Honesty, strength of conviction, kindness, and bravery: You should expect all of those qualities from a good cowboy. They’re traits we’ve all seen in action by real people we’ve known and characters we’ve admired. And they help to guide many of us trying to navigate a weird and scary world.
That’s why you’re likely to feel something shift in your heart when you hear Tracy Lawrence’s new single, “When the Cowboy’s Gone.” Co-written by Carson Chamberlain and Wyatt McCubbin, it’s less an ode to specific heroes (even if the lyrics mention John Wayne) and more a sentiment about what the cowboy represents.
Lawrence, the 52-year-old veteran country music hitmaker, included “When the Cowboy’s Gone” on his latest album, Made in America, and has graciously offered to share its new music video with C&I readers first. Watch it now and read on for his thoughts:
ON THE SONG’S MEANING AND LESSONS: “I think the cowboy persona is what we’re missing most in society today. The honor and integrity seen in the John Wayne era. Someone to right the wrongs, help you out when your wagon wheel broke. … Just a stand-up person. A person you can count on.”
ON QUARANTINE AND HOW HE’S FARING ONLINE AT HOME IN TENNESSEE: “I miss all of it. The traveling, the stage, the people. Comradery of my band and crew. Just all of it. … I live out in the country where cell towers are lacking, so my internet — or lack of — makes it hard to do anything. I did do an acoustic performance last week, but that has been all I have really been able to do.”
Here’s hoping Tracy and everyone else are back out on the road before too long.
One more thing about “When the Cowboy’s Gone.” It asks, somewhat rhetorically, “Who’s gonna ride in and save the day?”
But we know the ultimate answer. In our own ways, we should all try to be the cowboy.
More on Tracy Lawrence’s new single here.
Photography: Jon-Paul Bruno (press photo), Timothy Hiehle (single image)