14. Four Strong Winds

Ian Tyson — I Outgrew the Wagon

Tyson’s ode to a cowboy’s dreams has been recorded by the likes of Joan Baez, Sarah McLachlan, and The Kingston Trio, among others. Neil Young recorded it twice and called it one of the greatest songs he had ever heard. Tyson’s own version is still the best.


15. Back in The Saddle Again

Gene Autry — Back In The Saddle Again

Leaving Gene Autry off this list would be an act of cowboy treason. This classic “happy anthem” of the joy of being horseback speaks of a simpler time in America when cowboy heroes kept our spirits high and entertained.

Okay, how about just one more?

The Weavers

16. Goodnight Irene

The Weavers — The Weavers Greatest Hits

How can we end this dance without the final song? Somewhere out West, on any given Saturday night after a rodeo, a dance is being held — maybe at a local Grange hall. After all the encores, the band will play its goodnight with this classic American song, and the assembled will find their way back to the pickups, humming a fond farewell. Another Western tradition lives on, and we are the better for it.

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Bill Reynolds is a writer/publisher having worked in the Western lifestyle industry for more than 30 years. He has written five books and published several award winning magazines. He is principal at Alamar Media and oldcowdogs.com.

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