Saturday, September 10, 2011

ukulele lady

This past Labor Day I woke up with a song dancing around
in my head.
You know how that happens. . .
A tune gets caught in the cogs of your mind and no matter what else you're doing or thinking about, the damned song haunts you all day long. You know what I'm talking about.
The song I woke with was "Ukulele Lady", published back in 1925 by Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn. . .

. . ."I saw the splendor of the moonlight on Honolulu Bay;
There's something tender in the moonlight
on Honolulu Bay. . ."

Well, a couple of hours later, after I'd had my 2 cups of morning coffee, the tune was still with me. . .
". . .And all the beaches, are filled with peaches who bring their ukes along; And in the glimmer of the moonlight,
they love to sing this song. . ."

I jumped in the shower, gave my head a good soak and the record just kept on playing. . .
". . .If you like Ukulele Lady, ukulele Lady like a'you;
If you like to linger where it's shady,
Ukulele Lady linger too. . ."

I knew right then there was no getting away from it so I surrendered and decided that being afflicted with a corny tune was as good a reason to take the day off as any.
No Monday thing at the BluePaper, no working the phones, no billing, no nothing. . .
". . .If you kiss Ukulele Lady, while you promise
ever to be true;
And she sees another Ukulele Lady
foolin' 'round with you. . ."

I just wanted a long walk.
So I drove up the Keys to the "hinterland" and did
exactly that; walked.
". . .Maybe she'll sigh (an awful lot), maybe she'll cry (and maybe not); Maybe she'll find somebody else by and by. . ."

Whilst walking and feeding Florida's State Bird (the mosquito) with gallons of my blood, my mind began wandering as I wanted it too and it always does when I go walk-about.
And it hovered around school daze. . .

When I was a kid (all those hundreds of years ago), the most Labor Day meant to me was that in two more days school would start. I always thought it was cool that the first week of school was only 3 days long and imagined it was so the nuns could get used to wearing their scratchy habits again after dancing around naked all summer.
". . .To sing to when it's cool and shady,
where the tricky wicky wacky woo;
If you like Ukulele Lady, Ukulele Lady like a'you. . ."

But the first 3 day week of school was cool for us kids.
I mean, it sucked having to get back in long pants, long sleeved shirts buttoned up to the collar and those really sad embroidered clip-on ties but at least, for those first 3 days, we didn't have to do any real school work.
Those 3 days were spent calling role, being assigned classrooms, distributing books, getting to know who your new pain in the ass teacher was gonna be and sitting in assembly for a new school year pep-talk from the monsignor.
". . .She used to sing to me by moonlight, on Honolulu Bay;
Fond memories cling to me by moonlight,
although I'm far away..."

I never did like school. Being cooped up in a room behind a desk (which had a hole for an inkwell no one used anymore) for 6 hours with 30 or 40 other kids and a relic of a nun we nicknamed "Pruney", just wasn't my cup of meat.
". . .Some day I'm going, where eyes are glowing and lips are made to kiss; To see somebody in the moonlight
and hear the song I miss. . ."

All the same, I was good at it. (my parents would have nothing other) But then, about 6th or 7th grade, along came RoseAnne Dechelli. My adolescent testosterone went through the roof, my grades were like "who gives a sh*t" and I turned into the juvenile delinquent I still am to this day.
(". . .and maybe not")

But for all my stomping around in the brush,
I never out-paced that damned song.
". . .Ukulele Lady like a'you. . . . . . . . "

Here's a link to a version of the song in question.
Click on the chick to check it out.
(Go ahead, click on her; you know you want to. . .)

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