The Wild West Theme

A large number of country songs contain stories that take place during the Wild West era. Figures such as cowboys and horses feature in these types of songs often. Some tracks are brand new and look back on the era. Others are traditional songs that were created by Old West artists and continue to be covered by modern singers.

During this time period, the acoustic guitar was used across America to create music. It was a prevalent instrument, thanks to its portability and versatility. Because of this, modern country singers also use a heavy amount of acoustic guitar sounds in their music. The main difference is that thanks to mixing, they are able to merge it with a huge range of other instruments.

A good example of country music with western narratives is the work of Johnny Cash. His song Don’t Take Your Guns To Town is about a young cowboy who gets into a fight in a saloon. The lyrics explain that his mother warned him to leave his guns at home. He ignored her advice and ended up getting killed.

Horse Racing

In the Old West, it was common for people to participate in the sport of horse racing. It was popular due to the abundance of horses available. Another reason is that people enjoyed betting on this activity. The tradition of placing wagers on horses has endured to this day. In fact, it is more popular than ever.

In the past gamblers would have to utilise archaic methods for making bets. Luckily in modern times, people can instead access sites such as in order to bet to their heart’s content. Gambling on horse races has never been more convenient.

In 1964 Don Rollins released the song The Race Is On. On the surface, the lyrics depict a horse race. However, they can also be seen as a metaphor for love. Over the years the track has been covered by numerous musicians including Jack Jones, The Grateful Dead and even Alvin And The Chipmunks.

Old Town Road

This is one of the most significant recent country songs to focus on horses. It was composed by rapper Lil Nas X and became one of the biggest songs of 2019. The original track was followed by a variety of remixes and covers. There is some debate over the exact genre of Old Town Road. The general consensus is that it is a mixture of rap and country. As a result, it reached the top of Billboard’s pop and country charts. However, Billboard attracted controversy when it removed Old Town Road from the country chart. Their justification was that it did not have enough country elements. However, this argument has been contested by several music journalists.

The song is about a cowboy who rides his horse across a valley. The lyrics suggest the horse might be attached to a wagon. The singer states he is wearing cowboy attire such as a matte black hat and matching boots. It appears to be set during the Old West era. However, later on in the song, there are references to modern iconography such as Gucci and tractors. The huge success of Old Town Road is important because it may signal the start of even more cowboy-themed country songs reaching the pop charts.