I've been told I've got no right
ta' be writin' cowboy poetry,
cuz' I ain't an actual cowpoke on the range.
An' if I persist there'll be a fight,
an' perhaps a rope thrown o're a tree,
cuz' they rate dudes even lower than the mange.
But they forget the range is dwindlin'.
It's less than half of what it were.
Big spreads have gone the way of the Dodo bird.
Yet where were they durin' Uncle Sam's swindlin'?
An' why am I the brunt of a common slur
jus' because our family lost its ranch an' herd?
It's true I am a city born,
but I got me a country heart,
an' it bleeds red, white, an' blue jus' like yours.
You were raised a holdin' a saddle horn,
I was forced ta' have street smarts,
but they served me well in uniform on those distant shores.
My Ma was raised upon a ranch,
my Grandpa Grover's down in Texas.
I heard all the stories but never got ta' see.
I was on the broken branch,
after the government's double-taxes,
that cut-off the country side of my family tree.
Ya' point yer' fingers at me
an' claim I'll never be one of ya'll.
Ya' say I'm a pretender who jus' bought a hat.
The country fried community,
I wanted it, barn raising's an' all.
But when Gramp's spread was on the choppin' block,
where were you at?
Gramp's worked hard all his life;
he was strong, quiet, an' proud.
The Good Lord even took him home as he sat in church.
He never deserved the strife
from the rustlin' government crowd,
as they sowed unsavory policies, leavin' common folk in the lurch.
It's true I love my country,
but I hate my Uncle Sam,
he stole from me the life I shoulda' had.
Country's most my genealogy,
it's my heritage: who I am.
An' ta' have it stole, one generation removed, makes me damn mad!
So if ya'll still say I ain't country,
an' ain't fit ta' write country poetry,
give it yer' best cuz' I'll stand with ya' toe ta' toe.
I can't choose the place of my birth,
but I can choose how I'll live,
an' I'll live country til the day I go.