“Windy Bill (II)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1908 (Thorp)
Keywords: cowboy gambling contest
Found in: US(MA,So,SW)

Description

Windy Bill is convinced he can handle any steer. He and his mates place a wager on the matter, and they give him the worst bull available. Bill's rope technique is imperfect; he is thrown onto a rock pile. He pays up. Listeners are warned against bragging

Notes

This song is item dB41 in Laws's Appendix II. It has been claimed by Ray Reed, and credited to George B. German. I know of no supporting evidence for the former claim, and the latter appears to refer instead to "Windy Bill's Famous Ride." Thorp claimed in 1921 to have heard the song in 1899, but the claim is not found in his 1908 edition.

Logsdon notes that there are distinct roping styles in Texas and California, and the difference accounts for the Windy Bill's result in the song. Logsdon quotes, seemingly with some approval, Ohrlin's suggestion that the song originated in Arizona where the two roping styles overlapped. - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. Thorp/Fife II, pp. 38-43 (11-12), "Windy Bill" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
  2. Fife-Cowboy/West 75, "Windy Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Larkin, pp. 68-71, "Windy Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Ohrlin-HBT 5, "Windy Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Logsdon 18, pp. 123-126, "The Old Black Steer" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. DT, WINDYBLL*
  7. ADDITIONAL: Hal Cannon, editor, _Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering_, Giles M. Smith, 1985, pp. 26-27, "Windy Bill" (1 text)
  8. Roud #4044
  9. BI, TF02