Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A MERRY COWBOY CHRISTMAS

For the last few years -- off and on -- my friend Warren and I have collaborated in a Christmas carol project. I write the lyrics and he writes the music. We've produced six or eight of them, and it's a lot of fun. (You can order a CD of these and other original carols from Warren's web site, here.)


Here's one I started a few years ago, but I haven't submitted it to War because I don't think it's really a carol. (I'm not sure what it is.) For now, as here in the midwest we await a great blizzard, it's my blog Christmas card and a prayer that all travelers make it safely home:


It had been the wrong time to be heading for town,
with the wind coming up and the snow coming down;
but, then, it was Christmas, it’d been a lean year –
and he wouldn’t let weather or a few wind-whipped tears
keep him from playing the Santa Claus fool….
Now he’s tryin’ to beat winter back home.

The drift was too high for the old pick-up truck,
so he’d saddled up Star and whistled for luck,
whistled “God Rest Ye” right into the gale,
but the only sound heard on the wind’s lonesome wail
was one little bell he had tied to the mane
of the pony before leaving home.

That dress in the window – he’d been just in time.
The toy at the dime store – he’d waited in line.
Everything closing – the roads piling deep,
still twenty miles – he hopes they’re asleep.
(Though he wished he had told her he was out here alone –
that he’s trying to make it back home).

Gifts of the magi in two saddle bags –
but this wise man’s just lost his way.
The sound of a little bell over the wind.
Will this cowboy be home Christmas Day?

Now the pony’s ahead and he’s fallen behind;
he stumbles in snowdrifts and prays for the sign
of those first Christmas cowboys who, lost in the night,
followed a star to the birth of the light.
As he falls, there’s a bell, and the warmth of the breath
of a pony to lead him back home.

And all he remembers, on each Christmas Eve,
is the feel of his cold fingers making a weave
in the pony’s warm mane – he was too weak to ride
but hung on for dear life at that dear pony’s side –
Then: a light in the window, the cry of a child,
the arms of a woman, and home.

Gifts of the magi in two saddle bags.
A wise man who can’t find his way.
The sound of a little bell over the wind,
and daddy is home Christmas Day.

And a pony named Star led the way.


© 2009, Richard L. Jorgensen


1 comment:

Anna said...

I meant to post this a lot earlier. Lovely carol. I think that I might prefer it as a poem, or perhaps as a book. It made me think about my worry and strong desire to be home this Christmas, and how the need to be with family is such an overriding concern during the holidays.