Of Buskers and Gutters Monterey Children’s Street Songs

by Michael Houston — “Life is but a song, and songs tell the tale,” muralist weaver Marco Javier Rivera O’Gorman observed over a cool green kale draught. Slightly off key he added,
“El patio de mi casa, que es particular
Se moja y se seca, como los demás…”

  • And justice drops like rain, “ I bantered back. “So how’d you do at the church social, amigo?”
    “Con esta sí, con esta no
    Con esta chaparrita ando yo.”
  • Glad to hear it! You were getting a bit indiscriminate at the life-mate yogurt freeze ball last month.
  • Like I was telling you, “I wish, I wish
    I wish in vain.
    I wish I were young again.
    But young again I’ll never be,
    ’Til roses grow on avocado trees.”
    “Get over it. How’s the assisted living gig going?”
    Panameña, Panameña
    Panameña, mi querida
    Quiero que tu me llevas
    Al tambor de alegria
    “So they’ve got the percussion thing down, vato?”
  • Like the holy hour at Joe’s in the grangeyard. Magic and good crac…
    “It’s shots of whiskey,
    Make old men frisky
    And pints of porter
    Make young men gray
  • So you’ve got the jukebox in your head again?
  • How are the neighbors taking the algave music patio come Wednesdays, boss?
    “What can’t be cured, love
    Must be endured love.
    So now I’m of to Cal-i-for-ni-ay”
  • I see, said mi blind granny, as she waved her wooden leg.
  • Takes all kinds doesn’t it?

And the children’s songs?
“Driver on the bus said, “GET ON BACK,”
Rosa Parks said, I’M NOT MOVING.”

  • Right side of history… but you’re just a half-step out of the gutter. What’s with you and your high horse.
  • Nosotros venceremos, baby.
  • Save it for St. Paddy’s Day.
    -Been waiting for that…
    “Sweet Rosa was a lovely child, lovely child, lovely child,
    Pricked her finger on a thorn, on a thorn, on a thorn
    Pricked her finger on a thorn… long time ago.”

-Yes, yes, yes. Bushes grow up all around…Handsome prince comes riding by,
Cuts the bushes one by one, kisses sweet Rosa on the hand, and she sleeps no more.
Freudian interpretations of nursery rhymes are out of fashion like Old Fashions, Squire.

  • Great storyline, nonetheless. Virtue overcomes spite and envy.
  • Talk about long time ago! Mick, common decency is beyond memory’s view these days!
  • Better times are coming, me lad.
    “In the sky, Lord, in the sky!” rings out the chorus.
  • Yeah, well Peg Clancy Power had a great one…
    “SHE DIDN’T DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, SHE DIDN’T DANCE AT ALL TODAY
    SHE DIDN’T DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, TODAY NOR YESTERDAY.
    SHE WAS LIKE A LADY, SHE WAS LIKE A QUEEN
    SHE WAS LIKE A LADY, DOWN THE FAIR GLEN.”
  • Well, yes. It does suggest the power of the goddess and all that, but it’s the striving for peace and the empowerment of women in these troubled times’ tone is what gets to me.
  • Well, yes. Every good street mariachi not doing time in the psych ward does some songs that are NOT exclusively and unequivocally about rapine, boozing, heroic dying rebels, misogyny, wanton murder, theft, shocking comic behavior, and improper dietary beliefs.
  • Exactly! Michael, John and Jerry are helping me work out some songs that foster nurturing all the children of the nation equally. Songs like Head And Shoulders Knees and Toes; the forementioned Wheels on the Bus featuring Rosa Parks; She’ll Be Driving A Light Blue Prius When She Comes!; Paw Paw Patch; You Are My Sunshine; Keep on the Sunny Side; Cielito Lindo; La Bamba; De Colores; This Land is Your Land; Pack Up Your Sorrows; Tell Me Ma; Wee Falorie Man; and Danny Boy.
  • Well, of course, like Plato, you can leave the young ones on the path to find Help Me Make It Through the Night; Lost Highway; Valentin de la Sierra; Your Cheating Heart; La Cucaracha; Mama Tried; Molly Magee; Galway Girl (Sharon Shannon not Ed Sheerhan); Brown Eyed Girl; Before the Next Teardrop Falls; It Stoned Me; and Folsom Prison Blues on their own.
  • And what with all the confusion over Brexit by March 28, anyone with any Irish connection may want to pause to reflect on all the ironic misery partition and religious aparthied have done in the world. Then they can imbibe strong vegan spirits and phantasmagoria with Bogside Man; Sean South of Garryowen; Fairytale in New York; Whiskey You’re the Devil; Kevin Barry; Armoured Cars and Tanks and Guns; Dicey Riley; Wild Rover; and the like.

Editor’s note: No copyrights or animals were harmed in the creation of this allegedly fair use educational and/or comic column.

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