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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1949 - Top Songs - Riders in the Sky
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1949!
In 1949, Vaughn Monroe released Riders in the Sky and it quickly rose to number one on the Billboard charts. Although Monroe's lyrics varied slightly, the original words and music were written by Stan Jones and those lyrics appear below.

This song was so popular, both with the original title and its alternate title, Ghost Riders in the Sky, that it was recorded by Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, the Ramrods, and the Baja Marimba Band. The final release of the song occured in 1981 by The Outlaws.

The Lyrics:


An old cowpoke went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A'plowin' through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns wuz black and shiny and their hot breaths he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the riders comin' hard and he heard their mournful cry

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, and shirts all soaked with sweat
They're ridin' hard to catch that herd but they ain't caught them yet
They've got to ride forever in that range up in the sky
On horses snortin' fire, as they ride on, hear their cry

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky

As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name
"If you want to save your soul from hell a' ridin' on our range"
"Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride"
"A-tryin' to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies."

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky
Ghost riders in the sky

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