Monday’s Verse 1/16/2017

Dear readers,

This weekend I was in the presence of two 7-year MVers, Maureen Kats our host in Phoenix, and Nydia Shajahan of Hell’s Kitchen. We decided that the appropriate poet for this week is the late-20th century Walt Whitman, Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011). Here Mr. Scott-Heron shows his links to America’s bard by: chronicling a journey with companions; choosing an emphatic, euphoric title; and self-mythologizing (his reference to "The Bottle" is to a single from a previous album, a minor hit). My own favorite line, though, is "Steelers on my color TV," since that’s also something we did together on the 15th in Phoenix. Euphorically.

The rare MV entry with both an audio and a visual component. If you have not checked out Gil Scott-Heron before, I will only say you’re missing out. Here’s a video (really more for the audio, as the video only shows the album cover) of the song-poem in question. A lot of his spoken word poems/monologues are also available on Youtube. And photos of the whole crew at hole-in-the-rock in Phoenix. -ed.

HELLO SUNDAY! HELLO ROAD!

Agent told me where I’m going
Tom and Keg Leg got the map
The Steelers on my color TV
And Henry riding in my lap
I said, “Hello Sunday! Hello Road!”
Lord, and what would my grandma say?
To see me out here loving music
So much that I live this way
But then again, she’s right here with me
Watching every place I go
Whoa, did you tell me it was my move?
(Yes it is)
Say, “Hello Sunday! Hello Road!”
Hello Sunday! Hello Road!

Manager we had just couldn’t manage
So midnight managed right along
And it’s got me out here with my brothers
And that’s the thing that keep me strong
Say, “Hello Sunday! Hello Road!”
Seems like we’re coming up on a town
And the children on their way to Sunday school
And I’m tipping my hat to Miss Chocolate Brown
And it was on a Sunday I met my old man
I was twenty-six years old
No, but it was much too late to speculate
I said, “Hello Sunday! Hello Road!”
Hello Sunday! Hello Road!

And I’ve been digging life through my window
And that’s the way it’s always been
The snow in Nashville, rain in Philly
No matter. Get back on the bus again
Say, “Hello Sunday! Hello Road!”
Don’t get down, try the optimistic side
‘Cause me and Stick done seen a lot of babies
Dancing to "The Bottle" while we ride
It’s sure nuff good being with the brothers
Carrying good news wherever we go
Yeah, well let me get myself together, man
Say, “Hello Sunday! Hello Road!”
Hello Sunday! Hello Road!

-1977

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