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Along about eighteen twenty-five,
I left Tennessee very much alive.
I never would have got through the Arkansas mud
If I hadn't been a-ridin' on the Tennessee Stud.
I had some trouble with my sweetheart's pa,
And one of her brothers was a bad outlaw.
I sent her a letter by my Uncle Bud,
And I rode away on the Tennessee Stud.
The Tennessee Stud was long and lean,
The color of the sun, and his eyes were green.
He had the nerve and he had the blood,
And there never was a horse like the Tennessee Stud.
One day I was riding in a beautiful land
I run smack into an Indian band
They jumped their nags with a whoop and a yell
And away we rode like a bat out of hell.
I circled their camp for a time or two,
Just to show what a Tennessee horse can do.
The redskin boys couldn't get my blood,
'Cause I was a-riding on the Tennessee Stud.
We drifted on down into no man's land,
We crossed that river called the Rio Grande.
I raced my horse with the Spaniard's foal
'Til I got me a skin full of silver and gold.
Me and a gambler, we couldn't agree,
We got in a fight over Tennessee.
We jerked our guns, and he fell with a thud,
And I got away on the Tennessee Stud.
I got just as lonesome as a man can be,
Dreamin' of my girl in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Stud's green eyes turned blue
'Cause he was a-dreamin' of a sweetheart, too,
We loped right back across Arkansas;
I whupped her brother and I whupped her pa.
I found that girl with the golden hair,
And she was a-riding on the Tennessee Mare.
Stirrup to stirrup and side by side,
We crossed the mountains and the valleys wide.
We came to Big Muddy, then we forded the flood
On the Tennessee Mare and the Tennessee Stud.
A pretty little baby on the cabin floor,
A little horse colt playing 'round the door,
I love that girl with the golden hair,
And the Tennessee Stud loves the Tennessee Mare.
Anyone remember parties filled with competent musicians like the ones featured on these classic albums? Anyone still hosting those parties? If so, move it on over to Canada's Left Coast. Look us up. Play us a couple train songs and we'll take you deep inside the Blue Mountain and show you all the best fishing holes.
I clicked my tongue. Nobody could be keener than I on seeing Tuppy dip into L.P. Runkle's millions, but this was no time to change the subject.
"Never mind about Tuppy for the moment. Concentrate on the sticky affairs of Bertram Wilberforce Wooster."
"Wilberforce," she murmured, as far as a woman of her outstanding lung power could murmur. "Did I ever tell you how you got that label? It was your father's doing. The day before you were lugged to the font looking like a minor actor playing a bit part in a gangster film he won a packet on an outsider in the Grand National called that, and he insisted on your carrying on the name. Tough on you, but we all have our cross to bear. Your Uncle Tom's second name is Portarlington, and I came within an ace of being christened Phyllis." (-- p. 87)
I'll tell you a half-dozen things
that happened to me
when I went that far west to teach.
You tell me if it was worth it.
I lived in the country
with my dog -
part of the bargain of coming.
And there was a pond
with fish from, I think, China.
I felt them sometimes against my feet.
Also, they crept out of the pond, along its edges,
to eat the grass.
I'm not lying.
And I saw coyotes,
two of them, at dawn, running over the seemingly
And once a deer, but a buck, thick-necked, leaped
into the road just - oh, I mean just, in from of my car -
and we both made it home safe.
And once the blacksmith came to care for the four horses,
or the three horses that belonged to the owner of the house,
and I bargained with him, if I could catch the fourth,
he, too, would have hooves trimmed
for the Indiana winter,
and apples did it,
and a rope over the neck did it,
so I won something wonderful;
and there was, one morning,
flying, oh pale angel, into
the hay loft of a barn,
I see it still;
and there was once, oh wonderful,
a new horse in the pasture,
a tall, slim being - a neighbor was keeping him there -
and she put her face against my face,
put her muzzle, her nostrils, soft as violets,
against my mouth and my nose, and breathed me,
to see who I was,
a long quiet minute - minutes -
then she stamped feet and whisked tail
and danced deliciously into the grass away, and came back.
She was saying, so plainly, that I was good, or good enough.
Such a fine time I had teaching in Indiana.
In this beauty parlor, customers spurn the usual women's magazines. Instead, they read racing forms and exhcange tips while under their hair dryers. (Cutline above a photo of two tough palomas in hair rollers, poring over the Daily Racing Form against a surround mural of horse races in progress , p. 161)
I went racing many times with Jim Downey at the Aqueduct Race Track, or the 'Big A,' as it is generally called. It is a beautiful course and the only way I can describe it is by calling it a luxury racecourse compared to anything we have in Ireland. It is all escalators and coffee bars and bars. I found the place betting at the window was the best way to win money, though you can only bet at the par-mutuel windows in America for they do not go in for bookies.
I was given several winners however by Eddie Ginevan, a friend of Jim Downey's, whom we used to meet, either at the 'Big A.' or the Belmont Race Track, and he would introduce me to the various peple in the racing business. As far as I know, his son trained horses or rode them and I think he trained some for Jim. (From What are they at round Broadway and the bars?, p. 45)
But a little while and possibly a few tipples later...
Coney Island, like a great number of things in New York, is hard to compare with any place else. It is a terrific, fabulous and an extremely proletarian institution - I hope I don't offend the State Department - where thousands upon thousands of ordinary folk get out on the subway for fifteen cents and thoroughly enjoy themselves. I would say they enjoyed themselves as much as the class of people who are able to go to Las Vegas.
Now I am not knocking Las Vegas for I was in the place and I hope to go there again. One of the vices I haven't got, however, is gambling. I left having neither won a cent nor lost a cent. (From Down-Town Up-Town and In and Out of Harlem, p. 88)
Voices & Poetry of Ireland
A Collection of Ireland's Best-Loved Poetry with Readings by Maeve Binchy, Bono, Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Bob Geldof and Many More
With Audio CD
... Generally speaking, except on the days when the Grand Prix is being run at Longchamps, you'll find no trace of the prejudices that poison the lives of so-called democratic peoples on the turf where the toteboard rules. There no social distinctions, no rich and no poor. There are only winners and losers, and the size of their winnings or losses is irrelevant. I have seen a group of stevedores consoling Guy de Rothschild with unquestionable sincerity when his horse did not come in. I have seen wealthy Parisian women beg the barman for a racing tip, and notorious layabouts become the object of general admiration as they wave their ten-franc ticket in triumph. More than their moral failing, their fanaticism and their fatal obsession, one should remember that gamblers are above all like children. Even if it is indeed the food from their cherished infant's mouth that they are staking on a rank outsider, what they see at stake is their reputation: to win all afternoon at Auteuil or Vincennes, to have your hunches proved right seven races in a row, endows you with the status of a star, a glory that few men, or indeed women worthy of the name, can easily resist. And conversely, to lose consistently for as many days on end, to have not a single horse come in, can turn you into a pariah, one of the damned, as wretched as those believers in the Middle Ages when they thought they had fallen from grace and that God had ceased to love them. ...
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