Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend) – Vaughn Monroe / Peggy Lee

June 25, 2021

Today’s song is “Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend),” originally written by Stan Jones in 1948.

Fun Facts:

  • One of the most popular versions of this song was recorded by Vaughn Monroe in 1949 and released by RCA Victor Records, ranking No. 1 on the Billboards.
  • Peggy Lee’s version was released in 1949 by Capitol Records and made No. 2 on the Billboards.
  • This song is known to have 4 different titles:
    • Riders in the Sky
    • Ghost Riders
    • Ghost Riders in the Sky
    • A Cowboy Legend
  • “Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend)” has been chosen as the greatest Western song of all time by members of the Western Writers of America.


(Lyric Find)

The ghost riders in the sky

An old cow polk went ridin’ 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 sky and up the cloudy draw

Yippee-I-yay, yippee-I-yo

The ghost herd in the sky

Their brands were still on fire and their hoofs were made of steel

Their horns were black and shiny 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 comin’ hard and he heard their mournful cry

yippee-I-yay (yippee-I-yay, yippee-I-yo

The 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 aridin’ on our range

Then cowboy, change your ways today or with us you will ride

Ah tryin’ to catch the devil’s herd across this endless sky’

Yippee-I-yay, yippee-I-yay

The ghost herd in the sky

Ghost herd in the sky