Her telephone rang ’bout a quarter to nine

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“I Can Still Make Cheyenne” is a poignant tale of a rodeo cowboy and his significant other. The song narrates the challenges of a long-distance relationship, where the cowboy’s commitment to his profession strains their bond. When he finally decides to return home, he discovers she has moved on with someone new. The song captures the essence of missed opportunities, priorities, and the sacrifices one makes for their passion.

Keep reading to delve deeper into this beautiful song. There’s more than meets the eye.

“I Can Still Make Cheyenne” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines set the scene with a telephone call, a lifeline between the cowboy and his lover. The unpredictability of his calls mirrors the unpredictable life of a cowboy. The rodeo isn’t just a job, but a way of life, and it’s evident in lines like “With a cowboy like him, it could be anything.”

As the lyrics unravel, we sense the cowboy’s regret, realizing he’s been away too long, without even a letter or call to bridge the gap. The line “I know this rodeo has been hard on us all” touches upon the shared sacrifices and challenges they’ve faced due to his career.

But the heartbreak comes when she finally speaks up. She’s found someone new, someone stable, unlike the itinerant rodeo man. Her words, “don’t bother comin’ home,” capture the finality of their relationship.

However, the cowboy’s response isn’t anger or resentment. Instead, there’s acceptance and resignation. His life revolves around the rodeo, and while he acknowledges the pain of losing her, he remains undeterred. “If I hurry I can still make Cheyenne,” suggests that while he’s lost her, he can still pursue the next rodeo, the next dream.

Towards the end, the recurring line “She never knew what his calls might bring” is a poignant reminder of the uncertainty that has always overshadowed their relationship, eventually leading to its demise.

Why Was “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” Written?

George Strait, often referred to as the “King of Country,” has a knack for choosing songs that resonate deeply with listeners. “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” is no exception. At its core, this song portrays the struggle of maintaining a relationship amidst conflicting priorities.

The rodeo serves as a metaphor for any demanding profession that requires constant travel, unpredictability, and a certain level of risk. Many can relate to the challenges of balancing personal and professional life, making sacrifices, and sometimes facing the consequences of those choices.

Perhaps the songwriter, in penning this narrative, wanted to shine a light on the unseen emotional toll such a life can have, not just on the individual pursuing their dreams, but also on the ones they leave behind. The mixed emotions of longing, regret, and acceptance weave a story that’s timeless, making it a classic in country music.