Western Song: Coyotes
Coyotes is another American Western song chosen as one of the Top 100 Western Songs of all time by the members of The Western Writers of America. It is also included in the Top 20 Cowboy and Cowgirl Songs of the Great American Country network.
The song is written by Bob McDill and appeared in Don Edwards’ album Goin’ Back to Texas in 1993. It was also featured on the soundtrack of the 2005 documentary film Grizzly Man. According to Bob, he couldn’t find anyone fit for the song in the beginning. So he just put it in his drawer until he met Edwards who they met at the Warner Brothers studio. The song was one of the records selected as part of his Desert Island Discs by British politician and adventurer, Rory Stewart.
The song is a story of what happens to a person when the world he knew and worked in it starts to disappear. Among the things the narrator says are “gone” are nineteenth-century people, animals, and concepts that may not be familiar to contemporary listeners: Pancho Villa, longhorn, drovers, Comanches, outlaws, Geronimo, Sam Bass, the lion, the red wolf, Quantrill. Eventually, the grieving man also disappeared.
Versions of the song were recorded by the following artists:
- Don Edwards
- Dave Stamey
- Trails & Rails
Listen (Don Edwards Version)
Was a cowboy I knew in south Texas, His face was burnt deep by the sun, Part history, part sage, part mesquit, He was there when Poncho Villa was young. And he'd tell you a tale of the old days, When the country was wild all around, Sit out under the stars of the Milky Way, And listen while the coyotes howl. And they go... hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo Now the long horns are gone, And the drovers are gone, The Comanches are gone, And the outlaws are gone, Geronimo is gone, And Sam Bass is gone, And the lion is gone, And the red wolf is gone. Well he cursed all the roads and the oil men, And he cursed the automobile, Said this is no place for an hombre like I am, In this new world of asphalt and steel. Then he'd look off some place in the distance, At something only he could see, He'd say all that's left now of the old days, Those damned old coyotes and me. And they go hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo Now the long horns are gone, And the drovers are gone The Comanches are gone And the outlaws are gone, Now Quantro is gone, Stan Watie is gone And lion is gone, And the red wolf is gone. One morning they searched his adobe, He disappeared without even a word, But that night as the moon crossed the mountain, One more coyote was heard. And he'd go, hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoodi hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo hoo yip hoo yip hoo hoo di hoo di yip hoo di yip hoo