Petersen: How the West was won |

Petersen: How the West was won

The question is: after cowboys filled up the prairies with cows, they looked around (the cowboys, not the cows) and noticed something was missing. Strange longings invaded their psyches. This is the story of how the early west got won…and populated. Recite or develop into a skit and win the drama prize.





Set: Dirty Shame Linecamp somewhere OUT WEST. (decorate with cowboy gear, etc)

(Three cowboys sitting around playing poker, one softly playing harmonica. A fourth cowboy off stage till later)

(Doves off stage)


Now here’s the story, so listen close

It has excitement and not a few woes

A travelin’ wagon broke down on the trail

It was carryin’ whiskey and a passel of frails (Make flat cardboard wagon with mule team; gals come on stage as if in wagon – carry it).

The mules fell dead (mules fall over) and the gals were stuck

With nothin’ but whiskey (throw up hands, mock horror) but boy, what luck

Right thar on the mountain they sees a camp (point).

Tain’t much bigger than a whiskey stamp

So they sashays over and they shouts hello’s!

You fellers look like swell fellows

Well the boys they gulped; swallered their tongue

So darned surprised they was struck plumb dumb

Them cowpokes stared and tipped their hats (stare, gawk, gasp, etc).

Had naughty thoughts — we won’t go into that!

The gals stared back at them lonesome cowboys (strut, hands on hips, inspect guys, chuck chins).

Thought they was cute as Pekinese toys

Them gals sashayed and the boys all gasped (gals sit on tall stools).

Them gals was purty as newborn calves (Guys fall over themselves getting an eyeful).

These cuties wore out six husbands apiece

Now they’re huntin’ for others to fill the breech

So come on cowpokes; form a line

Swagger around and show ‘em you’re fine

Well, the first candidate is WORRYIN’ WADE

He’s a mite befuddled and a little dazed (gawk, roll eyes, etc).

WORRYIN’ WADE: (sidles up to SWEET SUE).

Sings — to tune: Salty Dog Blues

Sittin round the fire with the cowboy blues

Gotta big hole in the bottom of my boots

Honey let me be your salty dog

Chorus (all cowboys join in chorus)

Let me be your salty dog

Cuz I’m the cowpoke has it all

Honey let me be your salty Dog

Gals “confer,” then SWEET SUE nods.

WORRYIN’ WADE: leaps to stand behind her.

Continues to gaze dumbstruck.


Well, that was one cowpoke; now who’ll be next?

I’ll be durned, if it ain’t RAMBLIN’ REX

Step right up and strut your stuff

Show them gals you can measure up (REX scuffs over to HANKERIN’ HANNAH)

REX: (recites) “Howdy Ma’am. You’re as cute as a puppy.”

HANNAH: (recites) “Howdy, cowboy, you wanna git lucky?”

RAMBLIN’ REX keels over. Elaborate fall…clutches chest. Rolls over to knees.

Sings to HANNAH:

I was down in the sagebrush settin on a log

Finger on the trigger; mind in a fog

Honey, let me be your salty dog

Chorus (all the cowpokes)

Let me be your salty dog

Cuz I’m the cowpoke has it all

Honey let me be your salty dog

Gals confer. Finally HANNAH shrugs and nods at REX.

REX hastens to stand behind her. Continues to stare at her.


One puncher left — called LASH LARUE

Ain’t much to look at, but reckon he’ll do

LASH LARUE: (swaggers up to LONESOME LORETTA — Recites):

“I’m LASH LARUE and I’m tellin’ ya true

Don’t mess with me, I’m a mean sorta dude

But now I’m thinkin’ and startin’ to dream

Bout a special gal, a prairie queen

Sure am a-hopin’ you’ll pick me

I’ll buzz around ya like a honey bee

You’ll be my little turtle dove

Cuz you’re the gal I sure do love

(Again the gals “confer.” )

LONESOME LORETTA: pretends to think it over. LASH LARUE twists his hat, acts desperate, nervous, etc.) Finally LONESOME LORETTA gives him a thumbs up).

LASH LARUE – sings:

I’ll take ya off to my mountain home

I’ll stay right there and never roam

Honey let me be your Salty Dog

LORETTA NODS. He goes to stand behind her.

Chorus (all cowboys loud as possible).

Let me be your salty dog

Cuz I’m the cowpoke has it all

Honey let me be your salty Dog


Well durn — of cowpokes we’ve done run out

Pore RUTABEGA gonna set there and pout

Whoa now! Who’s behind that there log?

Run for cover! It’s BODACIOUS BAD DOG!

BODACIOUS BAD DOG: (Has been off stage. Come in riding a stick horse)

“Ahm a lookin for a gal,

She’s as purty and sweet as a ripe tomata” (gallops up to RUTABAGA. Dismounts.)


Hey, RUTABAGA, I love you

Please pick me and I’ll be true

You and me, we’ll bill and coo

(RUTABAGA flips her boa around BAD DOG’S neck)

He slides around behind her.

The gals stand up. Guys pair up with them.

All sing:

We will be your salty dogs

Cuz we’re the ones that have it all

Honey, we will be true salty dogs

Yeah, we will be true salty dogs

End with cowboys holding up their hats to hide faces.

Do pretend kisses behind hats.

Sound effect…loud smacking noise.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the west got won. ❖

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