This is a small collection of songs that I have written for Canada's Famous Cowboy Dinner Show. Each Friday through the summer, people from all over the world visit Vernon's Historic O'Keefe Ranch to become cowboys and cowgirls for the day. During our stage show and campfire sets, the audience learns about local history and the life of a cowboy through stories and songs like these. ~Kevin
A song about a horse...and drinkin'. My friend Rob had the basic idea about a cowboy saved by a horse. Or was he saved by a drink?
We rode all through the night and I put him away wet
It was a ride that I won’t forget
With my newly found amigo, being chased by two vaqueros,
And ten years later, I remember it yet.
It happened down in Mexico after riding in a rodeo
In a little cantina after the show
Though my ace beat his king, he said, “I don’t owe you a thing.”
Then my gun beat his knife and so I rode…
I saddled up and I rode, and I rode hard
On that horse that I won fair and square playin cards
I could still hear their gunfire and poundin' hooves
And Tequilla saved this Buckaroo.
Black as coal with two white socks, he kinda dances when he walks
And a long flowin’ tale and mane
I called him Tequila cuz that pretty seniorita
Kept on toppin’ up their glasses through the game
Trained up by a Picador, lancin' bulls for the Matador
Lightnin’ fast so he don’t get gored
What we did that night, dodgin’ bullets left and right
Riskin’ dyin’ versus tryin’ to settle the score
We swam the Rio Grande
And we left those vaqueros in the dust
And since that night, 10 years ago tonight
There ain’t never been a man I fully trust,
like my Tequila.
Once the biggest city in Bristish Columbia, Yale was a transportation hub during the gold rush. This song tells the chronological tale of Yale's booming years from four different perspectives.
I was born right here in '35.
This mighty river has kept us alive
And when the white men came, I became a miner.
Word spread way down South,
Wish they’d all just shut their mouths.
Now we’re 20,000 big and that number’s getting higher.
I moved here in ’59,
A dozen saloons so I built mine.
Come on, bring your money, stay awhile!
Every day and every night,
Whiskey, roulette games, and fights
And this Monday, a special meetin’ that’s gonna make us all smile.
In Yale Town, dreamers dream,
The lovers love and schemers scheme.
I’ll be here for all my years.
They’ll bury me in Yale Town.
I moved here in ’64,
Managing Barnard’s transfer store.
On the corner of Front and Albert is where I’ll be.
The steamers come and they make the drop,
We load our wagon and we send it off,
Up the dangerous Caribou Road…a crazy sight to see.
I moved back here in ’83,
Plenty of work again for you and me.
Construction of the railway hired us all.
We’ll rebuild this burned up town,
Business will once again line up and down
On Front Street. Yale Town will never fall.
Cowboy Rob asked me to write a song about David Thompson for our 2016 show. Thompson was quite a man. Read and learn, like I did!
An English boy of just 14
Learning a life, a job, the scene
And the native tongues
His adventure had begun
Working the tools of his trade
Making true the maps he made
Lookin' to the sky
With only one good eye
And for twenty long years
Mappin’ one fifth of North America
From the peaks and the valleys to the ocean blue
With a compass, a watch, and a sextant too
David Thompson, River Chaser, Stargazer
Met his wife of native blood
Trading posts wherever he could
For the Northwest Company
And he started a family
In his journal he did say
"The age of guessing is passed away."
But in a twist of irony
The Thompson River he never did see
He crossed the Rockies
And he drew the entire Columbia
From Superior to the Western shore
No other man had shown us more
Of our home and native land
With a paddle in his hands
Late one night the devil came
Said, "I'll take all your gold and fame."
Thompson, he stood strong
Left this world without a song
Tasked by Francis Barnard (BX Express) to drive 400 unbroke horses to the Okanagan from Mexico, this local cowboy is one day away from reuniting with his sweetie.
On our way back home from Mexico
Driving these horses for 85 days
The yearning for adventure has left me
Now I long for Pleasant Valley to stay
Our dusty old shadows are growing
We stop for the night one last time
Tomorrow we'll see the Okanagan valley
And my sweetheart, and her lips on mine
And the coyotes sing, "oooo"
And our campfire burns down low
And I miss my girl with her pretty eyes of green
Goin' home, a little longer, goin' home
400 head and all for wagons
Barnard says I'll be his man
Training them horses for transporting people
All headed for their own promise land