We are STILL the Wild and Woolly West

Grandfield churchSaddened by today’s news concerning the latest shooting rampage in an elementary school in Connecticut. As far as I know, 28 souls perished.  I might use the following 1900 poem in a book about my Minnesota hometown since it reminds me of Kazakhstan.  I found this gem of a poem in a kind of propaganda piece to exhort prospective buyers to come to cold, northern Minnesota to invest in property and live for good.  Seems that the same kind of thing is happening in Astana, Kazakhstan where the top government officials really have to do a sales pitch to convince people to live in such cold temperatures.  Maybe we are ALL still living in the Wild and Woolly West.  As you read the following, keep in mind it is about pioneers who wanted to be recognized as refined and cultured and not wild lowlifes who knew nothing about the outside world.

No Longer Wild and Woolly Reprinted from Denver Post before 1901

Posted in “The Gateway Magazine” Vol. 1, No 9 November, 1901

We are cultured to the limit in this famous Western land.

Christianity upon us has a cinch.

And refinement in our actions always plays a winning hand—

We are getting there, dead certain, inch by inch.

As an ornament, the pistol is completely out of date,

Very rarely do we have a shutenfest,

We are up with the procession and we mean to hold our gait—

It no longer is the wild and woolly west.

 

We are short of desperadoes, scarcely ever see a tough

With a yearning craze for shooting up the town,

And the tenderfoot from Jersey when he tries to fun a bluff

Undergoes a rather hasty calling down.

We are drinking better liquor than we did in days of yore,

And we go about more fashionably dressed;

The advance wave of progress quenched our burning thirst for gore

It no longer is the wild and woolly West.

 

Not a Christian man among us wears his breeches in his boots,

And the old wool shirt is but a memory now,

And we look with disapproval on the tenderfoot galoots

Who are sporting big sombreros on the brow

We are seen at church on Sunday ‘ere the trout begin to bite,

With a holy flame alight in every breast,

And we’re always in our couches at the stroke of 12 at night—

It no longer is the wild and woolly West.

 

And the ladies, Heaven bless ‘em, are so modest, nice and sweet

You would think them truant angels from the skies;

Never see them dash astraddle on broncos through the streets

Making hosiery displays for staring eyes.

Not a slangy word or sentence ever ripples from their lips,

For a high old time they never go in quest;

Not a gun is ever peeping from the pocket of their hips—

It no long is the wild and woolly West.

 

Oh, you bet your filthy lucre, we’re refined to beat the band,

We have culture to distribute to the birds,

And the brand of fresh morality we always keep on hand

Couldn’t be described in common rhymy words

We in every moral attribute are strictly recherché,

And that same’s no pipey visionary jest,

And we love the ruggest country into which we’ve come to stay—

It no longer is the wild and woolly West.

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    I finally found you! Hope all is well. Love the site and passion you’ve got here. Maybe I can write a post on Solzhenitsyn and your Country.
    Peace,
    William J. Holland
    Wjholland.wordpress.com


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