I'm Going to Leave Old Texas Now
Easy Piano Songs

I'm Going to Leave Old Texas Now, sometimes known as "Old Texas," "Texas Song," "The Cowboy's Lament," and even "The Cowman's Lament," arranged for easy and beginner piano in several keys, FREE.

The Cowboy's Lament, or I'm Going to Leave Old Texas Now.  Easy beginner version for piano, FREE!

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

My first arrangement is for beginners, centered around Middle C.  The fingering will feel odd because right and left hands are a bit asymmetrical, and the right hand must span from D to A (in the key of C... in the key of D, RH goes up to a B).

When I was a kid, I LOVED playing this song.  

The left hand swinging rhythm was EXACTLY like the sound of a horse and cowboy riding along in the prairie, I was sure.  These 4th & 5th-graders at Walnut Glen Academy (led by Diane Owen) have got the clip-clopping sound down:

Why arrange this song in the key of D for beginners?  It's so much harder, with the F sharp!  

Well, it's a bit easier to sing, and if it has been conquered in one key, it's good practice to move up one position and try it out there!  

Turn it into a game, by asking your student to hunt down all the "hidden" F sharps. (I like to place a little dash to the left of tricky black notes, whether sharp or flat; it helps my students remember.)

The more difficult version of "Old Texas," below, is similar to the one I remember from one of my favorite piano books from my childhood, John Schaum's The Cowboy Book.

I can't remember what key that arrangement was in, but I have put it in the keys of D, F, and G:

Late elementary piano arrangement of The Cowboy's Lament, or,

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Below is a third way to approach this cowboy song, with all the melody in the bass clef, shared by both hands.  This has a nice deep sound and doesn't require much finger-shifting:

Texas Cowboy's Song, all in bass clef for piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Don't forget to "swing" the bass line when you show your students how this cowboy song sounds!  

If you're not sure what SWING is, it means turning straight 8th notes into a LONG-short pattern.  A dotted eighth plus a sixteenth note approximates the rhythm, but it would be more accurate to imagine the two notes as a TRIPLET represented by a quarter note plus an eighth.  

Confused yet?  How about a graphic:

How SWING rhythm is notated, with regular eighth notes

The measure on the left looks normal; play it like the measure on the right to get the sound of SWING.

The relaxed sound of swinging eighth notes is belied by how busy, even cluttered, the music LOOKS if you write out the notes in the manner that most closely represents the actual sound.  It is much easier to READ the music if it is written out as regular eighth notes but played LONG-short, LONG-short, etc.

This cowboy song has a lot of variations... hunt on YouTube and you will be made keenly aware how vocal and performance styles change!





The links for the beginner versions:


Download I'm Going to Leave Old Texas Now in C for beginners


Download Cowman's Lament for beginners in key of D



The links for the harder arrangements:


Download Going to Leave Texas for intermediate piano, in key of D


Download Cowboy's Lament in F for late elementary/intermediate piano


Download Texas Song in key of G



The link for the version set low in the bass clef:


Download bass clef Texas Cowboy Song "I'm Going to Leave Old Texas"








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Just the Black Keys, a piano song book for young beginners.

Just the Black Keys

This book is available as a digital download  from this site, and also from Amazon as a paperback!

This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.

And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!"  They will be spending more time at the piano.

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Comments

Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.