Western Song: I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart
I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart is a country and Western song that Ruby Blevins, or Patsy Montana, originally wrote and recorded in 1935. It became the first million-seller by a female artist in country music, selling more than two million copies worldwide. Hence, the success of “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” became Montana’s hallmark as a country singer.
The Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry added Montana’s record to the list of important American sound recordings. Furthermore, members of The Western Writers of America selected the song in the Top 100 Western Songs of all time.
Originally entitled “Texas Plains,” Montana further altered the lyrics (and the title) to “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Moreover, the influence of country music’s dance energy and various Hollywood cowboy imageries influenced this modification.
What’s fascinating is that Montana wrote the song in 1954 because “she felt lonely, missing her lover.” A year later, Montana recorded the song with the Prairie Ramblers, on which she was the group’s soloist. She based her “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” on Stuart Hamblen’s Western song Texas Plains, crediting him as a cowriter. Additionally, Montana used a simple musical pattern and yodeling, and it somehow became the feminine reply to its precursor.
Many artists covered the song, including Rosalie Allen, Dixie Chicks, and Cyndi Lauper. Then, weeks after Montana’s death, John Sayles’ 1996 movie “Lone Star” used “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” as the end credits.
Like any other famous Western song, many artists covered and recorded “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Among the notable covers include those by:
- The Moore Sisters
- Rosalie Allen
- Patti Page
- Bonnie Owens
- Ramona Reed
- Tall Timber
- Suzy Bogguss (her version rose at #77 on the Hot Country Songs chart)
- Dixie Chicks
- Lynn Anderson
- LeAnn Rimes
- Taylor Ware
- Gracia Harrison
- Cyndi Lauper feat. Jewel
- Carolyn Martin
Listen (Patsy Montana Version)
I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart Lyrics
[Instrumental / Yodeling] I wanta be a cowboy's sweetheart I wanta learn to rope and to ride I wanta ride o'er the plains and the desert Out west of the Great Divide I wanta hear the coyotes howlin' While the sun sinks in the west I wanta be a cowboy's sweetheart That's the life that I love best [Yodeling / Instrumental] I wanta ride Old Paint Goin' at a run I wanta feel the wind in my face A thousand miles from these city lights Goin' a cowhand's pace I wanta pillow my head Near the sleepin' herd While the moon shines down from above I wanta strum my guitar and yo-del-lay-hee-hoo Oh that's the life that I love [Yodeling] I wanta be a cowboy's sweetheart I wanta learn to rope and to ride I wanta ride o'er the plains and the desert Out west of the Great Divide I wanta hear the coyotes howlin' While the sun sinks in the west I wanta be a cowboy's sweetheart That's the life that I love best. [Yodeling]