Saddle Up Saloon; Not Quite Karaoke

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

May 4, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“Dunno ‘bout this so-called karaoke, Kid. Where’s the soun’ system?”

“Ain’t got sound Pal. The music’s in folks’s heads. Ya gotta carry yer own tune. So yeah, that’s the disclaimer; they ain’t no act’ul singin’. But, see, that way no songs git harmed in the production a karaoke night.”

“But yer ‘spectin’ folks ta change the lyrics a familiar songs?”

“Yep. Let me step up. Show ya how it’s done.”

Yer goin’ up first? Mebbe we should call it chokey-croaky.”

“Gonna do a song ta the tune a Janis Joplin’s “Mercedez Benz.”

“Oh brother!”

“Big Brother, Pal. An’ The Holding Company.”


Oh Boss, won’t you buy me a Dodge pickup truck?  
Ranch hands ride hosses, but my hoss always bucks.       

Cain’t sit tall in the saddle, if yer down on yer luck,
So Boss, won’t you buy me a Dodge pickup truck?

Oh Boss, won’t you buy me some bacon an’ beans?
I ain’t a veg’tarian, but my food’s all turned green.
My tummy rumbles like thunder, the larder is lean,
So, oh Boss, won’t you buy me some bacon an’ beans?

Oh Boss, won’t you buy me a decent first aid kit?
I’m counting on you, Boss, I think I been rattlesnake bit.
Prove that you love me, that you give a shit,
Oh Boss, won’t you buy me a decent first aid kit?

Oh Boss, won’t you buy me a Dodge pickup truck?
Ranch hands ride hosses, but my hoss always bucks.

Cain’t sit tall in the saddle, if yer down on yer luck,
So Boss, won’t you buy me a Dodge pickup truck?
That’s it!                       


“Thank gawd. Hey, look who’s here! It’s thet buckaroo from the Canadian prairies, ‘Quiet Spirits’ columnist, Ann Edall-Robson. Are ya here ta sing us a song, Ann?”

“Think I will, Pal! I do consider Don Gibson to be one of the all-time greats when it comes to old-style country music. His lyrics are easy to sing along to. And I know for certain I danced miles and miles to his song “Oh Lonesome Me. There was seldom a live band at any rodeo dance or cabaret that didn’t include it. Yup, datin’ myself and don’t give a rat’s ass. So here goes— to Don Gibson, I apologize, and I hope you don’t mind how this one came out…


Oh Saddle Sore Me


Everybody’s saddlin’ up for some fun 

I’m wonderin’ if Pal and Kid will ever see the sun 

I can’t get down there quick enough, you see

Oh, saddle sore me


Now, Pal and Kid, they let us all just hang around

We’re havin’ a blast, kickin’ up our heals or layin’ low

A bunch of literary sorts swappin’ lies and readin’ books 

Oh, saddle sore me


We come and go as we please

Or watch it all from the trees

Teasin’, laughin’, playin’ with the words

It’s something we love to do 

While we share a libation or two

With Pal and Kid encouragin’ us from the bar


This must be the way to lose these saddle sore blues

Ignore the world and settle in with this crew 

Ponderin’ our fun takes the place of reality

Oh, saddle sore me.


“Oh my, Ann, ya done real good. ‘Cept now I got a earworm.”

“That’s better than a bedbug.”

“Well Ann, that all depens on who’s doin’ the buggin’, I s’pose.”

“Hey, Pal, it’s Shorty, an’ she’s standin’ tall as kin be right up on stage. Wunner whut she’ll sing.”

“Reckon some ol’ buckaroo song. Shush an’ jist lissen, Kid.”


Git Along Protagonist, by Shorty (To the Tune of Git Along Little Doggies)


As I was out riding one morning for leisure, 

I spied a word-puncher a-writing alone.

Her head was hunched down and her fingers were tapping.

And as I approached, she was writing a tome.


Yippee ki yi ay, git along protagonist,

It’s your grand epic and none of my own.

Yippee ki yi ay, git along protagonist,

Be a best-seller and make us well known.


Early in the springtime writers scan the pages,

Edit and brand ’em and finish their tales,

Round up the scenes, load up the chapters,

Then throw them manuscripts right out in e-mail. 


Yippee ki yi ay, git along protagonist,

It’s your grand epic and none of my own.

Yippee ki yi ay, git along protagonist,

Be a best-seller and make us well known.


 “Hey, Shorty! Ya struck a chord with thet one! Thinkin’ thet song brought a tear ta some writerly eyes. Yer a protagonist at this here bar, fer sure.”

“Thanks, Pal. I appreciate that the Saloon is a safe place for song slingin’, jist as the Ranch is safe fer raw writin’ an’ discoursin’. Hope others give this a go in the comments.”

“Well here comes someone now. Who’s that ranch hand?”

“Kid, that fella looks ta be more of a farm boy than a rancher.”

“Really, Pal, how kin ya tell? One or the udder, looks like he’s got a song ta sing. Shush. Why, that sounds like that John Prine song, Dear Abby. Ha! I love that song.”


