My grandparents had one of those combination television/record player sets when I was growing up. I spent as much time in their house as I did in my own so as a little kid, I had the run of the place. I'd glue myself to the floor in front of their television, watching some of my favorite shows like Inky Dinky, every western I could find and anything on the Disneyland show.
I loved Davy Crockett with Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen. Didn't every kid in America have a coonskin hat?
My grandparents had quite a number of 78 records. And lucky me, they had the "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" sung by Ernie Ford. I played it so much I knew all the words by heart. Sing it with me ..."Born on a mountain in Tennessee, Greenest state in the Land of the Free, Raised in the woods so's he knew ev'ry tree, Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three. Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!"
A lot of their records had a distinctive country western theme. Is it any wonder I wanted to be a cowgirl when I grew up?
Here's a few that I learned by heart. For all of you around 60 and older, see if you remember them too. Be sure to add a little "twang" to them when you sing along.
*"Adios Amigo, adios my friend, The road we have traveled has come to an end. When two love the same love, one love has to lose, And it's you who she longs for, it's you she will choose. Adios compadre, what must be must be, Remember to name one muchacho for me. I ride to the Rio, where my life I will spend, Adios amigo, adios my friend."
*"As I walked out in the streets of Laredo, As I walked out in Laredo one day. I saw a young cowboy all dressed in white linen, Dressed in white linen as cold as the clay."
*(Big favorite here ...)"The cattle are prowlin', the coyotes are howlin', Way out where the doggies roam. Where spurs are a jinglin' and the cowboy is singing, His lonesome cattle call. (All join in the cattle call here,) "Woo hoo, woo hoo hoo hoo, Woo hoo, woo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo, Woo hoo, woo hoo hoo hoo, Singing his cattle call."
*"See them tumbling down, pledgin' their love to the ground, Lonely but free I'll be found, Driftin' along with a tumbling tumbleweed. Cares of the past are behind, nowhere to go but I'll find, just where the trail will wind, Driftin' along with a tumbling tumbleweed."
Notice any kind of theme in all of these songs?
They're all sad! People are dyin', people are saying good-bye, some are lonely, and some are suffering from a broken heart.
Them thar cowboys were a lonesome sad lot. Looking back on it now, I can't imagine why I wanted to be a cowgirl. Oh yeah, they could ride horses. And they lived out west.
I'm not a kid anymore. But that doesn't mean I still can't appreciate a good old country western song. Talking about all those old favorites has inspired me to try to write one of my own. So here it goes.
(Imagine a little steel guitar and sing along to the tune of Eddy Arnold's "Make The World Go Away" with a few extra verses. For those of you younger than 60, you can find the tune online.)
Make my face hair go away,
Get it off my lip and chin,
It seems to grow faster every day,
I want my face hair to go away.
Before we began going gray,
Do you remember being more peppy?
Now we're watching our teeth decay,
When did our world start to slip away?
Let's see what aches I have today,
The back, the knees, crampy legs,
When did my best friend become Ben Gay?
He makes my world a little more OK.
Why has my eyesight gone away?
Why do I have to pee so much?
I'm only to the bathroom halfway,
When I feel my world begin to spray.
I forgot your name today,
It'll come to me sometime soon,
I lost my glasses and keys, oy vey,
My whole stinkin' world's gone astray.
I hate what my doctors say,
I'm going to blow up my bathroom scale,
It lies about what I weigh,
No more eating at the Golden Corral buffet.
Got some letters in the mail today,
AARP wants me to join them,
Someone wants to sell me a grave,
And Social Security threatens to go away.
Too much of the world is on display,
Hey Dude, pull up your baggy pants,
Are girls dressing more risque?
Harry might look good in a toupee.
I'm too young for the rocking chair,
I don't know how to crochet,
I need help with my fears to allay,
That my food someday will have to be pureed.
I don't want my world to go away,
It's not perfect by any means,
But from all that I survey,
It's still as doggone good as a sirloin filet.
(You can add a little yodel here if you'd like for a big finish ... )
Yodel le he hoo hoo hoo,
Yodel le he hoo hoo hoo hoo,
Yodel le he hoo hoo hoo,
Yodel le he hoo hoo ...
(And on the last "hoo" slide down and then up ...) hoo.