Beautiful, March 31, 2012

Milwaukee Theatre

Milwaukee, WI


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Beautiful

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It is so beautiful, so beautiful, the brick bungalows on Milwaukee's South Side,
Red brick, front porches, nice yards, not pretentious but dignified,
And you need to get along with the folks next door
Because their house is about six feet from yours.
Where men still wear hats which they look rather sporty in
And children still take lessons on the accordion.
Down there what they call Polish Flats,
Down near St. Hedwig's, St. John the Evangelist, and the brewery where they used to make Blatz,
Where you can see the hour
On the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower.
Where there is a bar on every block.
So you'd never have to drink and drive, you could walk.
Corner bar with green awnings, tables and kitchen chairs,
Long bar and the owners live right up those stairs.
They open early so as to offer a lift
To the workers coming off the third shift.
Factory work is not a cushy job.
And if you want beer and a blood sausage for breakfast, what's the prob?
Or during Lent, deep-fried cod in beer batter
With a side of potato pancakes on a platter.
And a pickled egg. Sit at the bar on a high stool,
Have a beer, maybe shoot some pool,
And if you like,
Tool around the neighborhood on your Harley bike.

It's not a neighborhood where tourists go on tours,
It's just people sitting in backyards listening to the Brewers
Eating big slices of pizza with cracker-thin crust
And where politics is vigorously discussed
And though this is the land of the free
It helps a candidate if his or her name ends in -----ski.
Guys enjoying these fine spring days
Working on their cars in driveways
People cruise up and down the street
And honk at old friends they meet,
Go to a supper club and make a couple stops
At the grocery and pick up frozen custard at Leon's or Kopp's.
Which is why people in Milwaukee
Tend to be stocky.
They eat three or four big brats with mustard
And large helpings of frozen custard
And have some deep-fried cheese curds
And think about maybe having seconds or thirds.
No, they are not slender and sensitive like me the singer and poet,
But when Milwaukeeans put their arms around you, you're going to know it.

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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