The Little Man Who Wasn’t There

A comment by gooseyanne (The everyday ramblings of Anne and her Goose) sent me on a bit of a wild goose chase to find the poem she quoted, and I’m delighted to share it back in its entirety.  Is this not what friends and google are for – helping us to add to our personal massive piles of random information?  Well, yeah.  So here you go.

Main Street Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Main Street Antigonish, Nova Scotia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antigonish, by Huges Mearns, 1899

(Inspired by reports of a ghost of a man roaming the stairs of a haunted house in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.)

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away…

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

In 1939 the poem was adapted to a song called “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There” and recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  It was on the Hit Parade for 11 weeks.

This innocent little poem has appeared in variations in literature, film, comics, television and music for over a hundred years.  Amazing!  Imagine some small thing popping out of your head and becoming the stimulus for further creativity, awakening and motivating future generations!  Well, it’s a nice thought, anyway.  We all have our delusions of grandeur.

Hope you all have a happy Tuesday.  Stay away from those staircases.

Picture Potpourri

I’ve spent my morning pretending to reorganize things in an effort to make my work space more efficient.  Now that the clutter has been successfully rearranged (for better or for worse remains to be seen) I thought I might work on moving pictures around.  Then I decided chronological order is perfectly fine.

Here’s how the world outside my front door looked a few days ago.  It’s hard to capture a downpour with the rain coming down so hard it bounces back up again.  The neighbors car went from dusty to squeaky clean in two minutes flat.  And look at that golf course quality green lawn!  I continue to pay a lot of money for its beautification and upkeep while taking all the credit, although the rain deserves honorable mention too.











And here’s the next couple of pictures on my phone sent to me from the other side of the country.  A lucky granddaughter on holiday in Nova Scotia.

She gets to go to the ocean and I get to look after her dog.

Sometimes he’s very dignified.  Sometimes not so much.  Today he’s happy because I’m not going anywhere.  That makes two of us.

The Ides of February

The fifteenth of February was my maternal grandmother’s birthday in 1887.  She’d be a hundred and twenty five years old today if she was still alive.  How’s that for a random fact.  Here’s some more. 

Today is Singles Awareness Day,  especially for all those unattached people who hate Valentine’s Day to give them a chance to get over being depressed about it.  Or something like that.  And, today is Gumdrop Day.  A day on which candy stores that are all sold out of chocolates from yesterday can now sell out of all things gummy as well. 

It’s Candlemas on the Julian Calendar and Susan B. Anthony Day on the modern (American) one.  And it’s the last day of the three day Lupercalia festival, so time to put that goat skin away.

Does that cover everything?  I sure hope so.

The last couple of days I’ve been watching Canadian movies on Netflix.  That category comes up under genres and I’ve never clicked on it before.  So I could have been observing Try Something New Without Getting Off Your Ass Day if such a holiday existed.

So far, I’ve liked five out of five!  Love That Boy, Margaret’s Museum, Away From Her, Cole, and Marion Bridge.  They’re all weird, which is no doubt why I liked them.  The song at the end of Marion Bridge is perhaps the best part of the whole movie.

Song For The Mira

Out on the Mira one warm afternoon Old men go fishing with black line and spoon And if they catch nothing they never complain I wish I was with them again
As boys in their boats call to girls on the shore Teasing the one that they really adore And into the evening the courting begins I wish I was with them again
Can you imagine a piece of the universe More fit for princes and kings? I’ll give you ten of your cities For Marion Bridge and the pleasure it brings
Out on the Mira on soft summer nights Bonfires blaze to the children’s delight They dance round the flames singing songs with their friends I wish I was with them again
And over the ashes the stories are told Of witches and werewolves and Oak Island gold The stars on the river they sparkle and spin I wish I was with them again
Out on the Mira the people are kind They’ll treat you to home-brew and help you unwind And if you come broken they’ll see that you mend I wish I was with them again
And thus I conclude with a wish you go well Sweet be your dreams, may your happiness swell I’ll leave you here, for my journey begins I’m going to be with them, going to be with them I’m going to be with them again

There’s the lyrics, just in case you’d like to sing along.  Very celtic.  Makes me want to go back to Nova Scotia.

Margaret’s Museum was filmed in Nova Scotia as well, and Cole was somewhere in B.C.  If you watch them and nothing else appeals to you, enjoy the scenery.

Table Talk and Some Questionable Lyrics

It’s been another long summer, living alone, trying to entertain myself.  Not that W. is that great an entertainer, but at least when he’s around I have a reason for talking out loud.  Unlike now.  I sometimes talk to my fish, but who knows if he hears anything from under water.  Maybe he reads lips. And I sometimes make disparaging remarks to my computers, which up to this point in time refuse to converse with each other.  They both want their own home groups, and neither will include the other.  Obviously, there’s some little thing I’m missing and they don’t read lips either.

