An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse
By: Gene Autry

Written by: Gene Autry

 
Lyrics:
An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse [Version (a)]:

There's a cot unused in the bunkhouse tonight
There's a pinto's head bending low
His spurs and chaps hang on the wall
Limpy's gone where the good cowboys go
There's a range for every cowboy
Where the foreman takes care of his own
There'll be an empty saddle tonight
But he's happy up there I know

He was riding the range last Saturday noon
When a norther' had started to blow
With his head in his chest, heading into the west
He was stopped by a cry soft and low
A crazy young calf had strayed from its ma
And was lost in the snow and the storm
It lay in a heap at the end of the draw
Huddled all in a bunch to keep warm

Limpy hobbled it feet, tossed it over his horse
And headed for the shack
But the wind blew cold and the snow piled high
And poor Limpy, he strayed from the track
He arrived three in the morning
And put the young maverick to bed
Then he flopped in his bunk unable to move
In the morning, poor Limpy was dead

There's an empty cot in the bunkhouse tonight
There's a pinto's head hangin' low
HIs spurs and chaps hang on the wall
Limpy's gone where the good cowboys go
There's a range for every cowboy
And the foreman takes care of his own
And someday he'll ride his old pinto
Up there on that range above
 
The Song:

This song can be found on The Manly Family Song Album, and is copyrighted.

Like most of the song titles listed on the back of Saint Dude, this one references a much older work. There is a fairly famous song by Gene Autry called "An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight" from 1936. It has been covered by a lot of early country musicians, and seems to have been quite a big song at the time. (The version by Rosalie Sorrels is gorgeous.) It's about the death of a fellow cowboy, which I guess fits into the Manly Family idea.

There is, also, another unrelated song with a similar title (often called "One Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse") by Red Steagall. It's a great tune too actually, but the Autry one is much more famous I think.