Statue, April 6, 2013

The Town Hall

New York, NY

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Listen (MP3)

GK: The Statue of Liberty is still closed after suffering damage from Hurricane Sandy and we're going to talk to her now. How are you doing, Madame?

SS (FRENCH): "Madame" ----- if only ----- What did you say?

GK: Just said hello.

SS (FRENCH): Ahhhh! Bonjour tout le monde. Je suis le Statue of Liberty! ----

GK: Right. So how are you? Got hit by the hurricane, huh?

SS (FRENCH): Ehhhh. My shoulder hurts. But I'm 126 years old. So------ . I'll tell you the truth, though: I would kill for a cigarette. A great big cigarette. I used to smoke out in the harbor, late at night, when no one was looking, and now ----- they pass this silly law.

GK: I didn't know you smoked.

SS (FRENCH): I'm French. What can I say? We like to take chances.

GK: So what is it like to stand in one place, in one position, for 126 years?

SS (FRENCH): Oh, I've been around. I get down off this pedestal now and then, go over to Jersey, go to a casino. I went to Washington once.

GK: Really. What did you think?

SS (FRENCH): That Abraham Lincoln statue is very handsome.

GK: The Lincoln.

SS (FRENCH): A tall man in a chair, and I sang to him and tried to get him to smile and he would not. So---- ech. Never mind.

GK: So you wish you had a friend?

SS (FRENCH): It is so hard to meet someone when you are 150 feet tall. You put an ad in the personals, "Very tall woman hopes to meet open-minded gentleman willing to relocate to a small island," and he comes out on the boat and takes one look and it scares him to death. And when they find out I smoke----- ha.

GK: Yeah, but you're the most famous statue in America.

SS (FRENCH): I think about going to visit Mount Rushmore. Three big handsome men. But no bodies, just heads. So what can I do?

GK: I never thought you were lonely.

SS (FRENCH): What do you think I am carrying the torch for? For the fun of it? Non. For a man. Somebody. I'm in New York, I should have dates every night. You know how many times I've been to Manhattan? Once. Once!

GK: (CLUCKS) When did you go into Manhattan?

SS (FRENCH): A year ago. Midnight. I waded in to shore and walked very very carefully up Broadway to Times Square and it was beautiful. All lit up.

GK: Did anyone see you?

SS (FRENCH): A few people did and they never drank alcohol again. But I went back to my island and here I am. Alone. It is the human condition. Le conditione humaine. I wish they would bring a big man statue to keep me company but probably not.

GK: Well just hang in there, Madame Liberty.

SS (FRENCH): Non non. Forget it. It is too late now. I just want a cigarette. (DEEP SIGH) Sometimes I am struck by lightning and that is exciting but I am simply alone. They ought to write a song about me......

Hey Manhattan
I'm looking at you
This great big statue
In your harbor
With the Staten Island Ferry
Off to starboard.

I wish I were there
In Times Square
I wish, I hope
It could come true
I'd trade my pointed crown
I would disrobe
For a night on the town
With you.

GK: Good to talk to you. Good luck out there. The Statue of Liberty. (BAND PLAYOFF)

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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