GK: Spring is here and suddenly life changes. A few weeks ago you were worried about money, career, and now—(GLISS, ROMANTIC PIANO) money, work—that's just not you anymore. The tulips are pushing up out of the ground (FLOWER PUSHES UP), trees are budding all over the place (BUDDING TREES), the birds are singing (BIRD SINGING OPERATICALLY), cats are looking at the birds and they are singing (CAT SINGING), and even dogs are singing (DOG SINGING "I WRITE THE SONGS"). All over New York, we've turned a corner. Cabdrivers are singing (TR RUSSIAN SINGING "LOVE ME TENDER"), the cop walking his beat is singing (FN TENOR: DANNY BOY— "THEN COME YE BACK IN SUNSHINE OR IN SHADOW…), the waitress in the coffee shop (SS DEEP SINGING: THERE WAS CHANGE WITH THE BILL—A TIP OF HALF A DOLLAR—AND I NEVER GOT THAT BEFORE — TIL THERE WAS YOU.) All winter we were programmed to hunt (GROWLING) to bring down moose (SLICING MEAT) and cut out the inner organs (SLOPPING) to guard our food (SNARLING)- to keep warm (RESTLESS ANIMAL GRUNTING)- to guard our young in the blizzard (BLIZZARD, HOWLING). But then spring comes (BIRDS SING), and the sun shines and suddenly there is room for kindness. (GENTLE MUSIC)…
GK: … It doesn't last long, however, because spring is also a time of mating rituals, which look like kindness, but are not. It's more like hunting. (TARZAN) Mating is aggressive. The male comes out of hiding and puts on a display for the female (BIRD CRIES)—he dances, flapping his wings, around the nest he has built for her.
I make the nest so you and I can mate
And do the things that make us procreate
Of all the males I am by far the best
I make the nest, I make the nest.
(SS SKEPTICAL FEMALE BIRD)
GK: And the female listens who has seen this song and dance before. And she sizes this male very carefully. (MALE FLAPPING)
SS (BIRD, UNDER): Nice plumage. Prominent beak— Confident song-I like the lyrics.
GK: The male struts and he turns and he preens—
FN (BIRD): Take it or leave it-I don't care—
GK: And the female smiles, as much as you can with a beak--until (FLAPPING) another female lands and-(SS BIRD SQUACKS AND FREAKS OUT-BIRD TAKES OFF) Now, they've established territory, and they're a couple. It's spring, it's the impaired judgment of warm weather-(SS FEMALE BIRD SWOONING SIGH, FN MALE WARBLES). And we walk by and we see them and they look ridiculous and we think, She could do a lot better than that, but we don't say it, because there's kindness in the air. (BIRD MATING CALL) Spring.
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).