Friday Five: Death By Stampede

Ken Morton, Jr. | March 12th, 2010

Today I guest write on Juli Thanki’s Friday Five not because she’s on vacation–mentally nor physically–but because we wanted to pay tribute to one particular little part of her that we adore. For those that have gotten the privilege to know her, Juli has a wonderful and twisted sense of humor, and nowhere is that more evident than in her Friday Five columns. After all, who else would have the grace to put together playlists on truly abominable topics like drowning and dead presidents and still make you smile while you’re reading them?

A couple weeks back, Juli put five songs together about freezing to death. (We here at The 9513 believe that mid-Atlantic cold spell has finally gone to her brain.) Offline, one of our other contributers, Sam Gazdziak affectionately called Juli, “The 9513’s resident mistress of the dark,” and suggested that since there’s so many happy pop-country songs out there, she should break out a new cause of death playlist every week for spite.

We won’t call this spiteful. We’ll just call this week’s Friday Five about death by stampede just a glorified lil’ honor to our own little Elvira.

  • Stampede5. “Stampede” – Chris Ledoux

    The poor protagonist in LeDoux’s song is making a peaceful resting spot down by the Red River and bunks down for the night when longhorns stampede through his camp. At the moment he’s about to be trampled to death, he awakes, only to find out that he’s been dreaming. But then the end of the song finishes off with his dream coming true, déjà-vu style. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, but for cowboys out on the range.

  • Black In The Saddle4. “Buffalo Stampede” – Cowboy Troy

    I’ll take some grief for including Cowboy Troy in this “country music” playlist, but including this song helps spread the fear of being trampled beyond the bovine species and into the bison family. Cowboy Troy strings along a loose story of a buffalo stampede as an analogy of being a tough guy able to overcome anything–I think that’s what he’s talking about, anyway. I’m not quite jiggy enough to tell.

  • Boots, Buckles & Spurs - 50 Songs Celebrate 50 Years of Cowboy T3. “Stampede” – Roy Rogers and the Sons Of The P

    Ten thousand cattle in flight/The devil’s ridin’ herd tonight/The thunder of the hooves and the fury from the skies/Don’t get out in front or every man dies,” sings the King of the Cowboys, on a song released way back in 1950. Where’s Curly from City Slickers when you need him?

  • Sings The Ballads Of The True West2. “Stampede” – Johnny Cash

    Originally released on Cash’s 1965 Western-themed album Johnny Cash Sings the Ballads of the True West, this song tells the story of a cowboy named Frank who is lost to a stampede when his foot misses a stirrup and he loses the grip of his horn. His final yell is, “Hey Johnny, head the wild bunch and do the ladies well.” Perhaps that’s the reason Cash shaved off the Bucky Covington mustache he was sporting on the album’s cover–chicks don’t always dig the stache’.

  • Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs1. “Utah Carol” – Marty Robbins

    In this great story song from 1959, a cowboy named Utah takes the boss’s daughter out on a ride and the red blanket he puts under her saddle falls and causes a stampede. He leaps off his faithful steed, grabs the blanket and leads the stampede away from the young girl–towards himself instead. Utah’s a hero as he meets his end, but what do his friends do to remember him by? They bury him in the dang blanket that killed him!

1 Ping

  1. [...] such as being eaten by alligators, songs about drowning, freezing to death, rodeo deaths or being trampled by stampedes. Once we kill off the song’s protagonist, we even provide burial instructions to help finish [...]
  1. Rick
    March 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Wow, how could you not include Marty Robbins’ “Little Joe The Wrangler”! Tsk, tsk….

  2. Mrsandy
    March 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Also from the “Gunfighter Ballads” album is another great stampede ballad — “The Master’s Call”… which, IMHO, is the stronger story and song.

  3. stormy
    March 12, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    The protagionist of The Master’s Call didn’t die.

  4. Sam G.
    March 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Next week: Top 5 songs about skydiving accidents.

  5. Rick
    March 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Darn, I’ve been waiting for the “Kids Dying of Cancer/A Terrible Disease” songs and hoping they would be next! I actually like “Streets of Heaven” and “How Big Are Angel Wings”. Oh well….

  6. Thomas
    March 13, 2010 at 11:53 am

    …did the roller-skating in the buffalo herd actually cause a stampede…i just can’t remember.

  7. bll
    March 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The Cowboy Song – Garth Brooks

    Bonner crossed over Jordan riding Dunny to his death. Can’t argue with the yodel at the end either.

  8. Paul W Dennis
    March 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

    How about “There’s An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight” about a cowboy who rescued a calf in a snowstorm, succeeded but died during the night after getting back to the bunkhouse. Not exactly a stampede song, but about cattle – Louise Massey & The Westerners (1934) – also Gene Autry that same year

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