Sunday, July 16, 2017

Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy with E.E. Burke



This coming Saturday, July 22 is National Day of the Cowboy. But we think cowboys deserve at least a full week of attention, so we're dedicating our blog to a celebration of cowboy lore and culture all week long!

To help me celebrate, I've rounded up five other authors featured in my Best of the West interviews who write across a range of sweet, sexy and suspenseful romance featuring cowboys. They'll be sharing about why they love cowboys and some of their favorite cowboys (pictures included). Plus, we've got great giveaways. You won't want to miss a single day!

Today, I'll be kicking off the celebration with a little cowboy music...

Come along boys and listen to my tale;
I'll tell you of my troubles on the Old Chisholm Trail
Come a ti-yi-yippee yippee yea
Come a ti-yi-yippee yippee yea

Probably no other occupational group in America has created more songs and poems than the cowboy. Recently, I read an article by author Jim Hoy in Kansas History that offered insight into why this might be. 

For one thing, Hoy points out, the cowboy's daily work took place outside on a horse in the great outdoors. He was surrounded by natural wonders, and nature has long been an inspiration for poets and song writers. But when you think about it, the cowboy's work wasn't really all that glorious. In fact, he spent many long hours in the saddle, then around a campfire, doing routine tasks. He had lots of lonely hours to fill. 

Whenever I'm bored, I tell myself stories. Essentially, this is what the cowboys did, only they put the stories to rhyme and music.

Trail songs were those the cowboy sang to entertain himself on the long days spent moving cattle north. A typical day covered eight to twelve miles to give cattle plenty of time to graze, and it took on average three months to make the trip from Texas to one of the railheads (initially located in Kansas). The cowboy spent lots time in the saddle, and he often wasn't close enough to his fellow drovers for conversation. 

The Old Chisholm Trail is one of the earliest and most popular of the cowboy trail songs. One of the reason it has so many verses is because the cowboys would add and improvise, putting their own spin on it. (Here's a great rendition by Michael M. Murphey.)


Night-herding songs were those the cowboy sang to the cattle. Longhorns tended to be watchful, even nervous, animals. At least two drovers would be with the herd through the night to keep the cattle calm. Thus came about the tunes they would hum or sing through the long, lonely nights. These tunes tended to be slow, like a lullaby, and often sad. (Who would be happy about working all night?) An early favorite night-herding song was a Civil War ballad: Lorena. (Performed here by Johnny Cash)




While the trail-driving song helped a cowboy entertain himself, and the night-herding song was directed at the cattle, the campfire song was meant to entertain the other cowboys. 
One of the best known campfire songs is The Cowboy's Lament by Ken Maynard. (This version was recorded in 1929.)





For me, music provides inspiration. I often listen to songs while I'm writing, and what I listen to depends on the mood I'm in, or the character I'm writing about. I listened to a lot of Dixie Chicks while writing my contemporary romance, Maybe BabyThe Civil Wars provided inspiration while I was working on my historical romance, Seducing Susannah. 

I'd love to introduce you both these books. Seducing Susannah features the founder of a legendary Texas ranch, and Maybe Baby kicks off a series about their descendants. 

Seducing Susannah, Book 4, The Bride Train



Ross Hardt must marry a proper lady to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few remaining prospects is a beautiful, sassy widow who hastantalized him from the day they first met--the same day she slapped his face. 


Susannah Braddock journeyed west on The Bride Train in search of agood father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements, least of all the arrogant, demanding, unfeeling railroad agent.



As Fate—and Ross’s scheming—draws them closer, Susannah glimpses unexpected tenderness beneath his harsh exterior, and she’s tempted by the fiery passion that flares between them. But when a secret comes out that threatens to destroy their budding relationship, passion isn’t enough. Only love can weather the oncoming storm.




Maybe Baby, Book 1 in the series Texas Hardts



Jen Chandler can’t ignore the urgent ticking of her biological clock, no matter how many hours she puts in at workThe nesting instinct has kicked in big-time, and she wants a baby. After too many failed relationships, plus issues with intimacy, she isn't interested in obtaining a husband. Instead, she sets out in search of a sperm donor to make her dream come true.



Logan Hardt, a laid-back cowboy who shows up at her Atlanta home one day, turns out to have the right genes, as well as a pressing need for cash. But he's seduced by more than Jen’s generous offer, and the closer the time comes to say goodbye, the less willing he is to honor a contract that would require him to walk away and never look back.


Could a contract between them lead to more than a baby? Maybe.


Do you listen to music while you work, or to while away the hours? 

Does music help you with your job? What are some of your favorite songs, or singers?


Enter for your chance to win prizes in our Celebrate Cowboys giveaway. 


Glass boot filled with chocolate
Western book charm and signed copy of Maybe Baby
from E.E.

Readers choice Kinnison Legacy books, 
Last Hope Ranch books, or End of the Line books
from Amanda

Three $5 Amazon gift cards 
Premium swag packs with books from Beth 

Silver Boot Earring, a cowgirl hatpin
Books 1 & 2 Men of Legend series
from Linda

Five copies of Toughest Cowboy in Texas
Three copies of Wicked Cowboy Charm
a $25 Amazon gift card
a $25 gift card to Longhorn Steak House Restaurant
from Carolyn

Texas wine charms & and autographed book from Angi

Winners announced Sunday, July 23 on this blog.

