"Cowboys" as written by Millard Powers, David Bryson, David Immergluck, James Bogios, Charles Gillingham, Daniel Vickrey and Adam Duritz....
Cowboys on the road tonight
Crying in their sleep
If I was a hungry man with a gun in my hand,
And some promises to keep,
Who wanted to change the world,
What's as easy as murder?
It's all headlights and vapour trails
And Circle K killers

And I know I could look at anyone but you now
I could fall under the eyes of anyone
But you now, now, now, now

So come on, come on, come on
Oh, come on through now
Come on, come on, come on
Oh, come on through now

This is a list of what I should have been
But I'm not
This is a list of the things that I should have seen
But I'm not seeing
The look in your eyes
As his fingertips slid down your neck
And made you shiver
I'm just turning away from where I should have been
Because I am not anything
Oh, anything, oh

The President's in bed tonight
But he can't get to sleep
'Cause all the cowboys on the radio are killers
And I believe she loves you
'Cause you never make her feel like anything
She said, "I wouldn't feel a thing,
But I can feel, I can feel

And I know I could look at anyone but you now
I could fall under the arms of anyone
But you now, now, now, now

So come on, come on, come on
Oh, come on through now
Come on, come on, come on
Oh, come on through now

This is a list of what I should have been
But I'm not
This is a list of the things that I should have seen
But I am not seeing
The look in your eyes
As his fingers are unzipping your dress
And it makes you shiver
I'm just turning away from what I shouldn't see
Because I am not anything
Oh, anything, no

Everyone's in bed tonight
But nobody can sleep
'Cause all the satellites are watching through our windows
She says she doesn't love me, like, like she's acting
But it's as if she isn't talking
'Cause Mr. Lincoln's head is bleeding
On the front row while she's speaking

I said, "come on all you cowboys,
All you blue-eyed baby boys,
Oh come on all you dashing gentlemen of summer,
I'll wait for you where Saturday's a memory,
And Sunday comes to gather me,
Into the arms of God who welcome me,
Because I believe, oh I believe

And I know I could look at anyone but you now
I could fall under the eyes of anyone
But you now, now, now, now

So come on, come on, come on
Oh, come on through now
Come on, come on, come on
Oh, come on through now

This is a list of what I should have been
But I'm not
This is a list of the things that I should have seen
But I'm not seeing you look at me
So please, won't you look at me?
'Cause I'm not seeing you look at me
Oh, oh, I, I will make you look at me
Or I am not anything
Oh, anything
No no no no
No no no no
No, no


Lyrics submitted by Pepsi90919, edited by Cowboy1979, Rahs

"Cowboys" as written by David Lynn Bryson James Bogios

Lyrics © IMAGEM U.S. LLC

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Cowboys song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIm not an american, I'm actually Mexican and I hope I don't offed anyone but here are my thoughts:

    I think this is in many ways a big republican bash. Adam mentions cowboys on the radio (republican talk shows), he mentiones "blue-eyed baby boys" (George Bush), he mentiones the president not being able to sleep because those cowboys are killers (many republicans are pro Irak)...

    He also talkes about nobody being able to sleep beacuse of the satellites (general fear of terrorism and uncertainty in the US)...

    I think he can't look at america right now, he feels he is nothing as an american, he knows the country weeps ("but I can feel, I can feel") and looks for comfort in religion ("God who'll welcome me cause I believe"; some very conservative republicans cling to religion as justifcation for questionable actions)

    I think his whole album is a kind of cry of dissapointment because of the way america's culture the natoin's political sistem have gone awry in some aspects.

    In several other songs from the album he brings up themes related to america's past and present ("I'm a Russian-Jew american native african what I would like to be is Indian Jamaican", or something like that can be heard in 1492) and ("why'de you wanna talk to me when your vision of america is crystaline clean" he sings in Micheallangelo)...

    I don't think Adam hates his country (He keeps singing about Omaha and Reno and Miami and all sorts of american destinations) but I do think he has a list of "what it should have been" and right nos is not, he'se just "not seeing it"..

    Anyways, my thoughts
    Mikeyvillarrealon September 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is amazing. I'm glad someone uploaded the lyrics. If the new album is anything like this song, I am even more excited than before, if that's even possible.

    Classic Counting Crows but 50x better (if that's possible ;)

    Amazing song. I'm so excited for the rest of the album and glad to hear that Adam and the boys are still rocking!
    thecoldparton September 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone comment? Thats it?

    i've heard it played live and its on youtube.

    great song.

    I believe adam said its about hate, sorrow, and more hate. on rollingstone.com it has an interview with adam and he talks about how it most likley wont be the first single off the new album because the radio stations wont like the whole idea of the song (hate, killers, ect.) and that its way too long although they could have a remixed version. Hopefully "Come Around" will be the first single
    ccrowson October 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm glad they've returned to their roots
    dazedandconfuzedon January 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the part where he gets to Lincoln and is screamin "Comeon! Comeon! Comeon!" great album this is my favorite b/c its so catchy
    kratos1987on March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song rules.

    I was thinking about this yesterday after I picked up the album. It sounds like a cultural thing, and that he doesn't believe he has the strength to stand up to injustice "This is a list of the things that I should have seen but I am not seeing...I am just turning away from what I shouldn't seen because I am not anything" I think Lincoln is a representation of old ways, justice, etc, etc. I think this is a definite sociopolitical statement, "And I believe she loves you
    'Cause you never make her feel like anything" look at that as the social statement, and "Everyone's in bed tonight
    But nobody can sleep
    'Cause all the satellites are watching through our windows" being more the political statement.

    I just think, overall, it's a real harsh look at our culture. I think this is his way of looking at everything and saying "Wtf, guys?" lol

    My favorite part is "But it's as if she isn't talking, cause Mr. Lincoln's head is bleeding on the front row while she's speaking" and "Come on all you cowboys, all you blue eyed baby boys, come on all you dashing gentlemen of summer...(now this is my absolute favorite) I'll wait for you where Saturday's a memory, and Sunday comes to gather me into the arms of God who'll welcome me because I believe"
    thecoldparton March 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song... I think it's just about the shitty side of being human. The song is intense, espically the very end where he breaks down with the "Oh I will make you look at me"

    It's insane, the emotion in the end of the song is just huge.. I cannot wait to see them live in a few weeks at Iowa City, first Crows concert and I'm excited, can't wait to hear this live and see what Adam does with it.
    Kutzkoon March 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is someone who is taking a look at themselves and their actions and feeling ashamed of how things have gone for themselves and their relationships with others. I think it could be both his own bad choices and the feeling that others aren't fully genuine. When he says that he can look at anyone but you now, its the feeling of letting someone down to the degree where you know that out of anyone you could have dissapointed and hurt, you hurt that person the most.
    I think the Lincoln line is referring to someone lying to him, due to the whole "honest abe" reference, and if abe bleeding... i dunno, i think this song is great because his choice of words makes way to a larger meaning
    dlieuwenon March 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't quite understand the part about the Lincoln assasanation could some one help me?

    I'm not completely sure what it is about some form of self examination i guess. "Because I am not anything." is a pretty powerful line.
    Batmanfan45on April 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel that this song is a general statement of self disappointment in ones actions of letting someone down. ….basically anywhere in your life where you look back and say “damn, I’m an idiot.” I saw that an ex posted the lyrics to this song and I smiled, because he broke up with me. But I don’t feel that this song in particular was looking at a past romantic relationship, that’s just how I applied it to my life.

    “This is a list of what I should have been
    but I'm not”

    “And I know I could look at anyone but you now
    I could fall under the eyes of anyone
    But you now”
    kdladyon April 16, 2008   Link

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