February 4, 2010 (Broadcast February 6)
The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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Back in the Day

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Back then, my little daughter
We didn't pay for a bottle of water
Back when Sinatra was alive
And coffee didn't cost three ninety-five
We didn't worry bout organic purity,
The polar bear, or airline security.
No metal detectors, we just walked on through
And that was long before you.

In school, we said prayer
To God above the ozone layer
He was management and we were labor
And we got the news on a sheet of paper
We didn't read it off a screen
We didn't worry about caffeine
Or secondary smoke or other risks
And music came on black vinyl discs.

(SFX   NEEDLE STATIC, THEN FN TRUMPET BREAK)

Sometimes I might prefer
To go back to where we were
Seventy-four was a pretty good year
Except for the fact that you weren't here
Old age is hard, an incurable injury
But here I am in the 21st Century
An old relic, falling apart,
But I love you with all my heart

Everyone's in the circus parade
Riding along as the music is played
There you are, young and elegant,
Sitting tall and proud on the back of an elephant
But as you get older, my dear,
They keep pushing you back to the rear
And here I am with no costume,
A guy with a shovel and broom.

Darling girl, all I care
Is that you're happy riding up there,
In your sequins waving to the crowd
You make your daddy proud.
And when your elephant poops
Your papa lowers his shovel and scoops
It into a pail so efficiently
Nobody knows but me.

I once flew on the high trapeze
Then I lost my nerve and hurt my knee
Then I trained a bear to waltz,
Juggle balls and turn somersaults
And now I'm assigned to sanitation
To cover up the process of elimination
A slight demotion, yes, I know
But I'm still with the show.

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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