Song of the Week: Mustache Bonanza

By August 3, 2018 Song of the Week

This song is called Mustache Bonanza. It was inspired by the greatest cowboy hoot-nanny book of all time. That’s right, I’m talking about Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove.

I wrote it many many years ago for a performance with The Bushwick Book Club Seattle. It was a show in the middle of a hot Seattle August at Slim’s Last Chance Saloon. It’s the only time I’ve ever played there. The book is over nine hundred pages long. Looking back, the length made it an odd choice for a Bushwick selection. But whatever, we all read it anyways and it ended up being a great show.

The book is about some old cowboy ex-ranger hot shot types who decide to go on one last adventure driving cattle from Texas all the way to Montana. It’s full of cowboys, bad guys, whores, drinking, mustaches, and a whole lot of dieing. The story does not end well for most of the characters in the book.

Most of the verses in the song have to do with specific scenes in the novel.

I don’t want to give too much away in case some of you haven’t read it. So I will be purposely vague. I assure you that my vagueness has nothing do with the fact that I’m old now and that was a long time ago and I can’t remember shit, especially specific characters names.

Don’t Vomit on my horse…

This is about how one of the dudes like to run off and party and get drunk. It usually involved a lot of puking. Though I don’t think he ever actually puked on a horse.

Don’t Chop off Both my legs…

This about the part where one of the main dudes gets shot a bunch of times by the bad guy. He loses the ability to control his legs. And instead of having the doctors cut them off to prolong his life, he just says, “Fuck it, I don’t want to live without no stinking legs.”

Stand there with no clothes…

This is about the part where some of the dudes get kidnapped by some bad guys. The bad guys strip them naked and then tie them to a tree or something. Then all of the sudden, out of nowhere comes this crazy ninja cowboy girl. She kills all the bad guys by throwing rocks at their heads. Saving the day.

So Many Sleepy Pigs…

In the book the group of cowboys has a couple of pet pigs. The pigs walk every step of the way from Texas to Montana. However, a few days before I wrote the song I was in Lynden for the Lynden fair (the Lynden Fair is really the only reason to ever go to Lynden). At the fair they had a ton of real-life pigs on display. They were very sleepy. They didn’t do anything except nap.

I read one of those posted factoid sheets and it mentioned how pigs sleep on average sixteen hours a day. Sixteen hours!!!! There’s no way those pigs could walk from Texas to Montana. It would take them forever. Come on!!!!

Mustache Bonanza…

The chorus — pretty self-explanatory here. Everyone in the Lonesome Dove was required to have a mustache. And extra Kudos to me for using a Walker Texas Ranger reference.

Deliver these notes…

We have come to the bridge of the song. This is where one of the cowboys on his deathbed asks his other cowboy friend to deliver some love notes to some of the whores he banged along the journey of life. But instead of saying “bang”, like “I want to bang you”, they said “poke”, as in “I want to poke you”.

And that’s it.

Mustache Bonanza
by Mike Votava

Don’t vomit on my horse
she’s the only one I’ve got
walk your ass back to camp
you can puke in your hat

don’t chop off both my legs
I will shoot you in the face
don’t you try
just say goodbye
I’d rather die than have no legs

it’s a mustache bonanza
headed for Montana
strap on your cowboy boots it’s time to ride
not afraid of danger
like Walker Texas Ranger
except everyone around me seems to die
I don’t know why

stand there with no clothes
rocks are flying at their heads
I’m impressed by her accuracy
glad those rocks were not aimed at me

so many sleepy pigs
dreaming at the Lynden fair
they hibernate 16 hours a day
there’s just no way they could walk that far
check your facts

deliver these notes to my lady friends
I loved them most
thinking of them while transitioning into a ghost
let ’em know I’ll never get to poke them again