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50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs – #18: “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” by George Strait

April 16, 2008

Blue Clear Sky50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs: #18

“I Can Still Make Cheyenne” by George Strait

Album: “Blue Clear Sky”

Chart Peaks: #4 (although it was included in his #1s package)

City, State, or Town: Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne Wyoming is one of the biggest locations for bull riding and cowboy sports. Thus it becomes the center of one of many songs by King George to hit the countdown. In typical fashion George pays his respects to the cowboys and difficulties that their lifestyles bring them every day with their loved ones. This song tells a story of a man forced to face the consequences of his bul riding life as he must choose between Cheyenne or the woman he loves in an emotional rollercoaster of events.

The story begins with the wife of a rodeo cowboy being woken up by her phone ringing in the night hours. The lyrics set the mood by explaining how she is aware what the call might mean. She knows it’s him, but inside she has that understanding that it could be a call saying he won’t be coming back. in fact it states that she has gone through enough to almost expect it. When the cowboy is revealed he speaks to his girl on the phone and explains how he failed to make the short go, basically his whole purpose for being their was thrown out the window and lost. In addition he explains how he knows quite well that he has seemingly neglected her and wants to come home and make up for it. He finally asks if anything is wrong and his response it tragic.

The chorus becomes the most emotionally charged part of the entire song as the cowboy’s wife announces she is leaving him for another man, someone who isn’t preoccupied by blind rodeo dreams. Faced with this reality the cowboy is forced to make his choice and it is revealed that he had originally decided to skip out of Cheyenne, a huge sacrifice for a dedicated bull rider, and return home to her. However after discovering the unfortunate reality he decides ultimately that if he hurrys he can still make Cheyenne. In the second verse he shows a hint of regret as he walks away from the phone. He pauses which expresses his possible feeling to try to change her mind. Instead he lets his rodeo cowboy get the best of him and drives off to Wyoming with the last conversation between him and his girl still ringing in his mind.

This song was one of the many great cowboy songs from the king of country music. What made this one so special was that it expressed the power and truth behind a cowboy’s life. The rodeo rider in the song is forced to decide between Cheyenne and his wife and after choosing the later he is given the opportunity to let his girl run off with another man and allow him to go to the show in Cheyenne. He ultimately allows chooses his hobby over a possible chance of saving his relationship with his girl. This is not an uncommon choice for such a profession. Rodeo cowboys are dedicated and forced, through that dedication, to be separated from their loved ones for an extended period of time. George uses the concept of bull riding and the significance of Cheyenne, Wyoming to those dedicated riders to pull off a powerful story and ultimately allow the public more understanding about how dangerous a cowboy’s life can really be.

 

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