Ragtime Cowboy Joe

Words & Music by Grant Clarke, Lewis Muir & Maurice Abrahams, 1912
Recorded by The Sons of the Pioneers, 1951*

D          G              D Edim  G
Out in Arizona where the bad men are,

         D              G               D    Fdim  A
And the only friend to guide you is an eve - ning star,

     D     Cdim    G    Edim  D F#m Bm Fdim E7/9      A6/7/9 A7   D
The rough - est, tough - est man by far was Rag - time Cow - boy Joe.

 A                D9                 A        F#7
Got his name from sing - ing to the cows and sheep;

A                    F#7                B7  E7  A
Ev' - ry night, they say, he sings the herd to sleep

D    G   Em7   D   F#7  B7   E7/9        Cdim     A7
In a bas - so rich and deep, croon - ing soft and low


Em7/9 Cdim   A7   D       D   DM7 D    DM7 D  DM7  D    DM7
 He    al - ways sings   rag - gy mu - sic to his cat - tle

Edim     E7      Cdim     E7        Cdim     E7
 As he swings    back and for - ward in his sad - dle

Gdim     A7   Em7          A7        Em7        A7
 On his horse       who is syn - co - pa - ted gait - ed

Edim     D               B7               E7              A7
And with such a fun - ny me - ter to the roar of his re - peat - er

Em7 Edim D        D   DM7   D   DM7  D     DM7  D    
How they run     when they hear the fel - ler's gun

     Edim       E7   Cdim  E7  Bm7-5 E7
Be - cause the west - ern folks all know:

       G                    G/F#
He's a hi - fa - loot - in' root - in' toot - in' 

Em7     Edim      E7     Bm7-5
Son of a gun from Ar - i - zo - na

Em7/9     A6/7/9 A7   GM7   Cdim     A6/7/9 A7   
Rag - time cow - boy (talk about your cow - boy)

Em7/9     A6/7/9 A7   D
Rag - time cow - boy Joe.

*Requested by recent visitor Ed Brown, this song was popularized in both the 1942 Movie "Hello Frisco Hello" and the 1945 movie "Incendiary Blonde." The credits for the album on which the Sons of the Pioneers' version appears, according to www.allmusic.com, lists a release of 1961, but I find that very hard to believe -- the lead voice sounds to my ear too much like Roy Rogers to be anyone else, and he only sang with the group until 1937. Another online source of Sons of the Pioneers releases for this song shows releases in three consecutive years (1951, 1952 and 1953) but again, all these are too late to be Rogers' voice. Lacking a definitive answer, I'm going with the 1951 date, since the later two were probably re-releases rather than re-recordings, but I still believe the lead voice is that of Rogers, so 1937 (or even earlier) could well be closer to correct, because the song itself is much older than that.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.