Sunday, February 27, 2005

Welcome to the Tar Heel Tavern

Welcome to the Tar Heel Tavern. It is great to see so many of my neighbors here. Today, the food and the drinks are on me, so go ahead, eat and drink and sing and be merry until dawn or until the tavern-keeper (Mr.Blogger) kicks us all out, whichever comes first.

But there is one catch! Once you make sure there's hay for your horses and a beer-mug in front of you, before you can relax after the long voyage in horse-drawn carriages breaking through snow-covered mountain passes, you have to introduce yourself and your travelling buddies through song! Perhaps a song about a tavern... How about The Misery Tavern, The Ballad Of Rose's Tavern, I Burnt The Little Roadside Tavern Down, or There Is A Tavern In The Town? Who is going first? OK, the Charlotte crowd will begin:

(sung to the tune of "St.James Infirmary Blues"):

It was down in Tar Heel Tavern on the corner by the square
The drinks were served as usual and the usual crowd was there.
On my left stood Charlotte's Ogre, his eyes bloodshot red
He turned to the crowd around him and these are the words he said:

"What's a redneck and what's a cowboy, are they diff'rent or the same?
Is one's truck overheating and the other guy's horse is lame?
And if I like just that llama song, why ask for nine or ten more?
Perhaps I should retrace the steps and see who has done this before."

"Rednecks and music" said Dennis, "I just learned something about that"
"You'd have learned it at home all much sooner" if you have read the Charlotte's Fat Cat.

Get six gamblers to carry the coffin, six chorus girls to sing me a song,
When basketball died in Charlotte, and football just went along.

And that's the end of my sad story, let's have another round of booze
And if anyone asks you just tell them you got The Tar Heel Tavern blues.

Thank you, thank you. That was a fun start. Who is next? Well, Amy just walked in after a long journey all the way from the mountains. She travelled all alone as, she confided, the mountain folks are a little shy. Perhaps they'll come along next time when Amy tells them what fun she had tonight. After three days and three nights on the road, bumping into shady characters in roadside taverns and enjoying the quiet of the vacant roads during the day, she can sing only one song:

Over the river and through the woods to Tar Heel Tavern we go,The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the woods, the spirit of nature and me,Nobody selling me this God or that, the forest will set you free.

Thank you Amy. Hopefully you'll bring some of your neighbors with you next time. Hmmm, nobody from the coast is here yet. Perhaps they'll show up later, perhaps next week. I wonder if the Pony Express messenger managed to bring the summons to them on the islands.

Anyway, a fun group just walked in, stomping their boots to shake off the snow. They look happy...I wonder if they already stopped for a drink somewhere on the way....It's Sue Polinsky and Stewart "lenslinger" Pittman and Linda Runyon and George The Dirty Greek, from Greensboro and Winston-Salem and other Piedmont/Triad area places. So, what's your song?

(sung to the tune of "Oh, My Darling Clementine")

In a tavern, in a barroom, looking for a story line,
then unhappy when one shows up and takes up all TV time.

Sue drove ducklings to the water every morning just at nine,
But, alas there was no coffee, real sugar, foaming brine.

Linda loves the New Year's morning, it is later she gets scared,
Jawls and collards, black-eyed monsters, wonder if she can get spared.

How I miss him, how I miss him, how I miss the old-time scribe,
'Till I saw that we can all be members of the scribing tribe.

Wow! That was fun. Have another round of beer while we wait for pig jawls and peas to be served. And now let's turn to the locals, my neighbors from the Triangle. What are we going to sing? There's a lot of us, so we should pick something of epic length, I guess. A haiku?

(sung to the tune of "The House of Rising Sun")

There is a House in Tar Heel state
They call the Rising Sun
It's been a ruin for many a poor boy
And Tim's, oh God, for one.

Sally met a saint
and then a poem she wrote .
Anton got a funny name
and then he did the same.

If I had listened to what Catharine said
I'd have quit the habit by now
But I was young and foolish, Oh God,
guess I'll get home anyhow.

The only thing a gambler needs
is a movie and a play.
And after the play there must be food
And the food better be good.

One foot is in the kitchen,
The other foot who knows where
I'm going back to strike it rich
I'll tell you when I get there.

Thank you all for coming. Don't be shy: serve yourself another plate. Get another drink. And do not forget to come again next week. The tab will be picked by melinama on Pratie Place. I hope I see you all there again, and don't forget to bring your friends along.

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