I used to love chorus as a kid. Singing was a great joy and I'd like to believe I was pretty good at it. At least, I wasn't causing any dogs to howl or glass to break. There was a song that we sang once in second grade that the music teacher played on a record. For decades since, I could only remember the first part of it. I must've sang that first part to dozens of people over the years, hoping that someone would recognize it and know how it turned out. Here was the part I remembered:
Mr. Fly climbed up a tree,
cried, "I'm high as high can be"
Lost his grip came crashing down,
Smashed to pieces on the ground
When the insects heard the sound,
echoing for miles around
They began to buzz and cry
"Quick! First aid for Mr. Fly",
One reason this song stuck with me for so long is because I remembered that that it had a really twisted sort of ending. I knew the general gist of the message but never what the lyrics were.
When the internet first got humming with search engines, I still remember putting the fragments into searches and finding nothing. The closest I got at the time was a folk/kid song forum where someone else was searching for the exact same song. When even the internet fails you, you know that what you're searching for must be obscure.
Well, I tried the search again a few days ago and hit paydirt. There are now two results which give the full lyrics of the song and one of the is even a pdf of a songbook. I know now that it's actually a Polish folk song
and the twisted ending, a moral for kids.
Here's the missing lyrics:
"Where's a bandage? Where's a splint?"
"Get some liniment and lint."
"Someone give him aspirin."
"Should we call the doctor in?"
Then the wise old flea spoke out,
"You don't know what you're about!"
"He's beyond all reach of aid."
"Get a pick and get a spade."
Then at last those insects knew,
What they really had to do.
Now his tombstone bears the scrawl,
"He who climbs too high must fall."
How's that for a lesson to teach kids, eh? No wonder it stuck in my head. Even back then I probably had an affinity for the cynically absurd.
I'm going to put the entire pdf of the song behind a lj-cut just in case you want to sing along with it. It's a catchy little ditty. God knows it's stuck with me for decades now.