Cowboy
Harry Nilsson Lyrics


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Cold gray buildings where a hill should be
Steel and concrete closin' in on me
City faces haunt the places
I used to roam
Cowboy, cowboy, can't run, can't hide
Too late to fight now, too tired to try

Wind that once blew free
Now scatters dust to the sky




Cowboy, cowboy, can't run, can't hide
Too late to fight now, too tired to try

Overall Meaning

In this song, Harry Nilsson paints a picture of a cowboy who feels trapped in a city. He speaks of "cold gray buildings," "steel and concrete," and "city faces" that have all but replaced his once free and open prairie. The cowboy laments that he is unable to escape from the restricting and oppressive environment that has taken over his life.


The cowboy in the song is a metaphor for a person who feels lost and out of place in a society that they no longer recognize. Perhaps he has been forced to leave his home or has lost touch with his roots. He feels too overwhelmed and too drained to fight back, and instead resigns himself to his unfortunate circumstance.


The song is a reflection of the changing landscape of America and the shift towards urbanization. It touches on the loss of individualism and the struggle to maintain a sense of identity in an increasingly homogenous culture.


Line by Line Meaning

Cold gray buildings where a hill should be
Tall, dull structures replaced the natural beauty of hills, making the singer feel suffocated


Steel and concrete closin' in on me
The materialism and grandeur of the city are trapping and suffocating the singer


City faces haunt the places
The people in the city are making the singer feel uncomfortable and out of place


I used to roam
The artist no longer feels comfortable exploring the city as they did before


Cowboy, cowboy, can't run, can't hide
The artist is feeling trapped and inescapable in their current situation, helpless like a cowboy who cannot escape trouble


Too late to fight now, too tired to try
The singer feels defeated and worn out, with no energy left to fight their current situation


Wind that once blew free
The natural freedom and openness is gone


Now scatters dust to the sky
All that's left of the freedom is a dirt cloud being carried off by the wind




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Walt Disney Music Company
Written by: JONATHAN SACKS, RANDY NEWMAN

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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