“Little Joe the Wrangler”

Author: N. Howard Thorp (1898)
Earliest date: 1908 (Thorp's "Songs of the Cowboys")
Keywords: cowboy death
Found in: US(NW,Ro,So,SW)


"Little Joe" runs away from home because of a parental remarriage. He is taken in by cowboys and learns how to herd cattle. When a storm starts blowing, he stops a stampede but is killed in the process


Larkin notes that, in a cattle ride, the horse wrangler (responsible for controlling the horses and bringing them to the riders as needed) stood low in the social hierarchy but often played a vital role when the herd was nervous or the riders busy. - RBW

Cross references



  1. Laws B5, "Little Joe the Wrangler"
  2. Randolph 203, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (1 text)
  3. Thorp/Fife I, pp. 28-37 (9-11), "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (4 texts -- one of them being "Sister Nell" and another a parody about "Joe... That hung that bunch of cactus on the wall," 1 tune)
  4. Logsdon 2, pp. 32-37, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Larkin, pp. 123-126, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Fife-Cowboy/West 79, "Little Joe, the Wrangler" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Darling-NAS, pp. 166-167, "Little Joe the Wrangler" (1 text)
  8. Silber-FSWB, p. 265, "Little Joe The Wrangler" (1 text)
  9. Saffel-CowboyP, pp. 207-208, "Little Joe, The Wrangler" (1 text)
  10. DT 373, LITTLEJO*
  11. Roud #1930
  12. BI, LB05