Tell Me A Story: Western Themes

I was going to post a long, sad tale about how my first “real” job after college was a soul-crushing bore in which whey-faced office workers shuffled through the halls in orthopedic shoes, queuing up in front of the restroom sinks to brush and floss their teeth after lunch every day, and how it barely paid me enough to keep me from eating off my Texaco credit card.

And then I was going to tell you how while desperately looking for a new job in the classified ads, I found a little old lady who was giving away a houseful of paperback books, and how I got all excited, planning my escape from the Langolierseque office by means of opening a used book shop, and how I tediously carried all the books in the trunk of my car, all by myself, one load at a time, and stacked them in my parents’ garden shed, which subsequently developed a leak in the roof, thus ruining all the books, and smashing all my hopes and dreams of being freed from the Langoliers nightmare in which I spent my days.  At that point, I had no choice but to go on to doctoral school and give this whole professorin’ gig a shot in order to get myself free.  After all, you gotta have a back up plan when the garden shed leaks and destroys your future.

But enough about that.  Let’s get on to the good stories. I really love a song that tells a story, don’t you?  I’m going to do a little series on what I call “story songs”, with a different theme each week.  We’ll start with a few songs about one of my favorite periods of history…westward expansion and cowboys and the gold rush and such. The brilliant lyricist, Bernie Taupin, shares this fascination.  In fact, that’s why he’s been called “The Brown Dirt Cowboy”.  His love for the western U.S. and its history definitely influenced his writing, and this can be seen most clearly in one of my favorite albums, Tumbleweed Connection.  Here’s a fine example, “Burn Down the Mission”…

Here’s another Bernie classic, “Roy Rogers”, from another favorite album, Yellow Brick RoadAnd Roy Rogers is riding tonight…

I could talk about Bernie and Elton all day, but let’s move on to another one of my favorite songs, and what I consider the ultimate prospectin’ song,  “Fire on the Mountain” by The Marshall Tucker Band.  They say heaven’s at the end, but so far it’s been hell..

And now, in tribute to the used book store that never was, and the young, book-besotted girl that worked so hard and so futilely to make it happen, here’s a cool poem I found about girls who read.  And if you are one of my spinster cousins that claim to be reading my blog, please excuse the slightly coarse language.  It’s worth it. From Roundhouse London, by Mark Grist.

Questions? Comments? Please Share!



Filed under Art and Literature, Humor, Humour, Music, Poetry, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Tell Me A Story: Western Themes

  1. I loved that poem at the end…really beautiful, thanks. Great blog too.

  2. Wonder what would have become if you if that roof hadn’t leaked? Girls who read are the best. (My last two didn’t.)

    • Hi Matt, it probably would have turned out like my plan to hit the big time in L.A., remember that? Since my parents weren’t too thrilled with the idea, and I couldn’t afford to do it on my own, it was gonna go down like a lead zeppelin. In the traditional sense of the expression, not the bazillion dollar, greatest band in the history of the world sense. Thankfully, they did support the teaching gig, so they did help with that. 😉

  3. And notch up another vote for ‘A girl who reads’. Unexpected and just terrific.

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