by carl wilson

Famous Poems Rewritten 2
(Modern Lovers Boogaloo)

richmanrsmall.jpgredwheelbarrow.jpgwilliamswc.jpg

In response to yesterday's song-as-limerick idea, my friend Matt Benz of Columbus, OH (formerly of great truckstop-rock band The Sovines, and one of the funniest people I know), responded: "The closest I've come is William Carlos Williams's 'The Red Wheelbarrow' as done by Jonathan Richman. It was called 'Hey! Little Red Wheelbarrow!' " Of course, I immediately demanded the lyrics, and with Matt's kind permission I'm sharing them with you. Further entries in either the famous-song-as-limerick or famous-poem-as-song-in-the-style-of-x genres are still delightedly encouraged.

Mr. Benz says: "You'll have to imagine the voice, snap the fingers to a simple 4/4 time, sing a very simple melody and it's something like this. In the key of G."

Hey! Little Red Wheelbarrow!

Hey! Red wheelbarrow,
Red wheelbarrow,
Doncha know, doncha know,
So much depends on you.
Oh red wheelbarrow, hey!
So much depends on you.

Hey! Red wheelbarrow,
Red wheelbarrow,
Glazed with rain, glazed with rain water,
Oh, red wheelbarrow, hey!
Beside the white chickens.

And so much depends on you,
Yes, so much depends on you,
Oh, so much depends on you...
Maybe too much! (Alright now, dance, modern lovers, dance!)

(Instrumental break)

Hey! Red wheelbarrow,
Red wheelbarrow,
I remember the first time that I saw you there,
Glazed with rain water,
The chickens all around,
Making their clucking sound,
And I thought to myself
And I spoke it out loud:

I said, hey! Red wheelbarrow!
I said, hey! Red wheelbarrow!
So much depends on you,
Oh, little red wheelbarrow,
So much - too much - depends on you.
Red wheelbarrow, hey!

Hey! Red wheelbarrow,
Red wheelbarrow,
Doncha know, doncha know,
So much depends on you,
Oh, red wheelbarrow, hey!
So much depends on you,
So much depends on the
redwheelbarrowglazedwithrainwater,
redwheelbarrowbesidethewhitechickens ...
So much depends ... on...you!

General | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, July 24 at 1:42 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

COMMENTS

Does a recording exist?!

Posted by Ed on August 5, 2007 11:10 AM

 

 

That is the funniest things I've read in a while and painfully accurate too...thanks for that.

Posted by Phil on July 25, 2007 12:42 PM

 

 

Matt Benz's song lyric, besides being terrific in itself, also calls to mind the history of English translations of American Indian poetry. The early 20th century classic translations by Frances Densmore, for example, this beautiful Chippewa (Ojibwe) song,

As my eyes
Search the prairie,
I feel the summer in the spring.

. . . had, according to later scholars such as Jerome Rothenberg, in many cases (though not necessarily the poem quoted), been based on songs a la Matt Benz's Red Wheelbarrow, which the early 20th century scholar Densmore boiled down to terrific, pithy modernist poems a la WC Williams's Red Wheelbarrow. Both versions -- terrific.

Anyway, here's a limerick -- famous Dylan covered famously by Peter Paul & Mary.

There once was a man who was goin'
Over many roads to-in' and fro-in'.
As the white doves, they wandered,
Some queries he pondered.
In the wind, friend, the answers were blowin'.


And another (the title is in the inner couplet),


A woman whose name is a season,
With a tone that is lovely and pleasin',
"I feel love I feel love
I feel love I feel love,"
She enchantedly chants beyond reason.


Posted by john on July 24, 2007 9:18 PM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson