• Ode To Selway
  • Breakaway Runaway
  • Blacktail Butte (Live)
  • Ridin' Job
  • Cowgirls Goodbye
  • Ones That Changed Our Lives
  • Brianna
  • Bristlecone Pine
  • It Wasn't California (Live)
  • Salmon River Motel
  • Rawhide Braider (Live)
  • Angels In My Room
  • Fifty Years Ago


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Ode to Selway

Verse 1:
From the low-lying mountains to the Salmon River breaks
I am free Lord I am free
The MacGruder Road from Darby; headwaters of the Snake
I am free Lord I am free

Chorus 1:
And I miss my home and family and the woman that I love
But the spirit of The Lapwei runs through the land like blood
And I’m leavin’ it behind me now for that’s how it has to be
But I’ll return and I’ll be free

Verse 2:
The Black Bear and the Lion and the blasted timber wolves
They run free Lord they run free
The canyon winds and rivers clear and clean as polished gold
They run free Lord they run free

Chorus 2:
And the world it keeps a changin’ spinnin’ faster all the time
When a tired and troubled nation weighs heavy on my mind
I can leave it all behind me and be just who I want to be
And be free Lord and be free


Repeat Chorus 2

Verse 3:
From Spotted Bear Montana to Nez Perce Idaho
I am free Lord I am free
Turn me loose and set me runnin’ on Elk City Wagon Road
I’ll be free Lord I’ll be free

Final Chorus:
When you see that crystal water you will never be the same
You can disappear and wander in land never to be tame
Leave your troubles far behind you come and ride along with me
And be free Lord and be free
And be free, and be free

Breakaway Runaway

Verse 1:
She gathers slack on a Saturday night
On a horse bred Lucky J Pine
She spins his heels in the July dust
And whispers ‘everything is gonna be fine’
The price of diesel’s up a dollar fifteen
Since they struck out in the Spring
They broke left and she missed him clean
All she can do now is cling to the dream

Of a Breakaway Runaway
There’s another rodeo down a long dark road
She’s far away from her Selway River home
But she’s gonna bring the big money back one day
She’s a Breakaway Runaway

Verse 2:
Her heart breaks at the sound of his voice
Sayin’ “Mommy when you comin’ back home?”
She whispers soon but she’s got no choice
She never dreamed she could feel so alone
But there’s a fire burnin’ deep inside
And a new hope shinin’ in her eyes
She was born to rope and ride
From the Texas plains to the Selway skies

Repeat Chorus

Her heart is flyin’ when the chute gate opens
Horse is runnin’ like the Selway’s rollin’

Final Chorus

Blacktail Butte

Verse 1:
Nothin’ like the golden Camas Prairie in the Fall
Stretchin’ to the canyons and the hills
Catch that Old Blue Roani in the twilight before dawn
With the whitetail buck a boundin’ through the fields
Through the fields

And it’s seven rocky miles to the meadows on the butte
Where the fatties drift and mingle through the pines
You dump out Old Blue Roani-he’s a frosty backed galute
Thank goodness for the soft grass if you land on your behind

Up on Blacktail Butte it’s a high and lonesome feelin’
Up on Blacktail Butte with the whipperwill a singin’
Up on Blacktail Butte chase them fatties through the meadow
Turn ‘em towards the two track on the muddy sawmill loop

Up on Blacktail Butte you can hear the bull elk bugle
Up on Blacktail Butte see the red tail and the eagle
Up on Blacktail Butte chase them fatties through the meadow
As you whoop an’ spur an’ spin an’ run
Up on Blacktail Butte

Verse 2:
Twas just a dusty summer since we struck out in the rain
Drove them skinnies up from down below
Ol’ Quinney blew his latigo just off Kamiaih grade
And landed in a pile of mud an’ snow
Mud an’ snow

He rode the long and windin’ road a shiverin’ to the bone
Bouncin’ on that rusty old flat bed
Climbed into his pickup and he lit a shuck fer home
With a busted rib and goose egg on his head
On his head

Repeat Chorus

There’s somethin’ in the way those meadows move in the wind
Somethin’ in the way the timber stands
It’s somethin’ of a feelin’ when you ride along the rim
And see a line o’ cattle wearin’ your old family brand

Final Chorus

Ridin' Job

Verse 1:
I still remember how it rained
Still hear the whistlin’ wire
I know we really haven’t changed
Since our first brandin’ fire

It’s such a long and windin’ road
Through years of sacrifice
If we knew then now what we know
Would we still choose the life

Chorus 1:
We rode the Glory Trail my friend
That leads right straight to God
Still searchin’ everywhere west
To find a ridin’ job

Verse 2:
You take the Baker Highway home
To southeast Oregon
You’d take it easy all alone
But you are not alone

Four hungry mouths you have to fill
New dreams to carry on
You’re just a buckaroo but still
Your legacy grows strong

