Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guess Who -- "Star Baby" (1974)

I'm head over heels in love
With your kind of insanity

If I had a dollar for every woman who has expressed that sentiment to me in the course of my very long and very rich life, I'd be a rich man today!

Not that I'm not a rich man already!  Not rich in dollars exactly, but rich in all the good things that money can't buy!  You know what I'm talking about, right?  I hope so, because I can't think of what they are off the top of my head!

Oh, yeah -- now I remember what one of them is: love!  After all, as the Beatles once sang, "Money can't buy me love!"  

Then again, the Beatles once sang that "Money don't get everything, it's true/What it don't get, I can't use!"  

Of course, the Beatles also once sang "I am the egg man, they are the egg men/I am the walrus!"  

Anyway, as the "Bard of Avon" once said, "Poor and content is rich, and rich enough!"  That's act 3, scene 3 of Othello, if memory serves -- as it purt near always does!

By the way, are you familiar with the poem titled "Purt Near!"

What a stupid question that is -- of course you aren't!

"Purt Near!" is a famous cowboy poem by S. Omar Barker, who wrote an estimated 2000 poems and 1500 short stories and novelettes, many of which were published in Ranch Romances magazine!

S. Omar Barker!
Barker, who was known as the "Poet Lariat" of New Mexico, used to sign his name as "Lazy S.O.B."!

Here's the first verse of "Purt Near!"

They called him "Purt Near Perkins,"
   for unless the booger lied,
He'd purt near done most everything
   that he had ever tried.
He'd purt near been a preacher
   and he'd purt near roped a bear;
He'd met up with Comanches once
   and purt near lost his hair.
He'd purt near wed an heiress
   who had money by the keg,
He'd purt near had the measles,
   and he'd purt near broke his leg.
(I did ol' "Purt Near Perkins" one better because I did have the measles, and I had 'em when I was just a kid!)

He'd purt near been a trail boss,
   and accordin' to his claim,
He'd purt near shot Bill Hickock—
   which had purt near won  him fame!
He'd purt near rode some broncs
   upon which no one else had stuck
In fact he was the feller
   Who had purt near drowned the duck!
(Don't ask me what "drowned the duck" means because I don't have a clue!  I did find the phrase in a 1907 story by John Masefield, who describes an unsavory character as "him who drowned the duck and stole the monkey!")

"Purt Near" Perkins later comes to the aid of a fellow cowboy named Tom, who is about to receive a little frontier justice at the hands of some fellows who have the mistaken impression that he is a horse thief!  They are getting ready to hang poor Tom when Perkins arrives and commences to shootin'!  The vigilantes skedaddle, leaving Tom unhung and grateful to good ol' "Purt Near":

"Looks like I purt near
   Got here just in time," ol' Perkins said,
"To see them nesters hang you!"
   Tom's face got kinder red.
"You purt near did!" he purt near grinned.
  "They purt near had me strung!
You're lookin' at a cowboy
   That has pert near just been hung!
And also one that's changed his mind—
   For no word ever said,
Can sound as sweet as 'purt near',
   When a man's been purt near dead!"
(Hmmmm, doggies! -- that's one fine poem!)

"Star Baby," which was released on the Road Food album in 1974,  was not one of the Guess Who's biggest American hits -- it topped out at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100!  But it remained on the chart for 19 weeks, which was several more weeks than any of their other hits!  

I'm going to stop now because I'm purt near out of exclamation points!

Here's "Star Baby":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment