Lyrics to Bonanza Songs

And Other Trivia




Bonanza Theme


DOWNLOAD the theme to Bonanza in zipped .mp3 format HERE



(sung by Lorne Greene)


[Lorne Greene speaking: “Welcome to the Ponderosa, my friends, for an evening of songs and stories about the American West…a land of legend, of romance, of friendship and courage…a motherlode of remembrance…a true Bonanza.”]



We chased Lady Luck, ‘till we finally struck


With a gun and a rope and a hatful of hope,

We planted our family tree

We got a hold of a pot full of gold,


With a horse and a saddle, and a range full of cattle,

How rich can a fellow be?

On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name

Fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.

Here in the West, we’re livin’ in the best,


If anyone fights any one of us, he’s got a fight with me !





Hoss and Joe and Adam know every rock and pine

No one works, fights, or eats, like those boys of mine

Here we stand in the middle of a grand


With a gun and a rope and a hatful of hope,

 we planted our family tree

We got a hold of a pot full of gold,


With a houseful of friends where the rainbow ends,

How rich can a fellow be ?

On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name

Fortune smiled the day we filed the Ponderosa claim

Here in the West we’re livin’ in the best


With the friendliest, fightin’est, lovin’est band

That ever set foot in the Promised Land

And we’re happier than them all

That’s why we call it

Bonanza…Bonanza…Bonanza…BONANZA !




Q.: What was “Hoss” Cartwright’s “real” character name ?  A.: Eric Haas Cartwright.


What were your favorite episodes of Bonanza?  Mine were “Hoss & the Leprechauns” (Season 5, Episode 146, December 22, 1963), and “A Man To Admire” (Season 6, Episode 179, December 6, 1964).  In “Hoss and the Leprechauns,” Hoss is convinced that he’s seeing Leprechauns on the Ponderosa, but no one believes him.  In “A Man to Admire,” Hoss is charged with murder in a pool room, and a young attorney proved him innocent.  The attorney turns out to be none other than Abraham Lincoln.


Saga of the Ponderosa


Sung by Lorne Greene


DOWNLOAD The Saga of the Ponderosa in zipped .mp3 format HERE




(Spoken)  Before you right off into the night, my friends, here’s a story for the road.  It’s my own story of the west…The Saga of the Ponderosa.


Behind me lay the stormy sea that I would sail no more,

The love that was so dear to me lay buried on the shore,

And my arms were holding my newborn son,

Reminding me that the past was done,

And the wind I heard, carried a strange-sounding word,

Ponderosa, Ponderosa !


The dusty road ahead of me was callin’ like a friend,

My hungry boots were itchin’ made to reach the other end,

Where the land was free and the years turned slow

With room for me and my son to grow

And the west winds came, bearing that strange-sounding name,

Ponderosa, Ponderosa !


My Adam was a yearling when we reached the Ole Missouri,

And I labored day and night to buy a wagon and a team,

‘Cause my hopes were in a hurry,

But suddenly my heart stopped me flat in my tracks…Like that !

‘Twas a woman, gay and pretty, sparkling with joy,

And I wanted her to share my dreams…

Our wedding cake was as light as down,

With a Valentine bride in a frosting gown,

And she was all things beautiful, and a mother to my boy

We started off together, on that February morn,

Through Nebraska down to Kansas,

Through the Spring and Autumn weather

To the edge of Colorado, where my second son was born

Husky, and jolly, and hardly ever cried,

My wife named him Eric…but I called him Hoss


My life was full of happiness, too wonderful to tell,

When, down upon our wagon train, there swarmed a savage hell,

Made of crying arrows and dying men,

And all my sorrows returned again,

And the wind wept through the sky,

Telling my dead Love goodbye,

Ponderosa, Ponderosa !


I took my sons and mothered them, but fear had left its shadow,

It seems they grew the farther on we went in Colorado,

For the land rose up, and it stood on end,

With a crown on top, cold and white,

And the days were made of ridin,’ and a-slippin,’ and a slidin,’

And my boys wouldn’t hide their fright,

I would wake up in the night and hear them crying in their sleep,

And I’d weep…

But they never knew, and somehow,

We got through


From Utah to Nevada, it was easy all the way,

We left behind that shadow, and it faded day by day,

For the sweet winds heralded a laughing tune,

The wagon wheels rumbled, “We’ll get there soon,”

And the ground all around, thundered that strange, rolling sound,

Ponderosa, Ponderosa !


