Where the Longhorn Cattle Feed

Have you ever found yourself singing something but the words don’t make any sense? I remember as a child coming home from Sunday School and telling Mother about a strange song we had sung that didn’t quite match up with “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.” Instead it was about a bear named “Gladly.” We had actually sung “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear,” but I had heard it as “Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear.” Well, I was a child then, and anyone can explain it away at that age. The wife of a friend of mine told me that her husband, when singing a gospel song entitled “Safe Am I,” would routinely sing the words “Shut the door” when the actual words were “Sheltered o’er.” One morning recently, I got an old cowboy song on my mind, one Gene Autry used to sing. I just could not get it off my mind, and I walked around the house singing “Don’t Fence Me In,” sometimes aloud and other times to myself. Then I realized that I was singing a line that made no sense: “….where the longhorn cattle feed on the lowly gents to me.” What? That made no sense yet I’d been singing it with those words for years. I therefore went to my friend, “Mr. Google,” and searched for the lyrics for this song. There I found the actual words which I had never before in my life understood: “….where the longhorn cattle feed on the lowly gypsum weed.” What in the world is gypsum weed? Oh well, at least I am still teachable at age 73.


About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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3 Responses to Where the Longhorn Cattle Feed

  1. Bill Martin says:

    Oh the simple apostrophe that cannot be seen in a song that is heard. From Silent Night, I just love the last versse. It ends with the whole Gospel claim — Jesus, Lord at thy birth. But it begins: Silent night, holy night, Song of God, love’s pure light …. See that apostrophe for the possesive in “love?” I wrongly heard the verb, that Jesus loved pure light ( the object), and by implication I had to be pure light for him to love me. But HE is pure light, not me! Good news missed by a child because of an unsung apostrophe.

  2. Bill Martin says:

    Actually, Fred had a good theological idea — when the door is shut we are very safe! 🙂

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