Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven' rewritten by jazz poet Lord Buckley in beatnik slang ('The Bugbird') 1950:

It was a real drug midnight
swoooooooooooooooah dreary
i was goofing
beat and weary
over many a freakish volume of forgotten score
when suddenly there came a tapping
as if some cat were gently riffing
knocking rhythm at my pad's door.
ah, "tis the landlady" i muttered
on her broom she flies the rounding
sounding for her rent
WHICH only this and nothing more
ehh, ooh, will i ever get out of this feeling?
emmmmm, emmmmmmm
ah, so solid i remember,
it was in that wrought december
and its swingin', jumpin' ember
blew its phantom upon the floor.
groovily i woo'd the morrow
still hung i sought to borrow
from my book kicks
to knock the sorrow
sorrow for my gone lenore.
for that sweet square but swingin' maiden
whom the fly chicks tagged lenore
nameless here forevermore.
oooooh, man,
and the silky wear deturning
of each upper curtain
moved me, hound me
with freakish fipples
never dug before.
so that now to cool the beating of my ticker
i stood repeating, "tis some strange midnight stud
that's sounding a money beat on my pad's door"
a deuce to cool the morrow
or some juice to drown his sorrow
some lightweight riff this 
and nothing more.
"jack!" i said "or jilly, if i've crossed you.
haha.  don't jump sore
for the solid truth is
this cat was napping
and so cool did you come tapping
and so light hip you came rapping
rhythm at my pad's door
that i was scarce sure i dug you!"
here i opened wide the slammer, jack.
swhoosh, i dug the breeze
and nothing more.
ooh, what are they trying to do to me?
i'll show them- what do they think about-
get my way out of this- why they-
uummmm, what was that?
look out, look out, look out!
take it easy, take it easy, take it easy, take it easy!
stoned into the darkness peering
long i stood there
i was hung there
flipped and fitting
king spinning dreams
no mortal cat had ever rode before.
but the gasser was unbroken
diggin' so hard my wig was goin'
but nathin' shakin' nathin's sure
just one radar blip was goin'
the whispered word: lenore.
this one sad lick and nothing more.
oooh, why don't they leave me alone,
why don't they leave me alone?
they're draggin' me.
i backed into my pad
still turning
all this jazz within me burning
and again i dug the tapping
a stronger beat than was before.
"unsolid hip" says i, "i don't dig
what that is jumpin' in my window lattice.
let me get hip what the rat is
and this big flip i will explore
let my pounders stay cool
and this flip i will explore"
swoo-shoo, jack, i drew a blank
and nothing more.
who do they think they are to do this to me?!
gone full out
i found the shutter
when with many a flip and flutter
in there stomped a king sized bugbird, jack
from way back days of yore.
not a minute tipped or hung he
not a minute brought or down he
but with stance of king and queen
he swung above my sweet pad's door
lit upon the bust of paris
sat goofin' there and nothing more.
"unsolid hip," said i, "that you're not craven
gasser grim and beat up raven
goofin' for the night's plutonian shore.
swing hip me to what thy tag is
on the night's plutonian shore"
flip the bugbird, "nothing more"

i love this.  it's fun to recite. 

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