Sunday, June 26, 2011

Monday Poetry Jam - Music

Homage to Billy Joel -- Draft Work in Progress

I am grateful to Brian Miller (I think), because I have had a music-oriented poem (song) idea going through my head for a long time and the deadline of this blog made me at least begin it.  (Whether I finish it again, is yet another thing).

Billy Joel:  "We didn't start the fire.  It was always burning since the world's been turning.  We didn't start the fire.  No, we didn't light it but we tried to fight it..."

Billy Joel was such a history buff and he put together some of the best humorous and biting rhymes for the stanzas of this song -- a history book of names and themes from 1950-1989.   But unless he is working on a sequel somewhere, somebody needs to address 1990-2011.   

It's been a busy week but, then again, it is always a busy week and probably always will be a busy week - but I've been stealing some time here and there to research names and themes.  A great place to start for me has been:

And my submission below is just a series of notes and rhyme segments to be edited and pulled together.  Please read these in Billy Joel's voice and notes from the song.

  • Cheers and Johnny Carson ends, Elizabeth Taylor weds again
  • Clarence Taylor, Anita Hill, Kevorkian charged with mercy kill
  • Paul Simon, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez oil dump
  • Universe explored by Hubble, fortunes lost in housing bubble
  • Gorbechev and Rodney King, Pete Rose charged with gambling
  • Boris Yeltsin, I.M. Pei, Janet Jackson's dress gives way
  • 9-11 terror attack, U.S. moves into Iraq
  • Noriega, Rick Flair, Howard Stern is on the air
  • Navy Seals, Bin Ladin dies, cherry coke and curly fries
  • Saddam Hussein in spider hole, Wayne Grestky scores a goal
We didn't start the fire, etc. etc.


This isn't much of a poem yet.  Just an idea and, for me, sort of an ongoing game.  And I'm looknig for  anyone who wants to play along!   Just post (or email to me at all the additional stanzas you can think of and I'll collect them.   Sometime I'll try to pick out the best, put them in chronological (maybe) order...and we'll have a song!

Of course, sequels never match the genius of the original.   But what the heck.   Anyhow, this is all I could come up with for this Monday.   Thank you, Brian.   (I think).


  1. This is a fab' idea. Whether I'll be able to contribute is another matter altogether. At the very least I will be following.

  2. Great idea and great examples provided. Hmmmm ... I'll be checking in and perhaps participating ...

  3. Good one, Mark - you've got me going on this. Now I'm going to have Billy Joel on my brain for the rest of the day. If anything comes of it, I'll let you know!

  4. I'm already working on a melody in my mind for these historic milestones ... great job! Billy Joel would love this ...

  5. I emailed mine already. I think we need a youtube clip of you performing it when it's done. VERY clever, thus far!

  6. dude this is awesome...great song choice and you have pulled together some great historical recap in the vein of the original...will have to give this some thought...

    iPad, iPhone, iTouch, iAnything you need and such
    Titanic sunk and Rose, Hurricane Katrina, Relief shows, Bono is humanities bard, Sammy and Mark go yard, Steroid scandal, George Lucas screws up the first prequel...

    ok no where near as good as you but maybe you can salvage a bit...

  7. I am no mechanic, nor music enthuse, what is that engine like thing?

  8. Love that song & I LOVE this idea. You definitely have a great start on it.

  9. great idea - and i love billy joel..will have to give this some thoughts..

  10. What a great idea. May not be able to contribute but you can bet your britches I will be following.
    Osama's gone, Obama's wrong. Oops sorry.

  11. I did a version of this for my local football team. I'd contribute but I rather think I'd be too parochial in my definition of world events!

  12. Can you work in somewhere that "the spring of 20-eleven was a gas"?

    Look how enthused you got everyone!