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Updated on September 25, 2014

By: Wayne Brown


A fella come by the ranch in a loaded wagon today

Said he had something new if we were willin’ to pay

What might that be? We were curious to inquire?

He pulled back his tarp and said ‘it’s barbwire’!



‘Barbwire’ we says, ‘what the hell is that anyway?

It’ll keep your cows at home; they won’t go astray

You stretch it tight between posts all around your land

Cows can’t get out; they’ll always be right near at hand



We looks at each other in wonder, then we grins just a bit

It sounds too good to be true, you’re sayin’ we can buy it?

He took a bale off the wagon and rolled it out a foot or two

Two pieces of solid wire with sharp wires twisted through



This stuff will scratch and cut up a cow, a horse, or even a man

Let ‘em tangle just once with it and they won’t do that again

It’s the best way to claim your water, livestock, and your land

It keeps the cows in, the rustlers out, with its razor sharp span



So come on boys, buy this wire, it’s just five dollars a bale

The way its goin’ I’ll be out soon and have no more to sale

Them other ranchers buyin’ it; it’s going like hot cakes

You better hurry up and buy some now for mercy sakes



Well the salesman done said the magic words for our urgency

We bought all his wire and coughed up the money fast as 1-2-3

We’re diggin’ post holes; stringin’ wire; hell-bent-for-leather

The neighbors may build their ol’ fence but ours will be better



We found out, we have been had; the salesman was a slick

Them other ranchers just ran him off, never bought a lick

Now we sit here upon the prairie with the only fence in sight

Praying that some dumb old cowboy don’t ride into it at night



Them other ranchers call us names and cut holes in our fence

Say the range belongs to all of us and we ain’t got good sense

To put up a fence with such sharp points to scratch, cut and tear

Be we keep telling them that’s the point, it’s why we put it there



If he ever turns up again, that salesman would be a dope

If he does these mad cowboys will hang him with a rope

He’ll be run out of business; you might say he’d retire

If he comes back around sellin’ that damn barbwire!


© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Christopher was called the wire tha tamed the west and I guess it did. It certainly defined "ownership" like it had never been defined before. Thus, it was rather easy to write about! Thanks for the read and the great comments, Chris! WB

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      8 years ago from Vermont, USA

      Robert Frost wrote: Good fences make good neighbors.

      I heard tell he was a crotchedy old coot.

      He was talking 'bout the stone walls built from the rocks and boulders removed from the farmers fields here in Vermont...had to put 'em somewhere. And it gives hunters a nice view of whitetail as the deer bounds up and over and away.

      Good poem, Wayne. And thanks for including the video of Roy and Trigger...wonderful.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @blake4d...yeah, Blake...the way he showed up about the time you commented, I thought you might have sent him. LOL! WB

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow WB how ironic that you get a request from a barbwire collector, I guess my comment was more relevant that I could have guessed. Good work! Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @saddlerider1....Yes, Ken. Exposure is good at this point, any kind. That pic that I have on the site is one that we have in the office depicting all of the styles of barbwire that was developed over the mid to late 1800 and into the early 1900's. Some of it is quite rare I understand. Maybe I'll get to go to the "Barbwire Convention" LOL! Hope its in Vegas! WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations Wayne. I am happy to read Blake4d comments about the collection. What an interesting collection, one would never know that barbwire would be of interest to collect. Goes to show you just about anything is collectible. I have a huge hockey card collection which I am leaving to my youngest son, since I was involved in hockey most of my life. Also congratulations on being noticed by that newspaper.

      You are on a roll keep it going. Maybe they would be interested in posting all you western poems in their newsletter from time to time and pay you for it. Good job.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @blake4d...just got a request tonight from a barbwire collector to include the poem in one of their newsletters. Barbwire have been very good to me! LOL! Thanks Blake! WB

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey WB. This one is closer to my heart than you might know, I have a close friend of mine who actually collects barb wire from all over the world. He has pieces from Civil War battles like Shiloh and Gettysburg. He also has pieces from farmland from all over the US, and his prize possession is a spool of barb wire that he actually claims is from the concentration camp at Dakhau ( I hope i spelled that right ) in Nazi Germany. It is a fascinating collection to see. And this little ditty brought back some oddly fond memories. Thanx WB. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @50 Caliber...I figgers ya for a concertina wire man, Dusty! That stuff will really cut ya up! Sounds like you are at least willing to give them a running start if they can read. Glad you liked the verse! WB

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne, a good wiry article, I keep a 5 foot 6 strand fence around my property line, folks still don't like it. I find it cut every now and then, and if I ever catch them I'll probably make desert speed bumps out of them, LOL. I've got a walk through stagger on all 4 sides so people don't have to cut it and the wild burros and deer can come in and out. They are marked with "no trespass" signs with a laminated note on how to get to the front gate and come in with permission. When I lived in California I used to leave the doors unlocked on my truck so the radio stealer could get in, and the dumb bastards would break out the window anyway, never checked to see that it wasn't locked, "stupid is as stupid does". Good hub and choice video, 50

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @ralwus...Barbwire may be what finally civilized the west Charlie. It sure as hell slowed a lot of things down once it went up! And, it did provide a lot work. Those bad boy bulls need a jolt to stay away from the fence! Thanks for the read! WB

      @Loves To are so right about the wire. It had to be a fantastic product or else it would have never survived the controvery surrounding. That just goes to show it and they will come. Thanks for the great comments! WB

    • Loves To Read profile image

      Loves To Read 

      8 years ago

      Although barbed wire may not have been accepted at first. I would sure like a dollar for every roll that has been sold here in Oz anyway. It's the only thing that will keep some stock in. The ones that tackle it usually come out the worse for wear. Another great poem Wayne.

