Ol' Paint (1937)
(The Horse With a Union Label)

Lyrics by Mike Stratton
Music by Saul Arons

Verse:

My daddy was a cowboy and I'm follerin' in his footsteps --  
Ridin' the range.  
My chaps are wide, my kerchief's red,  
I'll wear my Stetson 'til I'm dead --  
I keep my boots on the table.  
I brand steers and turn 'em free,      
But the brand ain't what it used to be  
'Cause now I ride a horse with a union label.

Chorus:

Ol’ Paint – Ol’ Paint --  
A prouder horse there ain't.  
'Cause my Ol’ Paint  
Is a horse with a union label.

II

When I was a little feller and was seein’ the cowboy pictures,  
My daddy told me:  
“A cowboy’s life is mighty lean  
When he ain’t herdin’ cows on the movie screen,  
So here’s what your daddy’s advisin’:  
When you swing your lariat,  
You’re one of the proletariat,  
So get yourself a horse and start organizin’..

Repeat Chorus:

III

I went down to the old corral to pick me out a bronco,  
Like my daddy told me.  
I looked 'em over, one by one,  
And there was a great big stall-i-ion  
Like you don't find in no millionaire's stable.  
He was handsome, proud and free --  
He pawed the sky and he looked at me --  
And blazin' on his side was a union label.

Repeat Chorus:

IV

The foreman, he was standin' there --  
"By gosh," he said, "I'll ride 'im."  
Paint, he just snickered.  
'Cause the S. O. B. was a company man,  
Which is why he landed on his can  
And went home, cryin' for mother.  
But I showed Paint my union card,  
And he said, "Why, climb right on, pardner,  
I've got plenty room for a union brother."

Repeat Chorus:

V

Now, some day, I'll be laid to rest, but I have got a feelin'  
Paint'll never die.  
He'll thunder on through the wild mesquite  
To be on time at a union meetin' --  
Strong and fearless and able.  
And workin' people through the lan'  
Will know it's a good Amer-i-can  
That rides on the horse with a union label.

Repeat Chorus: