Wild West Symphony

In 1824 while America was just beginning an era we now know as the Old West, Ludwig van Beethoven was composing symphonies and was the toast of Europe. I’ve often wondered what would happen if these two worlds met.

“Welcome to Toms’ mercantile. Can I help you?”

“I have decided to try my hand at the rough western life. I need to be outfitted.”

“Well this is the finest mercantile store in all of Texas. If I can’t help you, no one can. Now let me see, you must be an easterner. Am I right?”


“WHAT IN TARNATIONS! Are you looking for an extra hole in your head mister!

“No no no… you don’t understand… DA DA DA DUM! Don’t you recognize that tune? See my hair? I’m a rather famous composer, surely you’re aware of my music. I’m all the rage in Europe.”

“Oh!! Yeah, yeah, did you do that one… how’s that go…uhm… 'Oh, Shenandoah-'”

“STOP! Of course I did not. That might be the most insulting thing another man has ever asked me. If we were in Vienna I would petition the king to have you executed. In fact, were I a younger man I would dispatch you right here.”

“Look friend, I didn’t mean to offend. It’s just that it’s one of my favorites. It’s not my fault someone else beat you to it.”

“Can we just get on with this? What do I need for the real frontier life?”

“Well, the first thing you need is a gun.”

“That’s the first thing? What about pants, a horse, a bandana or something?”

“Can you kill a some wild animal that sneaks into your camp at night with a bandana? Can pants stop a bullet from a bandit’s gun? Will your horse give you the security to call a man for cheating at cards? No sir. Why, I rather be stark naked with my gun, than fully dressed without one.”

“Please. Spare me your disgusting analogies in the future and just be good enough to just stick to the facts. I need a gun. Fine. Now, I admit I have never used one before.”

“The trick is in the trigger. You just lightly squeeze off a shot, and then let up. You don’t want to choke it.”

“Oh Yes! I understand! Staccato! Staccato! Staccato!”

“Look, it’s really not that easy, you need fast reflexes and good dexterity. Maybe you should just buy a shotgun.”

“Nonsense, you should see me on the piano-forte! Now what about wardrobe? I have to admit I’m rather stuck on silk. I was thinking of something with a high collar and a sort of scarf thing – “

“We got cotton pants and plaid shirts.”

“I see… well okay. No paisley? Never mind that’s fine. Yes of course. What about food?”



“Bed rolls are two blankets with a string. Strings are extra.”

“I see. And you use your horses behind as a pillow I suppose! This is getting absurd. Anything else?”

“Boots. And you never take them off.”


“I haven’t seen my feet in six years.”

“Fine. What about restrooms?”


“I was asking. Where are the restrooms?”

“I was telling. Wherever.”

“Surely you jest.”

“Sorry. That’s just the way it is out here…”

“Forget it. I don’t know what I was thinking. Father was right…”

“Hey where are you going? Don’t you want all this stuff? Hey Mister! ...There he goes, right up to the train station. I suppose it’s just as well, didn’t really seem to fit in out here anyway. Crazy easterner...

...‘Oh, Shenandoah, Away, I'm bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri.’ ”


Windy City Survivors said...


You are too funny. I don't even know how you come up with half the stuff you do. That was classic though. I would have loved to see really happen in person. I bet it would be even crazier then you described. :)

kludge said...


Thanks. Yeah I'm not sure where it came from. I just remember being really surprised the first time I heard that Beethoven wrote 'Ode to Joy' in 1823. I honestly had been placing him in Mozart's time. Clearly not a classical enthusiast

SJ said...

This was great - I could just picture it in my mind! You are too creative! I am with you - didn't at all have him in the right time period. Fun to read - thanks!

kludge said...


Thank you. Yeah, I bet he wouldn't have made it out here. Of course I just ignored the fact that he was totally deaf by this point in his life.

I have to say that these are getting sillier each Friday. I have no idea what next week is going to look like.

Jason said...

This is how Michael Jackson feels when he goes on tour in Minot, North Dakota. He's afraid of dirt which explains the white glove thing. I can just see the man wearing silk gloves and leotards tramping through the wild wild west. The Indians would laugh their heads off. . .before taking his.

kludge said...


Michael Jackson doesn't really even fit in here in California, he Minot be comfortable anywhere...sorry...

As for Beethoven, all that hair would make a mighty fine scalp. No that I'm a expert.

Ando said...

Now Mozart, there was an outdoorsman.

kludge said...

"Now Mozart, there was an outdoorsman."

I think you're making sport of me but I'm not smart enough to get it...

...darn me and my febble brain!