[print this page]

The Lighter Side
March 29, 2006

Who can forget the infamous campfire scene of Blazing Saddles involving a bunch of hungry cowboys and heaping servings of baked beans, just as hilarious today as when the movie came out in 1974 (32 years ago!).

Farting is the great common thread in mankind, yet it was so outside the bounds of manners that no one had ever put it on screen before. It was kind of historic, said Andrew Bergman, in an Entertainment Weekly article.  Bergman cowrote Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor.

In fact, so outside the bounds of manners that one version of Blazing Saddles edited for television removed all sounds of belching and flatulence from the campfire beans sequence. As a result, viewers watched the cowboys standing up and sitting down for no apparent reason, according to the Internet Movie Database Inc. (

Cowboys, campfires, and beans seem to go as naturally together as say, cowboys and cowboy poetry.  Why is it that ranching is the only profession that seems to produce poets? Leave it to a cowboy poet to address that very question in, of course, cowboy poetry:

Why Cowboy Poetry? By Fred Engel

Now cowboy poetry has been around, for a heck of a long time.
Its just common everyday stuff, stories that cowboys have put to rhyme.

It sort o got lost in the shuffle, back there for a while. But since the gatherings,

like the ones started in Elko, Its become what some call a new popular style.

New? Not at all. Popular? Yes. And style? Well, you bet! But how is it that cowboy poetry Has come to be all of this? No ones ever heard of plumber poetry, Or about carpenters who recite in verse. And theres no such thing as lawyer poetry.

Thank God! What could be worse! Now teachers, doctors, and merchants, Sure, theyre all a talented bunch. And then theres those folks who report the news at noon, When were all eatin lunch. Theres folks who work with computers, Punchin buttons, instead of cows, Til their hearts content. And theres the weather guessers, also known as meteorologists, Who are always pitchin in their two cents. But its the cowboy, the cowpoke, The vaquero, the old buckaroo, Who tells us about the ride down lifes trail Musing from the down to earth point of view. Because along with his rough and tumble life style And ways of the old Wild West, Theres just a certain degree of romance That sorts us out from all of the rest!

Engel lives in the mountains of northern Utah, where he trains horses.  His cowboy poetry has found its way into books, national publications like the New York Times, radio, and the web, including  What cowboy poetry collection wouldnt be complete without homage to campfire beans?

Pinto Beans Over the Fire- By Fred Engel

Pinto beans over the fire,

boiling in the pot

In plenty of water,

pre-soaked or not.

Add some salt to taste

when their skins turn pink

and they start to break

Then let em boil for 4 to 6 hours, its well worth the wait.

Now add a few bacon rinds, cooked or not

And let them add some flavor to whats cookin in the pot.

Then add some chili powder and a green onion or two

You can add them or

not, its really up to you.

Of course some chopped fresh garlic will add to the taste

And you can be sure if

theres any left-over, they

wont go to waste.

See, theyre just as good

on the second or third day

When you mash em and fry em, and roll em in a tortilla,
the south of the border way.

Then whatever

happens after that

Blame it on your horse

or your dog, or just fan

 it away with your ol hat!


Other Headlines

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust


Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: