"Ben Franklin's Advice" joins the ranks of songs written with very bad scansion, but this time it is intentional.
Exactly a year ago on February 10 2005 I shared with you a song below, which was given to me to sing for a school assembly a long time ago.
Back then I thought it was stupid, but now I love it - not just for its sad reminder that people used to MAKE things in North Carolina, but for its funky scanning.
See, I used to be a scansion snob. After having been a professional sonnet writer for a few years I was annoyed by, for instance, "limericks" which were no such thing. Now I savor anomalies.
PRODUCTS FROM NC
To the tune of: If You're Happy and you Know it Clap your Hands
If you're chewing on a apple that is sweet
If you've eaten all the turkey you can eat
If you eat a sweet potata, and you think there's nothing greata
Than you've just enjoyed some products from our state
If your house is made of brick or made of wood
If your furniture is pretty strong and pretty good
If you have some pottery and a lovely Christmas tree
Then you're enjoying leading products from NC
If you girls are wearing corduroy skirts
If today you boys put on cotton shirts
If your jeans are made of denim, and you're looking so good in 'em
Then you're wearing textile products from NC
If you listened very carefully to our song
You know the list of products from our state is long
Pottery and things that grow, bricks to build and cloth to sew
Isn't North Carolina a great state!
By a school teacher from Greensboro
Well, here's one in the same vein. I wrote it a couple weeks ago for the kids' show we're doing in Greenwich CT for a Ben Franklin exhibit.
Ben Franklin's Advice
"Early to bed, and early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
Ben Franklin instructed us with clever words like these,
For instance, he said: "He that lies down with dogs shall rise with fleas!"
"What's begun in anger ends in shame." Franklin
Thought up sayings like this, and he signed Poor Richard's name.
Here's one that he thought up when he had trouble cutting the meat in his meal -
He said, "There never was a good knife made out of bad steel."
"A slip of the foot you may soon recover,
But a slip of the tongue you may never get over."
Ben didn't care for gossiping, so this is what he said, and see if you agree:
"Three people can keep a secret - but if and only if two of them are dead."
"Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today."
Franklin never liked it when people would delay.
He also didn't like it when a visitor comes and stays -
He said: "Guests, like fish, stink after three days."
"Haste Makes Waste." "No Pain Without Gain."
Don't stuff yourself - "A full belly makes a dull brain."
"It's easier to prevent a bad habit than to break it."
spoken: (But it was all for nothing because, as Franklin tells us ...)
"Wise men don't need advice - and fools don't take it."
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