A Cowboy's Friend

This country-style song about friendship with God was written by Australia Roman Catholic (Franciscan Missionary of Mary) religious sister, Irene O'Connor FMM (ref).   It was originally released under the name Myriam Frances.

It was written in the 1960s while O'Connor was teaching and living in Singapore.  It was first recorded on an EP, Strum to the Lord, that was released in 1967 (ref), and then on an album, Sing a Song to Lord, which was first released in Singapore in 1968, and then re-recorded and re-released in Australia in 1973 and in the USA in 1976.   

The National Library of Australia catalogue says that a 27-page song book was produced in the 1970s, which presumably included all the songs from Sing a Song to the Lord.   No current sources of this have been found.

Unsurprisingly, the song doesn't appear to have been used in church-services. But there are comments on some internet forms about it being regularly played in schools. At some time (likely in the 21st century), it was included in an unofficial re-release compilation "Wavy Gravy - Four Hairy Policemen" (ref).


Examples

Original recording by Irene O'Connor, with video from the 4 Hairy Policemen compilation


Lyrics

I like to ride alone in open spaces,
Perhaps you think I haven’t got a friend.
But I am telling you that this is far from true,
'Cos 'never I'm alone, God is m' friend. (*)

He rides along with me in sunny weather.
He comes along on rainy days as well..
No matter where I ride, he is always at my side.
'Cos 'never I'm alone, God is m' friend.

Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
I sing to Him while riding on my way
Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
This is my cowboy’s song to Him all day
Yippee ai oh ai yay!

And when I’m tired and weary He reminds me
And all my earthly troubles fade away
He lifts my thoughts above and He offers me His love
And all my cares and troubles fade away.

Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
Then all my cares and troubles fade away.
Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
This is my cowboy’s song to Him all day
Yippee ai oh ai yay!

I like to ride alone in open spaces,
Perhaps you think I haven’t got a friend.
But I am telling you that this is far from true,
'Cos 'never I'm alone, God is m' friend.
'Cos 'never I'm alone, God is m' friend.
'Cos 'never I'm alone, God is m' friend.


(*)   People have remembered this line as "Whenever I'm alone, God is my friend", but from the recording, it sounds like the phrase is contracted in several places.

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
I like to ride alone in open spaces,
Perhaps you think I haven’t got a friend.
But I am telling you that this is far from true,
'Cos never I'm alone, God is m' friend.

He rides along with me in sunny weather.
He comes along on rainy days as well..
No matter where I ride, he is always at my side.
'Cos never I'm alone, God is m' friend.

Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
I sing to Him while riding on my way
Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
This is my cowboy’s song to Him all day
Yippee ai oh ai yay!

And when I’m tired and weary He reminds me
And all my earthly troubles fade away
He lifts my thoughts above and He offers me His love
And all my cares and troubles fade away.

Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!
Then all my cares and troubles fade away.
Yippee ai oh! Yippee ai yay!This is my cowboy’s song to Him all day
Yippee ai oh ai yay!

I like to ride alone in open spaces,
Perhaps you think I haven’t got a friend.
But I am telling you that this is far from true,
'Cos never I'm alone, God is m' friend.
'Cos never I'm alone, God is m' friend.
'Cos never I'm alone, God is m' friend.

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