Highland Park, IL
The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS....brought to you by Trailblazer Table Napkins...use em as napkins (SMOOSH OF GREASE)....as hankies (NOSE HONK)....or to tie up guys' wrists and gag em (GAGGING) and now, here's today's exciting adventure.....
GK: Beautiful evening in Chicago, Dusty.
TR: Cloudy evening in Chicago. Feels like rain.
GK: I like cloudy evenings.
TR: Yesterday it was pouring down rain. Miserable for a man on horseback. Not to mention the horse.
GK: I loved it. Summer solstice. Midsummer's day. Longest day of the year.
TR: I hope you're not going to write a song about it.
GK: Hadn't even thought of it until you mentioned it.
TR: Well, forget that I mentioned it.
GK: What made you think I might be going to?
TR: Oh, you had that tone of sudden inspiration that I've heard so often before.
GK: Just being cheerful. I gather you don't care for my music.
TR: You're just figuring that out now??
GK: You don't like any of them?
TR: Some are better than others but not many.
GK: Anyway I don't think there is a song about Midsummer Day.
TR: Well, there doesn't need to be one.
GK: Anyway we're here in Chicago to demonstrate this cowboy software, COWCHIP. Stands for Cowboy Out With Cows Hiding In Prairie. Got the little GPS chips implanted in the cows' rear ends and you just punch in the Locate Herd program on your saddletop and there they are.
TR: Pretty much eliminates the need for cowboys. What we spent our life doing could now be done by teenage girls.
GK: More power to them. (STRUMS) (SINGS) I stood on the gallows one evening, At sunset my life would be o'er, Then it dawned on me it was the solstice, and I still had two hours or more . So I paid off the guard, got my pony and rode off cross the prairie so wide, and instead of hanging that evening, I was there hanging out by her side. ----So what do you think?
TR: That is one of the worst songs you ever wrote.
GK: Not finished.
TR: Shoot it and put it out of its misery.
(GIDDUP, HORSE HOOVES, WHINNY)
TR: Your horse is laughing at you.
GK: Is not. We were supposed to meet that woman from the talent agency here at Ravinia and I don't see her. Just a whole lot of people drinking wine (CROWD). Kind of a rowdy bunch for a Beethoven concert. (PIANO, BIG) (DOGS)
TR: People grilling hamburgers up there. (SFX)
GK: There's a volleyball game. (SFX) And a bunch of bikers (BIKES). And then this pathetic music. (PIANO)
TR: What's pathetic about it?
GK: It says right there, it's Beethoven's Pathetic sonata. Wonder what his good ones sounded like.
TR: Boy, this is a heckuva place. Some mighty attractive women up there on the hill. Women in skimpy summer outfits with wineskins up above their heads. My kind of people. (PIANO)
GK: Well, you go enjoy yourself.
TR: I intend to do that. See you later. (HORSE, WHINNY, HOOVES)
GK: Very strange for a Beethoven concert. But this is how people get on the longest day of the year, I guess. Not me. Some people.
SS: Hey----- nice horse.
SS: How come the long face?
GK: You talking to my horse?
SS: Talking to you. Lighten up. It's summer.
GK: I realize. I'm not a summer kind of guy, I guess. Too much exuberance around.
SS: How can a person not love summer?
GK: It's just ambivalence.
SS: I thought ambivalence was a bad thing.
GK: Well, yes and no.
SS: Well, I'm going to go join the party. Want to come?
GK: I don't think so. Think I'll just walk on down here behind the stage. (PIANO) (FOOTSTEPS) (WHINNY) Hush. That's Beethoven. Listen. (APOLOGETIC WHINNY)
LL: Hey. I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.
GK: I am, I guess, though now they have software that'll do the job. I'm an obsolete cowboy.
LL: Well, I'm waiting for a cowboy by the name of Lefty.
GK: That would be me.
LL: What's your last name, Lefty?
GK: Well, you know, I used to have one but it was a long time ago.
LL: You don't have an ID on you?
GK: Lost it a long time ago. Not needing an ID is one of the benefits of being a cowboy. Out there, we're all on a first name and need-to-know basis.
LL: Well, the Lefty I'm looking for is a singer.
GK: You must be Louellen from the talent agency.
LL: That's me. And we're looking for a cowboy for the Lyric Opera's production of "Porgy and Bess"----
GK: Opera, you say.
LL: That's right. You'd need to stand around on stage and hunker and saunter and hawk and spit and twirl your six-gun and maybe rope a cactus.
GK: I can hunker with the best of them.
LL: How about sauntering?
GK: Like this? (FOOTSTEPS)
LL: That is more like what I'd call swaggering or sashaying. Maybe lumbering or toddling.
GK: I don't think it was toddling.
LL: Well, plodding then. Or shuffling.
GK: That was a saunter.
LL: It had some sauntering aspects to it but it also was what I'd call traipsing or trudging.
GK: Boy, you are pretty demanding.
LL: I would call it "discerning" or "meticulous". "Challenging."
GK: You need some singing too?
LL: You sing?
GK: Yes, ma'am.
GK: When a partner is available, yes.
LL: What duet-type songs do you know?
GK: Well, I saw "Porgy and Bess" once— I know "Summertime."
LL: So do I.
GK & LL SING:
Summertime, and the living is easy
Fish are jumping, but not all that high
Your daddy's old,
And not that good looking
Hush little baby, beautify
Summertime for us living species
A time to graze and find a mate too
One who is rich and not that bad looking
I don't have rabies, neither do you
SS: Hey, that's aboot the prettiest song I heard in a long time.
GK: Thank you. I can tell by your accent that you are Canadian.
SS: Come from Ontario, a town called Eelpoot. Heading oot right after dinner.
LL: You want to audition for the part, Lefty?
GK: When is the opera?
LL: August. Outdoors.
GK: In the heat.
GK: I kind of get tired of heat and sun in August.
SS: Oot where I come from, in August, it's aboot to snow.
GK: I like the sound of that. What's for dinner?
SS: Brown troot with sauerkroot, and Brussels sproots.
GK: And how about dessert?
GK: Sorry, Luellen, I'm heading for Canada. If you've need me in November or March, I'd be happy to come sing.
LL: Okay, you take care now.
SS: It's oot this way. (HOOVES)
O Canada, your northern regions call.
Where one can skip the summer and go straight to fall.
TR: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS......brought to you by Trailblazer Table Napkins.....use em as napkins (SFX) or as flags to send messages by semaphore code (SHARP WAVING IN SERIES OF CODE FORMATIONS) or to pick up disgusting things you find on the trail. (SFX)
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).