A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer
I ain't much good at prayin', and you may not know me, Lord-
I ain't much seen in churches where they preach The Holy Word,
But You may have observed me out here on the lonely plains,
A-lookin' after cattle, feelin' thankful when it rains,
Admirin' Thy great handiwork, the miracle of grass,
Aware of Thy kind spirit in the way it comes to pass
That hired men on horseback and the livestock that we tend
Can look up at the stars at night and know we've got a Friend.
So here's ol' Christmas comin' on, remindin' us again
Of Him whose coming brought good will into the hearts of men.
A Cowboy ain't no preacher, Lord, but if You'll hear my prayer,
I'll ask as good as we have got for all men everywhere.
Don't let no hearts be bitter, Lord; don't let no child be cold/
Make easy beds for them that's sick, and them that's weak and old.
Let kindness bless the trail we ride, no matter what we're after,
And sorter keep us on Your side, in tears as well as laughter.
I've seen old cows a-starvin', and it ain't no happy sight;
Please don't leave no one hungry, Lord, on Thy good Christmas night-
No man, no child, no woman, and no critter on four feet-
I'll aim to do my best to help You find 'em chuck to eat.
I'm just a sinful cowpoke, Lord, - ain't got no business prayin' -
But still I hope You'll ketch a word or two of what I'm sayin':
We speak of Merry Christmas, Lord - I reckon You'll agree
There ain't no Merry Christmas for nobody that ain't free.
So one thing more I'll ask You, Lord: just help us what You can
To save some seeds of freedom for the future sons of man!
- S. Omar Barker
Note: There are many variations on the Christmas Prayer. Most Cowboy legends and verse have deep roots, and nearly everything we have written down today began in the oral tradition.