Saturday, May 23, 2009

He also wrote "Harper Valley P.T.A."

I posted a little couplet from these lyrics on the "What's On Your Mind" box on Facebook and right away came a reply...what are you talking about, who is Margie, etc.

The great Tom T.
Hall wrote this song, "Margie's At The Lincoln Park Inn" and Bobby Bare had the big hit on it back in '69. At the time, I was affiliated with the local volunteer fire company, learning about life and putting out fires, and some of the lessons came from the older guys. For instance...I would see guys who were active at the fire house every night, and all the weekends too, get married, and then after a while I'd notice they were back at the fire house, and at first I thought, wow, what a great marriage; he gets to do whatever he wants to. But I realized that wasn't exactly a great way to be married...especially when it always seemed to follow that these guys were once again bunking at the fire house, instead of being home where they belonged, or used to.

And this song came along at about the same time, and it reminded me of some guys I knew who were working at the A&P with me - I was at that time a clerk with that long-established grocery firm, and a union member. How much fun were those union meetings, when a kindly sergeant-at-arms would be kind enough to yank my ballot out of my hand and helpfully fill it out and cast my vote for me, saving me the trouble of learning the vital facts about the candidates for local union office - mainly, whose brother-in-law each of these guys happened to be. But infidelity ran rampant with those guys, and I think I was not bothered by that so much as the hypocrisy of their ostensible actions, proudly parading the family around the shopping center, coaching Little League and doing all the Ozzie Nelson stuff while trying to be a junior grade Hugh Hefner on the side. Cheating on a partner is bad enough, and like your teacher always told you, "Whom are you really cheating?"

Lyrics, please:
My name's in the paper where I took the boy scouts to hike
My hands're all dirty from working on my little boy's bike
The preacher came by and I talked for a minute with him
My wife's in the kitchen and Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn.

And I know why she's there; I've been there before
But I made her a promise that I wouldn't cheat anymore
I tried to ignore it but I know she's in there my friend
My mind's on a number and Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn.

Next Sunday it's my turn to speak to the young people's class
They expect answers to all of the questions they ask
What would they say if I spoke on a modern-day sin
And all of the Margies at all of the Lincoln Park Inns?

The bike is all fixed and my little boy is in bed asleep

His little old puppy is curled in a ball at my feet
My wife's baking cookies to feed to the Bridge Club again
I'm almost out of cigarettes and Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn
And I know why she's there

I don't condemn, I don't judge, but please don't try to run a lie past anyone. I was lied to last week by people I once trusted - yea, went out of my way to help a thousand times - and now that trust is gone. To thine own self...

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Be true!