Chorus 2:
You ride the Glory Trail my friend
That leads right straight to God
Still searchin’ everywhere west
To find a ridin’ job

And now the cities of the west
They spread like prairie fire
Still it burns deep inside my chest
It is my one desire

Final Verse:
To saddle up at break of dawn
And ride into the wind
To see the west before it’s gone
Once more with you my friend

Final Chorus
To ride the Glory Trail again
That leads right straight to God
Still searchin’ everywhere west
To find a ridin’ job

A Cowgirl's Goodbye

Verse 1:
Perkiset takes the edge off
Ibuprofen takes the swell
Ice packs upon these old broken bones
Man I still feel like Hell

I’ve had broken bones before
I’ve been bucked off to save my life
But the pain I feel it will never heal
Your sharp tongue cuts me like a knife

And Hell hath no fury like a cowgirl’s goodbye
It’s colder than the Norther blowin’ cross the Texas sky
And it’s sharp like a dagger diggin’ deep into my side
Hell hath no fury like a cowgirl’s goodbye

Verse 2:
I can’t run to chase you down
And I won’t make it on my own
When the night comes again the pain rushes in
I’ll sober up and realize that you’re gone

Repeat Chorus

You’ll be halfway to Oklahoma
Just a whisper in that cold Panhandle wind
I’ll be back on my feet in a couple of weeks
But I’ll never be the same again

Final Chorus

The Ones That Changed Our Lives

Verse 1:
I can’t stand the news but I can’t walk away
I hold the ones I love; I don’t know what to say
I fall upon my knees and offer up a prayer
For someone so far away somewhere

Verse 2:
I am a simple man I lead a simple life
I do all that I can for my children and my wife
But I can’t stop the world and I can’t guarantee
A lesser fate will wait for them or me

There are days that change the times
There’s a time to say goodbye
There’s a place beyond the clouds where a precious angel flies
Some things never change
There are things that change us all
This one’s for the ones that changed our lives

Repeat Chorus

But we are not alone and loved ones never leave
We will meet again if we just believe
That love trumps tragedy in spite of what has been
We will be with Emily again

Final Chorus


Verse 1:
Brianna saddle up that pony and ride him one last time
Before the winds of change blow you away
Ride him ‘til you’re out of your troubled mind and everything will be okay
I promise somebody hears the dreams you pray

And cowgirls and angels are one in the same
And if you’re gonna be true you’re gonna have to be strong
And if you find yourself all alone just whisper my name
And hold on, hold on Brianna

Verse 2:
You know that somebody loves you more than you could ever know
And everything that she does she does for you
She can’t stop the risin’ tide of trouble in your life
But she’ll do anything else that she can do

Repeat Chorus

I can’t even stand to think of tears from your blue eyes
So ride into the wind and let ‘em dry

Final Chorus

The Bristlecone Pine

Verse 1:
Staunch in conviction, hard twisted and ancient
Surveying the world from its perch in the cold
The bristlecone pine through millennia watches
As new chapters open on stories untold

It watched as our young ones were schooled in tradition
And watched generations each march off to war
Then watched as their soldiers returned broken hearted
Just longing to sleep as they once had before

Chorus 1:
But war’s never over for mem’ry or dreams
And, innocence lost ain’t important, it seems
Oft woke being soaked through in sweat, fear and screams
Which make both your head and heart pound
You still drop at the stop of a sound
Cuz you’re stuck on some old battleground

Verse 2:
The bristlecone whispers to wind in the valley
The wisdom of ages that live on the shelf
How humans are warlike by nature, and oddly
The only real threat to their kind is their self

They war over thought, and they war for religion
They war for a prize just the size of a throne
How many more young will they send off to battle
Before they start helping the heart to get home

Chorus 2:
But war’s never over for mem’ry or dreams
And, life ain’t as precious as claimed, so it seems
Oft woke being soaked through in sweat, fear and screams
In a pain worse than most can conceive
Tryin’ hard to hold on and believe
Feeling forgot and deceived
Dying of PTSD

Final Verse:
The bristlecone whispers to wind in the valley
Surveying the world from its perch in the cold
Twisted and ancient, through millennia it watches
As a new generation is readied for war

It Wasn't California

Verse 1:
He wears an old gray sweat-stained hat
With a Montana crease
Pulled down low upon his eyes
Gotta wonder how he sees

He rides a Hamley A-Fork saddle
Built in 1952
And he swears that punchin’ cattle
Is just what he was born to do

If he weren’t an old Vaquero
And a two reign Hacka-Mormon
You’d swear it wasn’t California

Verse 2:
Close the big steel gate behind ya
Built by an LA millionaire
Drive a mile past the home ranch
You’re in Paradise somewhere

