My favourite film genre was the Western. Now sadly, the Western has had to make way for, invaders from another galaxy and superheroes that will defend us from an ideology seeking to destroy mankind. So, in reality, nothing has changed. Perhaps I am a romantic longing for the return of a bygone era or, as in the words of that famous song, I am trying to hang on to a hero. Those lost heroes of my youth will never return.
Rather than spoil the legend they created, I shall lay them to peacefully to rest, on Boot-Hill.
This is my attempt at a tribute to that era……..with apologies to those mythological hero’s and Johnny Cash.
When I think of the cinema scene
and count the times that I have been,
I recall the films that have given me pleasure,
not the ones about sunken treasure
or, films about coppers and dicks
and neither politics.
I can’t stand musicals with dancers and singers,
Just give me the west and the old gunslingers.
In fact, the others I detest,
it’s westerns that I like the best.
A dream that I held so dear,
was that in a western I’d appear.
Maybe it’s vain like Emperor Nero,
I just wanted to play the Hero.
Then it happened by chance one day,
whilst I was reading an old Zane Grey,
the telephone it started bleeping,
so I knew I wasn’t sleeping.
The voice at the end of the line,
said, “I’m sorry to ‘phone you after nine,
but can you be here by tomorrow the latest,
my new western will be the greatest”.
It was John Ford that said it
so, I had to give him credit.
“We don’t want John Wayne again and again,
there are other actors, quite a few
but, my son, I want you”.
The film opens with the usual credits
about who produces and who edits.
Then there’s a narration
about a pioneer and an old plantation.
How three villain’s, killed the pioneer
and for the rest of their days they lived in fear.
For the pioneer had a son,
who swore before his days were done
he’d kill the villains, one by one.
The first shot is of a blazing sun rising over the parched wastelands of Arizona. Out of the suns shadows a silhouetted figure appears. The shadows disperse. The figure is that of a man. A big man, tall rugged and mean. He is a man with vengeance in his heart. He is on the way to Tombstone. It is Hero………….A Legend Of The West.
As our Hero rides out of the sun,
it’s clear to all that he carries no gun.
He comes towards us on his scooter,
with it’s chromium wheels and twin horned hooter.
in his belt, his pearl handled pea-shooter.
Not for him an easy ride but,
better than punching that old cow hide.
On his way into Tombstone he finds his pal,
involved in a gunfight at The O.K. Coral.
How can he let The Clanton Brother’s,
have the edge on Wyatt and all the others.
For the moment its tense and all goes quiet,
then, Ike Clanton goes for his gun and Earp goes Wyatt.
Some shots ring forth from out of the rubble,
it’s clear to Hero that Earp’s now in trouble.
Alighting gracefully from his scooter,
to his hips he raises his pearl handled pea-shooter.
One by one the villains drop like flies,
Earp can not believe his eyes.
With The Clanton threat now at an end,
Earp only wants to thank his friend.
“Thanks Hero and to prove it of course,
if you stick around, I’ll buy you a horse”.
Arriving in Tombstone none to soon,
Hero parks his scooter outside the saloon.
The townspeople gather in a crowd,
some whisper, others shout out loud,
”He’s come at last, that legend renown,
Hero’s gonna’ clean up, this dirty old town.
A cowboy tells that killers, he mercilessly slaughters,
whilst another suggests, “We should lock up our daughters”.
Then another shouts;” He kills with ease,
So, tell the store to stock up with peas”.
Hero swaggers into the saloon,
where a hill-billy cowboy is plucking a tune.
There’s dancing singin’ and regular mayhem,
from prospectors, cowboys and cavalry men.
Away in a corner a cowboy named Judd
is dealing out cards, in a high game of stud.
One of the players throws his last hand in
saying, “That’s sure enough for John Wesley Hardin”.
Hero said, “Would anyone care,
if I filled the spot of this vacant chair ?
When I play, I play the game clean
and I will tell you just what I mean.
When you deal, just deal from the top of the pack
don’t throw in any cards that you’re holding back.
So don’t let me find any man cheating
or, I’ll lift that cheat right out of his seating”.
As the cards are dealt, Hero has his first shock there are two gaping holes in his new white lace sock.
As his expression is turning to laughter,
he recognizes, Judd as one of the men he is after.
“Well Judd we’ve all had our fun,
now just get up and go for your gun”.
Everyone in the saloon stood there aghast,
no one beats Judd, he’s just too fast.
