Riders in the Sky

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About Riders in the Sky

"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" is a cowboy-styled country/western song written in 1948 by American songwriter, film and television actor Stan Jones. A number of versions were crossover hits on the pop charts in 1949, the most successful being by Vaughn Monroe. The ASCAP database lists the song as "Riders in the Sky" (title code 480028324), but the title has been written as "Ghost Riders", "Ghost Riders in the Sky", and "A Cowboy Legend". Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as the greatest Western song of all time.  


Year:
2006
29 Views

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(Ghost) Riders In the Sky
Vaughn Monroe 

Peak Billboard position # 1 in 1949
Monroe may not have sung it precisely this way  but a recording by him was not 
available so the words and music herein are taken from the sheet music as written 
by Stan Jones 
Monroes' version, as well as competing versions by Peggy Lee (# 2), Bing Crosby 
(#14), and Burl Ives (# 21) were all charted as just "Riders In the Sky"
Later, The Ramrods took it to # 30 in 1961 with the parenthetical (Ghost) added, 
as did the Baja Marimba Band (#52 in 1966) and The Outlaws (#31 in 1981)
Lawrence Welk used the original title on his # 87 in 1961.


An old cowpoke went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A'plowin' through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o 
Ghost riders in the sky

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns wuz black and shiny and their hot breaths he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the riders comin' hard and he heard their mournful cry

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o 
Ghost riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, and shirts all soaked with sweat
They're ridin' hard to catch that herd but they ain't caught them yet
They've got to ride forever in that range up in the sky
On horses snortin' fire, as they ride on, hear their cry

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o 
Ghost riders in the sky

As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name
"If you want to save your soul from hell a' ridin' on our range"
"Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride"
"A-tryin' to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies."

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o 
Ghost riders in the sky
Ghost riders in the sky

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Vaughn Monroe

Vaughn Wilton Monroe (October 7, 1911 – May 21, 1973) was an American baritone singer, trumpeter and big band leader and actor, most popular in the 1940s and 1950s. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording and radio. more »

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Written by: OLIVER JONES

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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    "Riders in the Sky Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 Mar. 2021. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/9941170/Vaughn+Monroe>.

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