Skip to main content

Speakers Bureau Catalog

Main Topic: Music
Topic: American Folk Music

Speaker: Michael F. McDonald


Cowboy Poetry and Nighthawk Tunes

What do the Mexican-American War, Irish music and the American cowboy have in common? McDonald answers that question with an introduction to early nighthawk tunes, which were initially a tool of the working cowboy to keep the herded cattle settled down at night. McDonald shares tunes from Thomas Moore’s “Irish Melodies” poetry and those of Stephen Foster and George F. Root. The program concludes with cowboy poetry set to McDonald’s original western-style music, and can be customized for the group from the work of several cowboy poets.


Humanities Nebraska programming is made possible by:

and generous individuals, foundations, and businesses across Nebraska.