‘This Cowboy’s Hat’ Gets Straight to the Heart of the Matter in Texas Style

By  | 

We hate spam too, we'll never share your email address



Chris LeDoux was a bronze sculptor and a rodeo man who wrote, sang, and recorded songs in his spare time. He sold his albums out of the back of his truck, and with the help of his dad, in 1970 he started his own record label called American Cowboy Songs. He released 22 albums under that label between 1971 and 1990, and after gaining notoriety from the 1989 Garth Brooks song, ‘Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)’, LeDoux was signed to Liberty Records. From there, he went on to release four studio albums in four years. The song, ‘This Cowboy’s Hat’ was released on his first album for Liberty, entitled ‘Western Underground’. His major label debut compilation reached number 36 on the country charts, but the song itself has a powerful meaning.

The lyrics explain why you should never touch a cowboy’s hat. A man being heckled by bikers that threaten to remove his hat in a coffee shop is narrated in the song, which proceeds to list a number of reasons why such a thing just isn’t a good idea. The chorus explains, “You’ll ride a black tornado, ‘cross the western sky, rope an ole blue northern and milk it till it’s dry, bull dawg the Mississippi, pin its ears down flat…long before you take this cowboy’s hat.” The overall impression is that you simply respect another man’s treasures, but drilling further down to the point: a cowboy’s hat is something that he’s earned, like a badge; he’s received it for living the cowboy life, and no one has the right to take it from him.

LeDoux went on to release six more albums under the Capitol Records label after leaving Liberty, and ‘Horsepower’ was his last studio album, which was recorded in 2003. He passed away in 2005, but his memory and music lives on, and for many a fan (and many a Texan), ‘This Cowboy’s Hat’ holds a special place in their heart. A total of nine official compilations of the man’s lifetime of recording work have been released between 1994 and 2008, and his ‘20 Greatest Hits’ was certified platinum, and that’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face – something like a “big ole Texas grin.”