About the Song: Red eyed, steel hooved cattle thunder across the sky as they’re being chased by the spirits of damned cowboys, in this American folk tale. The Native Americans who lived in this region believed souls vacated their physical bodies, then resided as spirits in the sky resembling ghost riders. Versions of this story are found in a number of cultures across the globe and across millennia. Stan Jones (b. 1914) was an American songwriter who recounted how he was told this allegory at the age of 12 years old by a possible Apache elder, who resided north of Agua Prieta, Sonora. Jones wrote the song in 1948.