Walking John

DESCRIPTION: "Walking John was a big rope horse" who "was willing and stout and strong," but "he sure enjoyed his joke." Every morning he tried to throw his first rider -- but then settled down to be a hard worker
AUTHOR: Henry Herbert Knibbs
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (Knibbs, Songs of the Last Frontier)
KEYWORDS: animal cowboy
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Larkin, pp. 79-82, "Walking John" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ohrlin-HBT 24, "Walking John" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Powder River Jack and Kitty Lee's _Songs of the Range: Cowboy Wails of Cattle Trails_, Chart Music, 1937, p. 9, "Walkin' John" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #5766
NOTES: Larkin notes, "The poems of Henry Herbert Knibbs have been plagiarized and adapted so often that he is entitled to be named the poet laureate of hte cowboys." She adds that this song is "the biography of a real horse."
It would appear that the song was in oral tradition before Knibbs published it; since Larkin published her book in 1931 and it had passed through at least two stages of tradition by the time she collected it. On the other hand, Powder River Jack Lee, who claimed everything that wasn't nailed down, in his 1937 songbook credited it to Knibbs. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.7
File: Ohr024

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