The Cowboys Lament: The Kansas Origin of a Western Classic

a-cowboys-lament-blogDid you know that an Iowa born cowboy Frank Maynard, who moved to Kansas when he was just 16, is the author of the famed Western song, “The Cowboy’s Lament,” best known today as “The Streets of Laredo.” In Frank Maynard’s Cowboy’s Lament: A Life on the Open Range (Texas Tech University Press), edited from Maynard’s unpublished manuscript, Kansas historian and folklorist Jim Hoy unveils the Irish origin of the famed song to Maynard’s reworking of the song in 1876 into the cowboy classic, which later was adapted by Texas cowboys into the classic known today as “The Streets of Laredo.” Hoy, knows plenty about the cowboy life: he grew up on the family ranch in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, and when he . A retired professor of English at Emporia State University and Director of the Center for Studies of the Great Plains, Foy has published hundreds of articles and numerous books on the folklore and history of the Kansas cowboy, cowboy poetry, and even a book on the origin and folk development of the cattle guard. In 2004, Hoy was inducted into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame. Two other Hoy classics about Kansas to own are: Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie (Univ. Press of Kansas) and Cowboys and Kansas: Stories from the Tallgrass Prairie (Univ. of Oklahoma Press).

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