These four cowboy songs that make up the song cycle "Cowboy Songs of the American Southwest" are among the nearly 3,000 field recordings recorded in the U.S. Southwest, Mexico and Spain collected by John Donald Robb over 40 year while at the University of New Mexico. These recordings preserve many of the musical traditions of these areas, especially New Mexico and Southern Colorado, and include Native American, Hispano, Mexican and African American music, as well as railroad and cowboy songs, fiddle music and the music of festivals and fiestas.
I. The Call of the Range— Evocative of a carefree, lone cowboy singing while strumming his ukulele. Barbershop harmonies, similar to ukulele harmonies, suggest a personification of both the ukulele and the rangeland itself as a character in the unfolding drama of the seemingly solitary cowboy.
II. I'm Sad and I'm Lonely— Whispered syllables and whistles evoke percussion and a bowed saw in this despondent tale of unrequited love and solitude.
III. Wild Horse of the Desert— The melody fights with the downbeat to mimic the wild horse fighting against land rights and fencing.
IV. When Cockle Shells Turn Silver Bells— An overly carefree, lighthearted shrug at lost love to embrace the lone cowboy lifestyle.
Because of restrictions on the John Donald Robb field recordings housed at the University of New Mexico, movements I "The Call of the Range" and III "Wild Horse of the Desert" are offered without charge with the purchase of public domain arrangements of II. "I'm Sad and I'm Lonely" and IV. "When Cockle Shells Turn Silver Bells" forming an entire song cycle.
I. The Call of the Range: Click HERE for recording
II. I'm Sad and I'm Lonely: Click HERE for recording