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Down on the Ol' Bar None

Who’s Yer Sidekick ?

Written by: Tom Poley and Slim Rost
Recorded at The Writer's Room, with help from:
Rich Brennion - pedal steel guitar
Ralph Gilmore - Drums
Don Johnson - Fiddle

The heroes would ride into the setting sun
They got all the glory for winning the fight
They weren’t all alone, they might not have won
If not for the guy there on the side

Who’s your sidekick?
Who’s there when you need ‘em the most?
Who’s right by your side on the toughest trails you’ll ever ride
Saddled and ready to go?
Who’s your sidekick?
So you don’t ride into the sunset all alone

There’s a phrase I heard a long time ago
Great men have great women standing close behind
Sidekicks are essential to the heroes
But they ain’t standing behind, they’re off to the side


We can’t all be heroes of the silver screen
But we can all have a Sidekick in our life
If you’re not really sure exactly what I mean
Just look around I’ll bet they’re right by your side

There's Pancho and Tonto, Pat and his jeep
There's Festus and Gabby on black and white TV



Written by: Tom Poley
Recorded at Waterworks Studio

Liquid Moonbeams

My saddle’s a sleepin’ on the top rail of the fence
A horned owl’s a’hootin’ her sunset lament
Today the shade looked for a cooler place to hide
I wondered if I’d survive or be loco or dead before tonight
I swear that the sun burned me right through my shirt
My spit sure seemed drier than this blowin’ dirt
The cactus seemed thirstier than my hoarse and me
The price of this lifestyle’s the heat
‘Cause freedom doesn’t come free

Wearin’ nothin’ but my hat and a smile
Kissin’ rye whisky in good cowboy style
A full moon is bright on this Arizona night
I’m floatin’ on this summer’s eve
In a stock tank of liquid moonbeams

This cool water comes from a spring in the Dragoons
I’m gazin’ at the stars , and howlin’ at the moon
Tomorrow will be scorchin’ , tonight I just don’t care
I almost feel cold, wet and standin’ in the air
I will recall this chill tomorrow in the sun
That stings like a scorpion
(but I’ll be) back here when the day is done

Chorus (and repeat)


Chicletista written by: Tom Poley
Clown Car Polka written by: Kevin Schramm
Recorded at: Waterworks Studio
With help from:
Kevin Schramm - Weltmeister accordion

Chicletista/Clown Car Polka

This is a song about the human spirit, and its strength that rises above a tough life. If you've been to Nogalas or Juarez and have seen the women and kids selling gum (Chiclets) on the street, you'll understand what set Tom's mind in motion. He also wrote it to showcase Kevin's Weltmeister accordion! Kevin brought his "Clown Car Polka" to us, and it just fit with Chicletista!

She's thirteen goin on thirty
Survivin' made her streetwise early
In this border town she’s all alone
Chicletista of old Mexico

Selling chiclets on the border to touristas
Easy Street ain’t on the map for Chicletista
Chicletista keeps survivin’
Though she often thinks it simpler dyin’
Dios te bendiga

Just a quarter and you choose the color
She’s afraid of becoming a cheap whore
Plastic turtles for tres pesos
From Chicletista  of old Mexico


Norteno bands play bars at night
She hears their songs from outside
The music helps her feel less upset
The accordion sounds happy it helps her to forget

'Cause the accordion sounds happy it helps her to forget
'Cause the accordion sounds happy it helps her to forget


Written by: Emmy Creigh
Recorded at: The Writer's Room
With help from:
Rich Brennion - pedal steel guitar
Ralph Gilmore - drums
Donnie Russel - mandolin and harmony vocals

Arizona April

Tonight I’ll be missin’ the desert

As I slumber so far from my home
I’ll miss the wide, open spaces
Coyotes so blue and alone

I’ll long for those cool April evenings
The sun setting fire to the sky
The moon hangin’ low ‘cross the valley
I dream of you and I cry

Oh, Arizona April
I’m comin’ back to you
You’re the sweet scent of jasmine
You know it breaks my heart
Oh, Arizona April I love you

I want to sleep with her in the Easter sun
When April puts her lipstick on

Chorus (and repeat)


Cowgirl Coffee

Here's a poem by the poetry man, himself, Mr. Tom Poley. He wrote it for Emmy to perform. It just wouldn't do to have a fella' do it! You know what I mean?