      I really loved the video of Roy and Trigger.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It sure stuck around though, and made you Cowboys fence menders. Too bad, now they have electricity runnin' through it.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @akirchner...Barb wire was some really argumentative stuff so I thought that I would put it in a bit of tongue in cheek at first. That stuff eventually got some folks killed. I wanted to hint at that as well. Thanks for the read and the good comments! WB

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Love it - clever as ever! Now I know what my next song search on the Internet will have to be - Don't Fence Me In! Great video choice - gosh was he ever that young? Were any of us for that matter?

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @lorlie6....Trigger was a full-blood Palamino I believe. He was a smart one as was Trigger Jr. I think Roy must have been a really good animal trainer as you will remember "Bullet" was smart dog too! Thanks for the good comments! WB

      @dallas93444...It was certainly a controversial subject to just be wire! Of course, sheep were just as controversial! Thanks for the read and the comment. WB

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Barb wire changed our history... Them sheep fellas and cowboys notwithstanding...!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Thanks for that video, Wayne! I always fantasized that I was Roy Rogers' daughter-my last name is Rogers...Anyhow, was Trigger a Tennessee Walker? He sure could sashay, that beautiful horse.

      Well, I for one won't fence your words in, mister-keep 'em coming!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @killrats...known a few that have tangled with it but don't know anybody that ever won. I guess it only looks good if your alternative is concertina wire LOL! Thanks for the read and the comments! WB

    • killrats profile image


      8 years ago from Cape town South Africa

      Hi Wayne,

      Barb wire, I know a little about it, have the scares to prove that when you ran into barb wire at night it bites without asking if you should or should not be there.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @valeriebelew...that is true but when I think of the significant things that took place in the Old West, barbwire eventually became a point of confrontation. I kept it funny but as time went on, it lost the humor rapidly. I guess you could say it was a visual representation of man's greed and possessiveness! WB

    • valeriebelew profile image


      8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Well, the barbed wire works. Everything that works can't be popular with everybody. Barbed wire probably wasn't considered very neighborly back then. (:v

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @SilverGenes...That Roy can ride and who's smarter than Trigger! Glad you like the poem too! WB

      @writinginalaska...Glad you liked it...hope to see you again soon! WB

      @Tom Whitworth...Thanks for the good words Tom...I will look for the email! WB

      @Freya Cesare...Thanks Freya...we still have lots of it and it still works real good especially on clothing! WB

      @epigramman...Now I'm gonna have to start splitting my money with if I ever earned any..LOL! Glad you enjoy the writing and thank you much. You humble with praise! WB

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      well Slim Pickens said it ....

      Randolph Scott said it ....

      Jack Elam said it .....

      Henry Fonda said it ......

      Sam Peckinpah said it .....

      John Ford said it...

      ..even Sitting Bull said it .....

      ..that Wayne Brown is not only the best writer in the WEST but also the east, north and south!!!

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      8 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Cowboy poem! Love it! so, how's the barb wire doing in your land?

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Great verse on the cause of the range wars. I also loved the video of Roy and Trigger. I'll email you on Hubpages so you can email back and I'll know your email address to email you a story about Roy in his late 70's or early 80's.

      I don't want the Great Hubmaster spying on the story.

    • writinginalaska profile image


      8 years ago from southeast Alaska

      great job!! my b/f writes cowboy poems too. Hey I see my friend SilverG posted above me :) GMTA!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh my, how I enjoyed seeing Trigger again! Such a beautiful horse! Great job on creating such a good poetic product out of such nasty stuff. The Holiday Inn Express? Well that explains everything LOL

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @breakfastpop...I just take my smart pill every morning Poppy, and of course, I do stay at the Holiday Inn Express! LOL! WB

      @KFlippin...You are correct there was far more tempers flaring about fencing open range land and water than there was laughter. I think they originally referred to Barb Wire as "Devil's Wire" because it was so nasty. At any rate, I felt the poem would be more fun with humor than gunplay! Thanks for the comments! WB

      @saddlerider1...Ken, barbwire is a universal product...almost like duct tape LOL! There were a lot of fights regarding the stringing of that stuff and I am sure salesmen of the product were probably short-lived. Thanks for the comments, glad I could wire ya! WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey Wayne you couldn't have embedded a better video about fencing in. I can just imagine the resistance by cowpokes at first when barbwire was introduced to ranchers. The salesmen at first I'm sure was run off their land until the benefits of keeping your herd in bounds made sense.

      Barbwire had certainly come a long way in our history. It has so many uses to give even criminals second thoughts about jumping the walls. Their have been some nasty twists to how effective it can truly be. Ouch

      Great hub Wayne I'm all wired now and ready to go:0)

    • KFlippin profile image


      8 years ago from Amazon

      You gotta wonder just how the first barbed wire was actually received by cattlemen. And I can well imagine a horse and rider striding right into it in the dark of night. Too bad it's still not really good enough to stop a smart and determined bull from getting where he really wants to 'git'.

      Enjoyed this, Wayne, for sure I've always known, mostly from all the old westerns, that the onset of fencing was quite irritating to cattlemen, but usually it's about fencing for sheep or something. The first barbed wire fences for cattle no doubt caused much strife as well.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago


      You are a fountain of great ideas and talent. Your brain must be on high speed all day. Bravo!


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