Adie Pena

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Original text in yellow, anagram in pink.

AMERICAN TUNE
Composed by Paul Simon

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home.

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I WONDER WHAT'S GONE WRONG*
I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY**
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying.

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours
and sing an AMERICAN TUNE***
Oh, and it's alright, it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest.

* ELEGY
Stormy individualism I'm bound to lose;
Wily militiamen devoted no excuse,
No commitment, no salvation, no immunity...
Leaving a broken nation, divided community.
Maximum tolerance and down on its knees;
All deny identity; immortality we release.
Wisdom demoted, we emote to a dim-lit sky...
A needier need made weak: we know, we die.

** THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, a robed woman holding a lit flame, was France's donation. Worldwide, it is one of the most recognisable U.S. icons, symbolising liberty and an escape from tyranny.

*** Francis Scott Key's words were set to the tune of John Stafford Smith's drinking song. Renamed THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER, it became a well-known American nationalistic, flag-waving song. Although it originally had four verses, only the initial one is commonly sung today.

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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CELERY

Celery, raw
Develops the jaw,
But celery, stewed,
Is more quietly chewed.

FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON PARSLEY

Parsley
Is gharsley.

THE CANTALOUPE

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush,
Another's green, another's mush.
I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe
If I possessed a fluoroscope.

Ere we munch
A loser's lunch,
A chlorophyl
Useless meal...

Ogden Nash
Has a stash
Of peppery
Short poetry.

Quite laconic
And botanic;
Surely leafy,
Not beefy.

Duller produce
Helps reduce
We followers,
Mere dieters.

Just see screwy
Ripe peyote
So utilitarian
To a vegetarian!

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MacARTHUR PARK
Sung by Richard Harris
Lyrics and music by Jimmy Webb

Spring was never waiting for us, girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages and were pressed,
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants

MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

I recall the yellow cotton dress
Foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees
The birds, like tender babies in your hands
And the old men playing checkers by the trees

MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

There will be another song for me
For I will sing it
There will be another dream for me
Someone will bring it
I will drink the wine while it is warm
And never let you catch me looking at the sun
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life
You'll still be the one.

I will take my life into my hands and I will use it
I will win the worship in their eyes and I will lose it
I will have the things that I desire
And my passion flow like rivers through the sky.
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life
I'll be thinking of you
And wondering why.

MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!
Oh, no
No, no
Oh NO!!

Originally written as an intended oratorio (cantata?) indifferently turned down by The Association, "MacArthur Park" was first recorded by a theatrically insentient, king-like Richard Harris on his otherwise not entertaining album "A Tramp Shining."

Throughout the recording, the inebriate can be heard flakily singing the inappropriate possessive form, "MacArthur's Park." (Will they know? Tee-hee! Headache recollection: The intelligently skilled, thorough, even lenient Webb said he kept tweaking him during re-takes, but eventually walked away, miffed, when the non-kowtowing fellow would not follow and willingly sing the right words. Tee-hee!)

More than seven minutes in length, with a long, lively orchestral break, the work is labelled after a park in Los Angeles, California.

The work's lyrics, which contain the memorable line "Someone left the cake out in the rain," are more symbolic than descriptive, mellifluently beginning as a poem about a kindled lifelong love, then evolving into a wallowing lover's lament. (Here's a link worth bookmarking: Talkative English poet W. H. Auden jokingly said, "My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain.")

An international hit (yes, twentyfold nationwide too!), "MacArthur Park" is elaborate for a pop song. The work is divided into four themes: The first involves the verses and chorus; the second is a slow grieving melody; the third is a sweetened rock-like instrumental with the theme chords climbing diatonically; and the fourth is similar to the initial theme. The finale ends with a phrase like the opening hook.

And if you were to ask opinionative teetotal me? I feel it's infantile offal, all effete hogwash!

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THE ELEPHANT
Hilaire Belloc

When people call this beast to mind,
They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind,
So large a trunk before.

THE DONKEY
G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

THE REPUBLICAN / THE DEMOCRAT

The Republican and a Democrat,
Will clash, of the coming Fall;
Who's taking over the U.S.,
From some ape numbskull with a drawl?

There's the honored fine war hero's
Duteous, soldierly campaign,
Of the obsolete old fogey;
Furrowed, wrinkled, stiff McCain!

We observed, at the start:
Oh, she was sparklin'! She was glintin'!
But soon faded...for she regressed,
To lofty harridan, Ms. Clinton!

