Cheyenne Waiomina - Words and Music by Gordon Manuel Freitas


From across the wild blue Pakipika
Like a tidal wave hula baloo
To the plains of Cheyenne Waiomina
Come a tanned paniola buckaroo
From the home of a king and a cowboy
Guess he had to come east to go west
They say he roped the breath from those cowboys away
In a world class steer roping contest

When they opened the gate and the steer broke
He was sure to make history that day
Under drab August drizzle the noose found it's mark
There was nothing to stand in his way
No thickets like the raw upland forests
Where the chill comes from the big island snow
No lava strewn grasslands that run to the sea
Where the black rock continues to grow

Cheyenne Waiomina Cheyenne Waiomina
Do you still remember a long time ago
Cheyenne Waiomina Cheyenne Waiomina
When a big island boy won your old rodeo

Now, that paniola drew twelve thousand cheers
From jangling spurs to the flowers on his hat
Yes, he roped, and he tossed, and he tied that wild steer
In a cool fifty-six seconds flat

Repeat Chorus

He never went back to see Waiomina
That ol' Cheyenne just could not compete
With a steamer that bellowed it's cattle call drone
From his home rising up from the sea

Repeat Chorus

Source: Recorded by Gordon M. Freitas "Local Folks" CD.The composer is often asked about our unique paniola legacy and usually relates stories about his Grandpa Manuel Freitas and how he drove the cattle into the sea to be hoisted aboard steamers waiting beyond the reef. He also talks about Ikua Purdy and the entourage of Hawaiian cowboys who were victorious in Cheyenne, Wyoming's World Steer Roping Championship in 1908. The effect of telling the story only gets better when he reinforces it with a song.