The “High Ridin’ Woman” Suite started with a Virginia Smith Rice poem written in response to a song by the Sons of the Pioneers. As a small child, she had heard the song often being played on her father’s hi-fi, and her reaction was understandably innocent; when she heard the song again during her teenage years, the lyrics seemed less innocuous. Thus the poetic spark, which surfaced in a poem this past spring. She shared the poem with other poets, and once the thematic “suite” idea was presented, a wide range of responses was produced.
Some poems trace the song to the original recording by Jidge Carroll, which was written by Harold Adamson and Harry Sukman for the 1957 Barbara Stanwyck Western, Forty Guns. Others respond to the Sons of the Pioneer’s version without the movie context. No parameters were stated, or needed, other than responding to the song — or its vibe.
Lyrics for “High Ridin’ Woman” by Harold Adamson