Outlaws as Heroes . Our desperate need to make bad-guys not so bad. Thinking first: What is a 'hero'? What is a villain? Think of some words you would use to describe someone you see as a hero, and someone you see as a villain..
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Outlaws as Heroes Our desperate need to make bad-guys not so bad.
Thinking first: What is a 'hero'? What is a villain? Think of some words you would use to describe someone you see as a hero, and someone you see as a villain.. If a person feels robbed of their rights, are they justified in having contempt for the rights of others? What qualities do people admire, why do they need heroes and why do some criminals become heroes while others are hated and feared? Are some of these things UNIVERSAL THEMES???
We have always had a need for heroes, and if they are not plentiful enough in our lives we will make heroes out of not so heroic people. This has been going on for centuries.
We take gangsters and criminals like Al Capone, Ma Barker, Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelley, and Bonnie and Clyde..
But a many a starving farmerThe same old story toldHow the outlaw paid their mortgageAnd saved their little homes. Others tell you 'bout a strangerThat come to beg a meal,Underneath his napkinLeft a thousand dollar bill. It was in Oklahoma City,It was on a Christmas Day,There was a whole car load of groceriesCome with a note to say: Well, you say that I'm an outlaw,You say that I'm a thief.Here's a Christmas dinnerFor the families on relief. Yes, as through this world I've wanderedI've seen lots of funny men;Some will rob you with a six-gun,And some with a fountain pen. And as through your life you travel,Yes, as through your life you roam,You won't never see an outlawDrive a family from their home. Pretty Boy Floydby Woody Guthrie If you'll gather 'round me, children,A story I will tell'Bout Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw,Oklahoma knew him well.It was in the town of Shawnee,A Saturday afternoon,His wife beside him in his wagonAs into town they rode. There a deputy sheriff approached himIn a manner rather rude,Vulgar words of anger,An' his wife she overheard. Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain,And the deputy grabbed his gun;In the fight that followedHe laid that deputy down. Then he took to the trees and timberTo live a life of shame;Every crime in OklahomaWas added to his name.
Dime Novels made cowboys and Indian fighters of the west into heroes; even outlaws like Jesse James!
We want these heroes to be good looking like Robin Weigert or Doris Day as Calamity Jane
We would like to think that Belle Starr the “Bandit Queen” looked like Elizabeth Montgomery or Gene Tierney..
Now, back to Jesse James not so much like these guys…
The James-Younger Gang But these
Cole Younger was not this guy…
Jesse James was a manAnd he killed many menHe robbed the Glendale trainAnd he took from the richerAnd he gave that to the poorerHe'd a hand and a heart and a brainOh Jesse had a wife to mourn for his lifeThree children they were so braveBut that dirty little cowardThat shot Mr. HowardHas laid Jesse James in his grave(Instrumental)On Wednesday nightWhen the moon was shining brightThey robbed that Glendale trainAnd the folks from miles about (yeah they can)They all said without a doubtIt was done by her Frankie and Jesse James (yes it was)Oh Jessie had a wife, to mourn for his lifeThree children they were so braveBut that dirty little cowardThat shot Mr. HowardHas laid (poor) Jesse James in his grave Instrumental)Well the people held their breathWhen they heard about Jesse's death (yeah)And they wondered how poor Jesse came to die (how did he die?)It was one of his guys, called Little Robert FordAnd he shot Jessie James on the slyOh Jessie had a wife to mourn for his lifeThree children they were so braveBut that dirty little cowardThat shot Mr. HowardHas laid Jesse James in his graveHas laid poor Jesse in his grave Jesse James
Cowboy, Nat Love, the real Deadwood Dick In 1890 the federal census told the public that there was no longer a frontier, and the public seemed to miss it..
"The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.“ Frederick Jackson Turner
Turner with a study group With these words, in 1893, Turner laid the foundation for modern historical study of the American West and presented a "frontier thesis" that continues to influence historical thinking even today.
Wild West shows drew thousands of spectators to steer roping, rodeos, and staged battles between “good cavalry regiments” and “bad native Americans.”
Annie Oakley, a star of the Wild West show became known as “Little Miss Sureshot”
Chief Sitting Bull played himself in the Wild West show, leading warlike Indians out to attack wagon trains.
Unable to stand white society, he only stayed with the show for four months, but a legend was born.
Roy Rogers and Trigger The wild west shows perpetuated many myths about the old west, including that of the “singing cowboy”
DON'T FENCE ME IN (Cole Porter) Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, Don't fence me in Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, Don't fence me in Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees Send me off forever but I ask you please, Don't fence me in Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle Underneath the western skies On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder Till I see the mountains rise I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences Don't fence me in Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies, Don't fence me in Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, Don't fence me in Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees Send me off forever but I ask you please, Don't fence me in
Gene Autry was one of the most famous of them all. Classic songs like “Don’t fence me in” and “Back in the saddle again” suggested the wide open spaces and endless opportunity we wanted to believe in.
Back in the Saddle Again Lyrics I'm back in the saddle againOut where a friend is a friendWhere the longhorn cattle feedOn the lowly gypsum weedBack in the saddle againRidin' the range once moreTotin' my old .44Where you sleep out every nightAnd the only law is rightBack in the saddle againWhoopi-ty-aye-ohRockin' to and froBack in the saddle againWhoopi-ty-aye-yayI go my wayBack in the saddle againI'm back in the saddle againOut where a friend is a friendWhere the longhorn cattle feedOn the lowly gypsum weedBack in the saddle againRidin' the range once moreTotin' my old .44Where you sleep out every nightAnd the only law is rightBack in the saddle againWhoopi-ty-aye-ohRockin' to and froBack in the saddle againWhoopi-ty-aye-yayI go my wayBack in the saddle again
So the stereotypes began - and were perpetuated by movies and later TV. The question is which was more accurate? The strenuous one where a man could lead a virtuous life and toughen his body,? The cowboy poet or the strong silent type?
I'm An Old CowhandI'm an old cowhand from the Rio GrandeBut my legs ain't bowed and my cheeks ain't tannedI'm the cowboy who never saw a cowNever roped a steer 'cause I don't know howI sure ain't fixin' to start in nowYippee i oh ti-ay! Yippee i oh ti-ay! I'm an old cowhand from the Rio GrandeAnd I learned to ride before I learned to standI'm a ridin' fool who is up to dateI know every trail in the Lone Star State'Cause I ride the range in a Ford V-8Yippee i oh ti-ay! Yippee i oh ti-ay! We're old cowhands from the Rio GrandeAnd we come to town just to hear the bandWe know all the songs that the cowboys know'Bout the Big Corral where the dogies goWe learned them all on the radioYipee i oh ti-ay! Yippee i oh ti-ay! I'm an old cowhand from the Rio GrandeWhere the West is wild all around the borderlandWhere the buffalo roam around the zooAnd the Indians run up a rug or twoAnd the old Bar X is just a barbequeYippee i oh ti-ay!I'm a pioneer who began from scratchI don't bat an eye in a suit or hatThey don't call me Elmer, they call me SatchYippee i oh ti-ay! Yippee i oh ti-ay! Yippee i oh ti-ay!