Running Local

This Train of Thought Makes All Stops

Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James… Polka Dancers?

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 12, 2009

The things you learn watching kid’s TV. While enjoying surviving an episode of the Backyardigans tonight with the kids while Beth was at her Inauguration training session, I was amazed to see two of my least favorite things– animated, amorphously shaped talking animals and polka music– combined into one story. As luck would have it, our heroes were cast in a story about frontier days in Wyoming– they had to escort their worm friend, Sherman, to the Cheyenne Polka Palace for a surprise party. Gack… but wait a minute… was the polka really a relic of the Old West? Demanding accuracy in all things, I had to find out.

Let’s just say that when Jesse James pointed his six-shooter at the feet of a rival and drawled “Dance, pahdner”… he was firing off rounds to the mental soundtrack of the Beer Barrel Polka.

Have I said “Gack” lately? Wyatt Earp dancing with some saloon girl to the strains of oompah music? Billy the Kid getting the Jenny Lind Polka stuck in his head? For the love of god.

Yes, in the end our Western soundtrack wasn’t some proto-Merle Haggard tune or a lonely guitar playing into the night but rather that cherished touchstone of all things Cleveland, the polka. Amazing that Sergio Leone missed that, eh? The Good, the Bad, the Ugly… the Polka.

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9 Responses to “Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James… Polka Dancers?”

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