Yesterday, I was driving to meet my friend in Wheaton for an early dinner. Sandy had invited me to attend the evening WOW (Women on Work) meeting hosted by her friend, Joy Maguire-Dooley and her partners, Teri Clancy and Sally Morrison of Career Partners3 .

The meeting was being held at the satellite Rice Campus of IIT. My father’s alma matter keeps showing up in my life… more “Blue Brain” Serendipity.

As I was driving, I  was listening to WBEZ- Chicago Public Radio. The host was discussing country  singer, Charlie Poole. As a writer, I enjoy country music and lyric because of  the plot and character development. I’ve always loved the banjo. The finger picking reminds me of  a child skipping.

The host and his guest began discussing Charlies brief life and his extensive talent, then they played a song, with lyric that were unfamiliar to me until the closing lines of the song; which I hadn’t thought of since my father passed away, over 32 years,.

My father was tone deaf, as I am, but he loved to sing a funny little song that never failed to make me laugh, especially since my mother and I had freckles …

“And though they say her breath is sweet,
I would rather smell her feet
She’ my freckle-faced consumptive Mary Jane.”

I never knew where the lyrics came from until yesterday.
A sweet reminiscence of my father singing lines from that
long forgotten county composition…

made me laugh and my heart smile!

I hope they’ll make you laugh!

Hungry Hash House written in 1926 by Charlie Poole.

I’m a boarder and I dwell in that second-rate hotel
If I stay here long, I think I’ll go insane;
For I lay here on my bunk and I cannot reach my trunk
And the board I would break a millionaire.

Oh they feed on chicken pie, if you eat it you will die
The meat you cannot cut it with a sword;
Oh, there’s undertakers hangin’ ’round, for there’s good work to be found
In that all-go-hungry hash house where I board.

Oh, they carried me upstairs one night, you would need a fork and knife
It was something they had never done before;
Oh, the fleas all held me down while the cheesecake scarrped around
In that all-go-hungry hash house where I board.

Oh, the beefsteak it was rare and the butter had red hair
And the baby had its feet both in the stew;
Oh, the eggs you dared not touch, if you kicked one it would hatch
In that all-go-hungry hash house where I go.

Well, she promised she would meet me when the clock struck seventeen
At the stock-yards just five miles outside of town;
Where there’s pig’s feet and pig’s ears, and tough old Texas steers
Sell for sirloin steak at nineteen cents a pound.

She’s my darling, she’s my daisy. She’s hump-backed and she’s crazy,
She’s knock-kneed, she’s bow-legged and she’s lame;
And though they say her breath is sweet, I would rather smell her feet
She’ my freckle-faced consumptive Mary Jane.

Recorded by Charlie Poole, New Lost City Ramblers

Sheila N. Glazov, Author, Personality Type Expert, Professional Speaker and Educator
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1 Comment

  1. Sheila Glazov Author Speaker on November 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    You are welcome. Glad you found the post interesting. I love the song and the memories that it brought to mind.  

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