Virginia City !  Boomtown !  Brash, Bold town,

Wired, Silver and Gold town,

Where I worked, and I jumbled, and I watched my fortune grow,

Till disaster dealt a hand I couldn’t play

Big Joe Collins was a friend, and my life woulda’ ended,

But he saved it at a cost of his own,

And his wife was alone, far away from the West,

And I couldn’t refuse his last request,

I made the sad and weary trip, and told her how he died,

And from the day I saw her tears, I couldn’t leave her side,

And the months flew by, like so many startled birds,

We both seemed to know without uttering the words,

And my friend would have wanted it so,

And I brought her west, and she became lovely as a mother,

So she gave my boys a brother, and we called him Little Joe


Well, it was time to find my land, and to build a dream I’d planned,

So I started off alone, and the wind led on me to a valley rich as Eden,

Where the trees were like a pillar for a temple,

With a wide, blue dome, and, all at once, I knew…

This place was home.


I asked an old trapper what kind of trees they were,

But he went right on draggin’ in his line,

Then he raised his ancient head, and I shivered when he said,

We call ‘em Ponderosa Pine

And on half a million acres of that strange-sounding name,

I staked my claim


My sons have grown to manhood, as the years have drifted on,

And each of them reminds me of a love that’s passed and gone,

But the strength that flows from the earth and the pine,

Warms my heart like a vintage wine,

With a love rich and strong,

For this is where we belong

On the Ponderosa,


Ponderosa !



What were the names of Ben Cartwright’s Wives?


Elizabeth Stoddard (Adam’s mother – from New England -- died during childbirth);

Inger Borgstrom (Hoss’ mother – Scandanavian – died during an Indian attack); and

Marie DeMarigny (Little Joe’s mother – from New Orleans – died from accident when she fell off a horse (DeMarigny must have been her maiden name, because, according to the lyrics of the Saga of the Ponderosa, her married name would have been Collins)).


What was the size of the Ponderosa? 


600,000 acres


What were the names of the Cartwright horses?


Ben’s – Buck;

Adam’s – Beauty and Sport;

Hoss’ – Ginger, Piaute, and Chubby;

Little Joe’s – Paint, Cochise, and Concho






DOWNLOAD Ringo in zipped .mp3 format HERE



(Spoken): They lie in Boot Hills all through the West… the outlaws, the gunslingers, the Billy-the-Kids, and worse.  Say a fellow is a coward that shot Bill Hickok in the back.  There’s always one like that in every time of history.  Most of them were varmints.  But, every once a while in one of them, there may have lived a man.



He lay face down on the desert sand,

Clutching a six-gun in his hand,

Shot from behind, I thought he was dead,

For under his heart was an ounce of lead,

But a spark still burned, so I used my knife,

And late that night, I saved the life

Of Ringo




I nursed him ‘till the danger passed,

The days went by, he mended fast,

Then from dawn to setting sun,

He’d practice with that deadly gun,

And hour and hour I watched in awe,

No human being could match the draw

Of Ringo




One day we rode the mountain crest,

And I went east, and he went west,

I took to law, and wore a star,

While he spread terror near and far,

With lead and blood, he gained such fame,

All through the West, they feared the name

Of Ringo




I knew some day, I’d face the test,

Which one of us would be the best,

And sure enough, the word came down,

That he was holed up in the town,

I left the posse out in the street,

And I went in alone to meet





They’d said my speed was next to none,

But my lightning draw had just begun,

When I heard a blast that stung my wrist,

The gun went flying from my fist,

And I was looking down the bore,

Of the deadly .44

Of Ringo




They say that was the only time

That anyone had seen him smile,

He slowly lowered his gun, and then,

He said to me, “We’re even, friend,”

And so, at last, I understood,

That there was still a spark of good

In Ringo




I blocked the path of his retreat,

He turned and stepped into the street,

A dozen guns spit fire and lead,

A moment later, he lay dead


The town began to shout and cheer,

Nowhere was the shed of tear,

For Ringo



The story spread throughout the land,

That I had beaten Ringo’s hand,

And it was just the years, they say,

That made me put my guns away

But on his grave, they can’t explain,

The tarnished star above the name

Of Ringo