On February the seventeenth our herd it started out.
It would have made you shudder to hear them bawl and shout.
As wild as any buffalo that ever roamed the Platte,
The cattle we were driving, and every one was fat.
"The Crooked Trail To Holbrook" (Arizon-I-O, as it were)
He was Singing this Song, Jim Bob Tinsley, 1981
It was the cowboy-savant, Jim Bob Tinsley from whom I got the reference
for "Blood on the Saddle." He shows the text & tune basis of "Blood on
the Saddle" (see DigTrad filename[ BLOODON) is "Halbert the Grim" printed
in Motherwell's Minstrelsy: Ancient and Modern, 1827 (p30-34).
"Halbert," itself is a development of an early 13th century prose
description of Hell.
Tinsley notes that "Halbert" went into tradition in Scotland (where else?)
and was still sung. (per 1981)
Norm Cohen was spectacular enough to send me all of "Halbert." It is 21
quatraines and would sing with excessive tedium if only the (softened)
"Blood on the Saddle" tune were used. But "Halbert" is a fine song,
serious & expressive.
So, anyone know a current (this century) version? A singable tune?
Thank you very much.
© Abby Sale - all rights reserved