Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the legend of spanish moss

It's probably some kind of pre-natal memory/reincarnation thing but I've always been fascinated by Spanish Moss. Being a kid in Queens, New York, the only place I ever could've seen the stuff was on a Disney T.V. show called Swamp Fox. (It was about a guerrilla band of Revolutionary War Americans terrorizing the British troops from week to week and then hiding out in a swamp, complete with Spanish Moss.)

I don't remember where I first heard it but I've always had a vague memory of a Spanish Moss legend that had something to do with an Indian Princess and her hair. Maybe that sounds a little nuts (hell, it sounded nuts to me) but all the same I went on-line to look it up and don't you know, not only did I find my "Indian Princess legend" but also a "horny Spanish explorer legend" (which features, you guessed it, an Indian Princess).

First the Indian Pricess. . .

There's an old, old legend, that's whispered by Southern folks,
About the lacy Spanish moss that garlands the great oaks--
A lovely princess and her love, upon their wedding day,
Were struck down by a savage foe amidst a bitter fray;
United in death they were buried, so the legends go--
'Neath an oak's strong, friendly arms,
protected from their foe;
There, as was the custom,
they cut the bride's long hair with love,
And hung its shining blackness on the spreading oak above;
Untouched, undisturbed, it hung there, for all the world to see
And with the years the locks turned grey,
and spread from tree to tree

And here's the horny Spaniard. . .

A villain there was named Gorez Goz,
who journeyed here from Spain,
The natives feared him much because
his heart was set on gain.
Gorez espied an Indian maid who filled his fondest hope.
He bought her for a yard of braid and a little bar of soap.
The Indian maid was so afraid and fled this bearded brute,
She sped over hill and field and glade with Gorez in pursuit.
At last the maiden climbed a tree; the Spaniard did the same.
The lass was bent on being free; Gorez desired his claim!
She balanced on a slender limb then dove into the brook.
She much preferred a morning swim
to this bearded Spanish crook.
The troubles of Gorez begin, his naughty plans are queered.
He snags the whiskers of his chin
and the branches hold his beard.
The Indian maiden thus is free Gorez's life is a loss,
But his beard lives on for you to see as dangling Spanish Moss!

No comments: