Brian Laidlaw

Poet | Songwriter | Educator

Never Was a Cowboy

 

I never was a cowboy but I’m sometimes a rambling man

Sleeping on the backroads and traveling through the mountains and the meadowlands.

The country is big and the country is good

But I haven’t seen as much of it as I probably should.

Still, I’ve learned to be a liar and I bet I could fake it as a ranch hand.

 

I never was a cowboy but I’m sometimes a singer of songs.

Sometimes it feels alright, and sometimes it feels all wrong.

When I am doubtful, will you be my relief?

I’ll live like a gambler or die like a thief

who bets on you all day, and steals from you all night long.

 

Chorus:

We do not want want,

We do not need need,

But we sure do love love,

We love love indeed.

 

I never was a cowboy but I walked through many a field

Waiting for the secrets of the wealthy to be magically revealed.

As I trespass in pastures worth millions of dollars

I come across mastiffs with brass plated collars

And for every wound they’ve caused, there’s another wound that they have healed.

 

I never was a cowboy but I also never worked a 9 to 5.

A man who wears a saddle, they say, is only halfway alive.

I won’t put on neckties and I can’t use spreadsheets

So I look like a beggar and I act like a deadbeat

But it’s noon on a Tuesday and I think I might go for a drive.

 

[to Chorus]

 

I never was a cowboy but I’m sometimes a folk balladeer.

That’s as close as anybody gets who lives around here.

I could hit the road again, I may in March or April

Because the house is always empty and the neighbors are so hateful

But springtime is coming and the green grass is starting to appear.
 

I never was a cowboy but love is running through my veins

Brighter than the sunshine and wider than the great western pains

Please don’t be a drought to me and choke the ground with turpentine

Can’t you be my patroness, will you be my valentine?

I’m looking at you the way that flowers look at long-awaited rains

 

[to Chorus]

 

I never was a cowboy but a part of me still loves the lord

It’s the part of my body where my hope of salvation is stored

With riding and roping I’m only a beginner,

And you’re such a beauty, I don’t feel like a sinner

But they’re going to string me up by the loop at the end of their cord.

 

I never was a cowboy but sometimes I live on the run.

They act like my sandals are pistols, and my hope is a shotgun

Through valleys and canyons, through alleys and avenues,

A man needs his lies like a horse needs his shoes,

And I never was a cowboy, but sometimes I feel like one.