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  Song Poems


The poems included on this page were written as song poems with a melody in mind. Unfortunately, the melodies are still in my mind as I never learned to write music.


  "Ode To An Iron Frog"
                                    by Howard D. Mallison

    Some folks have a rabbits foot, or four leaf clover green
    A good luck coin, a lock of hair, the darndest things I've seen
    But I know what tops 'em all I think you will agree
    Is an antique frog made out of iron my good Aunt gave to me.

    I don't say I'm superstitious but I'm telling you,
    There are things my Grandma told me that I shouldn't do,
    Don't walk under ladders, son, stay clear of a stray black cat,
    Better knock on wood, look out for this, and you steer clear of that.

    On my journey through this life some things I've come to know
    Superstitions really work, 'cause old folks told me so,
    In the front door, out the same to have your luck all good,
    Just how this little trick can work I've never understood.

    My Aunt saw I doubted them and so she gave to me,
    An antique frog made out of iron, to keep me company,
    Keep it 'round me all the time just like she said I should,
    It's a funny thing but since that time my luck has all been good.

    Those of you who are inclined to doubt my little tale,
    Just try and buy my antique frog you'll find it's not for sale,
    I don't say I'm superstitious but you may agree,
    I'd better keep that antique frog my good Aunt gave to me.

Chorus:  Antique frog, iron frog, my Aunt gave to me,
          Antique frog, iron frog, to keep me company.

Copyright © 1970 Howard D. Mallison
Also included in "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About "Ode To An Iron Frog" . . .


    Back in 1970, I wrote a little song poem entitled "Ode To An Iron Frog".  This was suggested to me one evening when I was listening to radio station WSM (the "Grand Ol' Opry") out of Nashville when Ralph Emery (the D.J.) was interviewing an up and coming Country musican named Bobby Lord.  During the interview, it somehow came out that a relative of Mr. Lord had, indeed, given him an iron doorstop which was made in the shape of a frog, and meant as a token for good luck.  

    The concept intrigued me!  I began to think of good luck tokens and omens, and even incantations, designed to ward off the ill effects of various old-time superstitions which might be unheeded.  I searched my mind for superstitions I had heard.  Personally, I don't really subscribe to superstitions and possible odd happenings that might occur if unheeded (I'd better knock on wood here), but many of the "old" folks of my youth seem to set great store by recognizing superstitions.

    Out of respect for my elders of whom most are fondly remembered and have now passed over, I strive to respect their thoughts and sayings, whether or not they were "believers".  Could there have been a more practical, useful, every-day application of the so-called "superstitious" sayings? A dropped item could hit someone walking under a ladder; or a strange cat, no matter what the color, could actually be rabid, or bite; or knocking on wood could provide a very short time for a person to think about whatever happened.  Who knows?

Thanks for reading the poem.     ironfrog

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  Oh, Bury Me Not, (Under Paperwork)

                                                                                                                   by Howard D. Mallison


    Oh bury me not, under paperwork,
    For I am just, a simple jerk
    That pays his bills and tries to find,
    A place to hide and peace of mind

    But just about every single day,
    The mailman brings a dun to pay
    I don't know why he struggles so,
    To bring me bills through ice and snow.

    I move around from time to time,
    Why, nowadays, that ain't no crime
    But when I do, I gotta let folks know,
    And tell 'em where to let my mail go.    

    Nobody knows what to do today,
    So they do just what dumbputers say
    I don't know how it got my name,
    But I get mail from it all the same.

    I send my kids to city schools,
    'Cause I don't want no little fools    
    But they bring home, these kids of mine,
    More paperwork for me to sign.    

    I have to read, 'bout the P.T.A.,
    And how much dough they need today    
    It sure is strange why they call on me,
    To pay their bills when griping's free.    

    Take I.R.S., (me and him are friends),
    He calls on me and I make amends    
    He don't believe the things I say,
    On the form that came in the mail one day.    

    He wants to know how I get along,
    On the money I make, he thinks I'm wrong    
    But he don't know how to squeeze a dime,
    And make it work like doubletime.    

    The Doctor says I'm a lucky man,
    Got another child in the frying pan    
    Keeps asking me if my good boss,
    Has got Blue Shield and got Blue Cross.    

