Monday, November 22, 2010

The Devil (in the white city)

I've been churning my way through the Fiction/Novel Pulitzer Prize Winners and have reached the 1931 winner,  Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes.  Although I'm at early stages in the book, there's a fun bit of trivia in the book about the Chicago World's Fair in the book:

"That song (Tar ra ra ra Boom de ay),"  said Mrs. Lester comfortably, as she picked up her knitting, will always make me think of the World's Fair." The celebrated Columbian Exposition had  been running all summer down in Jackson Park.  Muriel slipped easily into "After the Ball," the great band hit of the season.  She sang the popular parody with pathos, as she played,
After the Fair is over, what will Chicago do
With all those empty houses, run up with sticks and glue?
I'd rather live in Brooklyn (somebody'd know me there)
Than to live in Chicago, after---the--Fair."

And then, looking up Ta ra.ra, discovered that Joe Hill ( as in I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night) wrote words to the melody about "accidents" at work:  Here's the text in the IWW songbook:  This songbook includes words to the Workers Marsellaise and this interesting bit of lyric:

You starving member of the unemployed. Why starve?
We have produced enough. The warehouses are overflowing
with the things we need. WHY STARVE? 

And next, since Joe Hill allegedly had an alibi for the night of the murder for which he was executed but was with a married woman and didn't want to spoil her reputation, I found info on Long Black Veil.

Done and done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ode to Roberto

One of Robert's friends wrote this about his accident:

There once was a man named Robert
who claimed that he couldn't be hobbert,
but in the Tea House search
he was left in a lurch.
Enter the Whiskey birds
to finish off his vomit
I mean, they were as quick as a comet.
Kidney beans, smidney beans,
they licked the snow clean.
Little did they know
that he lie in the snow.
But for only a while
because Canadian choppers are on speed-dial.
And doncha know the Mounties lifted his ass
over pine trees, canyons and a pass.
He accused the ER thugs
of offering him drugs.
What a joke
to be deprived of JD and Coke.
He would never miss
(per chance to reminisce)
Happy Hour
back at the Tower.
Surpassing Sergeant Gough's
famous jump from aloft
and Gloria's outstanding
arrested landing.
Give me a break
(no pun intended)
but he was to awake
in Austin, soon to be amended.
The surgery went just fine
and the guy is is already on-line
And believe it or not,
his advice was right on the spot.
Credentials R Us.
Let's make no fuss.
Come hell or high water,
his sage advice will never falter.