© words & music by Annie Wilson
from CD Tallgrass Express Comes Back 

Album Note:  This song is about a time I helped gather yearlings off some wild mustangs adopted into the Flint Hills from Nevada.  It was hair-raising and memorable! 

(Photo above is blurred and faded, but these were some of the actual horses in the song - stallion is about to run his mares.)

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Click below for video "From Poem to Song": includes 1991 reading of original poem, some story-telling by Annie about one of the horses, and later the 2007 song - illustrated with great photos of wild horses in Flint Hills.  Photos & video by Dave Leiker - compiled for Pioneer Bluffs 2021 Day of the Cowboy.


Up to the hilltop then west at a lope 
Down to the draw and up the next slope 
We’re after the mustangs on the ridge far away 
To bring in the yearlings this cool autumn day 

The tall grasses tremble in the October breeze 
My horse snorts and jumps as he shows his unease 
The air holds their wildness, their hooves print the ground 
We must be approaching and soon they’ll be found 

          Across the last meadow and now we are nea
          Upwind on the hillside they graze without fear 
          The wind shifts and quickly they hold their heads high 
          Legs bend and stiffen and off they do fly 

The stallion ahead, mares and colts by his side 
And two hardy yearlings on flank at his right 
Ebony muscles all red-edged and black 
Fluid and running and not holdin back 

          To the blue ridged horizon escape they do go  
          Trace over the rimrock across the plateau
          We follow behind them at such rate of speed
          We pray that this won’t be the last day we see 

          Three hours later they’re in the corral 
          The stallion still prancing his mane long and wild 
          He turns and I see deep down into his eyes 
          Their threatening innocence there crystallized