Musical Interlude

by John Derbyshire

In response to innumerable requests, here are the lyrics from Radio Derb’s cowboy ballad. Apologies to the shade of Tex Ritter.

Just to remind you, this follows from Harry Reid’s address to the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body the other day, in which he said: “The National Endowment for the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada evey January a Cowboy Poetry Festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”

OK, over to Radio Derb (3/11/11 broadcast):

“Defund us not on the lone prairie.”
These words came slow and mournfully
From the pallid lips of Harry Reid
In the senate chamber his cause to plead.

He’d listened in pain to talk of cuts.
It was driving him and his colleagues nuts.
At last he spoke for the world to see:
“Defund us not on the lone prairie.

I’ve often been told the country’s broke.
But it’s not the fault of the cowboy folk.
So grant oh grant this wish to me:
Defund us not on the lone prairie.

A cowboy poet needs his federal take.
His audience too: there are lives at stake.
Without government cash they’ll cease to be!
Defund us not on the lone prairie.

Defund us not …” and his voice fell there.
But we’ll pay no heed to poor Harry’s prayer.
When the dollar dives and bond-holders flee
We’ll defund him there on the lone prairie.

Yes we’ll leave him there on the lone prairie
Where the cowboys howl so mournfully;
And the lobbyists weep and the wind blows free,
Starved of public cash, on the lone prairie.

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