I Ride an Old Paint

This is one of the first cowboy songs I ever learned. It’s simple and it’s sung quite slowly, making it an ideal introduction to Old West music, particularly for children.

I Ride an Old Paint

I ride an old paint, I lead an old Dan,
I’m goin’ to Montan’ for to throw the hoolihan.
They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw;
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw.

Chorus:
Ride around, little dogies, ride around and slow,
For the fiery and snuffy are a-rarin’ to go.

O, when I die take my saddle from the wall,
Put it on my pony and lead him from his stall.
Tie my bones to his back, turn our faces to the west,
And we’ll ride the prairies that we both love best.

Chorus:
Ride around, little dogies, ride around and slow,
For the fiery and snuffy are a-rarin’ to go.

Notes: A “paint” is a pinto pony; an “old Dan” is an old mule; and throwing “the hoolihan” (or “hooley-han”) describes a certain method of back-handed roping.

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