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Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly

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  • jimbobspins
    Check this out! Jim From: Ned Sublette Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 12:31:46 -0500 To: Ned Sublette Subject: Cowboys Are
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 14, 2006
      Check this out!


      From: Ned Sublette <ned@...>
      Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 12:31:46 -0500
      To: Ned Sublette <ned@...>
      Subject: Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly

      FEBRUARY 14, 2006
      1 P.M. EST





      I was sworn to secrecy until now, but today, on Valentine's Day, it
      can be told.

      In 1981, sitting at a piano in Portales, New Mexico, I wrote a song
      called "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly," whose first two verses
      and chorus go:

      There's many a strange impulse out on the plains of West Texas
      There's many a young boy who feels things he don't
      Well, the small town don't like it when somebody falls between
      No, the small town don't like it when a cowboy has feelings for

      Now I believe to my soul that inside every man there's the
      And inside every lady there's a deep manly voice loud and clear
      Well the cowboy may brag about things that he does with his
      But the ones that brag loudest are the ones who are most likely

      Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other
      What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?
      There's many a cowboy who don't understand the way that he
      feels for his brother
      Inside every cowboy there's a lady who'd love to slip out.

      It was the era of the urban cowboy plague, when the country
      charts were full of cowboys this and cowboys that songs.
      Inspired, I wrote this song, imagining Willie Nelson singing it.

      "Cowboys" seemed to strike a nerve, and for a time was the
      thing I was best known for. It took on a life of its own, as songs
      will do. After the first time I sang it, I got requests for "the one
      about the cowboys" at the next gig I did, and on and on. I
      probably don't need to point out that at the time, the term AIDS
      was unknown. A live recording of the first-ever performance of it
      by my band appeared on a John Giorno anthology. I made a
      damn fine recording of it in the 80s, with an A-team of specialist
      players, that has never come out. It was covered by the
      queercore group Pansy Division, who changed it from a waltz to
      4/4. I tried to place it in Brokeback Mountain, but the word I got
      was that it was too funny for a tear-jerkin' movie.

      My friend Tony Garnier, who played bass on my studio version,
      passed a copy of the track to Willie Nelson in maybe 1988. After
      living with the song all these years, Willie has recorded it.

      It has just been released as a download-only single on iTunes,
      and as of this morning, it's available at iTunes.

      It was premiered this morning, a few months shy of 25 years
      since I wrote it, for Valentine's Day, when Willie appeared as a
      guest on the Howard Stern show. I didn't hear it, since I don't yet
      get Sirius. The song has the F-word in it (it's not gratuitous, it's
      structural), and by going over to Sirius, Howard Stern can play it
      unedited. Satellite radio is the new FM.

      It's pretty amazing to hear Willie sing this song. Not just
      because it has the word "queer" in it. Not even because it's the
      first time I've heard Willie Nelson sing the word "fuck." But
      because of his interpretive power. Since I originally imagined
      Willie singing it, I feel kind of like I already heard it, way back
      when. But Willie as an interpreter is always surprising, and I
      learned a hundred things about my own song hearing him give it
      back to me.

      But here's the best part.

      There's going to be a "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly"
      ringtone. I don't have the link yet, but if you want it, e-mail me and
      I'll try to keep on top of it. After all, ringtones are the new singles.

      I'm told there is also a video, though I haven't seen it.

      Please feel free to let all your friends and acquaintances know.
      And thank you, Willie.

      Late-breaking update: An article in the Dallas Morning News
      today quoted a prepared statement by Willie as saying, "The
      song's been in the closet for 20 years":

    • jimbobspins
      Well, I guess Iam not having any trouble posting now. Mea Culpa, Jim
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 14, 2006
        Well, I guess Iam not having any trouble posting now.

        Mea Culpa,

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