Jon says, “Bellamy again and what a song! ‘She had smiles like acres of sunflowers’ – lovely.” Is this our first cowboy song? I will point you to Mainly Norfolk for info on the Bellamy version, which only differs in the order of the verses. I also note from this Mudcat thread it’s one of the most copyrighted and stolen songs in America. I have to agree with Jon that the words to this are great, but it certainly has the sophistication of a ‘writer’, as James Grafton Rogers was and that puts it into the same league as the Kiplings, but prehaps more Henry Lawson’s Bush girl from September. I also note that the tune was composed by an organist John H. Gower, at least according to Mudcat. This link should take you to a letter written by JGR, to a Katie Lee on the subject of this and Dolores, which he also wrote. Said missive is quoted in her book 10,000 Goddam Cattle : A History Of The American Cowboy In Song, Story And Verse. A few minutes with Wiki about the actual trail is also worthwhile, just for the scale of the geography. It brings home the wide open spaces and the epic quest for the mysterious, elusive girl with the aforementioned smile. Lovely indeed.
You can buy the October digital album now from all good download stores: