Music You Can Read®

"I Ride an Old Paint"


"I Ride an Old Paint"
Additional Information

"I Ride an Old Paint," Lyrics, Text Format

"I Ride an Old Paint," Lyrics, Text Format

Intermediate syncopation, melodic rhythm patterns,
and a cowboy's vocabulary lesson.

Click to hear melody.

  • Grade: Fifth

  • Origin: USA - Cowboy Song

  • Key: G Major

  • Time: 3/4

  • Form: phrases: ABb - song: AB, verse/chorus

  • Rhythm: intermediate: | ta/ ti ta | syncopation,
    | ti ta/ (ti) ti | syncopation, ta/a ti ti | ta/ ti ti ti | syncopation, | ta ta ta | ta ta ti ti |

  • Pitches: beginners: So La Ti Do Re Mi

  • Intervals: beginners: So/Do (P4), Do\La (m3), So/Re (P5), Do/Mi (M3), Ti\So/Ti (m3)

  • Musical Elements: notes: half, dotted quarter, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, vocal slur, syncopation, melodic rhythm patterns, verse/chorus

  • Key Words: USA history, USA geography: Montana; westward expansion, cowboy life, cowboy vocabulary,* herding song, Paint, lead, Dan, hoolihan, coulees, draw, mated, raw, doggies, fiery, snuffy, raring to go, daughter, son, college, killed, wife, poolroom, fight, singing, die, saddle, pony, stall, bones, west, prairie; contraction: we'll (we will) abbreviation: Montan' (Montana), mornin' (morning)

  • Recorder: intermediate: Excellent follow-up to the Beginning Recorder Songs!

* see cowboy vocabulary below lyrics


"I Ride an Old Paint"

    1. I ride an old paint, I lead an old Dan.
I'm goin' to Montan' just to throw the hooluhan,
They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw,
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw.
      Tide around little doggies,
Ride around them slow,
For the fiery and snuffy
Are raring to go.
Bill Jones had a daughter, Bill Jones had a son,
The son went to college, the daughter went wrong,
His wife she got killed in a poolroom fight,
And still he keeps singing from mornin' till night.
    3. Oh, when I die take my saddle from the wall,
And put it on my pony, lead him out of the stall,
Tie my bones to his back, turn our faces to the west,
And we'll ride the prairie that we love the best.
Cattle herding songs subdued the stock and provided
entertainment around the campfire.

Cowboy vocabulary:

Paint: two toned (colored) breed of horse
Dan: breed of quarter horse
coulee: (or coulée): deep steep-sided ravine formed by erosion
draw: small natural depression where water drains;
a shallow gully
hoolihan:fast overhand rope throw with an open loop
used to catch a horse in a corral
doggies: motherless calves.
fiery/snuffy nervous, skittish cattle that want to break
away from the herd

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Additional Formats


"I Ride an Old Paint," Music Format
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Click to Enlarge: "I Ride an Old Paint," Rhythm Format
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pitch numbers

Click to Enlarge: "I Ride an Old Paint," Pitch Number Format
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letter names

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