top of page
Top 5_edited.jpg
Screen-Shot-2023-06-25-at-115432_edited.

Top 5 Songs About Rodeo

Baseball might be the only American sport that has inspired as many songs as rodeo and the life of the American cowboy. But probably more so than any other sport the music and songs about rodeo and the western experience is an integral part of every cowboy and cowgirl’s life. This, our first listener submitted top five list, comes from Kevin Manker of Adams, Tennessee. Kevin is an ex-bull rider and calf roper and remains an avid horseman and trainer. Whether he’s home working his horse in the arena, helping his brother on a large horse and cattle operation or on a five day pack ride in the Grand Tetons Kevin has lived the life of a modern day cowboy. These are his current 5 favorite songs about rodeo life.

Cody Johnson: Dear Rodeo

Cody Johnson's song "Dear Rodeo" is kind of a unique song given that the protagonist is looking back on his life after rodeo and realizes that as much as he misses the rodeo life it goes on without him. He tries to pretend he doesn't miss the life but admits to himself that he does. But at the same time he knows that younger cowboys and cowgirls taken his place and rodeo goes on without him. A pretty worldly view for 36 year old songwriter. It probably didn't hurt that his co-author was none other than country music veteran Reba McEntire

Listen to a Sample
00:00 / 01:04
Listen to a Sample

Jerry Jeff Walker: Let The Ponies Run

Jerry Jeff Walker may have penned the quintessential professional rodeo cowboy song when he wrote Ro-Deo Cowboy back in the 70s. This one came 30 years later from Jerry Jeff's 2001 Gonzo Stew album. Also about the rodeo cowboy’s life “Let The Ponies Run” could easily be sung from the viewpoint of a couple of the cowboys Walker name checked in “Ro-Deo Cowboy” but now they're gathering at the funeral of an unnamed friend and looking back wistfully on the life of the cowboy.

00:00 / 01:04
Listen to a Sample

Red Steagall: All Our Cowboy Friends

The title track of Red Steagall’s 1977 LP "All Our Cowboy Friends" by is a Who's Who of professional rodeo in the late 1970s. Steagall’s band, The Coleman County Cowboys, are top notch players and this is a really good song about the competing rodeo cowboy’s life featuring more than a few real life PRCA cowboy such as world champion bull rider Donnie Gay, world champion Saddlebronc rider Monty "Hawkeye" Henson among others.

00:00 / 01:04
Listen to a Sample

George Strait: Amarillo By Morning

"Amarillo by Morning" by a young George Strait comes from his second album Strait From The Heart released in 1982. The song is sung from the point of view of a rodeo cowboy, driving at night from San Antonio to Amarillo. The protagonist recounts the hardships his occupation has caused him, including divorce, broken bones, and poverty, but, like most of these songs, says he does not regret his choices. It's worth noting that George Strait, in addition to being one of the true voices of neo-traditional country music is a rancher and a former competitive calf roper himself.

00:00 / 01:04

Casey Donahew: Why We Ride

Casey Donahew’s "Why We Ride" is a more contemporary song about the rodeo life and the chances you take. While Donahue sings about the typical things we're here in rodeo songs he also makes reference to some of the more difficult aspects. Things like family members who don't understand, late night traveling, injuries and the pain that comes with them. Being significantly younger Donahew’s song has a bit more bravado than those by Walker, Strait and Steagall.

Listen to a Sample
00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page