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Listening to early REM helped me to believe that poetry had, in fact, not been banished to the dusty recesses of the literary world. I believe these guys put poetry back into the mouths of average folks and raised the bar for popular music.

Swan Swan H Lyrics
(Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)

Swan, swan, hummingbird
Hurrah, we are all free now
What noisy cats are we
Girl and dog he bore his cross
Swan, swan, hummingbird
Hurrah, we are all free now
A long, low time ago, people talk to me

Johnny Reb, what’s the price of fans?
Forty a piece or three for one dollar
Hey captain, don’t you want to buy
Some bone chains and toothpicks?

Night wings, her hair chains,
Here’s your wooden greenback, sing
Wooden beams and dovetail sweep
I struck that picture ninety times,
I walked that path a hundred ninety,
Long, low time ago, people talk to me

Pistol hot cup of rhyme
The whiskey is water, the water is wine
Marching feet, Johnny Reb, what’s the price of heroes?

Six of one, half dozen the other,
Tell that to the captain’s mother,
Hey captain, don’t you want to buy,
Some bone chains and toothpicks?

Night wings, her hair chains
Swan, swan, hummingbird
Hurrah, we are all free now
What noisy cats are we
Long, low time ago, people talk to me
Pistol hot cup of rhyme
The whiskey is water, the water is wine

the julian day

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