Open, May 14, 2011
State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
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GK: Interesting weather in Minnesota. Winter ended with a snowstorm on May Day (BLIZZARD, WOLF), golfers stranded (HELP! HELP!) and forced to take shelter in sand traps, people using lawn mowers as snow blowers (SFX), people covering their flowers with sheets, warming them with hairdryers (SFX)-----

SS: Don't die. You can't die. You're my only hope. Please. Grow. Grow.

GK: And then suddenly spring (BIRDS) and a big spring thunderstorm (SFX) and then it was summer, up in the 80s, and we got tornadoes. All in one week. When the tornadoes hit on Tuesday night, I was at the University of Minnesota giving a speech to the Friends of the University Library, a speech entitled "The Hermeneutic Cosmology of the Dewey Decimal System" and the audience started talking among themselves (SFX) about half an hour into it and some people were throwing croutons (SFX) which can sting, so, to pique their interest, I switched over to Norwegian (TR NORSK) to see if they'd notice and they didn't seem to ----- always a bad sign. And that's when the tornado sirens went off (SFX). And people seemed very happy to head for the basement (CRIES OF JOY) and down we went into the catacombs under the Alumni Center which is built where the old football stadium was and there are tunnels down there (REVERB: HELLO?? I THINK IT'S THIS WAY) and of course I was crushed because I'd worked hard on that speech ----- and the best was yet to come, I had about fifty pages of it left ----- but there I was in a crowd of happy people underground----

ALL SING:
Zippadeedoodah, O what fun
We're so happy that your speech is done
It was pretentious, a pile of b.s.
Now it is over, and what happiness.
Mr. Blackbird on my pantleg
It was bad, egregious
Everything you said was tedious.

I was so humiliated that when I saw a door that said, Grotto, I opened it (BIG STEEL DOOR CREAKING OPEN) and it was dark but I walked down the stairs (FOOTSTEPS, REVERB), way down, deep into the limestone underground (DRIPPING), down into a deep cavern (RATS) where small vermin were running around and then---- I heard singing----- (WOMEN'S CHOIR, REVERB, HUMMING "CHILDREN OF THE HEAVENLY FATHER") ------ there was a bright light far ahead, a sort of radiance, and I could see forms moving in procession and singing ---- celestial forms ----- and it was very lovely, but I thought, Not yet. Thank you but no. I think I'll stick around for awhile. I'm sure that eternal bliss is a wonderful thing in its own way but I think I'll bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune a little longer...

GK: ...thank you very much. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, UP STAIRS, OPEN DOOR, CLOSE) And here I am.

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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