“You may be a hero, but you don’t frighten Judd Crown”.
It was then Hero noticed his trousers were brown.
“Oh my”, he thought. “I must have caught fright,
I know when I came in my trousers were white”.
Judd smoothly goes for his colt 44,
then suddenly Judd isn’t there anymore.
Hero’s pea-shooter had cut him down to size,
As two rapid peas hit him right in the eyes.
Those who witnessed the killing of Crown,
knew Hero had come, to clean up their town.
With the noise dying down and no more to fear,
enters the scene one, Tallulah de Vere.
She was known to each and every fellow,
as the Madam who ran the local Bordello.
You couldn’t say she had any real style,
when she moved, she moved in one flabby pile.
Now she saw Hero standing so tall and so tough,
“Man”, said Tallulah,” You are enough.
I’ve seen critters from here to Yellow Stone Creek,
yet none of them had your manly physique.
I could go for you big boy, in a really big way,
so handsome hunk, what do you say ?”.
“Sorry’, said Hero, “I’m here to clean up this town.
“I see”, said Tallulah, looking at Crown.
“Well if you’re really here to clean up this mess,
then get your hide over to Ranch Big Bar S
and bring in that in that no good thieving land owner
that filthy rich, two timing Sam Stoner”.
“Why Tallulah, what has he done ?”.
“Well this land he rules, he rules by the gun.
He’s selling land to the Indian nations,
so they’ll chase the farmers off the plantations.
Then with one mighty sweep of his hand,
he buys up what’s left of the empty land.
That man’s the richest in all Arizona,
so men like Judd are working for Stoner”.
So, Hero had to do what a hero had to do,
to uphold the tradition maintained by the few.
Men like Pat Garret, we know what he did,
he killed Bill Boney, known as Billy The Kid.
Men like, Hickok, Cody, Masterson and others,
such as Crockett, Earp and all of his brothers.
He must stop men like Stoner reaching for power
or, all of the West they will devour.
Soon he arrived at the ranch of Sam Stoner
and powered through the front door as if he were the owner.
“Stoner I’ve come to take you in”, he shouts from the hall.
Yet, there was no person around to hear his bold call.
Except Stoner’s daughter, who saw him while standing,
with her hand on the bannister, at the top of the landing.
As their eyes met, she felt so inspired,
this is the man, I’ve always desired.
Hero, thought what a beautiful thing,
and that’s when he heard the angels sing.
“I’m Lulubelle Stoner”, she said with a smile.
“I’m Hero”, he said and they stood for a while.
“My you have a real manly smell”.
“Thank you”, she said, “You do as well”.
Yes it was love – love at sight,
so, they stood holding hands until it was night.
The following morning, she broke the bad news,
of how she was influenced by her daddy’s views.
What’s worse she was betrothed and promised to marry,
Daddy’s foreman, the fat and ugly Bad Harry.
“Bad Harry”, said Hero, “he’s the man I am after,
he kills men, while shrieking with laughter.
Tomorrow Lulubelle, we’ll hit the trail,
but first I’m taking your Daddy to jail”.
Then suddenly……….without warning,
the quiet of the morning,
is shattered by the noise of crashing glass and a deafening boom,
Stoner and Harry enter the room.
Harry’s screaming and shouting words that couldn’t be ruder,
“Unhand my Lulubelle, you filthy intruder”.
Hero was cool. “Can you repeat what you said”.
“Sure, unhand her you cream puff, or I’ll fill you with lead”.
Hero’s incensed, “Don’t talk that way Harry,
It’s Lulubelle, that I’m here to marry”.
Stoner called to Lulubelle, “You better come here”,
then, “Get him Harry, we’ve nothing to fear”
They would kill each other, nothing would stop ‘em,
Hero went for his holster, then Harry said, “Drop ‘em”.
“No”, shouted Hero, “I’ll end your days of laughter,
you Fat Harry, is the man I am after”.
The speed of Hero’s pea-shooter carried no sound,
as two flying peas sent Harry to the ground.
Stoner was stunned, his pants were all damp,
trying to escape he fell over the kerosene lamp.
The room was ablaze and full of black smoke,
Hero grabbed Lulubelle and Stoner as they started to choke.
“As I said Lulebelle, we’ll be hitting the trail,
but first I am taking your Daddy to jail”.
Halfway back to Tombstone town,
Stoner said with a smirk and a frown,
“Now that we’re on Red Indian reservation,
they’ll never let me be taken.
