from a fellow named Dale
But a few of my own went beyond the ever loving pale

One time Dennis bucked off and ate a batch of arena bull flop
While I smooched his date out back (she tasted of orange soda pop)
Then a blonde rodeo queen from the city of Butte
We danced together all night; she was mighty cute
Got brushed off at the hotel; that’s the knell of doom
Couldn’t cuss her out–my blessed mother was in the next room!
We found two good lookers at the Great Falls show
Sucked us out of our money and away they did go

An Indian buddy and a mighty good friend
Up Canada way we hooked up once again
We met sisters this time, but mine wanted a ring
While he and the eldest made the back seat spring
I never understood what it was about me
‘Cause a lot of other cowboys were getting home free
But I knew one thing that can always be found
Local girls go nuts when the rodeo’s in town

When I was out there on the circuit just a-doing my thing
I met honeys everywhere you could drop a pigging string
Hanging out near the chutes if they could figure a way
Even in line to buy a hot dog, be it night or be it day
At the rodeo dances, odds were always mighty fine
Just tip your hat and shine your boots and watch the ladies’ eyes shine
Some met them at the bars in town, though that was not my style
I met them in the restaurants, darling waitresses smiled

At Cody, Wyoming, after one night show
Tommy and I met a pair of roommates who were anything but slow
Though we got a culture shock; they were at a variance
Told us they were real live through and through vegetarians
Didn’t hold that against them; they weren’t ugly old hags
But the next day they talked us into being cowboys in drag
Introduced us to the landlady who’d leased them their beds
We talked falsetto in boots and skirts and scarves upon our heads

One time Ron and I, at a Montana showdown
Slung our hammocks in the trees near the rodeo grounds
We weren’t even looking; we were cutting the zees
When two fine beauties slipped in through the trees
They jumped us in our hammocks, made the aspen leaves quake
Till the one smooching me yelled, “Damn! Mine’s awake!”
We grabbed for those girls; they were both nicely shaped
But we were wrapped up in sleeping bags and they made their escape

Now you might think I’m bragging; if you do, talk to the hand
Yes, it’s true I met a lot of girls while traveling the land
But I was not the only one who met the honeys on the go
In fact, countless other cowboys made me look dull and slow
Now, if I met a hundred women who ignored the local guys
And I was merely average–hey, keep your eye upon the prize
If you take your girl for granted and she sees a cowboy ride
You can bet your civvie shoes you’ve lost your woman and your pride

What can you do about it? Not that much, I will admit
When the rodeo’s in town, rough stock riders got no quit
They’ll steal the drummer’s sweetheart and they’ll steal their buddy’s, too
Riders know no fear when a girl comes into view
The only thing you might try if you think you’ve got the guts
Is crawl down on a bull yourself if you’re really truly nuts
Then if you live through the experience and start wearing boots and hat
You might steal a girl or two yourself and thus find out where it’s at

Of course, all good things must ever come unto an end
Get ready to weep when you hear this, my friend
I up and got married one fine June day
And that ended my girl chasing cowboy ways
My bride was with me in our Chevy Bel Air
When we hit a drive-in near an Idaho County Fair
The carhop dimpled when delivering our fast food load
Vicky flashed her ring and her fist and that was all she wrote

But don’t worry ’bout me; I had my time and my fun
And for every old cowboy there’s an up-and-coming one
Don’t doubt my word and don’t wear that silly frown
Just keep your girl nailed down when the rodeo’s in town

11 thoughts on “Keep Your Girl Nailed Down when the Rodeo’s in Town

  1. Thanks, Becky. Dale’s mention of the bull rider stealing the drummer’s girl got me fired up; I had to do it. πŸ™‚

  2. I suspect you’re right, Sha. Your comment just reminded me of something my mother once said–believe I was getting a divorce at the time. She was worried about me “dying old and alone” if I kept it up, switching women. I told her I didn’t see that as a problem, and she admitted, “The girls do seem to like you…for some reason.”

