Colorado Trail
Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Song: Colorado Trail

In 1927, American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor Carl Sandburg collected and published the traditional American cowboy song The Colorado Trail in his American Songbag. Most musicians who recorded it have added their own lines as the American Songbag version only included a single short verse.

About the Song

Sandburg said he learned the song from Dr. T. L. Chapman of Duluth, Minnesota, who heard it from an injured cowboy getting medical care at his hospital. The cowboy, and many others, sang it to an audience of patients in his ward.

The trail in the song refers to a cattle route that branched off from the main Western Trail in southern Oklahoma, which leads northwest to Colorado. It has nothing to do today with the Colorado Trail, which is a hiking trail entirely within the state of Colorado.

In 1960, the recorded version of The Kingston Trio got the most attention. Members of the Western Writers of America included it to their list of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

Popular Recordings

A lot of artists have covered the song. Some of the most popular versions were recorded by:

  • Carl Sandburg
  • Burl Ives
  • The Norman Luboff Choir
  • Alan Arkin
  • Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
  • Rod McKuen
  • Ed McCurdy
  • Win Stracke
  • Bob Ross
  • The Weavers
  • Cisco Houston
  • The Kingston Trio
  • Salli Terri
  • Hein & Oss
  • Don Edwards
  • Wayne Erbsen
  • Skip Gorman
  • Sylvia Herold
  • Rick Devin
  • Steven Kimbrough – Dalton Baldwin – John Darnall
  • Dave Stamey
  • Adam Miller
  • Tex Ritter
  • Johnny Cash

In Albums

The song has been released and included in the tracklist of the following albums:

  • Cowboy Songs and Negro Spirituals
  • The Return of the Wayfaring Stranger
  • Songs of the West
  • Once over Lightly
  • Song Wagon
  • Songs for a Lazy Afternoon
  • A Ballad Singer’s Choice
  • Americana
  • American Folksongs for Men
  • Folk Songs Around the World
  • The Cisco Special!
  • String Along
  • Songs of the American Land
  • Songs of the World
  • Cowboylieder
  • Songs of the Trail
  • Cowboy Songs of the Wild Frontier
  • Lonesome Prairie Love
  • A Mockingbird Sings in California
  • Cowboy Classics
  • Songs of the Wild West – The Art of American Song
  • Old Friends
  • When the River Ran Backward – Adventures in Folksong

Listen to Colorado Trail (The Kingston Trio Version)

Colorado Trail Lyrics

Weep, all ye little rains. Wail, winds, wail. All along, along, along the Colorado Trail.

Eyes like the morning star, cheeks like the rose, Laura was a pretty girl everybody knows.

Weep, all ye little rains. Wail, winds, wail. All along, along, along the Colorado Trail.

Laura was a laughin' girl, joyful in the day. Laura was my darling girl. Now she's gone away.

Weep, all ye little rains. Wail, winds, wail. All along, along, along the Colorado Trail.

Sixteen years she graced the Earth and all of life was good. Now my life lies buried 'neath a cross of wood.

Weep, all ye little rains. Wail, winds, wail. All along, along, along the Colorado Trail.

All along, along, along the Colorado Trail.

Leave A Comment

book cover mockup for Western Writing

Looking for an Epic Western Adventure? Look No Further!

How would you like to ride hell-bent for leather into a world full of adventure and heroism?

Get Your Free Copy Today>>