Snowman, January 28, 2012

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN


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Snowman

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(PIANO)

(WIND)

GK: Being able to turn your head is something people think nothing about but for me, a snowman, it's a miracle. I'm standing here trying to figure out the meaning of my life and my head got knocked off and the boy who knocked it off put it back on but at a different angle so now instead of looking across the street I am looking at the front yard of that house there, the green one, and a person standing perfectly still in the yard who I assume is, like me, made of snow, but I can't go over there so how do I know? I don't.

SS: Hi. You okay?

GK: I guess so.

SS: I've been staring at the back of your head for weeks now, wondering what you look like and then your head got knocked off ---- that must've hurt.

GK: It did but when my head got knocked off I could look up and see the sky and that was pretty amazing.

SS: What's that?

GK: The sky? It's up there. It's beautiful. Blue. With other snowmen floating by.

SS: Snowmen? Floating?

GK: Yes. I saw them. In the sky. Big white snowmen.

SS: I can't even imagine that. Like us????

GK: Sort of like us, except floating.

SS: I'm impressed that you smoke a pipe. You must be a philosopher.

GK: I don't know what I am. Or why. And I don't think I have much time to figure it out. Why did the creator give a brain to someone who can't move, can't walk, can't even look around and see the world?

JS: Don't worry about it. It's not that big a brain.

GK: Who are you?

JS: I'm the tree who's standing right behind you.

GK: The tree----? You mean that big dark thing with the rough ugly bark?

JS: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that.

GK: I only saw you for a minute when my head got knocked off.

JS: If I could, I'd knock it off again and give you a better look.

SS: Shhh-here they come!

GK: Who?

SS: Your creators. The dad and his daughter. (FOOTSTEPS ON SNOW APPROACH)

GK: What is a daughter?

SS: Shhhhh.

TR: ......So I thought we could go out for a pizza and then I'll take you over to your mom's place, okay?

SS (GIRL): Why can't I stay here?

TR: Because she's taking you to church in the morning. ----- She's at a meeting now but she said it'd be over by eight or eight-thirty.

SS (GIRL): So what are you going to do tonight, Daddy?

TR: I donno. Stay home. Work.

SS (GIRL): Look. My snowman. His head is on wrong.

TR: Looks okay to me, kid.

SS (GIRL): I think I should turn it. (CRUNCHING, SNOW TWIST)

GK: Aaaagh!

SS (GIRL): There. Much better. What happened to his ears? They must've fallen off.

TR: You mean the cabbage leaves?

SS (GIRL): Yes. There. (SNOW CRUNCHES) Now he can hear. ---- Hi, snowman.

TR: He looks good. Green ears.

SS (GIRL): His pipe fell off too. ---Here it is. (SNOW CRUNCH) There. Better.

TR: Let's go, sweetie.

SS (GIRL): Bye, Snowman. I love you. Bye--- (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

JS: I sure wish you wouldn't smoke that pipe around me.

GK: It wasn't my idea.

JS: Just makes me nervous.

GK: Makes me nervous standing next to you. One of your limbs comes crashing down, that's it for me.

JS: You better believe it. Let me tell you, I have seen snowmen come and go, buddy boy. When they melted in the spring, they weren't missed all that much.

GK: When is spring?

JS: Not that far away. I can feel it already in my roots.

GK: And that's when I die----

JS: It's not exactly death. You change form. Nothing dies. You just become part of something bigger.

GK: Which is what?

JS: Me.

GK: You?

JS: You melt and you go down into the ground and I drink you right up. And make leaves.

GK: What are they?

JS: They're like your ears except I have thousands and thousands of them.

GK: So that's the purpose of my life. I'm just here to make water.

JS: You're precipitation, baby.

GK: And I have nothing to say about that?

JS: Nothing.

GK: So what is the power of speech for? If not to discuss things and make rational choices?

JS: The power of speech is nothing. Talk, talk, talk. It's just noise, if you ask me. What I love is the sun, and rain, and when I have leaves, and my leaves touch the branches of that beautiful pine tree in that yard. My love. Jack. He touches the tips of my leaves. He thrills me.

GK: Are you a pine tree?

JS: Black walnut, baby.

GK: So the purpose of my life is to water your roots so you can reach over and touch that guy over there. I just keep thinking there ought to be more.

JS: Don't think too hard about it.

(FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

GK: Oh oh. It's the mailman again. And he's stopping.

TR (MAILMAN): Hey pal. How's it going? What's this? Somebody turned your head around. Let me turn it back so the sun's not in your eyes------- (GRINDING) Oh gosh, your head is heavy. (GRINDING) Whoops!!!! (HEAD CRASHES AND SPLITS) Oh my gosh. Head broke into little pieces.

SS: Honey? Are you all right?

JS: He's a goner. Forget about him. That's what he gets for thinking too hard. His head fell apart.

GK: Feeling grass fragrance of tomorrow sweet flower I live to kiss you. From the sea clouds and fall freezing to earth. Kiss you. Kiss you.

JS: You're making no sense, Ice Boy.

GK: So foolish the ordinary grass seeds stars stones soft ground spring. Lost my head, all thoughts gone except for goddess of leaves in shafts of light. Darkness as you breathe we are one. Kissing you with cold lips.

SS: Honey, can you hear me?

GK: Shining of animals, of pure pleasure, tree of apple joy, the grace of horses, smoke---

JS: Hope we don't have to listen to this for the next three months----

GK: Wind fresh apples of desire you invisible O you, O there is so much more to this world than we will ever ever know.

(PIANO, TRAFFIC PASSING)

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).

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