When the Cactus Is in Bloom
Jimmie Rodgers Lyrics


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The cattle prowled and the coyotes howled
Out on the Great Divide,
I never done no wrong, just singing a song,
As down the trail I ride.
Rattle snacks rattle at the prairie dogs,
You hear that mournful tune.
It's roundup time away out West
When the cactus is in bloom.
Daylight comes and the cowhand yell,
They call out ev'ry man,
I throw my saddle on my old cowhorse
And drink my coffee from a can;
The sun goes down on the cattle trail
And I'm gazing at the moon,
It's roundup time away out West
When the cactus is in bloom.
We don't have cold weather,
It never snows or rains.
That is where the sunshine's best,
Out on the western plains.
Some of the boys have gone away,
But they will be back soon.
It's roundup time away out West
When the cactus is in bloom.
Daylight comes and the cowhand yell,
They call out ev'ry man,
I throw my saddle on my old cowhorse
And drink my coffee from a can;
The sun goes down on the cattle trail
And I'm gazing at the moon,




It's roundup time away out West
When the cactus is in bloom.

Overall Meaning

The song "When the Cactus is in Bloom" by Jimmie Rodgers is a lighthearted tune that depicts the life of a cowboy on the Great Divide during roundup time, which happens when the cactus is in bloom. The lyrics describe the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the plains, where the cattle roam and the coyotes howl. The singer of the song claims he has done no wrong, he is just singing a song as he rides down the trail. He describes the sounds of the rattlesnakes and the prairie dogs and the mournful tune that can be heard when the cactus is in bloom.


As the daylight comes, the cowhand yells, calling out every man. The singer of the song puts his saddle on his cowhorse and drinks his coffee from a can. The sun goes down on the cattle trail, and he gazes at the moon. The song emphasizes the climate of the western plains, where they don’t have cold weather and it never snows or rains; that’s where the sunshine is best. The chorus repeats the same theme of it being roundup time when the cactus is in bloom. Finally, the songwriter emphasizes the idea that some of the boys have gone away but they will be back soon.


Overall, the song is a celebration of the cowboy life on the Great Divide, where the cowboys live a rough and tough life, but they enjoy it. It’s a song about the beauty of the western land and its people, and their love for nature.


Line by Line Meaning

The cattle prowled and the coyotes howled
I am on the Great Divide, where the cattle roam and the coyotes sing.


Out on the Great Divide,
I am in the wild and remote Western terrain.


I never done no wrong, just singing a song,
I haven't committed any wrongdoing, simply enjoying the act of singing.


As down the trail I ride.
I am riding my horse on a trail.


Rattle snacks rattle at the prairie dogs,
The sound of rattlesnakes can be heard as they come across prairie dogs.


You hear that mournful tune.
The sound of the rattlesnakes is somber and melancholy.


It's roundup time away out West
The time has come to gather the cattle.


When the cactus is in bloom.
The cattle are gathered during the time when cacti are flowering.


Daylight comes and the cowhand yell,
At sunrise, the cowboys shout to signal that it's time to start the day's work.


They call out ev'ry man,
All of the cowboys are summoned to join in the day's work.


I throw my saddle on my old cowhorse
I mount my trusty horse and ready it for the day's work.


And drink my coffee from a can;
I drink my coffee from a can while preparing for the day's work.


The sun goes down on the cattle trail
The day draws to a close while the cattle are being herded.


And I'm gazing at the moon,
As the day comes to an end, I look up at the moon in the night sky.


We don't have cold weather,
The Western Plains have a consistently warm climate.


It never snows or rains.
Precipitation in the form of snow or rain is uncommon in this area.


That is where the sunshine's best,
This environment is the perfect place to enjoy the warmth of the sun.


Some of the boys have gone away,
Some of the cowboys have left the area for a period of time.


But they will be back soon.
However, they are expected to return shortly.


It's roundup time away out West
The time has come to gather the cattle.


When the cactus is in bloom.
The cattle are gathered during the time when cacti are flowering.


Daylight comes and the cowhand yell,
At sunrise, the cowboys shout to signal that it's time to start the day's work.


They call out ev'ry man,
All of the cowboys are summoned to join in the day's work.


I throw my saddle on my old cowhorse
I mount my trusty horse and ready it for the day's work.


And drink my coffee from a can;
I drink my coffee from a can while preparing for the day's work.


The sun goes down on the cattle trail
The day draws to a close while the cattle are being herded.


And I'm gazing at the moon,
As the day comes to an end, I look up at the moon in the night sky.


It's roundup time away out West
The time has come to gather the cattle.


When the cactus is in bloom.
The cattle are gathered during the time when cacti are flowering.




Contributed by Thomas O. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Eszter Baltimore

The cattle prowl and the coyotes howl, out on that Great Divide. I've never done no wrong, just singin' a song as down the trail I ride.

The rattle snakes rattle at the prairie dogs, you hear them mournful tune. It's round-up-time, a way out west when the cactus is in bloom.

Daylight comes and the cowhands yell, they call out every man. I throw my saddle on my old cow horse and drink my coffee from a can.

The sun goes down on a cattle trail and I'm gazin' at the moon. It's round-up-time, a way out west when the cactus is in bloom.

We don't have cold weather, it never snows or rains. That is where the sun shines best out on the western plains.

Some of the boys have gone away, but they'll be back soon. For it's round-up-time, a way out west when the cactus is in bloom.

Daylight comes and the cowhands yell, they call out every man. I throw my saddle on my old cow horse and drink my coffee from a can.

The sun goes down on a cattle trail and I'm gazin' at the moon. It's round-up-time, a way out west when the cactus is in bloom.



All comments from YouTube:

Randy H

The older I get the more I love Jimmie

Dos Gardenias

Un film sobre Johnny Cash me trajo hasta Jimmie Rodgers. Qué música maravillosa. Adoro esa guitarra y su voz tan dulce.

Thomas .Hennessey

According to Tony Russell's Country Music Discography, this is only tune recorded Sat. June,13, 1931 in the middle of a long stretch of sessions from June 10 to June 17 skipping Sunday. Usually he got one song a day done usualy with many takes. This included his tune sessions with the Carter Family. In addition to Cliff Carlisle's steel, Wilbur Ball is on guitar.

Thomas .Hennessey

These sessions are in Louisville, KY.

gammeltfossil

I didn't know Cliff Carlisle played with Jimmie! Amazing musician. That wailing steel guitar is unmistakably Cliff Carlisle, now you mention it.

Aracely Castro

Me gustan este tipo de canciones

Paul Johnson

I love this song done by Lauri Lewis as a bluegrass song, but I love cowboy songs and yodlin too. Nice post. :)

John Jurkewicz

👍👍It so great 👍👍

Brasilian Rose

Great share Thanks,Keith thumbs up

Lorne Bain

Two thumbs up....

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