A Rancher Turns 80/The Years

By Bill Staines, © 2004 Mineral River Music (BMI)

In Oregon's arms there lived a rancher.
A man of dreams who loved the land.
John Bishop knew each morning sunrise
Was an open door on down the road to a greater plan

To be a steward of the prairie,
To be a keeper of the plains,
To watch the wild, and running horses
And feel the rhythm of the seasons as they changed.

A morning ride out on old Poncho,
The cattle grazing in the sun,
The buds of spring, a time of branding.
A hundred head gone down before the day was done.

These were the things that touched the person,
Thai held the heart of a gentle man
That blest the soul and forged the courage
To face the howling winds of life and make a stand.

Now, the years passed on by the Malheur waters.
The land was good and the family grew.
With his wife he raised two sons, five daughters.
A fathers love. a guiding hand from a man that knew

That there's a song in every season,
That there's a laugh for every cry,
That there's a rhyme for every reason,
And the truth of who we are within our eyes.

So here's to you, you yodeling cowboy.
Sing us a round of those "Freight Train Blues."
And sing it loud. so the hills and the valleys
Will have your friends and your neighbors puttin' on their dancin' shoes

And singing, "Thanks for the care that was given
To the lives that were not your own
And thanks for the heart of who you are
And the love within that heart that we have known."

Turn around, where have the years gone
Those bright and fine years, those years of sweet songs
When the work was hard, but you knew before long
At the end of the day there'd be a road to lead you home.