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Wednesday 5 June 2019

State of the Union - Montana

George writes:
(Not in this state, missy)

Week 22. In today’s state it is illegal for unmarried women to go fishing alone.  The eastern half of Montana is prairie and badlands. This sounded very exciting, badlands, all sorts of connotations in my head. All wrong, it just describes a dry windswept rocky and sandy terrain.
“The valley is dusty, my pony is crusty”, sang Wylie on a particularly cheesy cowboy song. That was one of the better rhyming couplets. Being a cowboy state there are the expected terrible songs, at least ten of which have been inflicted on my partner. She was not best pleased. Not even with the Marie Osmond song.

I took a break from the songs and searched for famous people. And, for people of a certain age (ie late middle-aged men like me and CC) one of the most famous men on the planet in the 1970s was born in Butte, Montana, and that is Evel Knievel. (And the other most famous person on the planet in the 1970s was Muhammad Ali, of course).

And so to a song, by Terry Allen. Helena is the state capital (of Montana, keep up). It is also the where the scientology bloke came from. Anyway, here’s a raw, gothic country song;

To be followed by this: Patrick “Bobby Ewing” Duffy was born in Montana.

(all together now “doo do-do, do do do-do-do do, do do doo do do do doooo”)

Hank Williams Jr has written a few relevant songs for today’s article. None of them are good enough to feature. And for what would have been a first for these pages I could have given you a Frank Zappa track. But the second track is from a group I discovered on Bandcamp called Motel Motel. And their album Big Island has two relevant songs. Here’s one:

The other one is only 50 seconds long. Motel Motel are tagged as alternative and alt-country. Which to my ears makes sense.

Montana is home to a town called Libby, which has a very distressing history, concerning asbestos and what at best could be described as a callous disregard for life by a mining company.

And finally, actor Gary Cooper was born in Helena.

CC writes.
I thought yesterday's White Butte Country may have been able to feature today but it turns our that the Butte referred to is in Saskatchewan as opposed to Montana.
But I did find a song about Butte, Montana.
One for your next line dancing session. With apologies


  1. Love that Evel Knievel video :)

  2. Patrick Duffy made a single with Freench chanteuse Mirielle Mathieu back in 1983, and they both wore cowboy hats on the cover (presumably as a tribute to his home state). I know this because I have a copy. It is as bad as you expect it to be:

    1. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forgive you for foisting that atrocious bilge on me. I used to hold a candle for Mireille, albeit me a gauche 14 yr old in northern England and she a sophisticated French chanteuse. Actually she was 22 at the time so, as my wife is 10 years my junior maybe the 8 years difference needn't have been unbridgeable after all! Let's change the subject though haha

  3. "You are the instrument I play"
    Toptastic lyrics, Ernie

  4. Looks like I might have got away with the line dancing number!

    1. Of course, I did find this song but rejected because I thought it was too bad, even for this blog! Although, after Monday's songs here I am not so sure now

    2. Believe it or not I still have a worse one to feature from the Ballantraehaul!

    3. Would that be Gary Clark?

    4. No - much much worse
      Gary Clark is good

  5. They call Montana "Big Sky Country," and I didn't really get it until I visited there a few years ago. There are places that seem untouched by humanity, and you can see for dozens of miles in every direction. Simply beautiful.

  6. I think my Montana song was going to be the Frank Zappa one although it was new to me. I might have missed it but not been mentioned above. Too bad?