There weren’t no percolators or drip machines fer makin coffee on the range
Coffee was boiled till black and strong over an open flame
In a blue and white speckled pot and when it was finally brewed
Camp Cookie knew just how ta settle the grounds so it could be drunk instead o’ chewed

Practicality created this simple but effective ranchin recipe
‘Cowboy Coffee’ as it’s called seems to have acquired a masculine identity
The hombres who drink it testify it puts hair on yer chest
Or lead in yer pencil or it gives ya get up ‘n go when it’s done got up ‘n went

Well that’s great for the men, I guess, but something don’t seem quite fair
That if we gals want some coffee at camp, we gotta risk extra body hair
Like, on our chest, as they said, or maybe we’ll grow a mustache
Camp should make us some Cowgirl Coffee that’s cut in strength by about half

The caballeros can drink the pot brewed for bulls, we Cowgirls prefer de caf


Written by: Slim Rost
Recorded at: TheWriter's Room
With help from:
Duncan Stitt - piano

Steerwrestler's Thinkin'

What you need to know about steerwresling is that the cowboy has to chase a steer and dismount from a galloping cowpony to bring down a 600 - 700 pound steer using only his hands!

I owe this song to Dave Collins, who invited me to watch steer wrestling at the Cave Creek (Arizona) Rodeo. Dave didn't win, but he road hard and gave it his all! It's my opinion that you've got to be half crazy to get off a perfectly good cowpony to roll around in the rodeo dirt with a steer! Thanks, Dave, but I'll leave the steers to you.

You gotta’kick out your pony, when the steer leaves the gate,
And the clock is a tickin’ the seconds away,
In the rush and the roar of the hoofbeats you pray,
That you ain’t out too early and the steer’s runnin’ straight

It’s a steerwrestler’s thinkin’ to put himself on the line,
Wipe the sweat off his brow, back up his pony one more time,
Glance at the hazer, nod to the gate,
Don’t rush the barrier and don’t hesitate

The hazer he’s keepin’ the steer by your horse,
The steer’s dodgin’ and weavin’, and you’re ridin’ up close,
Risin’ up in your saddle, settin’ up for your move,
You hear the roar from the stands, and every eye is on you

Then you’re out of the stirrups, you’re out there alone,
Leather gloves grabbin’ wind, then the touch of a horn,
Tuck a tip in your pocket, twist the head up, kiss the nose,
Then dig your heels, and feel that steer roll.


When his shoulders on the ground, the judges stop the clock,
And your back on your feet, but there‘s a hitch in your walk,
It’s a painful reminder, such a dangerous show,
There’s a price you might pay at the next rodeo.



Written by: Slim Rost
Recorded at: Waterworks Studio
With help from:
Gilbert Brown - gut string guitar
Evan Hubbard - clarinet

Adios to That Cowboy

For Buck Schrader 1950-2003, a musician and a friend gone way too soon. Adios, Buck.

Don’t play a slow song for that cowboy
Play a travelin’ song
Something he’d whistle as he rides along
Buck’s trailin’ a canyon breeze growin’ strong
Just say "Adios" to that cowboy

Don’t shed a tear for that cowboy
If there’s a cloud in your heart
Think of him grinnin’ and the clouds will part
Think of him singing and the stars will come out
Just say "Adios" to that cowboy

Play a dance song for that cowboy
Make it a swing or a two-step
Something he can move his boots to
He loved a good time, that buckaroo
Just say "Adios" to that cowboy
Just say "Adios" to that cowboy


Recorded at: Waterworks Studio
Lead vocal: Chip Curry

Viva Chihuahua

This is a traditional Mexican tune that we learned from Chip Curry
while were playing the El Paso Border Festival. Thanks, Chip!

Me gusta nombra azul!



