A Prairie Home Companion Segment 6 for May 24, 2014
Download MP3
0:00 | 00:04:52

It is so beautiful, so beautiful, O it is the place to be,

On a day in May on the national mall in Washington, D.C.

Smell of grass, bus exhaust, fried fish, and old gym shoes.

Buses parked all along Constitution and Independence


Teachers yelling, Kids laughing, jaywalking.

Harleys beep and the bikers curse.

And distant sirens, and air brakes, and vehicles beeping

when driven in reverse.

The distant carousel music on the wind,

And someone scratching on a violin.

Girls playing catch with a red plastic disc

On the lawn by the Washington Monument obelisk.

Bikers on their Harleys with silver pipes and decals of

devils and flames

Looking at that shiny black wall with 57,000 names.

Bikers in black vests weeping by the wall taking pictures


"I got one of you now will you take one of me?"

And nearby an evangelist preaching about the Lord whom

we should fear

Before the world ends, perhaps even this year.

Women in white t-shirts with something written on the


Go striding by wearing purple visors and purple fanny


School marching bands in the distance and the sound of


School groups on field trips wearing identical T-shirts

waiting for the bus to come.

Fifty kids in T-shirts with a picture of a Baltimore oriole

Old men in campaign hats being pushed in wheelchairs past

the World War II memorial.

Memorials everywhere, monuments to the Boy Scouts, the

Titanic, Law Enforcement, and of course

In Logan Circle a statue of Major John Logan on his horse.

A park dedicated to Sonny Bono, the Congressman and

pop star.

A statue of a Maine Lobster fisherman catching a lobster.

People jogging, power walking, biking, pass

Bus drivers sitting outside their buses on the grass.

People talking in German, Spanish, Indian, French, Arabic,

and Russian,

An ongoing international perambulating discussion.

All along the National Mall, the long line of runners goes

Some look like they wanted an excuse to take off their


Two girls with ponytails go by.

One says: "Tuesday we went to happy hour and had a really

nice time, not gonna lie."

A cop on a bicycle stops to tell the teenagers to get off that

ledge and take a hike

And loses his balance and falls off his bike.

Pigeons everywhere walking unafraid.

I shall get me a cup of lemonade

And a frozen yogurt from one of the FroYo trucks:

Six ounces for five bucks,

With 2 toppings; I choose mocha chips and Captain Crunch

As I watch a bunch

Of high school kids on parade.

Boys with backward baseball caps, girls with shorts and

tops and their belly buttons nicely displayed.

O this is where I'd be under the blue sky

Watching America go by

On Memorial Day

At the end of May.