    I tell him yeah, I got a plan,
    Drawn up by my insurance man    
    But don't you know I gotta sign,
    Another form on the dotted line.    

    Now smokey bear comes on T.V.,
    And asks us all to save his trees    
    Don't burn 'em down 'cause if you do,
    Our paper world will burn up too.    

    There ain't no way to get around,
    This paperwork that I have found    
    So when I die just bury me,
    Out in the shade of a pulpwood tree.


From "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About "Oh Bury Me Not (Under Paperwork)"  . . .

    Snowed under with paperwork?  It may never get any better.  In fact, it seems to have multiplied several fold in the past 50 years.  

    They can't seem to get enough of it!  "They" being all Federal, State, County, City governing bodies that seem to have an insatiable appetite for information - about us, of course!  School systems are in dire need of statistics concerning their students and projected enrollments. Permission slips for school outings?

    If that isn't bad enough, try to imagine all the commercial companies with which we do business, including credit card companies and banks.  Try relocating out-of-State.  And can you honestly recall a single, full week recently when absolutely no advertising material was received via the U. S. Mail?  Newspapers?

    Anyway, this was supposed to be an all in fun, good-natured poke at the necessity of paperwork. We all know a goodly amount of it is necessary - especially in printing money!

Thanks.     ironfrog

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  Fiery Water Bug
                                                                            by Howard D. Mallison



My flop-eared doggie is a'looking at me, he can't figure out the mystery
    Of why my woman ain't come and brought him a bone
    He don't know yet that we're a'living alone.
    Oh, well I love'a my doggie and I love'a my woman
    But she loves the wine and she hates the home'a
    She caught the fiery water bug and now she's gone
    Leaving me and my doggie alone, demon rum
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone.

Now if you go to town most any night, down to the place where the lights shine bright
    If you listen you may hear on the evening air
    The laughter of my woman somewhere.
    Well she loves'a the wine and she loves'a the dance
    She loves'a the thrill of stolen romance
    She caught the fiery water bug and now she's gone
    Leaving me and my doggie alone, demon rum,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone, gone away,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone.

Well I woke up this morning in a bad, bad mood, belly was a'aching and I needing food
    So I looked in the cupboard but the cupboard was bare
    Just a note about my woman was there.
    Well she must'a sneaked in when I closed my eyes
    Happened so fast I didn't realize
    With a turn and a twist, she was a'gone
    Leaving me and my doggie alone, demon rum,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone, gone away,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone, yes she did,
    A'leaving my and my doggie alone.

Now I take a walk in the pale moonlight, whenever there is a beautiful night
    But what I'm searching for, I know I can't find
    All I'm a'seeking is my peace of mind.
    Well she spent my money and she take'a my pride
    She used my love when she was by my side
    She caught the fiery water bug and now she's gone
    Leaving me and my doggie alone, demon rum,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone, gone away,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone, yes she did,
    A'leaving me and my doggie alone.

From "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About "Fiery Water Bug" . . .

    The idea for this song poem goes way, way back - say, latter 1940's to early 1950's.  It also has its roots in a Navy town - Norfolk, VA, which, to some, has been disaffectionately known by a slang name I shall not repeat here.  This also recalls (to me) the old Elizabeth River ferries that made periodic runs from South Norfolk to Norfolk and return, and from Portsmouth to Norfolk and return.

    Oh, the cobblestones that paved the road between the Norfolk ferry landing and east Main Street in the City proper - a real thing of beauty!  And one that, with their uneven surfaces and slippery (when wet) curved tops, gave many a somewhat inebriated Navy man (or civilian) the appearance of really having "tied one on".  Other notable "landmarks" in that area included the flashing neon sign of "The Crazy Cat" tavern on Main Street just on the edge of the "action" and then easterly back down east Main and past all the bright neon signs of the tavern facades to the old "Gaiety Burlesque" house.  I wonder if anyone still remembers the double entendre included in the burlesque song often sung there (by the "ladies", of course! - as they did their bit on the stage) about " . . he's got the cutest little dinghy in the Navy, and it's mine, all mine! . .".  Seriously, it was a very good and comical bit of the act - (I'm told!).

