Isn't it funny how we can be reminded of something almost a year after it took place. This evening I was enjoying looking through some of my photos from the day many of the teams first met at the hotel in Laredo Texas to form the beginnings of the Coyote Convoy which would leave the next day. As I looked through them I began humming a melody I have enjoyed since I was a boy. Growing up I never met Roy Rogers which was one of my childhood idols, however it was common for the American cowboy singing group, The Sons of the Pioneers to drop by our house and visit. Most of the time whenever they showed up either at my parent's ranch or us at one of their homes on the Rogue River, everyone would have something to eat and then out would come a few instruments and they would sing great songs. One of those songs that really stuck with me to this day was "The Streets of Laredo."
It's interesting to note that since I am of Irish decent maybe that's why I took a liking to it. After all this cowboy song was of Irish origin and made its first known publication in Cork, Ireland in 1790 and originated from an Irish ballad titled "The Sailor Cut Down in His Prime".
I only wish I had remembered all this while I was in Laredo only because I feel that many times in our lives little moments we experienced years ago were somehow previews of our own destiny and while we would never realize it, it gives us something to reflect on as our destiny plays it 'self out.
For many other teams heading down to this years La Carrera Panamericana they will find themselves relaxing in a Laredo hotel the night before the real adventure begins... crossing the border into Mexico. And then they will again find themselves in Laredo when the adventure comes to it's finish. If they find time to reflect, I wonder what songs they might hear in their head?
The Streets of Laredo
As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a poor cowboy wrapped up in white linen
All wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay
"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
These words he did say as I proudly stepped by
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die
"'Twas once in the saddle I used to go ridin'
Once in the saddle I used to go gay
First lead to drinkin', and then to card-playing
I'm shot in the breast and I'm dying today
"Let six jolly cowboys come carry my coffin
Let six pretty gals come to carry my pall
Throw bunches of roses all over my coffin
Throw roses to deaden the clods as they fall
"Oh, beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly
And play the dead march as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley and lay the earth o'er me
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong"
We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly
And bitterly wept as we carried him along
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome
We all loved our comrade although he done wrong