“Dear Charli, Dear Charli, my kids are all freaks, 

One’s up in Svalbard and the other two are geeks. 

They all went to school then went their own way, 

Smarter than me but love me just the same.

Signed, Growly Bear Daddy.”


“Howdy, Mister. Ya did a real fine job with that song, don’t think Mr. Prine’d mind at all. Somehow the characters in it seem familiar. What’d ya say yer name was?”

“Just call me Sargent Mills.”

“Yessir! Pal serve this man a beer! Well.”

“Deep, Kid. Stop gawkin’ and make way.

Folks, you or yer characters, step right up, set yer lyrics ta a familiar tune, we’ll follow along in the comments. It ain’t quite karaoke, but we kin carry on anyways.


If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up as a saloon guest, contact D. Avery at .

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  1. Charli Mills

    What crazy fun is this? You even roped the Sarge into a verse, and he might step up to sing some more. Kid needs a Dodge, alright.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Hey, how about that Sargent Mills? Like Kid, I LOVE John Prine, and Sarge sure did well by that song. A lovely homage to your family. Yeah, I think this is fun, and enjoyed the bits by Ann and Shorty very much. Such good old tunes!

    • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

      Wonderful that Sergeant Mills has joined in this one. Matty and I are only just getting our heads around it, but will be back soon with a Second World War song.

      • Charli Mills

        Matty would come up with a proper WWII song!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Wow, Matty is off the leash (so to speak) Are you sure this is… okay?

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        She’s discovering a mind of her own – I might have to rewrite the whole book.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        And that’s what you get for bringing a nice character like her into a Saloon like this.

      • Charli Mills

        Matty has a deep vein of sadness coursing through her. Of course, she likely thinks its the war and her sacrifices. But she has lost so much. Yet what dignity remains! That’s in her song, too.

  2. Norah

    What fun. I love these songs to sing along with. Well done, all, and a special congratulations to Sargent Mills.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Didn’t they do great? When I was a little kid we used to sing that song Kookaburra, do you know that one?

      Kooky crazy Kid in the Poet Tree
      from high up all the Ranch could see
      Laugh! Kid and Pal just laugh
      Saddle Up, take a break from reality

    • Charli Mills

      He’s always making up songs. This was right up his tree!

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    To the tune of Folsom Prison Blues, with apologies to Johnny Cash

    Covid -19 Blues

    Now planes and trains are empty and you can’t pool up in cars
    If you get together, it has to be from afar
    These Covid-19 blues, have overdone their stay
    They hang out with me at my house, but Covid needs to go away

    And if they lifted these restrictions
    Let me outside to roam
    I’d just like to see the inside
    Of someone else’s home

    ‘Cause I’m stuck here in my own house
    still sheltering in place
    how I would thrill just to see
    an unmasked, smiling face
    someone to hang out with, and not six feet away
    these Covid blues, just need to go away.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I should apologize to more than Johnny Cash for this one. I realize how trivial to sing the blues over sheltering and distancing when others have faced and are facing far worse. Be strong, be safe.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        No apologies! You go where the prompt leads and I enjoyed where it took you.

      • Liz H

        But also treasure that precious nugget, a sense of humor. Party on, D!

    • Charli Mills

      The Man in Black would approve. We needed a COVID-19 Blues song.

  4. Jules

    Just wanted to pop in to say I’ve enjoyed what you herded here!
    I might be back later with something simple as I’m just not quite awake yet. I haven’t had to get up at six am for a long time – or seven for that matter. With my own ‘Boss’ working from home I roll out around eight – feed the birdies and enjoy a cuppa before browsing my screen…

    Stay safe everyone and thanks for all the smiles you lassoed 😀

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thanks Jules! I’ll be surprised if you don’t lasso some lyrics.

    • Charli Mills

      You hereded it here first, Jules! Hope it brightened your day.

  5. Jules

    I’m not good with lyrics much less Western… so I did a fall back on a show tune: Hope ya’ll enjoy:

    ‘Magination (Sung to Oklahma by Gordon MacRae) Parody for Saddle Up Saloon

    Brand new pen, brand new slate, gonna treat you great!
    Gonna give you letters, words and ‘states
    Master them with wrangled ‘magination
    Cryptic mysteries or fun romances that seem to zoom,
    Plen’y of ink and plen’y of loom,
    Plen’y of loom to weave a tale!
    Plen’y of heart and plen’y of hope!
    ‘Maination, where thought comes sweepin’ down the brain,
    And the weavin’ words won’t let you cheat
    By leavin’ em too fancy or too plain.
    ‘Magination, ev’ry wakin’ moment writers like you and I
    Sit round the Saddle Up Saloon and sigh’
    We know we belong to this band
    And this band we belong to is grand!
    And then we say, yeeow-a-yip-i-o-ee ay!
    We’re only sayin’ we’re doin’ fine, ‘magination, imagination’s OK!


