The Lives of the Cowboys script
Saturday, June 10, 2006
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(WESTERN THEME, CATTLE, HORSES, WHOOPS)

Sue Scott: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Ranch Hand Hair Spray. (PFFT) It's blood, sweat, and manure in an aerosol spray. So you can look like a real ranch hand. And now The Lives of the Cowboys.

(OUTDOOR AMBIENCE, CATTLE. THEN THE RATTLE OF COOKWARE)

Garrison Keillor: I took a head count on the cattle, Dusty. We would appear to be six to the good. Not a good situation if a sheriff should happen to drop by.

Tim Russell: Well, maybe we oughta cut em loose then.

GK: I would say so. After I get on "Austin City Limits" and get me a recording contract, I am getting out of the beef business entirely

TR: Don't count your contracts before they contract, Lefty.

GK: Ever since I found out that my old pal Roger is running the show, I felt like maybe this could be the big break I've been waiting for. My chance to get off the trail and get me a condo and a chiropractor so that after a few years I might be able to stand upright.

TR: Who's Roger?

GK: Roger Stein. I knew him in Santa Fe. He's related to the famous producer Joan Stein. And the violinist Andy Stein. Anyway, Austin is the end of the trail for me. I'm gonna get me a contract and start breathing clean air instead of dust. Sleeping on a bed. .

TR: And this Roger Stein is running "Austin City Limits" now?

GK: Exactly. And I've been working on a song to sing. (GUITAR STRUM)
A horse and a dog, a gun, a guitar, and old Glory.
That's all you need to be happy in Texas.
A horse and a dog, a gun, a guitar, and old Glory.
And maybe a member of one of the opposite sexes.

A dog and a pickup, a rifle, Old Glory, and whiskey
That's all you need here in the Lone Star state,
A pickup, a dog, a rifle, a flag, and a flask of Jack Daniels,
And a girl with a ten-button sweater who will only fasten eight.

What do you think?

TR: Maybe you should try "Austin City Lemons" -----

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

Fred Newman: Howdy, gentlemen. I'm here from an organization called Cowboys United To Understand Problems. We're an organization of cowboys who get together on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss a different problem and try to figure out what we as cowboys can do about it.

TR: "United" Cowboys? Cowboys are independent, mister. They ain't united. Cowboys become cowboys so they kin become disorganized.

FN: Well, this is different. We unite once a month so we can get together and discuss problems…

TR: This sounds to me like some sort of liberal cowboy organization.

FN: This is a non-partisan organization.

TR: Non-partisan is just another word for "liberal," if you ask me.

FN: Well, we come from all sorts of backgrounds, whole bunch of different philosophies. We recognize that each person has to take their own spiritual journey……

TR: "Spiritual journey"? This is a Unitarian bunch….

FN: As I say…..

TR: You're ACLU. American Cowboy Left-wing Unitarians.

FN: Some of us are, yes…..

TR: Well, we don't want anything to do with associations or organizations. Okay? (HE HAWKS AND SPITS) I don't believe in organizations. I believe in doing good but you do it individually. I donate money to fallen women but I give it to them direct. Not through an organization.

FN: That's okay. I respect that.

GK: You wouldn't happen to know where I could find the TV show, "Austin City Limits," wouldja?

FN: Why sure. It's right over that bridge, the one with the million bats hanging from the underside of it, and then you hang a left.

GK: Mighty obliged. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY) (WHOOSH OF TRAFFIC)

TR: Look at that bumper sticker. It says, "Keep Austin Weird." What does that mean?

GK: Maybe they misspelled it. Maybe it's "Keep Austin Wired". Anyway, I'm gonna go find Roger at the TV station and get me a spot on the show.

TR: Give it up, Lefty.

GK: I have a dream, Dusty.

TR: Well, wake up and get over it.

GK: I just want to quit this life of constant trouble and find me a condo where a man can lie down and not worry about rattlesnakes.

TR: Well, you can go over to PBS. I'm going for PTA. Poker, Tramps & Alcohol. Go over to Guy Town. Drinking, gambling, loose women, the whole banana.

GK: They don't have that here anymore, Dusty. Austin is a college town. People do performance art here. They make collages and write postmodernist literature and stuff.

TR: Art? I thought this was Texas.

GK: Soon's I get on "Austin City Limits" I can quit the trail and get me a life..

TR: You got a life.

GK: My back hurts.

TR: So you've got a brokeback life. C'mere and give me a kiss.

GK: Not funny, Dusty. (BRIDGE, TIME PASSAGE)

(FOOTSTEPS)

GK: Is this the "Austin City Limits" television program?

SS: It is. You come to apply for the custodian job?

GK: No, I came to sing.

SS: And your name is?

GK: Lefty.

SS: Uh huh. --- Lefty….Lefty…..Lefty---- sorry, I don't have you on my list.

GK: No, it wouldn't be on your list. But my friend Roger can vouch for me.

SS: Roger?

GK: Roger Stein. He's with the show.

SS: I don't know a Roger Stein.

GK: Sort of a heavy-set fellow with a big head of hair? His nickname was Hammer.

SS: Today we're doing a Rodgers & Hammerstein show---

GK: On Austin City Limits?

SS: Yep……Willie's out there recording right now----

TR (WILLIE):
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Plain brown packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

GK: I thought this was more a country music show.

SS: Well, we're trying to broaden our audience.

GK: Is that Bob Dylan over there?

SS: That's him all right.

TR (DYLAN): Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
My guitar and my songs that fight off the fascists,
These are a few of my favorite things

GK: Sounds right nice.

SS: Right? You know any Rodgers & Hammerstein? You want to audition?

GK: I used to know "Climb Every Mountain" but in Texas I'm not sure that makes much sense. I know "Oklahoma" of course--- Not sure Austin is the city to do it in, but it's a great song.

SS: Wouldn't seem right to do it solo, though---- you want a chorus, don't you?

GK: I might want one, but I don't know where I'd ----- well, wait a minute----- I think I could round one up. You want to hear that now?

SS: No time like the present----

(PIANO BUILD)

GK: C'mon, folks. I know it may not be your favorite song, but you can do it. Help an old cowboy now.

(HE SINGS OKLAHOMA WITH AUDIENCE)

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma,
Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say
Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine,
Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K.

(WESTERN THEME)

SS: The Lives of the Cowboys…..brought to you by San Antonio Brand Automatic Barn Door Openers. For when you've had a little too much to drink and you're not sure where your barn doors are. (MUSIC OUT)

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»

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