Sugaree - Poem by STANLEY PACION
Yes, Darling, Yes!
That's how it went,
How I saw it back in the day.
I stood up before the stage at the Fillmore East,
And the girls in the crowd, they were dancing,
And those up front, next to and behind the band,
They were sashaying, and Jerry,
He was up there playing, it was as if,
Apollo had handed him the lyre.
Phil ran the bass.
Mercy! He carried us far.
Hitting those four wires, tight,
Landing atop the frets, fingers enchanting, abracadabra,
A bewitching up and down the instrument's neck.
And I saw two drummers, and the other guitarist.
Out the corner of my eye, I caught it,
The whole rhythm section was a purple gang.
Pig Pen keyed the B52, and with that organ sounding,
Yeah! We might as well have been in church.
And though inside, we were within the concert hall,
It felt - I wondered, could it be - had we been caught,
All of us seemed standing in the pouring rain.
How else? I know no other way to say it.
Against a back wall, a shape shift of kaleidoscopic liquid light,
Suddenly two pulsing blobs of psychedelic dazzle morphed.
Now we have South Sea romance upon the screen,
Then the black and white of yesteryear's cartoon matinee.
I saw Betty Boop, I swear it. She was dancing,
A lay of white flowers swayed along her breasts.
Dressed in a grass skirt, she posed Hawaiian.
I was happy for the wink she gave me.
There were other women, too,
On the beach, barefoot, their hands beckoning.
Their wrists looked to be doing some kind of talking.
And their hips, bedecked in Betty's grass attire,
Played to the rhythms, pretended they danced the hula.
Waving motions invited me closer.
Heaven, was I in heaven?
My heart beating fast, I could no longer think,
I seemed to find all the happiness a man could seek,
And we turned to one another, and smiled,
Yet the lyrics, the words were unkind,
The song about some gal,
Who had done her Daddy wrong,
And through the music we learned, sadly true,
This poor guy had but one request, just one more thing,
Oh, that Sugar please forget his name.
We sang the old folksong.
We were whistling and clapping,
Its refrain carried our souls.
We were cheering.
"Shake it, Shake it, Sugaree"
How else? I know no other way to say it!
All of us were standing, dancing,
We were singing in the pouring rain.
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