Theme from the Searchers
Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Song: Theme from the Searchers

Composer Max Steiner scored the theme from the film “The Searchers,” written by American songwriter and actor Stan Jones and sung by the Sons of the Pioneers. The period ballad introduces and concludes the film’s narrative, with its melody fitting whatever’s on the screen. Moreover, the Sons of the Pioneers expressed the song in a heartfelt fashion, effectively delivering the man’s feelings of loneliness, isolation, and long search. Additionally, members of The Western Writers of America selected the song as part of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

About The Searchers

“The Searchers” was an epic movie directed by John Ford, starring the well-renowned American motion-picture actor John Wayne. To summarize, it’s an iconic film that involves a Confederate veteran’s long search for his abducted niece with the help of his adoptive nephew. It also features the main character’s quest for revenge after marauding Comanches killed his brother, sister-in-law, and their son, leaving their homestead in flames.

Popular Recordings

The following artists recorded their versions of the theme song from The Searchers:

  • Sons of the Pioneers
  • Tex Ritter
  • Danny Knight
  • The Rocky Mountains Ol’ Time Stompers with Len Ellis
  • Tony Dallara Sins with The Rocky Mountains Ol’ Time Stompers
  • Johnny Western

Listen (Sons of the Pioneers Version)

Theme from The Searchers Lyrics

What makes a man to wander,
What makes a man to roam?
What makes a man leave bed and board
And turn his back on home?

Ride away, ride away, ride away


Some men, they search for Injuns
Or humpback buffalo
And even when they've found them
They move on lonesome slow.

Ride away, ride away, ride away

The snow is deep and oh so white
The winds they howl and moan
Fire cooks a man his buffalo meat
But his lonely heart won't warm

Ride away, ride away, ride away

A man will search his heart and soul
Go searchin' way out there
His peace of mind he knows he'll find
But where, oh Lord, Lord where?

Ride away, ride away, ride away.

2 thoughts on “Western Song: Theme from the Searchers

  1. Bradley Stracener

    How can I get a recording of the searchers song ” ride away ” for my father before he passes away himself.

  2. Jan Overacker

    We are going to pay our respects to Stan Jones, laid to rest in his hometown, Douglas, Arizona, this summer. His song is the perfect ending for an incredible movie.

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