Two track trail through live oak trees
Cattle drift the golden hills
The smell of ocean spray reminds you
You’re in California still

Repeat Chorus

And he can’t afford the taxes
On a place to call his own
And his truck won’t pass emissions
And he can’t carry a gun

Final Verse:
So he hand braids horse hair bridles
Just to pass the time away
And he remembers California
Before the sixties came to stay

Final Chorus:
And if it weren’t for the ocean
And the rollin’ central coast
And the live oak and persimmon
And the canyons he loves most
And if he weren’t an old vaquero
And a two-reign Hacka-Mormon
You’d swear it wasn’t California

Salmon River Motel

Verse 1:
River riders wait for her
Free and easy she is sure
The Salmon River and her soul
Come together where the rapids roll

I’m a cowhand-a buckaroo
Between the timber and Montana blue
Now I wait for Friday night
We’ll be dancin’ in the moonlight

At the Salmon River Motel
Along the highway I know so well
Heaven waits ‘neath Seven Devils
At the Salmon River Motel

Verse 2:
She’s a taker; takes her time
Makes me believe that she is mine
But the Salmon River never ends
Will she come back again

Repeat Chorus

And it’s a lonesome drive on Sunday night
Back to Missoula by first light
There’s a river runnin’ through my mind
And a girl I long to find

Final Chorus

The Rawhide Braider

Chorus 1:
Over two under two lay pull again
I will teach you reata my friend
Only good as what you will put in
Over two under two lay pull again

Verse 1:
Scrapin’ hair off of hide he had skinned stretched and dried
To cut braidin’ strings narrow and thin
He taught me the trade in the cool Sunday shade
The wisdom of more years than I’d been
For decades he practiced the skill of the craftsmen
For usable art he would strive
His whisper to a world where nothing seems to last was
Slow down no one gets out alive

Chorus 2:
Over two under two lay pull again
I will teach you reata my friend
Like a spirit they fly on the wind
Over two under two lay pull again

Verse 2:
I spent most of my Sundays in his school of life
He’d share of the things that he knew
And I found that most guys that I had long idolized
Learned their rawhide under him too
Prepare the hide well the keep your blade sharp as Hell
Damper the strings almost dry
Take time to lay every string tight and straight
And make somethin’ that’s worthy of pride
That will live long after you die

Final Chorus:
Over two under two lay pull again
I will teach you reata my friend
One day we are all dust in the wind
Over two under two lay pull again

Angles in this Room

Verse 1:
The cold November chill
Followed me at will
Down the hall into my room
That fateful night I first met you

Now a warm Alaska sun
Lights the night and makes us one
I can’t believe I’m here with you
But you believed in me and I believe it’s true

Chorus 1:
There were Angels in my room
To show the way
To get me through
I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do
Without the Angels in my room
One of them was you

Verse 2:
Let me feel the Kenai wind
Let me dance with you my friend
Let tonight go on and on
From the midnight sun to the break of dawn

Chorus 2:
There’ll be Angels in this room
To show the way
To get you through
I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do
Without the Angels in this room
One of them was you

Can you believe how time flies?
You’ll always be an Angel in my eyes

Repeat Chorus 1

50 Years
(Ian Tyson lyrics) 

Announcing the new release from singer/songwriter Brenn Hill, Red Cliffs Press is proud to present a collection of music that honors the great Selway Wilderness and beyond. Featuring twelve all-new, all-original songs and a cover of legendary Ian Tyson’s “Fifty Years Ago,” ODE TO SELWAY marks another milestone for an artist that continues to pay homage to life and love in the Rocky Mountain West.

Alongside veteran producer and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Yudkin, Brenn hits full artistic stride with lyrics and melodies that weave deep emotion and cinematic western imagery with instrumentation provided by a collection of award-winning studio masters. The live essence of an intimate singer/songwriter performance is captured in multiple cuts with Brenn playing and singing on “Blacktail Butte” and the Waddie Mitchell collaboration “Rawhide Braider”.

“A Cowgirl’s Goodbye” is a song about a wounded bronc rider left to his perils by the Texas Cowgirl he loved less than rodeo. “Breakway Runaway” is a song about the girls that were born to rope, ride, and long for their loved ones back home. “Salmon River Motel” tells the star-crossed love story of a lonesome Montana buckaroo and a river guide born to the water while “Brianna” pays tribute to the young cowgirl left behind in the wake of family turmoil from substance abuse.

Cowboy Poet and buckaroo Waddie Mitchell appears in a second collaborative effort, “Bristlecone Pine”, a poem that he penned for the wounded hearts of war set to music by Brenn. “Angels in this Room” is a song about the team of spirits that rallied to save Hill’s young son Briggs from the clutches of brain and spinal cancer. “The Ones That Changed Our Lives” commemorates the short life of Emily Parker, tragically killed at Newtown in December of 2012.