    Strayed off course.  Many of the taverns on east Main Street employed Navy wives and girlfriends as waitresses in those days.  After all, what's a girl to do?  (When her man is out to sea for months at a time and the allotment checks don't come in, or were not regular, or enough??). Tend bar, waitress, skim a few dollars from the "appreciative", somewhat pie-eyed clientle as tips for their good service.  It all helped make ends meet, for them.  It all helped make candidates for A.A. meetings, also.  Many of the situations and insinuations in the poem had their basis in fact, and the situations were not necessarily uncommon in this era and to this group.  I recall one young sailor returning only to discover his wife had used the car payment money to buy a cocktail dress which caused the loss of their almost new car.

    Things of this nature did not always produce a good home environment when the Fleet came back to port and put forth their raring-to-go cadre of single and not-so-single personnel - all looking for a little (a lot, really!) R & R Navy style.  Having been recently divorced, my Dad - although a civilian - knew some of the people who worked and frequented many of these taverns.  He even managed to introduce me to some.  

    While I was in Korea during the Korean War, I recall Dad wrote me that he had bought a set of false teeth for one of the girls there that he liked - using some of the money I sent home to our joint bank account!  He was a sly old rascal - I loved him dearly and never worried about what he spent from my bank account.  He was also the beneficiary on my G.I. insurance in the event I didn't make it back.

    Any comment from some of the real old Navy guys out there who knew east Main Street in Norfolk, Virginia, when it was in its heyday?  What about the Shore Patrol?  

    I tried to put a little Caribbean beat, or Jamaican feel, to the words and expression in the poem. I hope that I managed it.  I sort of paraphrased the old expression of "Firewater" that has been commonly associated with Native Americans, especially in many early western movies.  But, - the tune, and the beat, still wander around in my mind.

Thanks for reading the poem.     ironfrog

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  Sunday Afternoon Dad

                                                                           by Howard D. Mallison


        I'm just a Sunday afternoon Dad
        I pick 'em up and take 'em back to her at her pad
        Sometimes it makes me feel a little sad
        I'm just a Sunday afternoon Dad.
        
        Where can we go in a few short hours?
        Walk to the park, and look at the flowers?
        Take in a movie show or play in the snow?
        It never takes long for the hours to go.

        The judge with our future held in his hand
        Heard what we said but he didn't understand
        You needed more time with your Father, a man
        Handed out justice, stamped with his brand.

        Go hug your Mother, tell her she's great
        I would have stayed awhile, but it's much too late
        My time is all gone, I don't want to make her mad
        I'm just your Sunday afternoon Dad.

        Di dee dee di dum, di dee dee dum
        Leaving you here, makes me feel so sad
        Di dee dee di dum, di dee dee dum
        I'm just your Sunday afternoon Dad.


From “A Collection of Poems I Wrote
”Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About “Sunday Afternoon Dad” . . .

    The idea for this song poem was actually born years ago.  As was the melody.

    It reflects a period in history that probably had its beginnings, and most explosive surge of growth, during and immediately after World War II.  Various awakenings provoked in people by WW II served to break up many families.  Enter the lawyers, judges, divorce courts, custody battles, alimony fights, changes in divorce laws, shared custody, visitation rights, and almost countless other considerations.

    “Justice” did not always appear to be “just”.  “Judges” did not always appear to “judge” in the best interests of all concerned.  At this time in the United States, society was beginning to awaken to the fact that new laws, new practices, and different methods of dealing with matters of family needed to be established.  Many, if not most, family breakups were on less than an amiable basis. Children were frequently used as pawns in efforts to win larger alimony payments, or to produce hurtful and spiteful conditions for one parent or another.

    As a child, having an unknown person (judge, lawyer) make decisions concerning a child’s immediate fate could be somewhat disturbing, even traumatic, at times - especially when the desires of the child or children were seldom taken into consideration.  Been there, done that.

    In the poem, I wanted to present enough of a picture to outline some of the problems involved.  

