DescriptionN. Howard Thorp. Songs of the Cowboys. Estancia [New Mexico]: News Print Shop, . First edition. 12mo. 50pp. Original red pictorial wraps with titles and vignette in gilt. Not a sturdy little book when published, this example has weathered the years remarkably well with only some modest rubbing to the wraps, and thus in very good condition. Preserved in an attractive half-morocco portfolio. This copy was the personal copy of prominent Dallas oil man, Clint Josey.
"Thorp had the perspective of both range and civilization. He was a kind of troubadour himself" (Dobie, p. 129)."The first of the compilations of cowboy songs" (Dykes, Kid 56). "There is no record of an 'honest to goodness' cowboy ever becoming a 'songbird,' in fact, few of the breed could carry a tune, nevertheless, the nature of their work was such that whistling, humming, and singing were important personal assets that helped to make short days out of long ones, and most of them gave it a fling.... [A] puny little book that sold for a quarter...now classed as excessively rare"(Merrill, Aristocrats of the Cow Country, pp. 10, 25).
N. Howard Thorp (1867-1940) started collecting cowboy poetry in the late 1800s. This is his first publication. It would be revisited in 1921 and published in an expanded edition. Ex Ben E. Pingenot.
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