There's the ebony redeemer,
Full of utterly memorable drama.
History in the making!
The sweet-talking underdog, Obama!

For key political assessment,
We deserve a leader, not a monkey.
We want a lion in the White House!
Not an elephant or donkey!

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THE BIG BABOON
by Hilaire Belloc

The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo:
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).

But if he dressed up respectably
And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-so!

BIG GEORGE BUSH
by Lorena Bobbitt

Big George Bush in that White House
Went on to beat Al Gore.
The buffoon; insipid souse
Proposed a bloody war.

This bumbling, bloodshot fool,
I wish he was born Black.
And the ape's nine-inch tool?
His dick, it I'd soon hack!

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MORE ABOUT PEOPLE
by Ogden Nash

When people aren't asking questions
They're making suggestions
And when they're not doing one of those
They're either looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes
And then as if that weren't enough to annoy you
They employ you.
Anybody at leisure
Incurs everybody's displeasure.
It seems to be very irking
To people at work to see other people not working,
So they tell you that work is wonderful medicine,
Just look at Firestone and Ford and Edison,
And they lecture you till they're out of breath or something
And then if you don't succumb they starve you to death or something.
All of which results in a nasty quirk:
That if you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work.

MORE ABOUT ANAGRAMMATISTS

What people do on the side, I often wonder.
If not at the Forum, what spells are they under?
Hooked David; or Dan or Don,
You need to turn off and on?
Shrink Larry
Quirkily merry?
See trustworthy Rosie
Photograph the showy, peony posy?
You wondrous Scott,
Shooting hot?
Busybody, honey Ellie,
Watch one teeny telly?
See noteworthy, tottery Tony,
Bake one doughy macaroni?
Eerie yet tough Paul
Fortunately on an offensive ball?
To see thorough Rick
Toy with his sensuous novelty auto-stick?
Tout one top workhorse Neil
Yet forging the deal?
See youngest, toothy Andrew
Tripping, too, just like outspoken View?
One devout, keen Chris
Ooh, undergoing bliss?
Tee-hee! You, Dharam Khalsa,
Unbeknownst, you're quietly making a seventeenth anagram!

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SPACE ODDITY

Released as a single, the song with words and music by David Bowie is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut who becomes lost in outer space. It appears on the album of the same title and was supposedly rush-released to coincide with the Apollo Eleven moon landing. The BBC featured the award-winning song, performed by David Bowie, in its television coverage of the lunar landing.

Ground Control to Major Tom,
Ground Control to Major Tom,
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
Ground Control to Major Tom,
Commencing countdown, engines on,
Check ignition and may God's love be with you!

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff!

This is Ground Control to Major Tom,
You've really made the grade;
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear.
Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare!

"This is Major Tom to Ground Control,
I'm stepping through the door;
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way,
And the stars look very different today.
For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world;
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do.
Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows..."

Ground Control to Major Tom,
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong.
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you...

"Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon;
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do."

LOST IN SPACE is a science fiction TV series, a space-age tragi-comedy adaptation of the classic adventure novel Swiss Family Robinson. It followed the "tomorrow" (ooh, wow!) adventures of an astronaut family known as the Robinsons.

Thoroughgoing professor John Robinson (Guy Williams), his devout wife and mommy of the family, Maureen (June Lockhart), their young children, Judy (Marta Kristen), Penny (Angela Cartwright), Will (Billy Mumy) and their fortitudinous friend and pilot, Major Don West (Mark Goddard) are chosen to travel on a vehicle named "Jupiter Two" to Alpha Centauri to look for a livable planet community.

Their mission is sabotaged by the unforthcoming hothead, Doctor Smith (Jonathan Harris). The wrongdoing nonconformist slips aboard their spaceship before the launch and re-jiggles and jams the robot's computer (ooh, wow!) to decimate the ship and group shortly after leaving earth.

Unexpectedly, the crummy dummy is trapped onboard and, to avoid being killed along with everyone else, he revives the crew who were placed in suspended animation (ooh, wow!) for the long commute, um, journey.

Forgoing doom, they manage to outgun the oncoming monotonic automaton ... oh, robot; but damage to the unmoored junk's guidance engineering system (ooh, wow!) leaves them lost in space. Incommunicado, they are forced to land on unwooded alien territory; and they eventually travel to other uncommon, gloomy worlds in their unfortunate attempts to reach their ultimate destination: Asia!

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Updated: May 10, 2016


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