Thank you for reading the poem.      ironfrog

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  Hold Her Near

                            by Howard  D. Mallison



        Don't try to find, reasons for a love
        A love that's good and true that may have come to you
        Love knows no way for rhyme or reason
        It finds a path of its own
        And in love some things are better,
                  left unknown.

        The sands of time, wash upon the shore
        They never care or know which way the oceans flow
        So if you heart is full of gladness
        And love for someone dear
        Just don't look so hard for reasons,
                  hold her near.

        Hold her near, whisper "Dear"
        Take the time to drive away her every fear
        And if you're dreaming of a lifetime
        Of love to share with her
        Just don't look so hard for reasons,
                  hold her near.

        As time goes on, and roses fade
        The years will hold a deeper meaning for your soul
        And with your two hearts together
        As youth and beauty dies
        Maybe then you'll find a reason,
                  in her eyes.

        Hold her near, whisper "Dear"
        Take the time to drive away her every fear
        And with your two hearts together
        As youth and beauty dies
        Maybe then you'll find a reason,
                  in her eyes.


*Words originally published with music under the same title
Copyright © 1977 Howard D. Mallison

Included in "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About "Hold Her Near" . . .

    This is a song poem I wrote back in 1977 for my wife's parents on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.   I even managed to get the musical notes written down on this one, a somewhat crude lead-sheet.

    There was a celebration at their beach cottage in honor of their 50 years together.  Many people, friends and kin alike, came to wish them well.  There were also many from the business community.  My Mother-in-law really enjoyed having cookouts and outdoor get-togethers at their beach cottage and usually had these affairs there.  It was located just off the beach from the Chesapeake Bay, and not too far from Lynnhaven Inlet, in the Tidewater section of Virginia.

    Their 50th wedding anniversary was one to which My Mother-in-law had looked forward for years, literally.  I managed to get the words and the tune together and did a tape recording of it for their grand occasion.  My Father-in-law was a half-blooded Native American and did not share quite the same enthusiasm for these occasions as did his wife.  Although having survived cancer surgery, he would joke that he had to stay around for this event or he’d be in a heap o' trouble!  He passed on about three years later.

    It was good to have known the both of them.

Thank you for reading the poem.     ironfrog


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  Lovely Girl
                            by Howard  D. Mallison


            I like to watch a lovely girl
            As she walks along the street
            Hair done up and looking oh, so neat
            Makes me think a lot of things
            Like I wonder how she'd be
            And I wish that she would spend some time with me

    And I'd promise her

            I'll play you like a finely tuned piano
            I'll hold you like a guitar made of gold
            And somewhere in the night
            When the world is out of sight
            I'll bring out all the music in your soul
            I'll bring out all the love that's in your soul.


            Some may say the way I feel
            Is a sin within my mind
            I've searched my heart and I can't truly find
            Thinking of a lovely girl
            Is anything but right
            And I wish that she was with me here tonight

    And I'd promise her

            I'll play you like a finely tuned piano
            I'll hold you like a guitar made of gold
            And somewhere in the night
            When the world is out of sight
            I'll bring out all the music in your soul
            I'll bring out all the love that's in your soul.

From:  "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About "Lovely Girl" . . .

    What makes a lovely girl?  Or, perhaps more to the point, what makes a girl lovely?  Is it beauty, or bearing, or mannerisms, or the workings of the eyes?  Perhaps we shall never know for sure as many favorable attributes are simply in the eye of the beholder.

    I think the simplicity of this song poem keeps it down to earth.  And with a minimum of three syllable words, the trend of thought is presented in a direct, non-apologetic, manner.  With a few minor word changes, it could be done by a person of either gender.     

    This is another tune that wanders around in my head, but I have long thought that someone with the style of a Willie Nelson could really make this melody stand out.  Sounds good in my head, though.

Thanks for reading my poem.     ironfrog

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  Ramblin'

                                by Howard D. Mallison


    Now I gotta go, cause don't you know?  I got the ramblin' bug a'gin
    I won't be around, this old town, tomorrow night at ten
    I'll find a busy highway, stand by the side
    Stick up my thumb, hitch me a ride
    I gotta go, cause don't you know?  I got the ramblin' bug a'gin.