Written by: Slim Rost, Emmy Creigh, and Tom Poley
Recorded at: Waterwork Studios
With help from:
Gilbert Brown - gut-string guitar
Evan Hubbard - wood-body clarinet

Arizona Moon

I’m gonna' hang up my workin’ duds
Put on a Stetson with a sugarloaf crown
Put on my finest cowboy boots,
Bolo tie hangin’ down

I'm gonna saddle up my Tennessee stud
Walk him out in the evenin’ light
Put my feet in the stirrups
And head for my best gal’s tonight,

Arizona moon a risin’
Cozyied up in my arms she’ll be
Arizona moon a smilin’
Man in the Moon, he's a'winkin’ at me

I’m gonna' point that horse cross the range,
He knows every step to her gate,
Like she knows the way to my heart,
I know the way to her place,

When my boot’s just a’touchin’ the ground,
She’ll be runnin’ up to my arms,
Her pony’s saddled up, it’s a kiss,
She’s mounted, we’re gone,


We’ll be watchin’ that silver light fall
Fallin’ down through the gold-rimmed clouds
Hear the saddle creaks
Harmonize to the coyote’s howls


I’m just thinkin’ of my own true love,
Thinkin’ ‘bout Katie and the Navajo rug,
We’ll throw a blanket on the ground,
Pull another from the stars up above


Written by: Tom Poley
Recorded at: Waterworks Studio
With help from:
Earl Edmunson - harmonica and yodels

Homes, Homes on the Range

Over the western plains there’s a yellow-brown haze
Where we always had clear skies of blue
Seems our urban waste blew where the cattle graze
Some days the mountains are hidden from view

From Cody, Wyoming down to Abilene
Where the deer and the antelope hide
Ne’er a bison is seen on the horizon peaks
But there’s another new double-wide

Homes, homes on the range
They keep building more homes on the range
Well it must be a race to fill the wide open space
Even now might be too late for change

Roy Rogers did his best to defend the West
Till the skies could be smoggy all day
Even he couldn’t protect Mother Earth from neglect
Now she’s helpless on a runaway stage


Another ranch of old was subdivided and sold
A buffalo head hung long on their wall
A medicine man told what the future would hold
He said that bison head just says it all



Written by: Tom Poley


It didn’t surprise any of us none, when we whooped it up so large in town
It was the first Saturday night back from line camp and the whiskey was dang easy to get down
By the end of the night folks thought we’d all been drinkin from the fountain of youth
Truth is, we’re just a bunch of leathered cowboys who are getting a little long in the tooth

Well, if my teeth have gotten longer, that don’t matter much to me
But nowadays when I’m reading something, my arms sure need to be
I squint, and I makes faces, arms stretched out till my sleeves are tight
Well, I never saw it comin’ seems like my eyesight plum changed overnight

It’s a sign of agin’ and I took a lot of ribbin from the boys as well you might suppose
So I got me some glasses, but when I’d sweat they’d slip clean off my nose
I got so frustrated, I threw ‘em on the ground when me and Slim was out mendin fences
When he finally stopped laughin, he began to askin if I ever heard of contact lenses

Heck, I’d figured spectacles made a man look educated, philosophical and dignified
Plus, I thought cowboys was a whole lot smarter than to deliberately poke themselves in the eye
Ya know, this may sound a little vain, but I really ain’t ready to look bespectacled and old
And if the dust ain’t blowin bad, contacts ain’t uncomfortable so the eye doctor told
Well I reckon he had me sold

Now, getting back to where I was in this tale, remember the fandango with the sour mash?
We had gotten muy boracho, and absolutely oblivious of the hourglass
My optometrist’s warning echoed in my head before I flopped down in the bunk
He said don’t go to sleep with your contacts in or your middle-aged baby blues’ll be defunct”
Before ya go to sleep you’re supposed to ta remove the lenses from your face
And soak ‘em in a special solution in their special little case”

But all that whiskey’d made me smarter, so I decided to save time by cutting a corner
And I plunked those little optical discs in the kitchen in a glass of water
Next morning, as testimate to all the late night whisky I had swilled
My eyes looked like two tomatoes in a glass of buttermilk

I’m not sayin my head hurt, but I could hear my hair a growin
And I had to grit my teeth real hard when that rooster started crowin’
If I raised up from the pillow my brain would start rearin and kickin a bit
And with that cabeza grande I reckoned my Resistol surely would no longer fit

