Why, in history books of old
have tales of heroes thus been told,
of Wyatt, Doc, Bat Masterson,
men who lived life by the gun?
Are they recorded true to fact
or will the honesty come back,
to haunt them in their shallow grave,
or prove them gallant, strong, and brave?
Sometimes the heroes of the west
were polished criminals at best,
exaggerated in dime-store books,
but little more than common crooks.
Maybe those heroes of the past
had reputations meant to last,
no matter whether right or wrong,
strummed on guitars in a song.
But as for me, I’d rather dwell
on cowboys God won’t send to hell,
of men who earned love and devotion,
helped out more than on a notion,
Who cared more for their fellow man
than drifting cross an untamed land,
cared about the golden rule,
and never acted like a fool.
I’ll worship men of their kind,
for I am of another mind,
to honor cowboys who fought for me,
and made this country proud and free.
– Ronald Reagan