Remember the Alamo
Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Song: Remember the Alamo

American folk singer/songwriter Jane Bowers wrote: “Remember the Alamo” in 1955. A proud Texan, Bowers’ knowledge about the Texas lore was evident in the several songs she has composed in the past.

Country music singer and actor Tex Ritter first recorded it in 1955 with Orchestra conducted by Rex Koury. He released “Remember the Alamo” (in the same year it was recorded) as the b-side of his single “Gunsmoke.” Furthermore, the song was his first-ever release for the music company he co-owned with fellow country artist, Johnny Bond, named Vidor Publications. In the following year, director Harold D. Schuster used his recording in the film Down Liberty Road. Initially, “Remember the Alamo” did not become a hit single nor left an impressive impact on the Folk community. However, it was a favorite among many important Country and Folk artists, yielding several versions from famous figures like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and The Kingston Trio.

Moreover, “Remember the Alamo” appealed to the members of the Western Writers of America, leading to its inclusion in their list of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

About the Song

The folk tune, Remember the Alamo, captures the last days of the approximately 180 soldiers during the Battle of the Alamo. Specifically, it details the efforts of the Texans as they fight against the Mexicans to establish an independent republic. Something noticeable in the song was the inclusion of famous figures who had a significant contribution to the battle. Mexican general Santa Anna, Texans: William Barrett Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy (David) Crockett were those people.

Popular Recordings

Ever since its release in 1955, Remember the Alamo written by Jane Bowers grew popular over the years, with well-renowned artists recording their version of the song. These folk and country artists were:

  • Tex Ritter with Orchestra conducted by Rex Koury
  • Johnny Bond
  • The Kingston Trio (released on their 1959 album, At Large)
  • Johnny Cash (appeared on his Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash album in 1963)
  • The Tex-I-An Boys
  • Donovan
  • Mac MacLeod
  • Willie Nelson (released on his 1968 concept album, Texas In My Soul)
  • The Hillsiders
  • John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett
  • East Virginia
  • Asleep at the Wheel
  • Alan Leatherwood
  • Brian Capps
  • The Houghton Weavers

Listen to Remember the Alamo (Tex Ritter Version)

Remember the Alamo Lyrics

A hundred and eighty were challenged by Travis to die
By the line that he drew with his sword when the battle
was nigh
The man who will fight to the death cross over
But him who would live better fly
And over the line went a hundred and seventy-nine

Hi! Up! Santa Anna, we're killin' your soldiers below
That men wherever they go
Will remember the Alamo

Old Bowie lay dyin', his powder was ready and dry
From flat on his back, Bowie killed him a few in reply
And young David Crockett was singin' and laughin'
With gallantry fierce in his eye
For God and for freedom my man more than willin to die

Hi! Up! Santa Anna, we're killin' your soldiers below
That men wherever they go
Will remember the Alamo

They sent a young scout to the battlements, bloody and
The words of farewell from a garrison valiant and
"Grieve not, little darlin', my dyin'
If Texas is sovereign and free
We'll never surrender, and ever with liberty be"

Hi! Up! Santa Anna, we're killin' your soldiers below
That men wherever they go
Will remember the Alamo

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