    I rambled on down, to Laramie town, I knocked upon the door
    But that sweet gal, she was my pal, she don't live there anymore
    I don't know where she went to, I'd sure like to know
    Laramie Gal, I liked her so
    I had to go, cause don't you know, I got the ramblin' bug a'gin.

    I took my things, to Pagosa Springs, where they pipe hot water from the ground
    Went looking for Lil at the bar and grill, but she was nowhere to be found
    I asked a man I knew where was my gal?
    He said that she got married up with my best pal
    I had to go, cause don't you know, I got the ramblin' bug a'gin.

    I rambled away out to old L. A., to see a gal that I call Sue
    Rang her bell, Lord her place looked swell but her husband said now who are you?
    I guess I looked a little dumb but not for long
    Tipped my hat and said I got the address wrong
    I had to go, cause don't you know, I got the ramblin' bug a'gin.

    Looks like the end, so why pretend? I must be getting old you see
    Can't hold my girls, just like a string of pearls, they all keep dropping off on me
    I guess I'll have to quit this mess and settle down
    Stop thumbing rides, quit this bumming around
    I will you know but now I gotta go, I got the ramblin' bug a'gin.


From : "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison

About "Ramblin'" . . .

    This song poem is actually a composite of various events and places, as well as persons known, which all began in Wyoming in 1950.  

    While stationed in the Military at F. E. Warren Air Force Base (also referred to in those days as Fort Warren), just outside Cheyenne, a group of us young G.I.'s would periodically go to Laramie to spend some time.  The co-educational University of Wyoming is located in Laramie and had an appreciable number of college girls.  Cheyenne, Wyoming's capital, was somewhat inhospitable to G.I.'s in those days so our welcome, as I recall it, was somewhat limited.  

    Pagosa Springs, Colorado uses (or did the last time we visited) thermal springs and would pipe heated water from the ground into the houses and buildings to be used, especially in heating systems.  It was a nice town, as I recall it, and was more or less on the way to Mesa Verde and the Cliff Dwellings of ancient historical note.

    So, anyone can get the wrong address, right?  A fellow G. I. with whom I had served fancied himself a bit of a "stud" with the ladies and was always getting in and out of relationships, usually several at a time, if he could manage it.  I always thought he was somewhat "...in love with the idea of being in love ...".  At the time, that description probably applied to Millard.

    The old style strings of pearls had a "fondness" for breaking and would spill individual pearls everywhere.  It was always a chore trying to recover all of them and even more difficult to re-string. Thus, with these and other thoughts in mind, I somewhat focused on Millard who kept losing his "girls" and trying to gain new ones, all this without it telling him anything.

    I have often wondered where he is and how his life unfolded following our Military days.

Thank you for reading my poem.     ironfrog


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  Jackie, The Houseboy

by Howard D. Mallison

        Long ago and far away there is someone I recall
        He was a young Korean in that country, oh so small
        A smile he wore upon his face, he always let it show
        But sorrow that he felt inside, I could never know.

        Jackie, the houseboy, he'd walk through ice and snow
        To earn a simple living for the ones that he loved so
        He'd shine our shoes and make the beds, bring coffee from the line
        He'd sweep the floors and do the chores and we would pay him fine.

        He used to live further north until that July day
        When guns of the enemy took his Dad away
        He told his Mom and sisters dear, they would have to flee
        This is the story that this young Korean told to me.

        Though war had made a refugee out of this thoughtful lad
        Set him down so far from home, deprived him of his Dad
        He never seemed discouraged by the shoes he had to fill
        He never stopped his smiling and I hope he never will.

        Jackie, the houseboy, he'd walk through ice and snow
        To earn a simple living for the ones that he loved so
        He'd shine our shoes and make the beds, bring coffee from the line
        He'd sweep the floors and do the chores and we would pay him fine.

From : "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison            
                
Return to:    Laundry Day     

About "Jackie, The Houseboy" . . .


    Houseboy was somewhat of a generic term as applied to Jackie.  He was referred to as a    “Houseboy” but, actually, he was more in the nature of a utility type employee.  He worked in our building        close to the flight line where the F-84’s were serviced and readied for the next missions.  

