Posted by: Jim E | April 18, 2011

North Dakota…”Don’t Fence Me In”…Sons Of The Pioneers…

Oh, I have talked about this before…and here we go again…sometimes when I am doing…well, nothing…looking out the kitchen window while fixing coffee or something…and all the sudden I am in Northern Wisconsin…or Tucson, Arizona…or Montana…or North Dakota…you may say, “North Dakota?”…why would you think of that particular place???…I love driving across North Dakota…in fact we have stopped there and stayed many times over the years…it has a beauty all its own…you can see forever…

As I was thinking about that the other day…the song “Don’t Fence Me In” came to mind…because when you are traveling West and you get to Fargo/Moorhead on I94…and get across the Red River and out of the city…it’s like the blinders come off…and you see what you have been missing all the months you have lived with hills and/or trees…now hills and trees are wonderful…but when they aren’t there anymore, well, it it refreshing…freeing…a release of the pressure, it seems…and you can see “forever”…I just love that feeling…and the song “Don’t Fence Me In” says a lot to explain that feeling…this song, written by Cole Porter, if you can believe that…(he wrote it for a movie…he was asked to write a “cowboy” song)…completely out of character for Porter…but later the song was used in the 1944 World War II film “Hollywood Canteen” for Roy Rogers…many stars appeared in the movie (as themselves)…it was a morale booster of a film for GIs who were being shipped overseas…it’s a good movie, if you like a little history of Hollywood and films of that era…(if clicking on the link doesn’t work…then go to YouTube and copy paste, then it will come up)…

Hopefully you could get to see that part of the film of Roy Rogers and Trigger…but, did you get a look at the backup group that sang with Roy Rogers???…that is his old group that he began his career with…the Sons Of The Pioneers…that group with, of course all new members, is still around…it has been singing together for over 75 years…they perform now at Branson, Missouri during the summer months…and perform other places too, throughout the year…it is great cowboy/western music…many of the songs they wrote themselves…we saw them a couple of years ago in Branson and it was a great show…

The words to that song do tell a little of what many of us feel about the stress of “our regular” living…we just want a little “wide-open country that I love”…and…”Don’t fence me in”…here’s the words: “Oh give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above/Don’t fence me in/Let me ride thru the wide-open country that I love/Don’t fence me in/Let me be by myself in the evening breeze/Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees/Send me off forever, but I ask you please/Don’t fence me in//Turn me loose/Let straddle my old saddle underneath the western skies/On my cayuse/Let me wander over yonder till I see the mountains rise/I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences/Gaze at the moon until I lose my senses/I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences/Don’t fence me in//

Now those words…they certainly speak to me…I’m in our car…driving across North Dakota…thru wide-open country that I love…land lots of land…listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees…underneath the western skies…ride until the west commences…wander till I see the mountains rise…Oh, man…this is real out here…it’s real…what is left of the west is still here…

So I guess I love when my mind wanders from here to there…and there…and there…and today, it was North Dakota with the Sons of the Pioneers…I love it so…So here’s a little more Sons of the Pioneers…enjoy…  16 – Ridin’ Down the Canyon



  1. I agree! North Dakota is beautiful. One of the best experiences of my life was passing through North Dakota by train, stopping at all of those tiny stations strung along the railroad from one end of the state to the other. In North Dakota, at what felt like the exact center of the entire North American continent, I felt like the world made sense. All I had to do was look out the window. The experience inspired an essay that I posted on my blog recently. Yes, that’s a plug, but I wouldn’t have posted this comment if I hadn’t reacted to your first paragraph with a “Yes, yes, yes!” 🙂 Great post!

    • Went to your site…good stuff…the trip across the Northern tier like that is good stuff…always wanted to try the train like that…but never had…thanks…Jim E

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: