Cowboy’s New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions By S. Omar Barker (1895-1985), from Rawhide Rhymes

As one who’s been a cowhand since the wildcats learned to spit,

I’ve made some resolutions for the comin’ year, to wit:

Resolved, to ride a shorter day and sleep a longer night;

To never come to breakfast till the sun is shinin’ bright;

To draw a top-hands wages when they’re due or quit the job

And hunt a wealthy widow or an easy bank to rob.

Resolved, to quit the wagon when the chuck ain’t up to snuff,

To feed no more on bullet beans nor chaw on beef that’s tough.

Resolved, to straddle nothin’ in the line of saddle mount

That ain’t plumb easy-gaited, gentle broke, and some account.


Resolved, that when it blizzards and there’s stock out in the storm,

To let the owner worry while I stay in where it’s warm.

Resolved, that when it comes my turn next spring to ride the bogs,

I’ll don the bib and tucker of my town and Sunday togs,

And tell the boss, by gravies, if he craves to shed some blood,

Just try to make me smear ‘em tailin’ moo-cows from the mud.

Resolved, that when a thunderhead comes rollin’ up the sky,

I’ll lope in off my circle to the bunkhouse where it’s dry.


Resolved, to do such ropin’ as a ropin’ cowhand must,

But never when the air ain’t free from cattle-trompled dust.

Resolved to show no hosses, and resolved, to swim no cricks;

Resolved, no dead-cow skinnin’, and resolved, no fence to fix.

Resolved, to swing no pitchfork, no pick, no ax, no spade;

Resolved to wear my whiskers—if I want to—in a braid!

Resolved, to take this New Year plenty easy through-and-through,

Instead of sweatin’ heavy like I’ve always used to do.


As one who’s been a cowhand since before who laid the chunk,

It may sound like I’m loco, or it may sound like I’m drunk

To make such resolutions as you see upon my list,

And others purt near like ‘em that my mem’ry may have missed;

But gosh, they sound so pleasant to a son of saddle sweat!

And New Year’s resolutions—well, I never kept one yet!

So why make resolutions that bring furrows to your brow?

Let’s make ‘em free and fancy—’cause we’ll bust ‘em anyhow!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s