Come round you old time cowboys, and listen to my song
Please do not grow weary, I will not detain you long
Concerning some young cowboy, who did agree to go
Spend the summer pleasantly on the trail of the buffalo
Well I wrote that song to the tune of Buffalo Skinner. An old cowboy song.
~Bob Dylan about “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)
“The Buffalo Skinners”
The Hills of Mexico, “On the Trail of the Buffalo”
“The Buffalo Skinners” (“The Hills of Mexico”) is a traditional American folk song. It tells the story of an 1873 buffalo hunt on the southern plains. According to Fannie Eckstorm, 1873 is correct, as the year that professional buffalo hunters from Dodge City first entered the northern part of the Texas panhandle. It is thought to be based on the song Canaday-I-O.
According to extensive research carried out by Jürgen Kloss in 2010-2012, this song is one of the many variants of John B Freeman’s ‘Buffalo Song’ .
Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was an English musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980.
Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy and depression, committed suicide on 18 May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division’s first North American tour, resulting in the band’s dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order.
Curtis was known for his bass-baritone voice, dance style and songwriting filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness and alienation.
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion).
Here’s a brilliant documentary on Joy Division and Ian Curtis (it says Ita Sub, but there’s no subtitles):
I always thought their music was sombre, even sad, but these days I can hear a kind optimism or eagerness in the songs. Great to hear them again. They certainly made a big impression on me in my formative years as a music nerd.