The Lives of the Cowboys, April 7, 2012

The Town Hall

New York, NY


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The Lives of the Cowboys

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SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Old Busthead aspirin. When you wake up with a headache brought on by bad whiskey or fast women, time for Old Busthead aspirin. Also good for your horse. (WHINNY OF MISERY) And now, The Lives of the Cowboys.
(PHONE RINGS)

TR: You gonna answer that?

GK: You think it's for us?

TR: It's ringing in our hotel room.

GK: Maybe it's a wrong number.

TR: Only one way to find out.

GK: Maybe you should answer it.

TR: If I answer it, it's for sure going to be a wrong number. Nobody ever called me in my life. That's why I been a cowboy out on the dusty godforsaken plains all my life. To get away from telephones ringing.

GK: Well, okay, I'll answer it. (PICK UP) Yeah? (VOICE) Okay. We'll be there in ten minutes. (VOICE) Right. St. Patrick's Cathedral. Fifth Avenue. We'll be there. (HANG UP) It's the boss. Time to go pick up the horses and head for Fifth Avenue.

TR: Never thought we'd wind up in New York City, herding tourists.

GK: Well, we're good at herding. And they needed help. And that's the purpose of life. Go where you're needed, try to make a difference in the world.

TR: Oh boy. The philosopher.

GK: I mean here we are on this little speck of dust, circling the sun and out there in the universe are 100 billion more suns bigger than ours. Billions of galaxies beyond the Milky Way. We are so insignificant, so what is our purpose here?

TR: That is why I love whiskey. It gives me delusions of purpose.

GK: I mean, the sun will burn up or we'll burn through the ozone, and life will be extinguished and all of civilization lost ----- the writings of Dante and Homer, the paintings of Van Gogh, the songs of the cowboy ---- so what is the point?

TR: Your problem is that you're sober. If you drank more, you wouldn't be talking like that.

GK: So I have decided there is a Supreme Being.

TR: You have got to be kidding me.

GK: It can't all be for nothing, Dusty. There is a moral order to the universe and a moral order presupposes a writer. Or at least a director.

TR: What----- did the Jehovah's Witnesses come around while I was gone? ----- I don't see no moral order out there, pardner. How'd you ever come to believe in a Supreme Being anyway?

GK: I had a vision. I was walking across Sixth Avenue and I saw an angel walking by me and she said, "There is much you do not know."

TR: Hit the nail on the head. She say anything else?

GK: "It is not through rational thought that one approaches the Almighty." She said, "It is through confusion that we reach our destiny."

TR: Well, then you got a big head start right there.

GK: She said, "The world is yours to enjoy. Every breath you take is pure joy."

TR: Ha. Pure joy. Guess I'm going to have to advertise for a new pardner. "Wanted: Roommate on Dusty Trail ---- Prefer Comely Woman between 21 and 26, But Could Accept Quiet, nonmusical Older Male. No Lunatics, Please."

GK: The angel winked at me and she said: "Do not be confused by your own intelligence."

TR: Not much danger of that.

(GUITAR STRUMS)

GK (SINGS):
There are angels hovering round
We are walking holy ground
And the angel of the Lord came down
And said, "Give thanks always."

"Be thankful every day.
As you work and as you play.
For gratitude drives grief away,
Be of good cheer."

Whether skies be dark or clear,
In times of doubt and fear,
The love of God is ever near.
Be of good cheer."

TR: Let's head over to Fifth Avenue and help those people cross the street.

GK (SINGS):
O Lord wheree'er you be
Who is looking down on me.
Could you please explain this mystery
Why we are here.

(PHONE RING, PICK UP)

TR: Yeah? On our way?

ED (ON PHONE, SINGS): Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus. (DIAL TONE)

GK (SINGS): O Lord up in the sky,
Could you possibly draw nigh
And tell me before I die
What's going on?

(PHONE RINGS)

GK: Better answer it, Dusty.

TR: Some crank caller.

GK: Just answer it. (PICK UP)

TR: Who is this?

ED (SINGS, ON PHONE): Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.

TR: That isn't answering my question. (HANG UP)

GK: Same person?

TR: I guess so.

GK: What'd they want?

TR: No idea. I'm gonna go get my boots on.

GK (ACAPELLA):
Just asking, blessed Lord,
May heaven with one accord
Bestow its peace and not a sword
Upon this world.

May winter turn to spring
And the little songbirds sing
And may the greening of the year
Bring us good cheer.

(PHONE RING) (PICK UP)

GK: We're on our way.

ED (SINGS, ON PHONE): In excelsis Deo.

GK: We're on our way. Thank you.

(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS brought to you by Old Busthead aspirin for the trail..... Also good for your horse.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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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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