3 pairs of ‘Just Call Him Love’ boots
Husband and wife duo 3 Pairs of Boots released their new album, ‘Mighty Love’, this week and to celebrate, we asked Andrew Stern to tell us about the song ‘Just Call Him Love’. Here is the story :
In the era of clashes between citizens and police after a series of shootings of black Americans in 2020, I read stories about the forgotten history of black cowboys in the second half of the 1800s and how they had erased from the historical picture of the colonization of the western United States. The truth was that one out of four cowboys was black.
One story really caught my eye, the story of Nat Love. He wrote his autobiography in the early 1900s which is now in the Smithsonian. I just loved his story, how he grew from a slave to a famous rodeo champion, known not only for his shooting but also for rope and bull riding. He was one of the pioneers of modern rodeo. The stories he told about his life and experiences were amazing, like a movie.
But the biggest story for me and how it related to today was the story of equality, how in the end the color of your skin didn’t matter, it was the character of the person that mattered.
To the west, on the beach, where it was lawless, as the refrain mentions… “in the country ruled by the Colt 45…”, it didn’t matter that he was black. He was part of a crew, they had to rely on each other when they were in the field on a cattle drive, going from Texas to the northern borders of the United States, defending themselves against thieves of cattle and Indians. They fought hard, worked hard and partied even harder.
Another line in the chorus mentions the equality achieved by these cowboys “…they all slept under the same stars…”
He was born a slave around Nashville, before the Civil War, his “master” didn’t tell him he was free until a year after the war ended. When he was 15, he left and headed west, landed in Dodge City, got into a cattle ranching operation in Texas, and away he went. The first night after leaving town, they were attacked by Indians. He had never fired a gun before, but the crew gave him one, and he learned very quickly. He eventually rose to fame for his gun-throwing skills, eventually touring and becoming good friends with Buffalo Bill.
He also helped create the rodeo. When these cowboys were camping, in the middle of nowhere, with a little help of rye and whiskey, they challenged themselves to ride and string the baddest beef in the herd, so the rodeo is born.
He was shot 14 times, captured by Indians, but they healed him instead of scalping him and letting him rot, because of the color of his skin. Indians might identify with a black man, which is not surprising.
I loved the idea of telling his story in song and connecting it to the bigger picture of equality, something this country was found on, 2nd paragraph of the US Constitution “…that all men are created equal…”
To hear is to believe. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here
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