Chapters, how do I love thee?  You reward me with little gems just for showing up and wandering around.  “Table Topics” is an all plexiglass lidded cube full of square cards.  Each card has a topic on it.  In a sane household the family would sit down for dinner, a card would be drawn, the topic read, and the various answers discussed in a lively and delightful manner.  Is ‘sane household’ an oxymoron?  Probably.

Here’s my plan.  On the days when Plinky “plonks” (i.e. asks something infuriatingly stupid) I’m going to draw a card from the box and blog about that!  My computer is on a table, so it should all work out.


the most beautiful

drive you’ve

ever taken

This is how the cards throw a topic at you.  They’re not big on capital letters or punctuation, so I find myself  imagining a monotone robot type voice getting the idea out there but not caring in the least what your answer is or even if you have one.  ….next…..card……please…..

Nope, I promised myself I’d answer whatever came up, no matter what.  So the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken has to be the one through the Atlantic provinces last fall with my sister, her husband, and W.  And all the stops along the way, of course.  The rocks, the sand, the fierce winds, the ocean’s roar, beautifully offset by the flaming fall colors.

I think it was when we were leaving Hopewell Rocks that we put one of our new cd’s on and were listening to Paddy Lay Back, and other pieces of uniquely maritime music;  ballads and reels about drunken sailors and phantom ships and rolling home and sailing away.

‘Twas a cold and dreary morning in December (December)
All of me money, it was spent, (Spent, spent)
Where it went to, Lord, I can’t remember (Remember)
So down to the shipping office I went (Went, went!)

Paddy lay back, (Paddy lay back!)
Take in the slack,  (Take in the slack)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Take a turn around the capstan, Heave a pawl! (Heave a pawl)
About ship’s stations, boys, be handy (Be handy!)
We’re bound for Valipariso ’round the Horn!

That day there was a great demand for sailors,
For the colonies, for ‘Frisco and for France.
So I shipped aboard a limey barque, the Hotspur,
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance.

Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm,
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’,
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.

Now some of our fellers had been drinkin’,
An’ I meself was heavy on the booze.
An’ I was on me ol’ sea-chest a’ thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.

I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
I knew I was outward bound again;
I hears a voice a-bawlin’ at the door,
“Lay aft, ye sods, an’ answer to yer names.”

‘Twas on the quarterdeck where I first saw ’em.
Such an ugly bunch I never seen before,
For there was a bum and stiff from every quarter,
(For the captain had shipped a shanghai crew of Dutchmen)
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick and sore.

There was Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrost from France.
An’ most of them could speak no word of English,
But answered to the name of `Month’s Advance!’

I wisht I was in the “Jolly Sailor,”
Along with Irish Kate a-drinkin’ beer,
An’ then I thought what jolly chaps were sailors,
An’ with me flipper I wiped away a tear.

I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ’twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.

So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox.

I felt that I should skip an’ join another,
‘Twas plain that I had joined a lousy bitch;
But the chances wuz that I might join a worser,
An’ we might git through the voyage without a hitch.

I axed the mate a-which a-watch was mine-O,
Says he, “I’ll soon pick out a-which is which,”
An’ he blowed me down an’ kicked me hard a stern-O,
Callin’ me a lousy, dirty son o’ a bitch.

Now we singled up an’ got the tugs alongside,
They towed us through the locks an’ out to sea;
With half the crew a-pukin’ o’er the ship’s side,
An’ the bloody fun that started sickened me.

Although me poor ol’ head wuz all a-jumpin’,
We had to loose her rags the followin’ morn;
I dream the boardin’-master I was thumpin’,
When I found out he’d sent me around the Horn.

I swore I would become a beachie-comber,
An’ niver go to sea no ruddy more;
For niver did I want to be a roamer,
I’d shanghai the boardin’-master an’ stay ashore.

But when we got to bully ol’ Vallaparaiser,
In the Bay we dropped our mudhook far from shore;
The Ol’ Man he refused ter let us raise ‘er,
An’ he stopped the boardin’-masters comin’ aboard.

I quickly made me mind up that I’d jump ‘er,
I’d leave the beggar an’ git a job ashore;
I swum across the Bay an’ went an’ left ‘er,
An’ in the English Bar I found a whore.

But Jimmy the Wop he knew a thing or two, sir,
An’ soon he’d shipped me outward bound again;
On a Limey to the Chinchas for guanner,
An’ soon wuz I a-roarin’ this refrain.

So there was I once more again at sea, boys,
The same ol’ ruddy business o’er again.
Oh, stamp the caps’n round an’ make some noise, boys,
An’ sing again this dear ol’ sweet refrain.

The beauty of these songs is that they go on forever and you can sing along to the refrain between every silly verse,  to the delight of youself and your sister and the dismay of your spouses who are trying to drive and navigate in the front seat.  Awesome drive.  Wish that IT could have gone on forever too.