The Horse with a Union Label

Company man launched

Here's a cowboy song by Mike Stratton and Saul Aarons from the People's Songbook.


My daddy was a cowboy and I follow in his footsteps
Riding the range,
My chaps are wide, my shirt is red,
I'll wear my Stetson till I'm dead
I keep my boots on the table.
I brand my cows and turn 'em free
But the brand ain't what it used to be
'Cause now I ride a horse with a union label.

Old Paint, Old Paint
A prouder horse there ain't
'Cause my Old Paint
Is a horse with a union label.

When I was a little feller and I seen a cowboy picture,
My daddy told me,
"A cowboy's life is migty lean when he ain't herding cows on a movie screen
So here's what your daddy's advising:
When you swing your lariat you're one of the proletariat
So find yourself a horse and start Organizing."

I went down to the old corral to pick me out a bronco
Like my daddy told me,
I looked 'em over one by one and there was a great big stallion
Like you won't find in no millionaire's stable.
He was wild and proud and free
And he pawed the sky and looked at me
And blazing on his side was a union label.

The foreman he was standing there and said, by God!, he'd ride him.
Paint, he just snickered.
'Cause that mean cayuse was a company spy
That’s why he landed in a tree near by
And ran home crying for mother;
But I showed Paint my union card
And he says to me, "Climb right on pard”
I got plenty of room for a union brother."

Now, some day I'll be laid to rest but I've got a feelin'
Paint, he'll never die.
He'll thunder on through the wild mesquite
To be on time to a union meetin’
Strong and fearless and able.
And working folk throughout the land
Will know he's a good American
Who rides the horse with the union label.