Ghost Riders In The Sky

The song Ghost Riders In The Sky is about a cowboy who has a vision of red-eyed, fire-breathing cattle thundering across the sky, being chased by the ghosts of damned cowboys. One warns him that if he does not change his ways he will be doomed to join them, forever “trying to catch the Devil’s herd across the endless skies.”

Ghost Riders In The Sky

May musicians have recorded the song over the years, including Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Vaughn Monroe, Marty Robbins and Peggy Lee. The most recent version of the song being performed by Spiderbait, for the movie Ghost Rider.

An impressionable 12 year-old boy rode to the top of an Arizona hill one afternoon with an old cowboy friend to check a windmill. A big storm was building and they needed to lock the blades down before the wind hit. When finished, they paused to watch the clouds darken and spread across the sky.

As lightning flashed, the old cowboy told the boy to watch closely and he would see the devil’s herd. Their eyes red and hooves flashing, would stampede ahead of phantom horsemen. The old cowboy warned the youth that if he didn’t watch himself, he would someday be up there with them, chasing steers for all eternity.

Years later, he recalled that scary, dark afternoon in death Valley and wrote the song “Ghost Riders In The Sky.”

Ghost Riders In The Sky Lyrics

An old cowpoke went out on a 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-plowing through the ragged sky and up a cloudy draw.
Yipppie aye-aaa, yippie aye-ooh, ghost herd in the sky.

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel.
Their horns wer black and shining and their hot breath he could feel.
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky.
For he saw the riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry.
Yippie-aye-aaa, yippie-aye-ooh, ghost riders in the sky.

Their faces gaunt their eyes were blurred and shirts all soaked with sweat.
They’re riding hard to catch that head but they ain’t caught them yet.
‘Cause they’ve got to ride forever on that range up in the sky.
On horses snorting as they ride and hear their awful cry.
Yippie-aye-aaa, yippie-aye-ooh, 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-riding on our range.
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride.
A-trying to catch the devil’s herd across these endless skies.
Yippie-aye-aaa, yippie-aye-ooh, ghost riders in the sky.

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