An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw A-plowing through the ragged sky and up the cloudy draw Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky For he saw the Riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry Yippie yi Ohhhhh Yippie yi yaaaaay Ghost Riders in the sky
“Riders in the Sky” was written by Stan Jones, and first recorded by Burl Ives in 1949. My favorite version is the 1979 recording by Johnny Cash:
The old cowboy in the song sees the devil’s herd riding through the sky, chased by the exhausted ghosts of damned cowboys, who will never catch them. One of the ghosts stops and warns the old cowboy to mend his ways, or he, too, will be chasing the herd for all eternity.