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January 8, 2003 - 'The Ballad of Palindrome' by Riders In The Sky - 2004-01-08

Broadcast: January 8, 2003

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster -- a passel of palindromes in our traditional salute to January!

RS: When you can spell something forward or backward and have it read the same, that's a palindrome. January isn't a palindrome, obviously. But it is named after Janus, the Roman god usually depicted with two faces: one looking forward, the other looking backward.

AA: Either way, we think Janus would have looked highly on this skit you're about to hear. We play it each January to welcome the New Year.

RS: It's about a cowboy with an unusual speaking habit. It spoofs a popular television show from the 1950s called "Paladin." The skit is called "The Ballad of Palindrome." And it's by the cowboy musical group, Riders in the Sky.”

AUDIO: "The Ballad of Palindrome/Palindrome: The Scene with Johnny Western"

RS: ... That's Riders in the Sky, with "The Ballad of Palindrome" from their album "A Great Big Western HOWDY!" (Rounder Records, 1998.)

AA: And that's Wordmaster for this week. Our e-mail address is And if you've got a palindrome of your own that you'd like us all to hear, send it along!

RS: And we invite you to our Web site. It's Wishing you a happy 2004, with Avi Arditti, I'm Rosanne Skirble.