John Gorka Home videos
36th homemade video (December 6, 2020)
"The Streets of Laredo"

On December 6, 2020 John Gorka wrote:
This week's One Song Concert and Home Video # 36 is The Streets of Laredo, a traditional tune to which I added a new verse. The guitar arrangement is also slightly different. The new verse changes the narrative from the traditional versions. Also, I kept wanting the dying cowboy to sing the last vers of John Prine's Paradise: "When I die let my ashes float down the Green River...". The lyrics fit the melody perfectly. I hope you like it and John Prine and the cowboy wouldn't mind.

Click here
to go to the John Gorka "Home videos homepage"



The other 'one song concerts':

- Click here for Red River Valley (April 5, 2020)
- Click here for Better times Will Come (April 12, 2020)
- Click here for Polly Wally (April 19, 2020)
- Click here for Soap Opera (April 26, 2020)
- Click here for Maya May I, (May 1, 2020)
- Click here for My Creole Belle (May 10, 2020)
- Click here for Careless Love (May 17, 2020)
- Click here for You Can Run (May 24, 2020)
- Muting the Sea (May 31,2020)
- Click here for Ignorance and Privilege (June 7, 2020)
- Click here for The Mercy of the Wheels. (June 14, 2020)
- If I Could Forget To Breathe (June 21, 2020)
- Let them in (June 28, 2020)
- Unblind The Referee (July 5, 2020)
- The Dutchman (July 12, 2020)
- Morningside (July 19, 2020)
- Cowboy Song (July 26, 2020)
- That's How Legends Are Made (August 2, 2020)
- If Not Now (August 9, 2020)
- Arroyo Seco (August 16, 2020)

- Shenandoah (August 23, 2020)
- Outside (August 30, 2020)
- Outnumbered (September 6, 2020)
- Brown shirts (September 13, 2020)

- Jack’s Crows (September 20, 2020)
Where No Monument Stands (September 27, 2020)
- Blue Chalk (October 4, 2020)
- Zuly (October 11, 2020)
- The Sentinel (October 18, 2020)
- Where The Bottles Break (October 25 2020)
- If I Could (November 1, 2020)
- Particle & Wave (November 8, 2020)
- True in Time (November 15, 2020)
- Edgar The Party Man ( November 22, 2020)
- The Water is Wide (November 29, 2020)
- The Streets of Laredo (December 6, 2020)

- Spanish is the Loving Tongue (December 13, 2020)
- Christmas Bells (December 20, 2020)
- Riverside (December 27. 2020) Recorded earlier
- Auld Lang Syne (January 3, 2021)


..The Streets of Laredo  





"Streets of Laredo" also known as the "Cowboy's Lament", is a famous American cowboy ballad in which a dying cowboy tells his story to another cowboy. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

Derived from the traditional folk song "The Unfortunate Rake", the song has become a folk music standard, and as such has been performed, recorded and adapted numerous times, with many variations. The title refers to the city of Laredo, Texas.

The old-time cowboy Frank H. Maynard (1853–1926) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, claimed authorship of the revised Cowboy's Lament, and his story was widely reported in 1924 by the journalism professor Elmo Scott Watson, then on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The song is widely considered to be a traditional ballad. It was first published in 1910 in John Lomax's Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads.

Recordings of the song have been made by Vernon Dalhart, Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Johnny Western, Joan Baez, Burl Ives, Jim Reeves, Roy Rogers, Marty Robbins, Chet Atkins, Arlo Guthrie, Norman Luboff Choir, Rex Allen, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and many country and western singers, as well as avant garde rocker John Cale, the British pop group Prefab Sprout, Snakefarm, Mercury Rev, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega and Paul Westerberg.




The Smothers Brothers
Live at The Crystal Palace/1962
  The Kingston Trio
Live album, "College Concert," recorded at UCLA. (1962)
  Marty Robbins
Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (1959)




The Streets of Laredo (Lyrics)

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy, all wrapped all in white linen
All wrapped in white linen, as cold as the clay

I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy
These words he did say as I boldly steped by
Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die



So beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Play the Death March as you carry me along
Take me to the valley, there lay the sod o'er me
For I'm the young cowboy, andI know I've done wrong

Go bring me a cup, a cup of coldwater
To cool my parched lips, the Cowboy than said
But before I returned, his soul had departed,
He'd gone to the maker– the cowboy was dead


He fell for the daughter of a powerfull lawyer
But she was to young than to leave Mountain ray.
Last month they made plans to meet at the border
But her fathersman ended, those sweet plans today

So beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Play the Death March as you carry me along
Take me to the valley, there lay the sod o'er me
For I'm the young cowboy, andI know I've done wrong

es who didn’t come



If you want to see a John Gorka video session made for this website, click
on one of the photolinks...




Click here to go to the homepage