    He cleaned and swept the floors, (such as they were), ran errands, made the beds of those who slept at the duty station, and did many things that helped us get our jobs done.  We simply didn't always have time to accomplish mundane tasks.  Usually, the slack time was when the aircraft were actually going to, from, and over, the target areas, especially when a "max" effort was on.  One thing that he was
really good at was bringing back from the flight line about 6 meat cans full of coffee in each hand - and spilling hardly a drop.  We didn’t have time for “breaks” so Jackie really helped keep us going in that respect.  He was also approved to "chow down" in our mess hall each day - and chow down he did!

    Jackie was always smiling.  In several convesations, he indicated that his Father was either killed or missing while fighting in the see-saw situation in the Pusan, Seoul, and Taegu areas during ‘50 and ‘51.  Refugees (see Refugee children and Jackie The Houseboy ) were also up and down the peninsula during that time.  He was the sole support of his Mother and several Sisters although he, himself, was not more than 16.  Various “Foreign Nationals” were cleared to work in areas of the base.  We still were required to watch these "employees" as some of them were afflicted with "sticky fingers", and we were ever watchful for the possibility of sabotage.

    Once, I asked Jackie why he liked working with the Americans.  His answer was:  “One day workee Korean, buy one day chop-chop.  One day workee Americans, buy three day chop-chop”.    He was also very honest.  I thought about his honesty, feelings for his surviving family, and his what we sometimes refer to today as “work ethic”, and found him not lacking in any case.

    I have thought of him often in the years since then.  It prompted me to write the song poem.

Thank you for reading my poem.     ironfrog




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  Rejection Blues, or
Hope You're Feeling O.K.

                                                                                                                                                        by Howard D. Mallison



        I got 32 songs by unknown Dan, they turned 'em all down
            right to a man
        They don't like my words or they don't like my style
            but I keep writing with a pasted smile.
        They hurt my feelings...got bad thoughts about me...
            makes me doubt myself...but I'm still free...

        Got 14 songs 'bout a broken hearted man, one or two about
            the girl that can
        Three pair of shoes with the heels wore down, walking the streets
            of Nashville town.
        Knocking on doors...talking to secretaries...everybodie's on
            coffee break...but I'm still free...

        Got 43 cents and a good luck charm, a running slow watch
            strapped to my arm
        Hocked my diamond ring last night, and still don't have
            a sale in sight.
        Boy, I'm hard to discourage...ain't no plagiarism here...
            wrote 'em all myself...but I'm still free...

        See that girl walking down the street, hair done up and
            looking neat
        She's just another southern girl, working in this
            music whirl.
        Bet she's seen a lot of 'em...coming and going...don't even
            know their names...but I'm still free.

        Went out to the park, sat under the trees, put my guitar
            on my knees
        I listened to a bunch of losers play, the songs they couldn't
            sell that day.
        I didn't feel so bad...just sad...misery loves company...
            but I'm still free...

        Hi de ho! Hi de hey! How in the world are you today?
        Hi de ho! Hi de hey! Hope you're feeling, O.K.!
            Hope you're feeling, O.K.!



From::  "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About "Rejection Blues . . . "
        

    Rejection.

    We all deal with it in one context or another, and about various things.  I recall that at one time I had words and musical demo tapes on file with two "potential" publishers - always hoping for some good news, of course, but none ever came.

    Had occasion to visit one recording studio and was allowed to listen to some playbacks of songs the studio had recorded the previous evening.  Sounded good.  Even bought one of the records when they were pressed and distributed.  Alas!  No such good luck for any of my offerings.

    In "Rejection Blues", I tried to include some of the frustrations and feelings I had experienced as well as some I thought I could imagine and some I had heard about.  I still have the tunes a'running around in my head somewhere so I guess it's not a total loss - it's just not what I had originally wanted.  They still sound good in my head!

Thank you for reading my poem.     ironfrog




  He's Not Innocent Like Me

                                                                                                                         by Howard D. Mallison



                       They put me in this prison for a thing I didn't do
        Some may not believe it, but I'm as innocent as you
        This I tried to tell the men who judged me on that day
        But I was not believed, so they put me here to stay.

