"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" is a country and cowboy-style song. It was written on June 5, 1948 by Stan Jones.  A number of versions were also crossover hits on the pop charts in 1949.
The song is about a cowboy who has a vision of red-eyed, steel-hooved cattle thundering across the sky, being chased by the ghosts of damned cowboys. One warns him that if he does not change his ways he will be doomed to join them, forever "trying to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies". The song's story has a marked resemblance to the northern European mythic Wild Hunt.
More than fifty different artists have recorded versions of this classic. Charting versions were recorded by Vaughn Monroe (with orchestra and vocal quartet), by Bing Crosby (with the Ken Darby Singers), Frankie Laine, Marty Robbins and by Johnny Cash. Other contemporary versions were recorded by Peggy Lee (with the Jud Conlon Singers), and by Spike Jones and his City Slickers. Gene Autry sang the song in his 1949 movie, Riders in the Sky.
According to Robby Krieger this song inspired the classic Doors song "Riders on the Storm".
The song was also the inspiration for the Marvel Comics character "Ghost Rider".