Home Page

Awards

Biographies

Discography

Feedback

Filmography

Lyrics

Recollections

Reference

Reflections

Search

Slide Shows

Special Features

 

UNC

Videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song of the Bandit

(Bob Nolan)
 
Long, long ago in old Wyoming lived a maid,
Fair as the sweetest flower bloomin’ in the glade.
She loved a bandit bold who roamed the prairie o’er
And every night she’d listen for his call.
Then, far to the west, his voice came ringin’,
Ridin’ a wild horse, he came singin’…
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
 
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee, yip I o lee aye!”
He brings a token to his love.
Swift as the wind he goes
High in the hills he knows she’s waiting singing,
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
 
One day he rode away but never to return.
Danger was waiting now, his love must never yearn.
Long days and lonely nights she waited all in vain
Till winter passed and summer came again.
Still every night when the moon came shining,
For his song her heart was pining…
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
 
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee, yip I o lee aye!”
He brings a token to his love.
Swift as the wind he goes
High in the hills he knows she’s waiting singing,
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
 
One night an angel brought a message from her love.
Told her he waited in the starlight sky above.
Softly, she closed her eyes and bade the angels go
And then the whole world echoed to his song
For straight down a moonbeam he came riding,
Out of the sky on a winged horse gliding…
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
 
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee, yip I o lee aye!”
He brings a token to his love.
Swift as the wind he goes
High in the hills he knows she’s waiting singing,
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
“Hee lee o lee yip I o lee aye!”
 

        Introduced to the public in the 1937 Columbia / Charles Starrett film, "Outlaws of the Prairie", "Song of the Bandit" is still one of Bob Nolan's most popular songs. Bob describes it this way: "From the days of Robin Hood, we’ve all been interested in romantic outlaws. The west had its share of Robin Hoods, too, and one of these struck my imagination. The result – the wild, yodeling melody of The Song of the Bandit. I had read an old English poem called The Highwayman. It was very impressive to me so I turned it into a western atmosphere and it’s almost word for word. Marty Robbins said that is his favorite, too, and that it inspired him to write 'El Paso'.”

        The song was registered for copyright on October 9, 1937, and sheet music was included in "Bob Nolan’s Folio of Original Cowboy Classics No. 1", © 1939 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC. It proved such an audience pleaser that the Sons of the Pioneers recorded it for Columbia in 1937 and again in 1963. They included it most of their radio transcriptions.

 

Sons of the Pioneers' recordings:

1937 Columbia (ARC) (featuring Bob Nolan, recorded on October 26, 1937)

1937 Columbia (unissued)

1937 Outlaws of the Prairie soundtrack

1940 Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage" radio transcription (featuring Bob Nolan)

NBC Thesaurus

1943 Man from Music Mountain soundtrack

1943 02 05 Dick Foran

1951-53 Lucky U

1951-53 Lucky U

c 1955 Smokey the Bear series

1963 RCA Victor (featuring Tommy Doss)

 

1979 Bob to Stuart Hamblen

 

Others:

Robert Wagoner

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS with "Song of the Bandit"

 

Lead sheet courtesy of Jeff Conroy, Warner Chappell Music

 

"Bob Nolan’s Folio of Original Cowboy Classics No. 1", © 1939 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC.

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage" (064353)

NBC Thesaurus 2081 Side B K7-MM-6320-M

10-2-4 Ranch

    #214 10-2-4 Ranch Show Date:05/31/43 (03)

Teleways Transcriptions: #28-60-116-192-228

Lucky U programs courtesy of Larry Hopper:

    7 November 1951 Transcription Disc TR-75, 76
    17 December 1951. Transcription Disc TR-148, 149
    31 January 1952. Transcription Disc TR-220, 221
    12 March 1952. Transcription Disc TR-278, 279
    6 June 1952. Transcription Disc TR-401, 402
    23 October 1952. Transcription Disc TR-531, 532

Smokey the Bear

    1956: Show #1

    1958: Show #3