UTAH CARROLL'S LAST RIDE
Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Miller, AR, 7/16/53
Click here to listen to the original recording
I am so quiet and still,
And why a frown sits on my brow
Like a storm cloud on a hill.
Rein in your pony closer;
I'll tell you my tale
Of Utah Carl, my partner,
And his last ride on the trail.
In the land of New Mexico,
In the place from whence I came,
In silence sleeps my partner there,
In a grave without a name.
We rode the trails together,
Worked cows side by side.
Oh, I loved him like a brother,
And I wept when Utah died.
We were rounding up one morning--
Our work was nearly done--
When off the cattle started
On a wild stampeded run.
Now the boss's little daughter
Was holding in that side.
She rushed in to turn those cattle;
'Twas there my partner died.
In the saddle of the pony
Where the boss's daughter set,
Utah that very morning
Had placed a red blanket.
That the saddle might be easier
For Lenora, his little friend,
But the blanket that he placed there
Brought my partner's life to an end.
When Lenora spinned to turn the cattle,
The pony gave a bound,
And the blanket slipped from beneath her
And went trailing on the ground.
Now there's nothing on a cow ranch
That will make the cattle fight
As quick as some red object
Waved just within their sight.
When the cattle saw the blanket,
There trailing on the ground,
They were maddened in a moment
And charged it with a bound.
When we cowboys saw that happen,
Everyone just held our breath,
For if her pony failed her
None could save Lenora from death.
When Lenora saw the cattle,
She quickly turned her face.
She leaned from out her saddle,
Caught the blanket back in place.
But in learning, lost her balance,
Fell before that maddened tide.
"Lie still, Lenora, I'm a-coming, dear,"
Were the words old Utah cried.
'Bout fifteen yards behind her,
Utah came riding fast.
And I little thought that moment,
That ride would be his last.
The horse approached the maiden
With sure feet and steady bounds.
As he learned from out the saddle,
He caught her from the ground.
As he reached Lenora to catch her
There in his arms,
I thought my pard successful,
And Lenora safe from harm.
But such weight upon the cinches
They never had felt before,
And his hind cinch burst asunder,
And he fell beside Lenora.
Utah picked up the blanket;
"Lie still again," he said.
And he ran across the prairie,
And waved it over his head.
And then he turned the cattle
From Lenora, his little friend,
And as the cattle rushed upon him,
He turned to meet his end.
And quickly from its scabbard,
Utah his pistol drew.
He was bound to fight while dying
Like a cowboy, brave and true.
His pistol flashed like lightning-
The reports rang loud and clear.
As the cattle pinned down on him,
He dropped the leading steer.
But they kept right on coming--
My partner had to fall.
No more he'll cinch the bronco
Or give the cattle call.
And when at last we reached him,
There on the ground he lay,
With cuts and wounds and bruises,
His lifeblood oozing away.
Oh, I tell you what, my little friend,
It was most awful hard,
But I couldn't ride the distance
In time to save my pard.
As I knelt down there beside him,
I knew his life was o'er,
But I heard him faintly murmur,
"Be still, I'm coming, Lenora."
Then on one Sunday morning
I heard the parson say,
"I don't think your young partner
Will be lost on that great day.
"He was just a poor young cowboy
And maybe a little wild,
But God won't be too hard on a man
Who died to save a child."
Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #206, "Utah Carl."