The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Ranch Hand Brand Hair Spray. (SPRAY) It keeps hair in place without making it look like a toupee. And it contains dust and manure. So you look like a real ranch hand. And now The Lives of the Cowboys.
(OUTDOOR AMBIENCE. SHIP HORN)
GK: New York is sure a beautiful city from a distance, isn't it. Sitting out here on Governor's Island, looking at lower Manhattan.
TR: In the dark, it's downright handsome.
GK: Sad to think that when this job is done, we'll have to head back to the godforsaken dusty plains.
TR: Well, not much call for wranglers here in New York.
GK: Could change careers, I suppose.
TR: And do what?
GK: Conduct leadership seminars.
GK: I saw an article the other day, said that people in our profession have most of the basic leadership skills. Dedication, creativity, sense of humor, honesty, and fairness.
TR: What about communication?
GK: That's the one we don't have.
TR: Yeah. (HE HAWKS AND SPITS)
GK: Too bad cause we got the others.
TR: Yeah, but how you going to lead a seminar if you can't communicate.
GK: Good point.
TR: You hear something out there?
GK: Just the distant hum of the city.
TR: Thought I heard rustling in the bushes.
GK: Nobody on this island except you and me, Dusty.
RF: That's not true.
GK & TR JUMP IN SURPRISE
GK: Who's there?
RF: Who're you?
TR: Security. Who're you?
RF: Just a visitor.
GK: The island is closed, ma'am.
RF: You can't close an island that's sitting out in New York Harbor.
GK: Well, come over and sit by the fire. Care for some coffee?
RF: Looks more like mud to me.
GK: Some have remarked on that, yes.
TR: I'm Dusty, this is Lefty ---- who're you?
RF: The name's Fleming. I'm with the opera.
TR: Which one?
RF: Lots of them.
TR: Travel around, huh?
GK: So do we. You work in corrals?
RF: Used to be in chorales but now I'm a soloist.
GK: How about longhorns?
RF: Some are longer than others.
TR: You ride horseback?
RF: Did once in Aida.
TR: Where is that?
RF: It was on a stage. Santa Fe.
TR: Hey, I rode that stage once. You ever hold up a stage?
RF: Held up a torch once. Held up a spear. (WHINNY) Hey----- is that your horse?
GK: Yep. Come here, girl. (HORSE HOOVES, WHINNY)
RF: Mind if I ride her?
GK: Go right ahead. Need a hand getting up?
RF: Nope. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, AND LEAP. HORSE WHINNY) Giddup. Haw!!!! (HORSE WHINNY, AND GALLOPING HOOVES. THE HORSE GALLOPS IN A B IG CIRCLE AROUND THE MEADOW AND THEN BACK. GALLOPING HOOVES APPROACH) WHOA!!!! WHOA!!!! (HORSE WHINNY, STOPS) Good girl. (RF SLIPS OFF, FOOTSTEPS) Nice horse you got.
GK: Wow. That was some riding, lady.
RF: Well, I've ridden in some taxicabs that were rougher than that.
GK: You rope, too?
RF: You better believe it. (WHIRLING ROPE, THROW LARIAT. WHINNY)
TR: Man, that is some fancy roping.
RF: Well, if you bring up kids in New York, you learn how to do that.
GK: How about shooting?
RF: Let me see your six-gun.
GK: Okay. Here.
RF: Toss those six beer bottles in the air.
TR: All at once?
TR: Okay. Here goes. (SIX SHOTS, SIX BUSTED BOTTLES)
GK: Wow. That is some pretty amazing shooting. Where'd you ever learn that?
RF: You ever try negotiating a contract in the opera?
RF: Well, that's where you learn it.
GK: How about spitting?
RF: For volume or accuracy?
RF: Okay. See that seagull over there?
RF: (SHE HAWKS AND SPITS. TWO SECONDS. BIRD SCREECH, OFF)
GK: Lord. Where ever did you learn to spit like that?
RF: You ever sing with tenors?
RF: Some of them have a tendency to grab you on stage while you're singing and you have to make them let go. That's how.
GK: So how about yodeling?
TR: Now, hold on----
GK: Cowboy's got to yodel. (HE SINGS) As I walked out in the streets of Laredo, Eeeyodel adi eeyodel adi odel adi.
RF: I don't call that yodeling, I call that clearing the throat. You want yodeling, mister, I'll give you some yodeling, but there's got to be money involved. I'm sorry, but I don't yodel for charity.
GK: Well, I'll put down ten dollars says I can yodel better than you can.
RF: Ha!!!! (SHE HAWKS AND SPITS) Ten dollars doesn't get my blood racing. How about we make that a hundred dollars?
GK: A hundred!
RF: And the judge will be that coyote over there on the rocks. The one with his back to us. Whoever's the first to make him look this way wins the pot. Okay? You go first.
GK: Okay. There's my hundred. You sure you want to risk all that money on one little yodel?
RF: No risk at all. This is the easiest hundred dollars I ever earned.
GK: Okay. I hate to take advantage of a woman but here goes. (HE SINGS) Whoopitiyiyo git along little dogies. Eeeyodel adi eeyodel adi odel adi.
TR: Coyote didn't even perk up his ears or twitch his tail.
GK: Give him a minute. Sound travels slowly.
TR: He isn't looking this way, that's for sure.
RF: Okay. My turn. ---- (LITTLE VOCAL WARMUP) You got any whiskey?
TR: Sure do. Right here.
RF: Bourbon whiskey?
TR: Wouldn't have no other.
RF: Mind if I drink right from the bottle?
TR: Hey. Join the club.
RF: (GULPING SOUND, THEN A BIG EXHALE) Man, that is what I call whiskey. Oh yeah. Okay. You all ready?
GK: Take your time, ma'am. Don't rush.
RF: Let me just reach into my backpack here-----
GK: Well, for pity sakes.
TR: A helmet with horns and two big blonde braids.
GK: Had no idea you played football too.
RF: (VALKYRIE CRY) (SINGS, Hojotoho!! Hojotoho!!! Hojotoho!!! (INTO EXCTENDED YODEL AND BIG WHOOP)
(COYOTE HOWL, OFF)
(SHIP'S HORN, OFF)
(ANOTHER SHIP'S HORN)
(CHOPPER APPROACHES AND HOVERS)
SS (FROM CHOPPER, ON P.A.): Everything okay down there?
TR: EVERYTHING'S OKAY!!!!!
SS (ON P.A.): Okay. You take care now!
RF: HEY, YOU MIND GIVING ME A LIFT BACK TO MANHATTAN??
SS (ON P.A.): Be my guest.
RF: Well, thanks for the bourbon, gentlemen.
TR: Thanks for the visit.
GK: Come again sometime and we'll show you how to play poker.
RF: Ha! You play poker with me and I'll teach you how to cry!!!
GK: Looking forward to that.
(CHOPPER FLIES AWAY)
GK: Boy, you meet all sorts of people in New York.
TR: Indeed. Indeed.
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).