As long as I’m putting guns in their hands,
they’ll fight every white man to save their great lands”.
Then whooping and hollering, they came down from the hill,
Sioux and Comanche set up for the kill.
Hero blurted, “My scooter can’t go any faster,
if they catch us now it’ll be a disaster”.
Indian arrows started falling from out of the sky,
“We might not outrun them, but lets give it a try”.
“Give up”, said Stoner, “You’ve lost from the start”.
Then an Indian arrow lands right in the heart.
“We’ll have to stop Lulebelle, I can see its no use”,
then lifts his lace hanky and signals a truce.
The Indians start their big war dance as fast as they can,
whilst out to the front steps, Chief and Medicine Man.
The Chief lifts his arms, he’s going to talk,
“Paleface kill Indian, speak with big tongue of fork.
Paleface kill Buffalo, make their big belly full”.
Hero says, “You talk big rubbish, sounds much Sitting Bull”.
The Chief hears a distant sound,
Medicine Man, puts his ear to the ground.
Realising he’s in great pain,
picks it up and puts it on again.
Now Lulubelle hears that great noise,
could it be the Cavalry Boys.
“Lulubelle, stay cool and steady,
when they get near I’ll be at the ready”.
“Look at the Cavalry charging hard”.
“Don’t worry, I carry a Credit Card”.
The Indians are panicking they’re all flustered,
it’s the 7th Cavalry and General Custard.
The Indians make for the hills and the rocks,
meanwhile, Hero’s trousers have slipped down to his socks.
The Cavalry are charging through the pass,
Lulubelle’s so excited she slips on the grass.
Hero turns to lift her, with manly grace,
but gets twisted up in his trousers and falls flat on his face.
Arriving back in Cochise County,
Hero drags his trussed up, heavy bounty.
“Stoners’ going to the undertaker,
there he’s gonna’ meet his maker.
Now the town was clean, no more to fear,
the townspeople let out a cheer.
Save one cowboy, outside the saloon,
”Hero you’ll be in trouble soon.
Stoners’ son is coming to hunt and gun you down,
so before sunset, you better get of this town”.
“You see Hero, Stoners’ son is the Cisco Kid”.
“Oh no” says Hero, “I know what he did.
He killed our Pa, then stole our steers,
I’ve been hunting him for so many years.
I’ll face any man who wants to attack,
better than getting shot in the back”.
Lulubelle said, “I’m ashamed that man’s my brother.
He’s evil, he’s bad, he killed our mother.
I admired him once, he was so much finer,
until he found out his name was Dinah.
That name to him was an evil curse,
things then went from bad to worse.
He became a killer and changed his name,
anything to hide the shame”.
All is quiet in Tombstone. A blazing sun, its day’s work done, slips slowly towards the horizon. It emits a blanket of orange that covers the main street and the buildings that form its border. Behind shuttered windows and half-drawn blinds, eager eyes stare out onto a deserted street. An empty street, except for one man, on whom the searching eyes are focused. It is Hero, a legend of the west. He stands at the end of the street, with the dying sun on his back. He waits. Soon the man will come. The man he must face. He is the self-appointed towns David, waiting to slay Goliath. This, to defend the code of the west.
From the distance, a man approaches. It is The Cisco Kid, moving menacingly towards Hero. The jangling sound of his spurs, is the only noise that breaks the silence. The hidden watching eyes, are apprehensive, yet expectant. This will be a clash of ideology. Soon the town will live or, die. Now with the Cisco Kid no more than twenty-five yards away, Hero’s eyes are fixed on a mountain of a man dressed in white. They are face to face, staring viciously into each other’s eyes. Someone has to make the first move…….
Hero says, “I’m taken aback,
I thought you always dressed in black”.
“I know”, says Cisco, “That’s what they say,
but I think it’s really rather passé”.
“I can’t understand all the fuss,
why do all the people cuss.
You seem a decent sort of guy,
Why don’t we both give it a try”.
Now Lulubelle is full of worry,
down the street she starts to scurry.
“Hero, are you all right ?’.
“Sure Lulubelle, this is friendly fight”
From the darkness, a voice yells, “Cut the scene”.
John Ford saying, “I don’t know what you mean.
This is not the way the scene was written,
From your ad-libbing, I guess you’re smitten.
It’s not the way I wanted it done.
For this movie, an Oscar I could have won”.
So the movie ends with a different twist,
Lulubelle realizes, never having been kissed,
She never could be Hero’s wife,
Now he has found a new partner for life