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Q (Frank Staplin) Origins: The Gol-Darned Wheel (6) RE: Lyr Add: The Gol-Darned Wheel 29 Aug 14

"The Cowboy and the Wheel" appeared in the Shields, G. O., Recreation, vol. 4, February 1896, pp. 56-58, with comic illustrations. Well-worth copying for your files.
The above is online- and-the-Wheel-James-B-Adams.pdf

The text is the same as posted by Rex from the Denver Evening Post.

Powder River Jack H. Lee published his version in his book, "Cowboy Songs."
He made some changes- just enough to make it worth posting.

Powder River Jack H. Lee, 1928

I can ride the wildest broncho in the tough old woolly West,
I can rake him, I can break him, let him do his level best,
I can handle any cattle ever wore a coat of hair
And I've had a lively tussle with a tarnel Grizzly bear,
I can rope and throw the longhorn of the wildest Texas brand,
And in Indian disagreements I can play a leading hand,
But at last I got my master and he surely made me squeal,
When the boys got me a-straddle of that gol-darned wheel.

It was at the Eagle Ranch on the Brazos April fust
When I found that durned contrivance that upset me in the dust,
A tenderfoot had brought it he was wheeling all the way
From the sunrise end of freedom out to San Francisco Bay.
He tied up at the ranch for to get outside a meal,
Never thinking we would monkey with his gol-darned wheel.
He wore a set of toy balloons- this Easterner galoot.
His bicycle was scrumptious and the saddle was a beaut;

Arizona Jim begun it when he said to Jack McGill
There was fellows forced to limit bragging on their riding skill.
He allowed he wouldn't mention any special feller's name
But he warn't oxcusin' no one in the hearin' of the same.
And he'd venture the admission the same fellow that he meant
Was a very handy cutter far as riding broncos went;
But he would find that he was bucking 'gainst a different kind of deal
If he threw his leather leggings 'gainst a gol-darned wheel.

Such a slam against my talent made me hotter than a mink,
And I swore that I would ride him for amusement or for chink
And it was nothing but a plaything for the kids and such about,
And they'd have their ideas shattered if they'd lead the critter out.
They held it while I mounted and gave the word to go;
The shove they gave to start me warn't unreasonably slow,
But I never spilled a cuss word and I never spilled a squeal-
I was building reputation on that gol-darned wheel.

Holy Moses and the Prophets, how we split the Texas air,
And the wind it made whip-crackers of my same old canthy hair
And I sorta comprehended as down the hill we went
There was bound to be a smash-up that I couldn't well prevent
Oh, how them punchers bawled, "Stay with her, Uncle Bill!
Stick your spurs in her, you sucker! turn her muzzle up the hill!
But I never made an answer, I just let the cusses squeal,
I was finding reputation on that gol-darned wheel.

The grade was mighty sloping from the ranch down to the creek
And I went a-galliflutin' like a crazy lightning streak-
Went whizzing and a-darting first this way then that,
The darned contrivance sort o' wabbling like the flying of a bat.
I pulled upon the handle but I couldn't check it up,
And I yanked and sawed and hollered but the darned thing wouldn't stop.
Then a sort of meachin' in my brain begun to steal
That the devil held a mortgage on that gol-darned wheel.

I've a sort of dim and hazy remembrance of the stop.
With the world a-goin' round and the stars all tangled up;
Then there came an intermission that lasted till I found
I was lying at the ranch-house with the boys all gathered round,
And a doctor was a-sewing on the skin where it was ripped,
And old Arizona whispered, "Well, old boy, I guess you're whipped."
And I told him I was busted from sombrero down to heel
And he grinned and said, "You ought to see that gol-darned wheel.'

Powder River Jack H. Lee, Deer Lodge, Montana, 1938, Cowboy Songs; The McKee Printing Co., Butte, Montana.

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