Vikings
Saturday, October 2, 2004
Listen

(MOUTH TRUMPETS)

GK: THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA— (MOUTH TRUMPETS) Fall, 1362. The rockbound Atlantic coast of North America. (WIND, CRASHING SURF) Two figures stand looking down at a large rock.

TR: (SWEDISH)

SS: (SWEDISH QUESTION)

TR: (SWEDISH EXPLANATION)

SS: (SWEDISH QUESTION)

TR: (SWEDISH FRUSTRATION)

SS: Well, according to this runestone (CLUNK) …Minnesota is that way.

TR: Is that a current runestone? It's got moss on it.

SS: I found it on the beach.

TR: It's an old runestone. Look, somebody already did the crossword puzzle.

SS: Anyway, it says there are forests, good land, ten thousand lakes, and the Indian tribes have no weapons of mass destruction so we can bring them freedom.

TR: But do they want us to bring them freedom?

SS: Most of them do. They will welcome us with open arms and when they become free, there will be peace in the Middle West.

TR: Why not stay here? Plenty of fish here. We're a sea-going people. Not flatland people. The idea of walking for two thousand miles through the woods in search of a big flat place — why? And it's "smoke free" in Minnesota. No campfires. We'd die without a campfire.

SS: We have a mission to go out there and bring freedom to them. The world will be a better place. We'll be safer. We can't wait for them to come here — we have to go there. Go there and establish freedom. It's hard work but we need to get it done.

TR: Why does everything have to be a saga with you, Helga?

SS: I care about freedom. It's what we Vikings stand for. That's why people hate us Because we love freedom.

TR: I thought they hated us because we were raping and pillaging and bludgeoning people's brains out.

SS: That's no way for a leader to talk. Let's go — to Minnesota! (VIKING HORN)

TR: But for how long?

SS: As long as it takes.

TR: What if we get lost?

SS: We'll keep going.

TR: What if we keep going and we get even more lost?

SS: That's no way for a Viking to talk. What will our peons think if they hear us talk that way? Pick up that runestone and let's go.

TR: Pick it up?

SS: You heard me.

TR: Okay. (BIG EFFORT, HE HOISTS IT UP, CAN BARELY TALK) Got it.

SS: This way. Onward! To Minnesota!

TR: But that's east—

SS: Don't be so negative. Follow me! Onward! (SWEDISH CRY OF COMMAND)

TR: (SWEDISH CRY OF COMMAND)

(VIKING HORN)

GK: And so the Vikings headed off in the wrong direction and instead of coming to Minnesota, they went to Iceland and were quite happy there and sat around campfires (VIKING HAPPINESS) and recited their sagas and ate roasted sheep and drank fermented fruit juice (BELCH) and enjoyed life and Minnesota remained unspoiled until the arrival of the French voyeurs.

TR: (FRENCH SUGGESTIVE LAUGHTER)

GK: The French voyeurs crept through the woods, sneaking up on Indians so they could see them take their clothes off. (FRENCH WHISPERING) But that didn't happen often in this climate, especially after the English arrived.

SS (ENGLISH): Put on this dress and this sweater and these leggings and don't ever let me see you with bare legs again and I mean it, young lady.

GK: But that's a whole other story for another time here on — THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA. (MOUTH TRUMPETS)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy