Don't fence me in.Give me land, lots of land,Stretching miles across the West,Don't fence me in.Let me ride where it's wide,For somehow I like it best.I want to see the stars,I want to feel the breeze,I want to smell the sage,And hear the cottonwood trees.Just turn me loose,Let me straddle my old saddleWhere the shining mountains rise.On my cayuseI'll go siftin': I'll go driftin'Underneath those Western skies.I've got to get whereThe West commences,I can't stand hobbles,I can't stand fences,Don't fence me in.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Back in the 1930s the Montana State Highway Commission employed an engineer named Robert Fletcher, a man who also dabbled in western writing and poetry. He wrote history books, historic markers for the Montana roadsides ... and the poem reproduced below, which he sold to Cole Porter in 1934 for $250. Porter changed a few words around, added it to a movie soundtrack, and the rest is history.