Ode to Gertie Lee
I know that feller Shakespeare
Who invented fishin' rods
Wrote a lot o' fancy stuff
That jolts like cattle prods.
But I'm a mind ta write a line
Or mebbe two, or three
'bout th' love that I have fer
My gal named Gertie Lee.
Now Gertie she's a keeper
She ain't like ones a-fore
Cuz she's got all th' kwa-la-tees
That men like me a-door.
My Gertie cleans her own fish
She baits th' hook ta boot
And when she takes a swig o' shine
That gal is quite a hoot.
Her hair is gold like corn silk
A-peepin' through the shuck
With rusty brown there at th' root
That matches my ol' truck.
Sairy's got a purty smile
Them teeth are straight an' true
'cept fer that gap there in th' front
She spits her snuff juice through.
Her cookin' gives me pleasure
Th' cornbread it's dee-vine
Her turnip greens with pot likker
Makes me lose my mind.
I'm gonna ask that Gertie Lee
To be my blushin' bride
Jus' soon as I kin find a job
That'll feed her two-ton hide.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Hard To Get Gertie
Oh, My Beloved, My Sea Monkey
Suspended and freeze-dried in a cozy foil shell,
What dreams do you dream (if you dream),
Pray do tell.
The moment of creation, you awake from the evil spell --
I'd like to be excited, but frankly I can't tell
if you're happy in you're new home or DOA in hell.
Purified and tranquil in the water that you dwell;
How many of your powdered brothers
did I spill outside your plastic vessel?
Low these many days I wait like a sentinel
For you to wear the crown in your little citadel.
My tiny, mucus-like backwash friend,
A brine shrimp without a cocktail.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sea Monkey by Yard Sale
My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.
So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Milonga
I was changing a tire and the neighbor walked by
Stood and looked a while, then he said Hi
Got a flat? he asked and this made me grin
I said no, just changing the old air and putting new stuff in.
Was coughing and sneezing. My throat was on fire
Got a bad cold? My wife did inquire
No, it's not really bad. It is a good one
I love watery eyes and watching my nose run.
I was on a bus and on my newspaper I sat
The guy next to me asked "Are you reading that"
I said yes. Reading through your butt is all the new rage.
Then I stood up and turned the page.
Dentist hit a nerve and I came up out of the chair
Did that hurt? He asked as though he really did care.
I said no, there was a spiritual woman I used to date
And she was teaching me how to levitate.
I hit a pothole with my car one night
It made such a loud noise it gave my wife a fright
Didn't you see it she began to cry
Of course I did. I hit it. Didn't I.
Once I tripped on one of my little guy's toys
Fell down the stairs and my wife heard the noise
Did you miss a step? She screamed from the hall
I said "No Dear, I think I hit them all."
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Reflection Rag by Scott Joplin
by William Topaz McDonagall
In a humble room in London sat a pretty little boy,
By the bedside of his sick mother her only joy,
Who was called Little Pierre, and who's father was dead;
There he sat poor boy, hungry and crying for bread.
There he sat humming a little song, which was his own,
But to the world it was entirely unknown,
And as he sang the song he felt heartsick,
But he resolved to get Madame Malibran to sing his song in public
Then he paused for a moment and clasped his hands,
And running to the looking-glass before it he stands,
Then he smoothed his yellow curls without delay,
And from a tin box takes a scroll of paper worn and grey.
Then he gave one fond eager glance at his mother,
Trying hard brave boy his grief to smother,
As he gazed on the bed where she lay,
But he resolved to see Madame Malibran without delay.
Then he kissed his mother while she slept,
And stealthily from the house he crept,
And direct to Madame Malibran's house he goes,
Resolved to see her no matter who did him oppose.
And when he reached the door he knocked like a brave gallant
And the door was answered by her lady servant,
Then he told the servant Madame Malibran he wished to see
And the servant said, oh yes, I'll tell her immediately.
Then away the servant goes quite confident,
And told her a little boy wished to see her just one moment
Oh! well, said Madame Malibran, with a smile,
Fetch in the little boy he will divert me a while.
So Little Pierre was broght in with his hat under his arm
And in his hand a scroll of paper, thinking it no harm,
Then walked straight up to Madame Malibran without dread
And said, dear lady my mother is sick and in want of bread.
And I have called to see if you would sing my little song,
At someof your grand concerts, Ah! Say before long,
Or perhaps you could sell it to a publisher for a small sum,
Then I could buy food for my mother and with it would run.
Then Madame Malibran rose from her seat most costly and grand
And took the scroll of paper from Pierre's hand
And hummed his little song, to a plaintive air,
Then said, your song is soul stirring I do declare.
Dear child did you compose the words she asked Pierre,
Oh yes my dear lady just as you see,
Well my dear boy I will sing your song to-night,
And you shall have a seat near me on the right.
Then Pierre, said, Oh! lady I cannot leave my mother,
But my dear boy, as for her you need not bother,
So dear child don't be the least cast down,
And in the meantime here is a crown.
And for your mother you can buy food and medicine,
So run away and be at the concert to-night in time
Then away he ran and bought many little necessary things
And while doing so his little song he hums and sings.
Then home to his poor sick mother he quickly ran,
And told her of his success with Madame Malibran,
Then his mother cried, Oh! Pierre, you are a very good boy,
And to hear of your success my heart is full of joy.
Dear mother, I am going to the concert hall to-night,
To hear Madame Malibran, which will my heart delight,
Oh! well said his mother, God speed you my little man,
I hope you will be delighted to hear Madame Malibran.
So to the concert hall he goes, and found a seat there,
And the lights and flashing of diamonds made him stare,
And caused a joyous smile to play upon his face,
For never had he been in so grand a place.
There the brave boy sat and Madame Malibran came at last
And with his eyes rivetted on her he sared aghast,
And to hear her sing, Oh! how he did long,
And he wondered if the lady would really sing his song.
At last the great singer commenced his little song,
And many a heart was moved and the plaudits loud and long
And as she sang it Pierre clapped his hands for joy.
That he felt as if it were free from the world's annoy.
When the concert was over his heart felt as light as the air
And as for money now he didn't seem to care,
Since the great singer in Europe had sung his little song,
But he hoped that dame fortune would smile on him ere long
The next day he was frightened by a visit from Madame Malibran
And turning to his mother, she said your little boy Madame
Will make a fortune for himself and you before long,
Because I've been offered a large sum for his little song.
And Madame thank God you have such a gifted son,
But dear Madame heavens will must be done,
Then Pierre knelt and prayed that God would the lady bless
For helping them in the time of their distress.
And the memory of Pierre's prayer made the singer do more good
By visiting the poor and giving them clothing and food
And Pierre lightened her last moments ere her soul fled away
And he came to be one of the most talented composers of the day.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Adagio by William Bennett
(original version; the inspiration for Liszt's piano solo)
Upon the sea I sail tonight
Aboard this sturdy shipeth;
Sweet are my thoughts of kisses light
That I planted on your lipeth.
A thousand kisses upon us rained
from heaven, like a thousand pennies;
Shy innocence you so aptly feigned
After dinner that night at Denny's.
Above me fleecy clouds drift by,
So soft, so fleecy, fleecy;
Some look like ducks to my sad eye,
Some look like geesey, geesey.
No duck, no goose, no fleecy cloud
Tonight can bring me lucketh;
Only your beauty contains the power
To make this night cease to sucketh.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonnetto 104 del Petrarcha by Franz Liszt