The Old Chisholm Trail

Words & Music:

Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock


This song is believed to have acquired at least 143 verses over the years.  Here are 11 from the Cowboy Lyrics site.  Harry McClintock was the real deal cowboy, by the way.



Well, come along, boys, and listen to my tale;

Tell you of my troubles on the old Chisholm Trail.



        G6    G6/A              D

Come, a-ti-yi-yippy, yippy yay, yippy yay.

       G6    G6/A         D  G  D

Come a-ti-yi yippy, yippy yay.


With a ten-dollar horse and a forty-dollar saddle, I

started in herding these Texas cattle.




I'm up in the morning before daylight;

Before I sleep the moon shines bright.




Oh, it's bacon and beans most every day;

We'll soon be eating this prairie hay.




With my seat in the saddle and my hand on the horn,

I'm the best cowpuncher that ever was born.




No chaps, no slicker, and it's pourin' down rain;

I swear I'll never night-herd again.




A stray in the herd and the boss said, "Kill it!"

So I shot it in the rump with the handle of a skillet.




I went to the boss to draw my roll,

And he had me figured out nine dollars in the hole.




Me and my boss, we had a little spat,

So, I hit him in the face with my ten-gallon hat.




I'm going to sell my horse, going to sell my saddle,

'Cause I'm tired of punching these Longhorn cattle.




With my knees in the saddle and seat in the sky,

I'll quit punchin' cows in the sweet by-and-by.





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