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Can you hum the theme from The Magnificent 7?

Well it’s a father’s duty to not only instill this ability in his sons but also to give them an understanding of the gravity and  importance of that ability as well as an appreciation for western cowboy culture and the legends of the west. It’s less important that you now how inaccurate the burning map of Lake Tahoe in the opening of Bonanza is, than that you can name all the characters of the show and the actors who played them. Cowboy shows and Western movies are important because they represent bravery, love, hard work and friendship. More specifically they represent adventure.

Westerns, unlike space epics, medieval ballads or Tolkienseque fantaies are attainable adventures. When I was a kid I went on horse pack trips in the mountains of Colorado. I participated in roundups of actual cattle wherein I chased “doogies” down a hillside through an aspen forest and over a creek. That was 20 years ago, but you could drive out to the valleys and mountains of Central Nevada tomorrow and find men doing the same today, even pay to spend a week in the boots of a cowboy on a real working ranch.

Until then, I recommend snagging a copy of Songs Of The West, Vol. 4: Movie & Television Themes
to stream from your iPhone to your Apple TV while you and your kid look at horses on your iPad.

Songs of the West Volume 4Songs of The West

Cowboys are the perfect overlap, along with robots and dinosaurs, of kid interest and parent interest. Ok, maybe just dad interest. I picked up this album after listening to it in my dad’s truck on a road trip a few years ago. Now I play it in the morning when my son and I are eating Cheerios. Does he understand the words? No. Does he laugh when I sing, “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling?” You bet your asteroid he does.

All the tracks on this album are awesome. I can’t say what my favorite is so I’ll just list them all:

  1. Magnificent 7
  2. Bonanza
  3. High Noon
  4. Gunsmoke
  5. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  6. Lone Ranger
  7. South of the Border
  8. Rawhide
  9. Old Spanish Trail
  10. Wagon Train
  11. Ballad of the Alamo
  12. Maverick
  13.  Don’t Fence Me In
  14. The Rebel – Johnny Yuma
  15. The Ballad Of Paladin
  16. Legend of Wyatt Earp
  17. The Riflemen
  18. The Ballad of Davy Crockett
  19. Changing Channels

There are three other albums in Songs Of The West: The 4 Disc Series. I’ll probably snag all three today. They aren’t available for download, but you can preview them at the link on Amazon.

This album will be good for you and your kids to enjoy together until they hit about 8 or 10 or so. As long as you can keep Hannah Montana and Justin Beiber out of their tape deck (I mean iPod) long enough. At that point, they won’t think cowboys are cool until they hit 30 or so and learn what “nostalgia” is. Until then: hed em up, move em out RAAAWHIIIIIIIIIIIDEEEEEE!



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