The Alamo Song

March 6, 1836: The day the Alamo fell.

When Santa Ana
Was a top banana
Way down Mexico

He ruled the land
With an iron hand
This Generalissimo

He took no crap
From any chap
Gave them the old heave-ho

This boss of the class
He took no sass
From any friend or foe

Well, the folks in Texas
They gave him the hexes
Told him just where to go

Travis and the boys
Against all odds
Faced him toe to toe

This rag-tag band
They took their stand
In San Antonio

Behind mission walls
Stood brave and tall
Down at the Alamo

Davy Crockett came
With his motley gang
A thousand miles or so

Bowie and his knife
Left his wand’ring life
To give Texas a go

For freedom they loved
The freedom to shove
To a place they’d grow

These glory guys;
They were, storywise,
The best we had to show

In ‘thirty-six
They took their fix ‘
Gainst old Mexico

For General Sam
They stood their ground
Many years ago

Heroes all
They stood so tall
Faced that Generalissimo

Now can be told
Just how bold
They stood at the Alamo

Marie Antoinette

It was a real bummer
The French took her dog from her
And let her keep nothing from home at all

She was Marie Antoinette
And she really loved that pet
But she was at everyone’s beck and call

She was all German
But still determined
To learn to speak French as her duty royal

She was the dauphine
And soon to be queen
Of France until they watched her head roll and fall

Her job, to be pretty
And just a bit witty
A regular eighteenth century Barbie doll

Royal down to her toes
She wore the finest hose
And dressed to the nines for her garden strolls

They say she was spoiled
But nightly she toiled
To get the Dauphin to get on the ball

To give the king an heir
Or even a pair
But all that prince ever did was stall stall stall

Until late one night
They turned out the lights
The Prince gave the greatest performance of all

Underneath the sheets
He gave his queen a treat
Nine months later the doctor made a house call

“Holy smokes,” they said.
“The Prince is a dad
And Antoinette is our queen with her hair so tall.”

So she done her duty
And she done it truly
Then she spent the French out of home and alcohol

Down came the Bastille
Up the People’s will
And a budget that gave her no hat or carryall

They said goodbye to a queen
At the guillotine
Where Antoinette made her final curtain call

And now that you’ve heard
All that occurred
Do you think she deserved to lose that dog at all?

Before the walls

The old man Priam came to the tent of Achilles
to plea for the body of his son, the old man came
for Hector slain before the walls where Patroclus fell
before the walls, before the walls of the city
where ten thousand Greeks were cut down,
and ten thousand Trojans more.

Priam mourned and Achilles too, they cried for all
the dead that night, these sons of Mars grieved the deaths.
They spoke of heroes, of horses and the sea.
“I was a child once,” the king said, “the city my home.”
“I was a boy too on an island a distance away.”
“I was a rider of horses.” “I a runner of races,” Achilles

unburdened his heart. “Then I took up the spear.”
“And I the shield.” “King, you make a good shield.”
“You are a great spear. Without you, the Greeks would be gone.”
“Why did my cousin die?” “Why did the gods steal my son away?”
“You are a king and I but a man, yet we grieve the same/”
“This is why the gods gave us tears,” the old man said.

And what did the Warrior say? “Tears are not enough.
The grief that I fear will never fall away.” “Nor mine.”
The old man carried his son home to the Funeral Games
before the walls that were once the city of Troy,
home to Helen and Paris, Andromache and once Hector,
the first-born of Hecuba and Priam inside the walls

of Troy.

A Little Bit of History, Or Maybe Not

It was Y2K, the year 2000, and Florida couldn’t seem to make up its mind. Would it be Al or would it be George W? In case you don’t remember Al Gore, he’s the one who done invented the internet and global warming. Who would go on to be sheriff or who would end up on Boot Hill? It was a raucous rootin’ tootin’ shoot-out at the OK Coral. Despite we Floridians’ best efforts, Florida couldn’t seem to make up its mind. Until finally…

What does Kennedy and Bush have in common? Kennedy made his brother Attorney General, Bush made his brother President.

In those long ago days of the two-oughts, Paul McCartney even wrote a song about Osama Bin Laden called “Band on the Run”. And speaking of a band on the run, do you know why all those bunkers in Iraq had sh on their doors. That sh did not stand for Sadam Hussein. It stood for “Shhhh. I’m hiding.”

Now in a former life, I was a rapper. My moniker was N. Cognito and I performed a duet with none other than A. Nonymous. Some of our big hits were “Last Bridge Out of New Jersey (Chris Christie’s Lament)”, “Between Iraq and a Hard Place”, “The Ozone Layer of Love”, and “Mission Accomplished”. My most famous title, however, was “Bushwhacked Blues” about the Bush/Gore duel:

My name is Chad and I have a dimple

I tried to vote but it wasn’t that simple

I gave it a punch and tried that twice

The hole wasn’t there so I asked for advice

“Your vote won’t count less you vote with haste”

Was all they said at the voting place

Got me a lawyer, took it to court

If my vote was to count time was short

So I asked a judge in a big black robe

To tell me that I could have some hope

We had us a trial to protest and all

It looked real bad so hard to call

The judge was cool the trial was fast

He said: “Count his vote the one he cast”

But Katherine Harris* would not certify

Any vote with a hole for the Jewish guy

So off we went to Tallahassee

To get our votes for the presidency

Counted the way they’re ‘sposed to count

For Gore was down but he wasn’t out

Till the highest court in all the land

Ruled that W was a big, big man

And Governor Jeb** down in Florida state

Gave his big bro George some help with fate

It was Christmas time so he gave him a gift

Miami-Dade*** and a nice, big fifth

The whole damned state to Bush it went

Soon he would be the new president

He’s Governor of Texas who struts his stuff

Wears a big hat and he’s tough enough

He’s going up to Washington, D. C.