        The ones I loved are living out a life of misery
        Trying to outlive the shame that twelve men gave to me
        I've written everyone I know until my hand is sore
        But no one seems to give a damn about me, anymore.

        He's not innocent like me, but he's running fancy free
        Doing things and seeing things, that I may never see
        This I tried to tell the men who judged me on that day
        But I was not believed, so they put me here to stay.

        They put old Daniel in the lions den, so I am told
        Thoughts of facing lions makes my puny blood run cold
        I guess my faith just ain't as strong, as it ought to be
        When there's one among you who's not innocent like me.

        I'm doing time for someone else, don't even know his name
        But if he'd set me free, I'd thank him just the same
        But I don't think he'd ever trade his place in life with me
        'Cause I'm locked up here in this cell and he's still
                living free.

        He's not innocent like me, but he's running fancy free
        Doing things and seeing things, that I may never see
        This I tried to tell the men who judged me on that day
        But I was not believed, so they put me here to stay.



From::  "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison

About  "He’s Not Innocent Like Me"

    About being in prison.  To my mind there are many types of prisons - most of them not having steel bars, and not consisting of the usual thoughts of forced, criminally-inspired confinement.

    Some prisons, without bars, are those caused by society.  For whatever reasons, a person in a community can be relegated to a place of mistrust by the local populace, and be shunned socially, whether or not rightfully.  In such a situation, it can be a prison with the freedom to still move about, yet not have social associations with others, or to be trusted by some.

    In some cases, the “innocent” may be "guilty", while the “guilty” may be "innocent", with or without conventional prison walls or adequate social reasons.

Thank you for reading my poem.     ironfrog




  Privacy, Privacy
    (Where Did It Go?)


                                                                                                                                by Howard  D. Mallison


    I can't give away my troubles, man, don't nobody want 'em but me,
    The Government knows everytime I sneeze and I got no privacy,
        That's what bothers me.

    Privacy, Privacy, where did it go?
    Bet if I asked you, you wouldn't even know!
    Did it fly off on the ragged wings of a half dead dove of peace?

    Walking down the sidewalk Saturday night, minding my own affair,
    Policeman ask me who I am, and what I'm doing there,
        I don't think that's fair.

    Everybody wants to know my history, clear back to Adam and Eve,
    If I told 'em all about my family tree some things they'd disbelieve,
        Making me deceive.

    Sitting at home just the other day, I got a telephone call,
    Said I made an error in my tax return and it's all over City Hall,
        And that place sure ain't small.

    Got a little money tucked away in the Bank, saving for a rainy day,
    Cashier knows everybody in town and her lip flaps all the way,
        Things she shouldn't say.

    We're living in a world of make believe, nobody seems to care,
    Everybody wants to see the work get done, but they don't want to do their share
        Don't want to pay their fare.
    
    Everybody says just to leave 'em alone, let their business be,
    I never figured out why it don't apply, when they start advising me,
        Nosy, don't you see?

    Privacy, Privacy, where did it go?
    Bet if I asked you, you wouldn't even know!
    Did it fly off on the ragged wings of a half dead dove of peace?


From::  "A Collection of Poems I Wrote"
Copyright © 1990 Howard D. Mallison


About  "Privacy, Privacy, (Where Did It Go?)

    Privacy!  Privacy!  Where, indeed, has it gone?  Please note that I "rough-wrote" this song poem over 30 years ago.  By mentally comparing "then" and "now", I can see where there is an even tighter "noose" attached to the simple desire of freedom to protect personal information, and the ability to "wander" about this beautiful country of ours!

    Today, there is much talk about protecting the individuals right to privacy in the medical, financial, and other personal areas.  The ability of computers to store and call up information has made it virtually impossible to limit dissemination of personal information.  Cloning people from DNA; basing employment hiring and, indeed, eventual social standings, on DNA-determined possibility or probability of this or that, is already in evidence.

    Each year, it is difficult to change residences from State to State.  Multiple changes of address are required.  What about your health insurance - is it tied to a particular geographical area?  There are so many things that must be considered when changing local and State residences

    The land of the free?  Yes - and No!

Thank you for reading my poem.     ironfrog

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