February 19, 2011
University of Minnesota-Morris, Physical Education Center Gym, Morris MN
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Cowboys

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(THEME)

SS: The Lives of the Cowboys brought to you by Old Cowpoke Saddle Packs. It's the pack with pockets. And now today's exciting adventure……

(COWS, WIND, HORSE WHINNY)

GK: Getting warmer, Dusty.

TR: Yeah. Weather is trying to lure us into a false sense of impending spring.

GK: That's how you see it, huh?

TR: Trying to get our hopes up and then it'll come and whack us with a good hard ice storm. Stomp our hearts into the ground. Our psyches broken and bleeding. I've seen it happen time and again. (GUITAR STRUMS)

GK (SINGS):
Eyes blue as summer skies
Hair strawberry blonde
Evelyn is radiant
She's the one I want.

TR: See what I said? You get your hopes up and then you come crashing down back to earth.

GK: I'm in love, what can I say?

TR: You've been in love with her for ten years. You go to visit her and you can't stand her TV shows, can't stand her friends, can't stand the potpourri dishes and the scented candles and the dang wind chimes, so you come back on the trail and you start falling in love with her again. Give me a break.

GK: Hey----- who's this coming yonder? Whole crowd of people coming up from the highway. (FOOTSTEPS IN BRUSH)

SS: Hello???? Mind if we bother you for a moment?

GK: Come on up. What can we do for you?

SS: We're a choir and we're trying to make it back home to Morris.

GK: Who is Morris?

SS: It's a town. Between Alberta and Cyrus.

GK: Okay. Who are they?

SS: Our bus broke down and my cellphone doesn't get a signal out here and I need to get these folks to a town where we can get coffee and something to eat.

TR: So you really are a choir?

SS: That's right.

CHOIR SINGS:
Lead me gently home, Father.
Lead me gently home.
For our bus is brokedown.
And we have no phone.

GK: They are a choir all right. Well, we can offer you some bad coffee and we can make flapjacks.

TR: Not the worse flapjacks. And we don't have maple syrup. Just molasses.

GK: Get that batter whipped up, Dusty.

EMILY: Excuse me----- but are you homeless?

GK: No, ma'am. We're cowboys.

EMILY: What's the difference?

GK: Very good question. We herd cattle, for one thing. EMILY: I thought cattle rode in cattle trucks.

GK: Most do. Some prefer to travel in herds.

EMILY: Where are you taking them?

GK: Into town.

EMILY: Morris?

GK: Don't know. Not sure where we are exactly. Take them into a town where the train stops and put em in cattle cars.

EMILY: And then what?

GK: Then we go find us another herd and we drive them to another town.

JETHRO: You just drive cattle back and forth on the trail, drive one herd here, another one there, and then they go on a train?

TR: Sounds nonsensical, doesn't it.

JETHRO: Do you enjoy doing this?

TR: Enjoyment isn't the word I'd use, no.

GK: The thing is, we get lonesome on the trail and we long for social life so we go to town and once we get amongst people, we gradually come to despise them and then we have to come back to the godforsaken dusty plains to get lonely enough.

JETHRO: Sounds like something we studied in humanities class. Called Existentialism.

TR: Exis---- what?

JETHRO: Existentialism.

TR: I'd call it Texastentialism.

GK: The other thing about cowboys is that we sing. Homeless people don't, so much.

RHONDA: What do you sing?

GK: Cowboy songs. (SINGS) I ride an old paint, I lead an old dan, I'm going to Montana to throw the hoolihan. ---- You know that one?

RHONDA: No. What's a hoolihan?

TR: It's a lasso.

GK: What sort of songs you know?

RHONDA: Well, we know choir songs. But when our director isn't around, we sing other stuff. Ever hear of Smashmouth?

GK: No, but I've wanted to do it sometimes.

CHOIR:
Hey now you're an All Star get your game on, go play
Hey now you're a Rock Star get the show on get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold

Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Back to the rule and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb

So much to do so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow

Hey now you're an All Star get your game on, go play
Hey now you're a Rock Star get the show on get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold

GK: That wasn't bad. Not bad.

LARRY: You never heard that song before? Really?

TR: It's a lonesome life out here, mostly we just listen to coyotes.

LARRY: You ever see a TV show called “Glee”?

TR: “Glee” is not a word I would associate with cowboys.

GK: We only watch TV in bars and when you're drunk you forget what you saw. Also who you're with. That's the point of it.

LARRY: How about this one? (HE SINGS, WITH CHOIR)

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people
Living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Streetlight people

Don't stop believin'
Hold on
Streetlight people

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Streetlight people

GK: Very nice. Too bad we don't have streetlights out here.

EMILY: So you're just riding up and down the dusty trail, driving cattle for no particular reason, feeling lonely and miserable, and you go to town and you don't like that either, so you come back on the trail and feel miserable again. Is that fairly accurate?

GK: You summed it up, darling.

EMILY: You could change this.

TR: How?

EMILY: You need to form a group.

JETHRO: Like Cowboys Anonymous.

TR: We're all anonymous.

JETHRO: Men Coming To Terms With Their Loneliness.

RHONDA: You need to get together with cowboys who suffer from the same things you do and tell your stories and help each other through this to some sort of solution.

TR: But we don't like other cowboys. That's why we carry six-guns.

GK: You lose your social skills out on the trail. You get cranky and ornery and you pile up buried aggressions.

RHONDA: Maybe you need a girlfriend.

GK: Had one.

LARRY: What happened?

GK: I was afraid of losing her so I ran away.

LARRY: Why not stay and try to make a life together?

GK: Couldn't stand her friends, her TV shows, her décor, the smell of scented candles, the potpourri dishes, the high standard of housekeeping.

TR: Didn't much care for her either.

GK: I liked her more as a distant object of longing than as a real person. (HE SINGS)

Eyes like the morning dew
Cheeks like a rose.
My sweetheart she was beautiful,
God almighty knows.
Rain all ye little rains,
Snow all you snows.
All along, along, along.
That is how life goes.

SS: Okay, guys. Earl fixed the bus. Let's go.

TK: It was the distributor cap. Just needed to tighten it.

SS: Everybody on the bus.

GK: Awfully nice of you to stop, even if it wasn't by choice.

TR: Yeah. Only singing I ever get to hear is his ----- now I know what music sounds like.

EMILY: I hope you find some friends. I really do. That's why we're in choir, you know.

RHONDA: You stand shoulder to shoulder with other people and sing in harmony and it really does something for you.

JARED: And it's the only time you can stand two feet away from a girl and not have to think up things to say.

LARRY: This'd be a good song if you start a cowboy choir.

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah

(THEY FADE OFF, SINGING) Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah

GK: Good kids, huh? Trying to cheer us up.

TR: Yeah. They needed help and they were trying to help us.

GK: Maybe they were right about finding a group.

TR: You want to go look for one?

GK: Nope.

TR: Neither do I.

GK: Then let's not. We owe it to the world to be stubborn nonconformists.

TR: The last unorganized group in America, aside from the Democratic party.

GK: This is the first thing you and I have agreed on in years.

TR: Makes me nervous.

GK: Me too. Well, we got a lot of flapjacks to eat. Better get started.

(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS…..brought to you by Old Cowpoke Saddle Packs. Now with pockets.

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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