Get Along Little Dogies
September 23, 2009 7:43 AM   Subscribe

What guitar tunes should I learn for a post- trail ride bonfire?

I am going on a trail ride and would like to brush up on some songs to play and sing around the bonfire. This ride will take place in Texas with a wide range of ages. I have "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" down. Classic country and western or cowboy songs that aren't too complicated to memorize would be great. What kind of songs would you like to sing or hear after a hard day on the trail?
posted by kamikazegopher to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Diamond Joe's a great one.
posted by otio at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2009

My favorite campfire song, hands down, is Long Black Veil.

It might be my favorite song, period.
posted by Danf at 7:49 AM on September 23, 2009

It's not really a cowboy song, but The Band's The Weight has gotten rave reviews at every bonfire I've ever been to.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:49 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Anything by Willie Nelson. Most of his chromatic-run chord changes are easy enough to pick out.

Pancho and Lefty. Hell, almost anything by Townes Van Zandt.

Old Shep. No, I'm not kidding. Sad as fuck, almost corny, but oh so right for a campfire.

If you can pull it off (I always mix the verses), Texas River Song has cake chord changes and sounds great.
posted by notsnot at 8:07 AM on September 23, 2009

I would look at Johnny Cash songs such as Big River. The Yellow Rose of Texas?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:08 AM on September 23, 2009

Mental Revenge, Waylon's version.

And while I'm talking Waylon, Bob Wills Is Still the King. Probably won't be able to put a phaser pedal set to 11 like he does, but it is a tremendous tune.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:11 AM on September 23, 2009

Theme from Rawhide
Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
posted by rocket88 at 8:15 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

My Rifle, My Pony, and Me.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:21 AM on September 23, 2009

Response by poster: Pancho and Lefty

This one for sure- those are the names of my Mom and stepfather's new horses!
posted by kamikazegopher at 8:27 AM on September 23, 2009

Tough to beat Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In, because everyone will sing along until you get to the part nobody knows.

Another one everyone thinks they know but it's way weirder in detail would be Big Rock Candy Mountain, which is actually more of a hobo song... but hey, same trains and plains, right?
posted by rokusan at 8:58 AM on September 23, 2009

Also seconding Long Black Veil per Danf above. I kept expecting it to appear as one of the Deadwood songs, but nope.

(That's another source for you, by the way. Complete list at bottom of page.)
posted by rokusan at 9:06 AM on September 23, 2009

Tumbling Tumbleweeds is good to settle down with before bedtime.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:28 AM on September 23, 2009

Any Hank Williams!
Although it's not specifically "cowboy-ish" per se, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It is always pleasing.
posted by chococat at 10:59 AM on September 23, 2009

Blue Shadows (On The Trail)

Hopefully Pancho and Lefty will sing backup.

G'night Ned!
posted by Lou Stuells at 11:08 AM on September 23, 2009

America, Simon and Garfunkel. I first heard this around a campfire in Tasmania and I was the only one who didn't know all of the words. Great road song.

Me and Bobby Mcgee
posted by mearls at 11:38 AM on September 23, 2009

Some friends of mine have a regular bonfire party, and someone pulls out John Denver's Country Roads every time.
posted by Ladybug Parade at 12:41 PM on September 23, 2009

Not cowboy songs, but how about the obvious:

You can't go wrong with the Beatles - Hey Jude, Let it Be, etc.

Neil Young has a lot of great guitar songs.
posted by and for no one at 1:13 PM on September 23, 2009

Happy Trails by Roy Rogers seems like a fairly obvious choice. Also, any Sons Of The Pioneers numbers would probably go well, as would Across The Alley From The Alamo. Six Days On The Road by Dave Dudley is a great "road" song, but it references diving a truck cross country, so maybe it's less appropriate than some of my other suggestions.
posted by motown missile at 1:21 PM on September 23, 2009

Beatles songs!
posted by alon at 4:08 PM on September 23, 2009

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