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What's in a Song? Musgrave's 'Escalante Adios'

Curly Musgrave's song is a sad ballad of the new West.
Curly Musgrave's song is a sad ballad of the new West.

Hearing such ballads as "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" or "Streets of Laredo," it's easy to think of lonesome cowboys and trail drives frozen in time. And those melancholy laments are likely to be heard in Elko, Nevada at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

But new verses deal with issues facing today's ranchers. Curly Musgrave's "Escalante Adios," tells of the federal government taking grazing lands away from ranchers in southern Utah to make a new national park. With the help of the Western Folklife Center, we look at the story behind the music, as part of our occasional series, "What's in a Song?"

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