Saturday, May 24, 2008

"And Here's To Us"

This morning while I was watching an old Roy Rogers serial on PBS I heard a song that I used to listen to at work. Along with my little toolbox of trusty lab accouterments that I took into the scanning electron microscope room with me, I used to lug around a little CD player to keep me company during the long hours spent alone in the dark staring at the SEM screen, while trying to crank out my million unruly samples per day. So the song that Roy was singing was an old hobo song, "Big Rock Candy Mountain." Some of the lyrics go like so:

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, there's a land that's fair and bright,
The handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night
Where the boxcars all are empty and the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees,
The lemonade springs where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, you never change your socks
And little streams of alcohol come a-trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats and the railroad bulls are blind
There's a lake of stew and of whiskey too
And you can paddle all around 'em in a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, all the cops have wooden legs
The bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmer's trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay
I'm a-goin' to stay where you sleep all day

Where they hung the jerk that invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

I guess that we can all learn something from the old hobos. If hobos can have a sense of humor about their lot in life, so can us working slobs, at least we have a job. But it might be nice to try riding the rails, to sleep under the stars, eat beans out of a tin can, and get chased by rail-yard dogs with rubber teeth...just once maybe.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Here's To You"

I'm not a fan of Bob Dylan, but his poetry often hits the mark dead on. Today I heard an oldie that reminded me of work. It's dedicated to the gutless managers, their lackey goons, and the evil coworkers they support at Backstabbers Inc. To all of those who have to cut us down to make themselves feel more important, and who make their day brighter by making ours more miserable.

Positively 4Th Street

You got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend
When I was down you just stood there grinning
You got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on the side that's winning
You say I let you down you know it's not like that
If you're so hurt why then don't you show it
You say you lost your faith but that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose and you know it
I know the reason that you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd you're in with
Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide what he don't know to begin with
You see me on the street you always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck" but you don't mean it
When you know as well as me you'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once and scream it
No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I'd rob them
And now I know you're dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don't you understand it's not my problem
I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you

I pray that God would bless you, and heal you, and save you from yourselves and your wicked ways.