The Cowboy Rides Away

"The Cowboy Rides Away" is a song written by Sonny Throckmorton and Casey Kelly, and recorded by American country music artist George Strait. It was released in January 1985 as the second single from his album Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind. It peaked at number 5 on the United States Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, and at number 3 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. It is the song used by Strait to close out his performances. This is also the name of his last and final tour commencing January 18, 2013.

"The Cowboy Rides Away"
Single by George Strait
from the album Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
B-side"Any Old Time"
ReleasedJanuary 14, 1985
RecordedJune 26, 1984
LabelMCA 52526
Songwriter(s)Sonny Throckmorton, Casey Kelly
Producer(s)Jimmy Bowen & George Strait
George Strait singles chronology
"Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind"
"The Cowboy Rides Away"
"The Fireman"

It was the last song he sang at his final concert ever on June 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with a worldwide record setting attendance for the show at 104,000.


The song is about a cowboy riding away from a failed relationship. He and his wife/girlfriend have been through it all and they just can’t work things out.

Critical receptionEdit

Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave the song an A grade, calling it a song that "embraces the traditional cowboy mythos while simultaneously reinventing it."[1]

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1985) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[2] 5
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 3


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[3] Gold 500,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Review by Kevin John Coyne
  2. ^ "George Strait Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  3. ^ "American single certifications – George Strait – The Cowboy Rides Away". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 25, 2021.