Bury Me Out On the Prairie

[Oh] Bury Me Out on the Prairie (The Cowboy’s Lament)

Words and music by Travis B. Hale, Dean Fitzer, and Prescott Brown, 1927.


Well, I’ve got no use for the women,
A true one may never be found.
They’ll use a man for his money,
When it’s gone they’ll turn him down.
They’re all alike at the bottom,
Selfish and grasping for all;
They’ll stay by a man while he’s winnin’
And laugh in his face at his fall.

My pal was a straight young puncher,
Honest and upright and square.
But he turned to a gunman and gambler
And a woman sent him there.
Quicker and sure of his gun play,
Till his heart in his body lay dead;
When a vaquero insulted her picture,
He filled him full of lead.

All night long they trailed him
Through mesquite and chaparral
And I couldn’t but think of the woman
As I saw him pitch and fall.
If she’d been the pal that she should have,
He might have been raising a son
Instead of out there on the prairie
To fall by the ranger’s gun.

Death’s slow sting did not trouble,
His chances for life were too slim;
But where they were puttin’ his body
Was all that worried him.
He lifted his head on his elbow,
The blood from his wound flowed red,
He looked at his pals grouped around him
And whispered to them and said:

“Oh, bury me out on the prairie
Where the coyotes may howl o’er my grave,
Bury me out on the prairie
And some of my bones please save.
Wrap me up in my blankets
And bury me deep ‘neath the ground,
Cover me over with boulders
Of granite huge and round.”

So they buried him out on the prairie
And the coyotes still howl o’er his grave,
But his soul is now a restin’
From the unkind cut she gave.
And many a similar puncher
As he rides past that pile of stone
Recalls some similar woman
And envies his molden bones.


Transcribed from Songs; Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys, self-published, Stillwater, Oklahoma, November, 1930.


Now, I’ve got no use for the women,
A true one may seldom be found,
They use a man for his money,
When it’s gone they’ll turn him down,

They’ve all alike at the bottom,
Selfish and grasping for all,
They’ll stay by a man while he’s winning,
And laugh in his face at his fall.

My pal was an honest young puncher,
Honest and upright and true,
But he turned to a hard shooting gunman,
On account of girl named Lou,

He fell in with evil companions,
The kind that are better off dead,
When a gambler insulted her picture,
He filled him full of lead.

All through the long night they trailed him,
Through mesquite and the thick chaparrel [sic],
And I couldn’t help think of the woman,
As I saw him pitch and fall,

If she’d been the pal that she should have,
He might have been raising a son,
Instead of out there on the prairie,
To die by the rangers gun.

Death’s sharp sting did not trouble,
His chances for life were too slim,
But where they were putting his body,
Was all that worried him,

He lifted his head on his elbow,
The blood from his wounds flowed red,
He gazed at his pals grouped around him,
As he whispered to them and said.

“Oh bury me out on the prairie,
Where the coyotes may howl o’er my grave,
Bury me out on the prairie,
But from them my bones please save,

Wrap me up in my blankets,
And bury me deep in the ground,
Cover me over with boulders,
Of granite gray and round.

So we buried him out on the prairie,
Where the coyotes can howl o’er his grave,
And his soul is now a resting,
From the unkind touch she gave,

And many another young puncher,
As he rides past that pile of stone,
Recalls some similar woman,
And thinks of his mouldering bones


Transcribed from Mountain Ballads; 29 Sensational Songs, published by M.M. Cole Publishing Co., Chicago, 1934.


Now I’ve got no use for the women,
A true one can seldom be found.
They’ll use a man for his money.
When it’s gone, they’ll throw him down

They’re all just alike at the bottom,
Selfish and grasping for all.
They’ll stay by a man when he’s winning,
And laugh in his face at his fall.

My pal was a honest young puncher,
Honest, upright and true,
But he turned to a hard-shooting gunman
On account of a girl named Lou,

He fell in with evil companions.
The kind that are better off dead;
When a gambler insulted her picture,
He filled him full of lead.

All through the long night they trailed him
Through mesquites and the thick chaparral,
And I couldn’t help think of the woman
As I saw him pitch and fall.

If she’d been the pal that she should have
He might have been raising a son,
Instead of out on the prairie
To die by a ranger’s gun.

O bury me out on the prairie,
Where the “kiyotes” can howl o’er my grave.
Bury me out on the prairie,
From them, my bones, please save

Wrap me up in my blanket
And bury me deep in the ground
Cover me over with boulders
Of granite gray and round.

So we buried him out on the prairie
And the “kiyotes” can howl o’er his grave.
His soul is now a-resting
From the unkind touch she gave.

And many another young puncher,
As he rides a-past the pile of stone,
Recalls some “simular” woman,
And thinks of his mouldering bones.


Transcribed from Montgomery Ward M 3019, as sung by Edward L. Crain, as “Bob Star (The Texas Ranger)”, recorded November, 1931.