George Strait’s ‘I Can Still Make Cheyenne’: Story Behind the Heartbreaking Cowboy Song

by Quentin Blount
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There’s no question that country music legend George Strait has enjoyed outstanding success during his music career. After all, Strait has had 60 No. 1 hits — more than any other performer in history.

While that is an awesome achievement in itself, George Strait has also sold more than 100 million records worldwide, has won a Grammy, and has won countless CMA and ACM Awards.

It’s one thing to look at all of Strait’s accomplishments at face value, but the songs that got him to where he is all have meaning on a deeper level.

The classic George Strait song “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” is an excellent example of one of those songs. The song was written by Aaron Barker and Erv Woolsey about a dream love turned into a disaster. It saw its release in August of 1996 as the third single from Strait’s album Blue Clear Sky.

Have a listen to the classic song below:

Story Behind ‘I Can Still Make Cheyenne’ by George Strait

The George Strait song is about the life and love of a rodeo cowboy. The song begins with the following verse:

Her telephone rang ’bout a quarter to nine. She heard his voice on the other end of the line. She wondered what was wrong this time. She never knew what his calls might bring, with a cowboy like him it could be anything, and she always expected the worst in the back of her mind.”

In other words, starts with a phone call from a cowboy on the road to his love. The cowboy regrets his long absence while on the road and his lack of writing or calling. However, he assures his significant other that he is coming home to her soon.

However, the cowboy can tell by the tone of her voice that something is wrong. Following that, the chorus reveals that she has decided to leave him for another man. She says her new guy is “sure not a rodeo man.”

Listening to George Strait perform the song is both heartbreaking and emotional. While the cowboy is hurt by the sudden news, he continues to make his way to Cheyenne, the most prestigious rodeo around. He was planning to give up Cheyenne to be with her, one of the biggest sacrifices a cowboy could make. Of course that all changed when she said she was leaving him for another.

The song goes on to describe the cowboy ending the call and leaving the phone off the hook. He then slowly turns around, taking one last look behind him. Then he gets in his truck and “aims it toward that Wyoming line.”

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