Follies; I Have Heard These Songs Before

This was a favorite of one of the ride hands – who disappeared one night just ahead of a guy in a red coat and a couple of local John Laws:

And since we got all kinds on the road, here’s how Doney Gal sounds in Polish. I wish my singing voice was that good – there would have been more money in the tip jar that time I was stranded in KayCee:

Here’s another guy with a better voice than I ever had. A better voice than most that makes money performing, for that matter:

The nesters* were almost as important as the cowboys. Here’s “Yodeling Slim” Clark with a bowdlerized, and much less comical, version of The Lane County Nester, or more familiarly “My Little Old Sod Shanty On My Claim.”

And let’s wind it up with that favorite of the cowboy, townman, and nester alike:

Red River Valley was a favorite of a Cajun who got in a tangle with Big Peters. He knew Big ordered a short stack of flannel cakes every morning so he decided to play a joke on the Big man. He cut some hotcake size disks out of an old tent, dredged them in pancake batter and cooked them up when Big showed up.

Big tried to stick a fork in one, saw what it was and pushed the stack aside.

“Wa’ts the matter, Beeg,” Frenchie said. “You no like Frenchies flannel cakes?”

“Too much flannel and not enough eats,” Big said as he headed off toward Greeners cook house. Where Molly knew how to fix a short stack fit for any man.


* Yes, the homesteaders were as likely as not to describe themselves as nesters. As the lady who taught me the chords for that tune did.

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