    That had to be a classic “backhanded compliment”!

  3. Hey GHOST; great and absolutely true. lol I rode broncs and team roped but at the bars or cafes; I always mentioned the team roping gig second. lol GIRLS sure do like those BRONC RIDERS. bull riders are okay .lol But they will always come around to check out your horse. Rough stock rider only have a rigging or rope for show and tell to break the ice. lol
    YOU gotta submit that to RODEO NEWS MAGAZINE. it sums it up perfectly.

  4. I broke the rotater cuff in my left shoulder real bad after coming off a bronc. I set the arm by myself and stayed at the rodeo, worked the stripping chutes and fed the stock after the Saturday night show, got drunk then decided I had better let a doctor look at that foot ball size lump going on around the shoulder area around 4 am. The next night I had two ladies tending me at the traditional cowboy dance. lol EVEN A CRASH PAYS OFF; even if it ain’t a buckle or prize money.

  5. Hmm…I guess I could submit that. Can’t work up a whole lot of motivation right now, what with all I’ve got on my plate (lots busier now than before I officially retired, I can tell ya!). Thanks for the tip.

    I can see breaking a rotator cuff coming off a bronc. Thankful I never did, though. I collected my share of lumps, but none of football size.

    Didn’t think about the “horse benefit” when it comes to local cuties. I was just happy to be traveling light (i.e. sans horse). Didn’t have enough to buy a whole lot of extra feed for myself most of the time; would have been a predicament if I’d had a horse to feed first. πŸ™‚

  6. Well the rodeo circuit wasn’t my main stay or primary source of income either. I was a NYC Engineer and rodeo-ed all over the NE. All the New England states. I would have starved if I depended on my winnings. seeing how I won money once and one buckle in 9 years of playing around with Team roping and BBB. But; I tried and had fun and paid for it with a broken rotator cuff and dislocated shoulder and arm and fractured ribs on another crash.

  7. There were a few periods where I pretty much DID starve. Only for eight years, then a gap of four after I quit, then an abortive “comeback” of just two bulls before smashing a few ribs and nailing a lung. I never once looked at it as “fun”, though; my goal at first was to become Saddle Bronc Riding Champion of the World. (Set that goal when I was six, had yet to learn to ride, and was terrified of horses.) At age 19, in the middle of my 5th year and far more aware of my limitations in both native talent and willingness to go down the road hard, I cut that back to “Make it to the Finals in Bull Riding by the age of 24.”

    That should have actually been doable. In 1965, on active duty in the U.S. Army but on leave and freshly married, my brief 40 day season–no kidding–turned out to be my “best year”. Won enough that if I could have stayed on the circuit for one full year at that pace, I’d have been in the Finals. Not #1 by a long shot, but somewhere in the middle of the pack.

    Like you, I didn’t win a whole lot of buckles, either–just two. Won money at one time or another in all three rough stock events, but quit the barebacks at age 19. I was dee ringing like crazy, realized I’d developed a psychological block, and it never was my best event anyway. Besides, a bull had stepped on my groin at a college show in Utah and shoved a piece of gristle into the right hip joint (or at least that was always my theory). Whenever I gapped my leg on that side after that, like you have to do in that event, the joint popped, so….

    Toward the end, though I never did give up on the saddle broncs entirely, I was mostly specializing on the bulls because I was simply better in that event. I could stick a bronc all day long, or at least well enough not to unduly embarrass myself, but I missed far too many good ones out. Infuriating.

    As for winning money, let me think about that. I believe the number of times were:

    Bareback…2 (1st place….0)

    Saddle……5 (1st place…2)

    Bulls…….8 (1st place…3)

    Wild Horse Race…….1.

    Been a while. I may not be remembering all of them, but that’s pretty close, with the action primarily in Montana, Utah, and Idaho, and two Canadian provinces, plus a few in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.