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The Old Chisholm Trail

Song lyrics to The Old Chisholm Trail, this version written by Moe Bandy & Tex Ritter

The Old Chisholm Trail is a cowboy song first published in 1910 by John Lomax in his book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It dates back to the 1870s, when it was among the most popular songs sung by cowboys during that era. Based on an English lyrical song that dates back to 1640, “The Old Chisholm Trail” was modified by the cowboy idiom. It has been recorded by the world’s most popular Western singers, including Harry McClintock, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Bing Crosby, Randy Travis, and Michael Martin Murphey. There are arguably thousands of versions of the song.

Come along boys and listen to my tale
I’ll tell you of my troubles on the old Chisholm trail

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

Oh, a ten-dollar hoss and a forty-dollar saddle
And I’m goin’ to punchin’ Texas cattle

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

I wake in the mornin’ afore daylight
And afore I sleep the moon shines bright

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

It’s cloudy in the west, a-lookin’ like rain
And my durned old slicker’s in the wagon again

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

No chaps, no slicker, and it’s pourin’ down rain
And I swear, by gosh, I’ll never night-herd again

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

Feet in the stirrups and seat in the saddle
I hung and rattled with them long-horn cattle

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

The wind commenced to blow, and the rain began to fall
Hit looked, by grab, like we was goin’ to lose ’em all

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

I don’t give a darn if they never do stop;
I’ll ride as long as an eight-day clock

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

We rounded ’em up and put ’em on the cars
And that was the last of the old Two Bars

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

Oh, it’s bacon and beans most every day
I’d as soon be a-eatin’ prairie hay

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

I went to the boss to draw my roll
He had it figgered out I was nine dollars in the hole

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

Goin’ back to town to draw my money
Goin’ back home to see my honey

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea

With my knees in the saddle and my seat in the sky
I’ll quit punchin’ cows in the sweet by and by

Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea
Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti yi yea