The Lives of the Cowboys, October 19, 2013

Lied Center for Performing Arts

Lincoln, NE


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The Lives of the Cowboys

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LC (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by EarTracks, the ear piece that gives you GPS directions and nobody needs to know it. If you're sometime embarrassed by taking the wrong trail, get EarTracks and let her help. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys.

(HORSES WALKING, OUTDOOR AMBIENCE)

GK: Beautiful state, Nebraska. Got your spacious skies, got your amber waves of grain.

TR: Don't see any purple mountain majesty, but I was tired of mountains anyway.

GK: Yeah, mountains are overrated, I say.

TR: So why are we in Nebraska? I forget----

GK: I'm supposed to meet my life coach here in Lincoln. Louise. She's been coaching me online and now I'm going to meet her.

TR: A life coach???!!!! Cowboys don't need life coaches. We need girlfriends. Girlfriends who are okay with non-commitment.

GK: Girlfriend is one of my goals. And a condo in town and a full set of china dinnerware and a copper skillet and curtains. I miss curtains.

TR: So you're going to quit the cowboy life?

GK: There's just too dang much futility in it.

GK (SINGS):
Sometimes it's hard to be a cowboy
Riding across the desert sand

I'm tired of leather
And awful weather
And longhorns don't respond to my command.

And so I come out to Nebraska
Feeling like an old defeated man.
And there in Lincoln
I started thinking
Maybe it's time I had a plan.

(HORSE APPROACHES, PULLS UP).

FN: Whoa. Whoa. ---You two aren't from around these parts, are you.

TR: No, sir. We're from other parts. We're visiting.

FN: Well, okay, but just remember ---- we don't cotton to strangers here in Platte Gulch. So don't expect us to talk to you because we just don't do that. Some places they talk to strangers. Here we don't. Cause we've had experience with strangers. None of it good. You get me?

GK: Yes, sir. If you don't mind my asking ----How come you got bullet holes in your road signs around here?

FN: Because we shoot them.

TR: Okay. Stands to reason. Why do you shoot them?

FN: Because we don't care for the gummint.

GK: What about the sheriff?

FN: What about him?

GK: Doesn't he try to stop you?

FN: He shot half those holes himself. He hates the gummint even more than we do. Cause he works for the gummint. He gets to see it close-up.

GK: But the gummint pays his salary.

FN: And he's angry about that, too.

TR: So what are you angry at the gummint for?

FN: It's too big. It sticks its nose into everything. We don't have our rights anymore.

TR: Which rights don't we have?

FN: I'll tell you: the right to run strangers out of town. Run em out and keep em out.

GK: Well, I'm just here cause I'm looking for someone by the name of Louise.

FN: Louise!!!!

GK: Right.

FN: She's down at the saloon.

TR: Well, all right. A life coach at the saloon. My kind of gal. (HORSE WHINNY, GALLOPS AWAY) (BRIDGE)

(GK WHOAS, HORSE COMES TO A STOP. GK DISMOUNTS. FOOTSTEPS ON WOOD. DOOR OPEN. QUIET PIANO, FOOTSTEPS)

LC (TWANGY): Welcome to Platt Gulch. Git you a drink, mister?

GK: How about a glass of sarsaparilla?

LC (TWANGY): You care for some whiskey in that sarsaparilla?

GK: Nope.

LC (TWANGY): Reason I ask is because around here, only teenage girls drink sarsaparilla. So a man who drinks sarsaparilla is apt to be set upon by another man and in the knock-down fight that ensues he is liable to throw you over the bar, in which case I want to move my glassware to a safer location.

GK: I'm not here to cause a ruction. I'm just here to find someone by the name Louise.

LC (TWANGY): Louise is the one sitting at the piano. The one with the cigarette dangling from her lower lip.

GK: The one in the black dress with the one strap down over her shoulder?

LC (TWANGY): Yeah. She keeps putting the strap back up and it keeps falling down.

GK: Maybe I'll mosey over and see if I can help her.

(FOOTSTEPS) (PIANO, MY WAY)

SW (SINGS):
And now, the end is here
I'm drinking beer out in Nebraska
It's cold, it's dark and drear,
It might as well be Madagascar
I play piano here
And winter's near ---- it's getting colder.
And yet, I wear this strap, over my shoulder.

GK: Louise? It's me. Lefty.

SW: Beat it. I'm singing.

SW (SINGS):
Regrets, I've had a few
Yes, I regret I'm not in L.A.
Having a big time 'n wearing a diamond on my belly.
I had a lot of friends, then suddenly was solitary
And pretty soon found this saloon out on the prairie.

GK: Could I talk to you for a minute?

SW: Don't break the flow, okay? Later.

SW (SINGS):
Yes, there were times, I turned and ran
When the manure hit the fan
There were times I felt forlorn
Whenever I tried to husk corn
And every fall I hate football it's just not my way

GK: Are you almost done?

SW:
One more verse.
For what is a girl, what can she do?
Mud in your eye, spit in your shoe.
Life is absurd, that's how it goes, and no one knows, not even pros,
A cold wind blows, we freeze our toes, and mister, hit the highway.

SW: Here. (SHE STRAINS, LIFTING HIM)

GK: What are you doing? Put me down. Put me down.

SW: I had all I can take from you, Jeff.

GK: I'm not Jeff. I'm Lefty.

SW: You sure?

GK: Posititive. Put me down. Please.

SW: I was going to throw you over the bar.

GK: I know. You're strong.

SW: I'd still like to. Would you mind?

GK: You're my life coach. You decide.

SW: Okay (SHE LIFTS HIM UP HIGH)

LC: NO!!! NOT OVER THE BAR!!! LET ME MOVE SOME----(SW HEAVES. GK CRY. CRASH. MAJOR GLASS BREAKAGE) (GK GROANS)

SW: You okay?

GK: I think so.

SW: What'd you want to know, Lefty—

GK: I think I already found out.

(THEME)

LC: The Lives of the Cowboys.....brought to you by EarTracks. Find your way even in the dark.

(THEME OUT)

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).

Available now»

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