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Friday, 21 January 2011

My Doggies have been wailing since I sang my latest song

















I've included this picture because it's the only good thing about this post. It's a derelict building just across the road from the saloon of Judge Roy Bean. I loved the C18th 'feel' to it, and its isolation. Far more interesting than Roy Bean's saloon, authentic though it's supposed to be. Whether the cottage still stands, I don't know.


The context to this song is very simple, much like the lyrics. A multinational group, with unlimited beer set themselves the challenge of writing the ultimate cliched country and western song - each of us had to contribute a line - some discarded - and then as the beer flowed the verses were refined and sung with gusto. I still remember the flames of the fire, golden sparks and the immensity of desert and sky as we howled to the moon.

My Doggies have been wailing since I sang my latest song

I was a lonely orphan down yonder by the old corn patch.
My tobbaccy’s wet and mouldy, and I ain’t got no match.
Sammy Jo milked the cow while her skirt was swaying.
Mama and the preacher man were inside busy praying.
But the preacher man was playing hard to catch.

Chorus

Mama loved too well, too long and got me for a song
Me and my guitar have been so lonesome since you’ve been gone
My honey rolled the dice and lied
She said she loved me as she rolled the dice and smiled
She’s the only one I need
Yippee Yay Tumbleweed.

My cow she was in labour while old Doris did the washing
My heart was torn between the cow and watching Doris washing
Well honey kiss my grits and howdy do
For my cow has had a calf called Betty Lou
But calf love don’t fire a cowboy’s passion.

Chorus etc

I left the farm and broke my heart to ride them country roads
Sammy Jo, the cow and Ma reckoned up the rent I owed
The preacher-man then gave these parting words:
‘You can be a cowboy, son without ever wearing spurs.
So off I went to the land of the long horned toad.

Chorus

Sitting high in the saddle whilst the sun sets sweet and low
I moseyed on down to Calico to meet my future beau
Biscuits and gravy make my heart go boom
Saloon girls, liquor – but not a single room
A girl named Maria saved me from the snow.

Chorus

Maria was like a desert rose blooming once a year
Don’t shoot me with that gun she cried so I drowned her in my beer
Oh Baby you went and let me down
I like blue eyes but yours were truly brown
Virginia sat on a cactus and got the prick of her life…oh dear.

Chorus

One empty bottle, one broken heart, time for a brand new start
I left Maria for my pardner’s wife and the ire of one-eyed Bart.
Oh, I don’t care that I’m still single
Cos I’ve got spurts that jingle jangle jingle
And I’m with my pardner’s wife behind the cart.

Chorus

But I keep thinking about my babe, way home on the mountain range
Doris, Virginia and Ma can go hang, cos I’m going back to my cow again
It’s been so lonesome out here on the prairie
And I can’t stop thinking about a cow called Mary
Wimen and cows they aint just built the same.

The last line of the sixth verse was when it all began to go wrong - if it was ever right. I think that was the Australian contribution :)

2 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

And now I know why you gave up songwriting for teaching.

Wise choice. :)

Mike Keyton said...

You're probably right. It's not exactly Bob Dylan, not even Bob McGonagel. An aural smear on the landscape. But bear in mind, Maria many of those who contributed to this smorgasbord of sound did not speak English very well. I had no excuse. My contribution, as I remember was:

My cow she was in labour while old Doris did the washing
My heart was torn between the cow and watching Doris washing


And the last line about wimen not being built the same as cow. Always was an observant bugger.