To be the President of you and me

He’ll charm his way from here to there

Saddam**** and Congress had better beware

He’ll sick Dick Cheney on all those folks

If that don’t work, he’ll dash their hopes

So two-thousand-four I’ll take my mallet

To the voting place to punch that ballot

Hit that hammer and chisel me a hole

That’ll have to count cause it’ll be bold

Though Al and Joe***** they’ll be gone

And George W. will have to stand alone

We’ll stand tall and a whole lot more

We’d have been better with President Gore.

*Katherine Harris. Florida’s Secretary of State.

**Governor Jeb. Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida and George W. Bush’s younger brother.

* **Miami-Dade: south Florida county.

****Saddam: Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq.

*****Al and Joe. Democratic Presidential candidate Al Gore and Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut.

Now that is some mighty fine history, don’t you think?

Snowy White Fields Forever

–from “Ten Poems in a Jar”

In Memory of John Lennon on the 25th Anniversary of His Death

Twenty-five Decembers, twenty-five agoes are gone

since an assassin’s senseless gunshot blast.

Aghast and gasping, grasping for breath, clasping his chest,

the working class hero dropped to the dirt and died,

his body stilled, his blood (from the kill)

redly spilled upon the snowy white fields forever.

Years before that deathly eve of a deadly winter’s night

when his widow grieved, his fans mourned, five mates formed

a band, took off abroad for Hamburg to play

in Germany eight days a week seven nights a day.

These sons of Elvis—John was one, Paul another,

George the third with Stu their friend and Pete on drums—

these lads from Liverpool learned their Rock ‘n’ Roll trade

as they played a mach schau raucous roar in the caverns and clubs of the Reeperbahn,

their northern song sound a revolution such a revelation that

when they returned to the hard streets of home, though they returned without

Stu, the dreamer who did not return, they returned

a name soon to be written deep into the snowy white fields forever.

But Pete was out. His beat was not what the band was about.

With a Ringo from the Dingle for a drummer, these Scousers made the Nashpool city walls shake.

The four young Merseyside friends ferried merrily cross the Mersey

and set out on a long and winding road across the universe

to become the Beatles they were born to become.

1964, it was only months since Oswald blew the President’s mind out in Dallas,

a blue funk of a time when the Blue Meanies in their pinstriped suits

and their pop singer wannabees ruled the whole of Pepperland, for Rock ‘n’ Roll was dead,

Chuck Berry in jail, Elvis making his millions making movies, Buddy Holly gone,

his chartered Beechcraft crashing into an Iowa farm field five Februaries before,

and those blue suede shoes, semi-retired, covered with dust.

“Yet, in Pepperland,” John was heard to sing, “anything is possible.”

Even Rock ‘n’ Roll. “So, let’s brush off those shoes and give the world a bit of a rush.”

“The British are coming! The British are coming!” read the headlines everywhere on the planet

as the Four touched down and landed in New York City, a British invasion

ready to conquer America from Boston, Mass to ’Frisco, C A,

from Ed Sullivan’s Really Big Sunday night CBS Show to Shea

Stadium’s screaming crowds screaming their screams of delight

for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the footprints they left in the snowy white fields forever.

But the music was lost, couldn’t be heard,

crushed by the sound of the fame and the fanysteria,

the helter-skelter of that Fellini Satyricon the press dubbed

Beatlemania. Seeking a little sanity inside the inanity,

George turned east to Krishna, the sitar and Monty Python,

Paul went walking barefoot, wearing no shoes,

and Billy Shears? He remained an unchanged Ringoesque—

with a little help from his friends, of course.

On a Day in the Life of a Beatles Man, John,

restless, struggling with his struggle within and the loss of his Julia twice,

once as a boy, again when his mum was struck down by a car,

motherless, fatherless John, entered the Indica and encountered Yoko’s inscrutable oriental smile.

“A Yes on the ceiling,” he said, dropping his Elvis Beatle to reveal the real John Lennon,

“is a no where, man, on the floor, goo goo g’joob.”

The Rumours announced: “Paul is dead.

Perhaps John is in bed or in France, and Yoko his spouse.”

From Mendips to Yellow Submarine ships,

from Strawberry Fields to the Walrus Watching the Wheels,

the man who became John Lennon after the booze, the drugs and the women

–and the lost weekends too and whatever got him through—

flew west for Toronto and peace. But, Christ, you know it ain’t easy;

Nixon was out to crucify him.

Then, on April 10, 1970, the sixties ended.

The Beatles were to Beatle no more

nor come together on the snowy white fields again.

But it was not in the nature of Lennon not to Lennon,

and Lennon John did, kicking the world in its pretty

with Two Virgins, acorns for peace and his brand of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Jumping from therapy to therapy until his therapy was done,

he bid his monsters a rest-in-peace fare-thee-well.

In New York City at the Dakota, a Double Fantasy

of a husband, and the dad of a beautiful Sean, and Yoko his wife

one moment, the next a bullet slammed him into forever.

Now John goes walking on the snowy white fields again.