Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Lighter Lyr Req: The Ballad of Utah Carroll (28) RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Utah Carroll 24 Feb 21


This looks like the original. It goes better as a poem than as a song.

Wichita Daily Eagle (Aug. 17, 1893), p. 4:

For the Eagle.

                         UTAH CARL.

And so you ask, my little friend,
   Why I'm silent, sad and still --
Why my brow is always clouded,
   Like the darkness on the hill.
Pull in your pony closer,
   And I'll tell a simple tale,
Of Utah Carl, my pardner, once,
   And his last ride on the trail.

Midst the cactus and muscall
   Of the Mexican's fair land,
Where the cattle roamed in thousands,
   In many a bunch and band,
Is a grave without a headstone,
   All unmarked by date or name,
There my pardner sleeps in silence,
   There's the place from whence I came.

Long we roamed the range together,
   For we've ridden side by side;
And I loved him like a brother,
   And I wept when Utah died.
Side by side we rode the round-up,
   Roped, cut out, and burned the brand;
And through storm any [sic] weary darkness
   Joined the night herd's weary stand.

When the stampede comes so sudden,
   And the cowboys form the mill,
There's a ringing voice that's silent,
   Utah Carl lies cold and still.
'Twas his voice controlled the stampede
   As it rang out loud and clear,
And the cattle when they heard it
   Overcame their maddened fear.

Every boy upon that cow range
   Knows how bravely Utah died,
And they pass his grave in silence, a
   And they speak his name with pride.
For he fell as cowbow [sic] should -
   Never blanched or quaked with fear,
When he saw the steers upon him,
   And the rush of death was near.

We were rounding up one morning,
   And our work was almost done,
When on the right the cattle started
   In a wild and maddened run.
Then the Boss' little daughter,
   Who was hilding on that side,
Started in to turn the cattle,
   And 'twas there my pardner died.

On the saddle of the pony
   Which the Boss' daughter sat,
Utah Carl that very morning
   Had thrown a red blanket, that
That the saddle might be easier
   To Lenore, his little friend,
And the blanket which he placed there
   Brought my pardner to his end.

As Lenore rushed in her pony
   To the cattle on the right
The red blanket slipped beneath her,
   Catching on the stirrup, tight.
When the cowboys saw the blanket,
   Every one there held his breath
For should now the pony fail here,
   Naught could save Lenore from death.

There is nothing on the ranges
   That will cause a steer to fight
Half as quick as some red object,
   When it's waved within his sight.
When the cattle saw the blanket
   Almost dragging on the ground,
They were maddened in an instant
   And had charged it with a bound.

Lenore saw the threatened danger,
   Quickly turned her pony's face,
And then leaning from the saddle
   Tried the blanket to displace,
But in leaning, lost her balance,
   Fell in front of that wild tide,
When "Lie still, Lenore, I'm coming,"
   Were the words my partner [sic] cried.

About fifty yards behind her,
   Utah Carl came riding fast,
Though he little thought that moment,
   That the ride would be his last.
Many times from out his saddle,
   He had caught a trailing rope,
And to raise Lenore at full speed,
   Was, he saw, his only hope.

As his horse approached the maiden,
   Sure of foot, with steady bound,
Low he swung from out his saddle
   To catch the child from off the ground.
As he swung from out his saddle,
   Every cowboy held his breath,
For the feat that he was trying
   Was a feat for life or death.

Low he swung as fast he passed her ,
   And had caught her in his arm,
And I thought he was successful,
   And was safe from farther [sic] harm.
But such weight upon the cinches
   Never had been felt before,
And the hind cinch snapped asunder,
   And he fell behind Lenore.

And Lenore fell from her pony,
   She dragged the blanket down,
And it fell there close beside her
   As she lay upon the ground.
Utah Carl picked up the blanket,
   And again, "Lie still!" he said,
Then running across the prairie,
   Waved the blanket 'round his head.

When he started 'cross the prairie,
   Every cow boy [sic] gave a cry;
He had saved the boss' daughter,
   But they knew he had to die.
He had turned the maddened cattle
   From Lenore, his little friend,
But now down they rushed upon him,
   And he stopped to meet his end.

Quickly then from out his scabbards,
   Utah Carl his pistols drew,
He was bound to die while fighting,
   Like a cowboy, bold and true.
And the pistols flashed like lightning -
   The reports rang loud and clear,
But still on the herd came rushing
   Though he dropped the leading steer.

Quick the cattle were upon him
   And my pardner had to fall.
Never more he'll cinch a bronco,
   Never give a cattle call.
There he died upon the ranges,
And it seemed most awful hard
That I could not make the distance
In time to save my pard.

When we broke into the circle,
On the ground my pardner lay.
From a dozen wounds and bruises,
His young life slipped fast away;
And I knelt beside him there,
And knew his life was o'er
As I heard him faintly murmur,
"I'm coming, lie still Lenore."

And these were Utah Carl's last words,
He had gone that endless trail,
And we closed his eyes with rev'rence
While his face grew ashen pale.
He had closed life's final round-up,
At the master's dread command,
And my tears came down in silence,
As I clasped my pardner's hand.

There's somewhere a grand, bright future,
So I've heard the preachers say,
And I think that my young pardner
Won't be left at that last day;
And if but an unknown cowboy,
He was ready there to die.
And I know that my young pardner
Has a home beyond the sky.

                         H.H. HUNT.
STILLWATER, O.T., Aug 7, 1893



O.T. = Oklahoma Territory

The Eagle reprinted the poem the next day. It must have captivated people.


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.