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Tim Ryerson's Blog

About Tim Ryerson
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Bloggers PhotoRetired from the printing business in 2011...now happily living in Ponchatoula, LA close to my wonderful (and enormous) family. I have three beautiful daughters, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, who I spoil rotten because that's my job. The bio picture is me with my oldest grandaughter, Dixie.
My goal is to write a halfway decent poem sometime...My favorite poets are Robert Frost, Edward Arlington Robinson and Wallace Stevens...I have read everything John Steinbeck ever wrote at least three times

UNDERRATED POETS - PART II


Blog Posted:4/10/2013 2:20:00 PM

Well, here I go again!...Two more song lyrics that I think are exquisite and stunning poetry...I don't know how to post websites and all that stuff so please, if you like these lyrics please look the songs up on the internet...This first song is a little known gem that I have on one of my Spotify playlists...More favorite songwriter comments would of course be welcome and appreciated...Thanks for reading!

I’ve Never Been to Me
Written by Ron Miller and Kenneth Hirsch
Performed by Charlene

Hey lady, you, lady, cursin' at your life
You're a discontented mother and a rich inventive wife
I've no doubt you dream about the things that you'll never do
But I wish someone had a talked to me like I wanna talk to you

Ooh I've been to Georgia and California and anywhere I could run
Took the hand of a preacher man and we made love in the sun
But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I had to be free
I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me

Please lady, please, lady, don't just walk away
'Cause I have this need to tell you why I'm alone today
I can see so much of me still living in your eyes
Won't you share a part of a weary heart that has lived a million lies

Oh I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed 'em all what I've got
I've been undressed by kings and I've seen some things
That a woman ain't supposed to see
I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me

[Spoken:]
Hey, you know what paradise is? It's a lie. A fantasy we create about
People and places as we'd like them to be. But you know what truth is?
It's that little baby you're holding, and it's that man you fought with
This morning, the same one you're going to make love with tonight.
That's truth, that's love

Sometimes I've been to cryin' for unborn children
That might have made me complete
But I, I took the sweet life and never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that cost too much to be free
Hey lady, I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me
I've been to paradise but I’ve never been to me

I've been to Georgia and California, and anywhere I could run
I've been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me
I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht
I've been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me….

***I'm sure almost everyone is familiar with this next song but some may not realize what great back-woods, slang poetry it is…It was written by Bobbie Gentry herself who was one of the first female country artists to write and produce her own music...What makes this song so eerie and compelling is that only three instruments are used...Voice, Ukulele and Violins

Ode to Billie Joe
Words and music by Bobbie Gentry

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin’ cotton and my brother was balin’ hay
At dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And mama hollered out the back door “Y’all remember to wipe your feet”
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

An’ papa said to mama as he passed around the black-eyed peas
"Well Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
An’ Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe McAllister’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

An’ brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece-a apple pie, you know it don't seem right"
"I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"
"And now ya tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

An’ Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"
"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"
"That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"
"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"
"He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"
"And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come an’ gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe
An’ brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge….


***Of course, they great mystery of this song is what was thrown off the bridge...Most theories are that it was a still-born (or aborted) baby...Others say it was a gun that they threw in the water after the speaker talked Billie Joe out of committing suicide but he decided to do it later by jumping off the bridge...One interesting theory is that it was an interracial romance...the speaker being black, and Billie Joe being white and the theories mentioned above were the reason why he jumped...By the way, I never bothered to see the movie...


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  1. Date: 4/12/2013 5:29:00 AM
    Good blog !! Enjoyed the lyrics and singing along ... Ear plugs anyone?? lol Thanks for sharing !!

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  1. Date: 4/11/2013 5:47:00 PM
    Howdy Tim, I read the blog then looked up the song, and yes after listening to the song, i was familiar with the song. The song made me sad, and reading your lyrics above are sad. The words are amazing. thank you for inviting us all here to your blog.... always~ Linda

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  1. Date: 4/11/2013 4:51:00 AM
    Hi Tim , I recall both songs very well . They're from my era and a time when lyrics were important to a musical piece and had a story/ meaning . Great write and write onnnnnnnn .. Sean

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  1. Date: 4/10/2013 9:35:00 PM
    the first one, "I've Never Been To Me" , I can sing straight through, practically wore out that record when I bought it (yes , record )

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  1. Date: 4/10/2013 8:14:00 PM
    Hi Tim, I'm new around here but just came across your blog post and was sucked right in. These are two great songs haven't heard in quite some time. really enjoyed reading the lyrics which I've never done Thank You! and I agree with Joe...Hey Joe

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  1. Date: 4/10/2013 5:22:00 PM
    Tim, song lyrics are, I think, some of the best poetry around. Even as a would-be poet myself, I enjoy song lyric poetry much more than the classic, English lit kind of poetry. Give me Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Chapin, Paul Simon and others any day of the week. You have chosen two good ones here. This is the kind of poetry I can only dream about creating myself.

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    Ryerson Avatar Tim Ryerson Date: 4/11/2013 11:22:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Favorite Paul Simon song: Duncan
    Ryerson Avatar Tim Ryerson Date: 4/11/2013 11:13:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    My favorite song of Gordon's is Rainy Day People
    Roberts Avatar Francine Roberts Date: 4/10/2013 9:43:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree wholeheartedly, and of course, as a Canadian, I'm in love with Gordon Lightfoot and like 75% of the country I can sing Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald start to finish with no mistakes and no musical accompaniment

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