Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sing a little sunshine song

Roger Miller wrote some kooky songs.

The titles give him away. "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,'' "Dang Me'', "Do Wacka Do'' and "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died'' were as nonsensical as they sounded. But the really funny thing is, we learned the lyrics and sang along because this was music that made you smile. And, all corniness aside, they were pretty good songs.

There was method in the madness. There were lessons buried in the lyrics.

Of course you can't roller skate in the buffalo herd. But, guess what? You can be happy if you've a mind to.

All you've got to do is put you mind to it. Knuckle down, buckle down - do it, do it, do it.

Miller's most famous song -- and his only No. 1 single -- "King of the Road'' was certified gold on this date in 1965. It matches up with just about anything anybody was writing and recording at the time and it became, literally, the gold standard for songwriters.

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes

Two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination Bangor, Maine
Old worn out suits and shoes
I don't pay no union dues

I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road

Hard to believe Miller has been been gone from our good earth for going on 27 years. He died of cancer in 1992 at age 55. But his music, you couldn't get it out of your head if you tried. Not that you'd want to.

I'm sitting here listening to the rain -- the second straight day of soaking rain after months of dry weather -- and I don't think I'm giving Roger Miller too much credit when I say there's sunshine somewhere in those raindrops.

I just wish I had your good luck charm, and you had a do-wacka-do.

No comments:

Post a Comment