Another reminder of how festive I may have gotten
My mouth felt like it was stuffed plum full of Arizona Pima cotton
Slowly I shuffled to the kitchen and swigged a big glass o’ water right on down
And thought I could prob’ly calm my stomach with some breakfast from in town

I remembered the print on the menu is small and a little hard to read
Then all of a sudden, such a dreadful feeling came rushin’ over me
I started recollectin the night before, though some details was kinda hazy
But for one thing in particular, I wished I hadn’t been so whiskey’d up and lazy
Fer sure enough in that glass of water that I just guzzled were the little discs that help me see
And now they’re floatin, like two ships on the ocean, way down inside of me

I was mad at myself for bein such a fool, now more than a few brain cells had been lost
And to my dismay, with respect to a Cowboy’s pay, those little things had a darn big cost
All I could think about was getting back in the sack
And avoidin’ thinking ‘bout what I’d have to do to get them contacts back

Well I didn’t get out the hay till the very next day at almost noon
‘Cause I needed to go out back to the shack with the door with a half a moon
It’s a two holer, and I sat on the left still full of consternation
Then waxing philosophical I started laughing out loud at my situation

For it had occurred to me in my rather unusual personal plight
That this might be the first and only time in my life
That I could re-do something I did wrong and make it right
‘Cause right then, at that point in time, I truly did have 20/20 hindsight


Written by: Tom Poley
Recorded at: Waterworks Studio
With help from:
Kevin Schramm - button accodion

Pancho Villa Slept Here

At a cantina north of the border with old Mexico
Pancho Villa tied his lathered horse to the hitchin post
Pancho said to his banditos, “This seems like a good place to hide
They won’t be looking for us, here on their own side.”
Their steely eyes and guns scared all those in town
Pancho strode in the saloon and laid gold pieces down
Sayin’,“ We just spent three long days hard on the run!
Tonight we laugh at death and have some big fun!”

Chorus 1:
It was a fiesta grande in August that year
They drank all the Tequilla and all of the beer
Pancho snored on the floor, an empty bottle by his ear
The morning after the night Pancho Villa slept here

Next day the Freedom Riders rode chasing victory
Leaving those adobe walls a place in history
Well today, if you’re not afraid to take less traveled routes
You can party in the place where Pancho Villa snoozed

Chorus 2
There is a fiesta grande in August each year
That same cantina serves free Tequilla and beer
The fandango's a tradition, the reason is clear
They celebrate the night Pancho Villa slept here
They celebrate the date Pancho Villa slept here
They celebrate the date Pancho Villa passed out here

Chorus 3
There is a fiesta grande in August each year
That same cantina serves free Tequilla and beer
The pachanga’s a tradition, the reason is clear
They celebrate the night Pancho Villa slept here
They celebrate the date Pancho Villa slept here
They celebrate the date Pancho Villa passed out here


Written by: Tom Poley
Recorded at: Waterworks Studio
With help from:
Stefan George - dobro
Ralph Gilmore - drums

Down on the Ol' Bar None

He’s a Zen Cowboy a Bhikku Buckaroo
Cowboyism and Buddhism make good philosophical stew
He’s a Veggie Vaquero his chili has tofu
He ain’t John Wayne, he ain’t insane, he ain’t nobody’s fool

And no one owns a gun
Down on the Ol’ Bar None

He’s a Dharmapoke an enlightened hombre
A Cosmic Caballero  who’s ranch has surreal estate
Where the Tao is given a Western handshake
And a good saddle’s the best place to meditate

They’re all Dharma Bums
Down on the Ol’ Bar None

He reads Charlie Goodnight and Kerouac
There’s a Hipster Rounder ‘neath his ten gallon hat
He made his own spurs from Devils Claw
And he wears ‘em to prod his consciousness on

He turns a blind eye to what he sees from the porch
Families sneakin through the border,  they’re headin north
Well, they’re scared and hidin from La Migra, of course
He’d do the same if he were so desperate and poor

Borderlines are tough questions
Down on the Ol’ Bar None

Tie Dye’s the main fashion
Down on the Ol’ Bar None

They roll great big ‘uns
Down on the Ol’ Bar None

They dig Bob Wills and Duane Allman Down on the Ol’ Bar None
No one owns a gun Down on the Ol’ None