Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, April 15, 2005


It’s one of my favorite songs I ever wrote, a manic rockabilly freak-out in A-minor, setting an untitled Mother Goose poem that I first found 10 or 12 years ago in a book of pagan revival/survival poetry in English, edited by the late Canadian poet Robin Skelton. I used variant readings of some of the lines, which I found later in a 1950-ish anthology of verse for kids. The song will be on my band's upcoming album, which I hope to have finished by early summer. Here is the poem.

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds;
And when the weeds begin to grow,
It's like a garden full of snow;
And when the snow begins to fall,
It's like a bird upon the wall;
And when the bird away does fly,
It's like a shipwreck in the sky;
And when the sky begins to roar,
It's like a lion at the door;
And when the door begins to crack,
It's like a stick across your back;
And when your back begins to smart,
It's like a penknife in your heart;
And when your heart begins to bleed,
You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.
I was first taught this poem when I was around 5 yrs old, on a very rural farm in eastern Washington. I believe the year was 1951 [+ - a year]. My English mother used it as a morlity poem to remember. At 61 I still remember the first 4 and last 2 lines. It's great to find the missing sections. Thank you!
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