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Wild West Songs and Poems

A Cowpoke at the Opera


by Paul Harwitz


Well, pards, I was over to Denver when last the hay'd been mowed,
And that town sure as shootin' has growed.
And I seen signs all 'round town
That some big old opry had done come around.

Well, I ain't never before seen no opry,
And to get culture's better than a bar-room fightin' spree,
So I figgers, what the hay,

And so I done bought myself a ticket that day.

I come back there that night and got showed to my seat.
From the way people looked at my outfit,
I reckoned I better just go ahead and sit.
They was wearing fancy duds, an' I looked like Cowboy Pete.

Then the lights done dimmed down,
And the great big old band started to play.
At first it was kinda soft, but then
Them cymbals clashed like a storm a mountain had just found.

Then some great big-chested gal with a shield and spear
Started singing real purty in some fur'n language and walkin' around.
I think it was German, 'cause it sure did sound
A lot like what in towns in the Dakotas I used to hear.

She was wearing a metal bonnet with horns on her head.
So I figgered if this opry's got cows, it must be an oater.
Near's I could tell, some powerful old guy owned a big spread
And was in a terrible choler and kept singin' up a storm to holler.

There was a lot of guys swinging swords and axes and what-all,
And since there weren't no six-guns a-tall,
I reckoned it was some ancient Old World story,
Plumb full of blood and guts and glory.

The durn thing lasted so long a spell
I thought this opry's a bargain for what you spend.
But it was gettin' kinda late,
And I asked a feller next to me when it would end.

He said it was a-comin' on, and to have no fear,
For it wouldn't be too much longer
'Fore I'd be gettin' outta here,
And to look for that big lady with the flyin' horse, shield and spear.

That huge ol' white horse sure 'nuff had wings!
And the big-chested lady warbled
But like that city feller done said,
It ain't over till the fat lady sings.

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