Sunday, March 22, 2009

Adjustable Love At The Zoo Times Two: (Sunday's Poem #10)

At the Zoo
by William Makepeace Thackeray

First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;
Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;
Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;
Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;
Then I saw the monkeys—mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!


It is a little-known fact about me that I know all the words to "At The Zoo" by Paul Simon. Here are the lyrics, and that song:

Someone told me
Its all happening at the zoo.

I do believe it,
I do believe its true.

Its a light and tumble journey
From the east side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble
To the zoo.

But you can take the crosstown bus
If its raining or its cold,
And the animals will love it
If you do.

Somethin tells me
Its all happening at the zoo.

The monkeys stand for honesty,
Giraffes are insincere,
And the elephants are kindly but
Theyre dumb.
Orangutans are skeptical
Of changes in their cages,
And the zookeeper is very fond of rum.

Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries,
Pigeons plot in secrecy,
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas! you gotta come and see
At the zoo.

Another little-known fact about me is that I had the song "At The Zoo" on a mixtape, right after a Tommy James & The Shondells' song. I had that mixtape for about 7 years, and on the label it read:

3. At The Zoo
4. Adjustable Love.

Then, one day, listening to the tape, I suddenly realized:
They're not saying "adjustable love," they're saying "Yo'ure just A mirage!"

And that song made more sense. A lot more sense. Here's a live version of that song. It was the best I could find. Is it too much to ask that everyone in the world anticipate which songs I will want to hear on a Sunday morning, and make decent-quality videos of them and post them on Youtube? Of course it's not. Now go get to work.

1 comment:

Husbands Anonymous said...

Adjustable love sounds about right- whenever I choose to take the children to the zoo (yes, we have one, even in Africa) it seems to be mating season. Likewise, Nat Geo specials on TV. "watch the proud male circling the female with his pronounced displays of his bottom"...
Very adjustable...