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Re: The Man in the Saddle

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 10, 2005

In Reply to: Re: The Man in the Saddle posted by James Briggs on May 03, 2005

: : : : I am now watching an American Western film made in the 1950's. Its theme song is called "The Man in the Saddle", which is also the title of this film. It is sung during the "long cattledrive" scene. The first verse goes like this:

: : : : The Man in the Saddle is a man who rides alone,
: : : : Far away from the bunkhouse and his friends,
: : : : And the horse he straddles is all he'll ever own,
: : : : He's a traveler and his journey never ends,
: : : : Get along, old pie, there's a buzzard in the sky,
: : : : Shake your tail, shake your tail, shake your tail,
: : : : For this desert sand surely ain't the promised land,
: : : : And I wouln't be found here dead.

: : : : My question is:

: : : : Does "pie" mean "magpie"(a type of bird), or something like "old folk/man"?
: : : : What about "Shake your tail"? Is it the same as "run away in great haste"or "Beware"?

: : : : Could someone please help me with the meaning of these phrases? Thank you!

: : : 'Pie' is short for 'piebald', a type of horse colouring.
: : : 'Shake your tail' is, I guess, a way of saying 'get a move on', 'hurry up'.

: : You can also say, "pied" for having patches of contrasting color, like the pied piper. SS

: 'Pied' is correct - my mistake!

What mistake, Dr. Briggs? Piebald and pied mean the same thing, in regard to horses. As for "shake your tail": were it not a horse being addressed, we might mistake this for "start dancing," or in certain venues, "show me what you've got." But in the context, it's much like "shake a leg" in regard to humans. "Bestir yourself, get a move on!" I believe horses do raise their tail and sometimes switch it when they really get going. But I'd like to hear from a horse expert. SS