I've worked in the building trades most of my life: carpenter, plumber, electrician. Also a writer all my life. I live with my high school sweetheart in the house we built in La Honda, California. joecottonwood.com
Author's Note: “Leonard and Clyde” was written as a song to celebrate the USA bicentennial year of 1976. I never created the music, so it was really a poem in the guise of a song lyric. Not coincidentally, that same year, I became a father which changed my whole outlook on life – and poetry. “Leonard and Clyde” was the first decent poem I ever wrote. In 1978 the poem was published as the words to a nonexistent song in my novel Famous Potatoes. Much later my son at age 30 put the words to music. If you want to hear the song with music, it’s here: https://youtu.be/0JNukquvNiE The photo of me is from the back cover of Famous Potatoes as I looked in 1976. The front cover won the National Book Award that year as Best Book Cover.
Leonard and Clyde
Leonard and Clyde, just out of jail
Clyde picked his nose with a ten penny nail
Leonard read a Bible, said, “Hear me, oh Lord,
Take me to Heaven in this Forty-nine Ford.”
What have you done?
All of your children
Out on the run.
Clyde was a carpenter, Leonard a Jew
Clyde liked to hammer, Leonard to screw
Clyde built a house without windows or doors
Construction was perfect, concept was poor.
Oh say can you see
Life is so short
We got to be free.
The back seat was empty, so when Leonard looks up,
He say “Stop for those ladies, I think we’re in luck.”
One was a gypsy, a ring in her nose
Picked Leonard’s pocket but left him a rose.
Red white and blue
She gave it to him
She’ll give it to you.
A long distance call come from Heaven one day
Saint Pete calling Clyde, “Boy I’m comin’ your way.”
Clyde say, “Hey Pete, you know I’m doin’ just fine
Baby you just go your way and I’ll just go mine.”
You better be sure
Death’s a disease
only living can cure
Where’s that, you say?
To San Francisco Bay.
© 2017 Joe Cottonwood
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