Wednesday, May 12, 2010

*Of Cowboys and Cowgirls- The Music Of Carol Noonan

Click on the headline link to a "YouTube" film clip of Carol Noonan performing "Danny Boy". Yes, I know that is not a classic of the Old West (of America, at least) but I couldn't find anything from the "Big Iro"n CD.

CD Review

Big Iron, Carol Noonan, Noonan Music, 2001

I spent some little time a couple of years ago going over the transformation of the American Old West of cowboys, wild boys, fast guns and faster reputations into the New West populated by characters like Duane, in the series of novels written by Texas writer/bibliophile and flea marketeer, Larry McMurtry. Apparently, the myth of the Old West dies hard though, and for this review I am glad of it.

Why? For singer/songwriter and 'wannabe' cowgirl Carol Noonan (and friends) from ….Maine has given us a potpourri of very nice renditions of some of the old classic Western songs that people of a certain age, my age, grew up with as we absorbed our version of the Old West, via 1950s black and white television, of the likes of Hopalong Cassidy, the Cisco Kid and the Lone Ranger and his sidekick, Tonto.

Of course it helps if one has a beautiful voice, some good instruments and some good friends to harmonize with on this self-produced (I believe) CD. All that is left is to pick a few numbers that stand out in an album that is filled with them. “Red River Valley”, “High Noon”, “Streets Of Laredo”, and “Wayward Wind” readily come to mind. That list is "high" Old West, indeed.

The Streets of Laredo
arranged & adapted by Arlo Guthrie

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a poor cowboy wrapped up in white linen
All wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay

"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
These words he did say as I proudly stepped by
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die

"'Twas once in the saddle I used to go ridin'
Once in the saddle I used to go gay
First lead to drinkin', and then to card-playing
I'm shot in the breast and I'm dying today

"Let six jolly cowboys come carry my coffin
Let six pretty gals come to carry my pall
Throw bunches of roses all over my coffin
Throw roses to deaden the clods as they fall

"Oh, beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly
And play the dead march as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley and lay the earth o'er me
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong"

We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly
And bitterly wept as we carried him along
For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome
We all loved our comrade although he done wrong

©1991 Arloco Music Inc
All Rights Reserved.

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