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Joe Offer Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger (9) Lyr Add: The Disheartened Ranger 28 Dec 20

The Disheartened Ranger

Learned from Martha D. Burns

Come listen to the ranger, you kindhearted stranger.
His song, though a sad one, you're welcome to hear.
He's kept the commanches away from your ranches,
And followed them far on the Texas frontier.

He's weary of scouting, of traveling and routing
Those bloodthirsty brutes over prairie and wood.
No rest for the sinner, no breakfast or dinner,
No peace in his slumbering bed in the mud.

No beets, no potatoes, no corn, no tomatoes,
The bread is as hard as the sole of your shoe,
All day without drinking, all night without winking,
I'll tell you kind stranger, that never will do.

Those great alligators, the state legislators
Are huffing and blowing two thirds of the time.
But windy orations about rangers and rations
Never put in our pocket a tenth of a dime.

They do not regard us, they will not reward us
Though hungry and weary with holes in our coats.
But the election is coming and they must be drumming
And praising our valor to gather our votes.

Though sore it may grieve you, the ranger must leave you
Exposed to the arrow and knife of the foe.
So guard your own ranches and mind the commanches,
For back to the States I'm determined to go.

Where churches have steeples and laws are more equal,
Where churches have steeples and ladies are kind,
Where work is regarded and worth is rewarded,
Where pumpkins are plenty and pockets relined.

Thanks for listening to the ranger, you kindhearted stranger.
His song, though a sad one, you're welcome to hear.
So guard your own ranches, and mind the commanches,
Or surely they'll scalp you in less than a year.

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Come List to a Ranger (The Disheartened Ranger)

DESCRIPTION: "Come list to a ranger, you kind-hearted stranger... Who fought the Comanches away from your ranches And followed them far o'er the Western frontier." He complains of the hard conditions he suffered, and warns the listener to keep watch for Comanches
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Lomax, Cowboy Songs)
KEYWORDS: Indians(Am.) fight hardtimes
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Randolph 181, "Come List to a Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 151, "The Disheartened Ranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Logsdon 7, pp. 55-57, "Texas Ranger's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #5481
Disheartened RangerThe
NOTES [93 words]: The Texas Rangers were initially founded during the period of the Texas Rebellion, as the defense force of the new county. And Texas, from the moment it declared independence to the time it joined the United States, had budget problems. So it would be little surprise to find a particular soldier ill-paid.
Several of the versions, such as Logsdon's, seem to go back to this period; the Ranger declares that he is quitting and going back to the "States." Other versions just sound like standard soldier complaints. It's not really clear which is original. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.3
File: R181

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