And still are, it seems.
If you recognize those words, you’ll probably know that they’re from a song Willie Nelson sang. But did you know that Waylon Jennings recorded the song first, way back in 1976?
Yup. He did.
What does that have to do with today’s post? Nothing, really, I just thought I’d throw it in for interest. If you don’t find it interesting, I’m sorry. We’ll move on along.
Actually, the title to this song uses a word that seems to epitomize cowboys: heroes. Traditionally, cowboys are usually heroes. Think for a minute of all the famous Western movies that had a cowboy as a hero. It’s a loooong list so I won’t try to mention every one but think John Wayne in True Grit or Stagecoach. Think Gary Cooper in The Virginian or High Noon. Think Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, High Plains Drifter or The Outlaw Josey Wales.
Last but certainly not least, think Alan Ladd in Shane, perhaps the most famous and best loved Western films of all time, absolutely iconic. Then of course there’s Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tom Mix and other equally brave and handsome cowboys of the silver screen.
What did these movies have in common? Cowboys as heroes. Now, the cowboy might be a gunslinger, a rancher, a lawman or just a range riding, cattle herding, ordinary guy in his everyday life. But when the stakes are high and evil is about to prevail against good, who rides in to save the day?
If you guessed a cowboy, go to the head of the class.
Cowboys are heroes when the occasion calls for a hero, regardless of whatever else they might be in their spare time. Another common trait amongst cowboys is that they respect and admire women. You might even say in some cases that they revere women. Hero Cowboys are unfailingly courteous and chivalrous where females are concerned. This may be because back in the day of the Old West, women were scarce and their very scarcity made them more valuable. But for whatever reason, you’ll never see a Hero Cowboy being abusive or disrespectful to women folk.
As for Western movies, one might assume that they’re more to a man’s taste than a woman’s. Not so. At least not in my case. I’ve always loved TV shows and movies with cowboys. I grew up with them and cowboys were cast firmly as heroes in my psyche long before I knew I had a psyche.
My cowboy in Book Two of my Forever Cowboys series, Ben Connors, lives up to the Hero Cowboy tradition by being brave and handsome. He’s also incredibly sexy and quite well to do because the only thing better than a brave, handsome cowboy is a rich and sexy cowboy. I’m down to the final chapters in The Color of Forever, Ben and Samantha’s love story, and hope you’ll read it when it comes out on Amazon’s Kindle books next week.
Happy trails to you!