    ‘States = statements

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Yee haw! That ain’t quite karaoke, but it’s darn near a Broadway show! The Poet Lariat done did it!

    • Charli Mills

      Grand show tune, Jules! Love the nod to imagination and Oklahoma!

    • Liz H

      (Swaying and tapping her boots ‘gainst the rungs of her bar stool)

  6. Ann Edall Robson

    I agree with Charli, this is just too much fun D. Good to see Sargent Mills joining us here at the saloon. It would be a real treat to hear more from him. I hope more of our at-home support team members will send along their renditions of their favorite songs, too.
    Now to work on getting rid of those earworms…

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It’s quite something to have not one but two genuine buckaroos in the place. (Which one of you is ‘Shorty’?) No matter, yer both tall on talent. Thanks for playin’ along an’ playin’ yer tune.

    • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

      Enjoyed your singalong, Ann, and you did well stepping up to the stage when some of us were still figuring out what it meant.

    • Charli Mills

      I might talk him into another. He’s always singing made-up songs to tunes, forever giving me earworms. It would be fun to see participation from more supports.

      As to who is Short, I mean Shorty, the possibilities free range. But buckaroos in Canada? Now, Ann, what are cowfolks called up your way?

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I look up to you both and not just as jolly ranchers.

      • Ann Edall Robson

        A lot of how/what we are called depends on what you do.

        Ranch hands work on a ranch and can also be called range riders. The later are cowboys and cowgirls who ride the range (summer and winter) checking on the stock. They may work for an individual ranch or range co-op.

        Rancher, well he owns the place (usually).

        Cowgirls and cowboys should be self-explanatory; however, you will hear about women who are cowboying for an outfit.

        The term buckaroo is not something that comes into the conversation very often.

        So there you have it from north of the 49th.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thank you Ann. Yeah, Shorty goes all Californy funny with her terms. Buckaroo does seem to be a term in these parts, saying.

      • Charli Mills

        Range riders! That was the term I couldn’t remember. I like that one.

  7. susansleggs

    Wow, the above songs are great and fun as everyone has said. So happy Sarge joined in. D. gave us two weeks to think and this is all I came up with. To the tune of You Are My Sunshine.

    You are my Carrot Ranch, my only Carrot Ranch
    I like writing here, to all the prompts
    I love it’s safe here, to be creative
    With fiction friends, and real ones too.

    You are my Carrot Ranch, my only Carrot Ranch
    I’m glad I found you, where skies are blue
    Because without you, I’d have to write alone
    And that’s not fun, for me or for you

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Love this. Yep, here the skies are not cloudy all day.

    • Charli Mills

      Sue, you made the sunshine! I love this song. Going off to bed now, singing it in my dreams.

  8. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Matty and I have been tardy at getting to grips with this, and the VE Day commemorations have got her even more confused. But she’s rallied with a rather poignant version of Lili Marlene.
    You can listen to it sung with a lovely Irish accent (although Matty wouldn’t appreciate that) by Dolores Keane –

    Tilly Marlene

    Underneath the lantern
    By the asylum gate
    When I escaped my jailers
    That’s where I used to wait
    For voices that whispered tenderly
    Someone loved me
    And I would be
    Your Tilly of the lamplight
    Your dear Tilly Marlene
    Time would come for tablets
    Time for us to part
    Still I would caress you
    And press you to my heart
    I’d dream of that far off lantern light
    I’d be all right
    We’d kiss good night
    I’m Silly of the lamplight
    No-one’s Tilly Marlene
    Orders came for treatment
    ECT and insulin
    Locked up, confined to barracks
    With the voice of Vera Lynn
    My brainwaves switched to another beat
    Cruel stomping feet
    No-one to meet
    I’m Lonely in the lamplight
    No-one’s Tilly Marlene
    Recovering from convulsions
    Just across the line
    From sanity to madness
    No lips would seek out mine
    A lunatic for fifty years
    With all my fears
    Ditto my tears
    Dismissed into the lamplight
    The same for Tilly Marlene
    I fade into the lamplight
    No more Tilly Marlene

    • Charli Mills

      Anne, I find Matty’s lyrics poignant, knowing her reality skims the surface beneath her delusions. She’s been through so much, a war-frought queen in her own right. Beautiful song, meaningful rewriting.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        Thank you, Charli, I felt quite emotional writing it. Are you allowed to cry for your own characters?

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Wow. Well done, Matty. It is good you get out your song. These battles are not as well known, are not commemorated. Good on you, fighting your own good fight, Brave soul.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        I have to say she surprised me. She’s used to reciting monologues but this is the first time I heard her sing. Thanks for opening up the stage.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Oh, just be careful. I see your character is quite enjoying her freedom. Might need to rein her in.

  9. H.R.R. Gorman

    I love how humane this was! No songs harmed in the making of this karaoke!

  10. Liz H

    Wow! Lyrical writing and impressive pipes ya got there. Have a virtual round from the bar, on me! Skol!!


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