Tomorrow join Amanda McIntyre, and learn more about the Cowboy Code.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND Join our Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot
QUESTION OF THE DAY $5.00 Gift Card during Cowboy Week 

31 comments:

  1. EE- what a great line up you have of terrific author's that truly captures the essence of THE COWBOY.... thanks for you lost in the story post.. I love them and you!!!!!!

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    1. Tonya, you made my day! Thank you!

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  2. Ooh I definitely listen to music while working on a project. I listen to mostly light pop music or sometimes I get in the mood for 80's pop or rock. I generally like most types of music.

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    1. My tastes are pretty eclectic too! Thanks for coming by!

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  3. I sooo love a good cowboy 🤠. I so love following you. Always a pleasure. Giddy up

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post, and I'm honored to hear you follow me. Thank you!

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  4. Wonderful post. Loved the songs :-)

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    1. Thanks Marianne! I had a hard time picking which ones to use. Many great ones!

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  5. Wow this is great! all these great western writers.. I love reading y'all books thanks for the chance 📚

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    1. I'm thrilled the others jumped in to celebrate with me! Hope you'll join us all week.

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  6. Elisabeth, your post on cowboy songs is great. Cowboys did sing a lot. They had to sing on a cattle drive to keep their herd from spooking. A lot of them played some kind of instrument. Mostly harmonicas I think because they were easy to carry. Great job on kicking off this cowboy week!

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    1. It's interesting to imagine them taking along instruments, but I'll bet they would rather have their harmonica than their gun while out on the trail. I read that many of them didn't carry firearms, or if they did, it was a light pistol. Too much weight to haul around. Harmonicas don't weigh much. ;)

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  7. EE loved your post and cowboy songs are just wonderful. I don't think that there isn;t a cowboy who can't whip out a harmonica and sing you a song . I love Willie Nelson he has horses I just saw a special on him on sunday morning and he can really whip out a song. Then there is Waylan who is also good. I listen to music all the time as it keeps my spirits up with my disease I easily get really down and depressed and having battling this disease for 25 years without music I wouldn't be here. Also we have a chihuahua that loves the music on so if we turn it off she starts so bark she is an older one so she also loves my cowboy music. Peggy Clayton P.S. Great start for the week and a wonderful subject!

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    1. Thank you Peggy! I know what you mean about music. I just can't imagine being without it. I fell in love with Willie and Waylon's music back when they made the album Wanted! The Outlaws. I was hooked from that point on.

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    1. Thanks Beth! Looking forward to your post on Wednesday.

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  9. I do enjoy listening to music... I can find it soothing sometimes... or a mood lifter.

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    1. Does both for me! Thanks for coming by Colleen!

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  10. I love country music which is all I listen too!! Thanks!! for this info!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Very interesting blog, Elisabeth. A variant of THE COWBOYS LAMENT is of course STREETS OF LAREDO. Here’s a couple of ‘cowboy’ songs I like: THE GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL is authentic, traditional 19th Century apparently (here performed by a British folk band) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTjiJ-OCa9k as is I RIDE AN OLD PAINT (aka LEAVING CHEYENNE.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG5Cb1GjV7E Whether THE COLORADO TRAIL dates as far back is a matter of dispute; I remember it was used as a mini-theme in the TV Western series THE HIGH CHAPARRAL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyen974dumE

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    1. Thanks Andrew! These are all terrific songs. I particularly like the rendition you picked for I RIDE AN OLD PAINT. If you want to know anything about cowboy music you should contact Guy Logsdon at the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, TX. That's who Jim Hoy quoted a lot in his article. Jim is also a real expert on all things cowboy.

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  12. Just a few favorite cowboy songs, besides the traditions ones: I Can Still Make Cheyenne - George Strait; Beaches of Cheyenne - Garth Brooks; The Cowboy in Me - Tim McGraw; Mama Don't Let You Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys - Waylon & Willie; This Cowboy's Hat - Chris LeDoux; The Cowboy Rides Away - George Strait; El Paso - Marty Robbins; Amarillo By Morning - George Strait; Good Ride Cowboy - Garth Brooks; Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy - Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks; Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) - Garth Brooks; Bandy The Rodeo Clown - Moe Bandy; Cowboys Like Us - George Strait.

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    1. Oh, these bring up so many memories! I'm going to listen to them again today. Thanks for reminding me!

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    2. Add Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks and Rodeo - Garth Brooks (two I just have to sing along with). I just had to make myself stop.

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  13. TELL US YOUR COWBOY SONG in our Facebook reader's Group and enter the $5.00 giveaway.
    http://bit.ly/ReaderSpot
    search for THE READERS' SPOT on Facebook

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  14. Friends In Low Places I Love how everyone sings it and seems to know it evcen when Country isn't a Fav Song Type

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  15. Great blog! Looking forward to the next book in the Texas Hardts series.

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