“Mom Worked The Farm” came out in a flash and was written under the influence of Johnny Cash and painkillers, shortly after my elbow surgery 2 years ago. Most people who use Vicodin for acute pain issues get drowsy on them. Not me. I turned into a chatty, hyperactive pain-in-the-ass… minus the pain. I really couldn’t play guitar with a splint that started at my right shoulder and went all the way down my hand… but I simply had to, or I’d burst. I strummed some easily fingered country chords with just the tips of my fingers and started doing my best Johnny Cash. Considering the fact that I was high as a kite, it was a pretty realistic impression of Cash, pre-rehab.
The lyrics are based on the fact that my dad was a theater professor and very artistic, and my mom, the more athletic of the two, was the one who was most likely to fix things around the house. That’s where their similarity to the song ends. This piece utilizes prejudice, one of “The 3 Ps of Comedy“: penis, prejudice, and poopy. Prejudice being anything that pokes fun of someone’s beliefs, ethnicity, or in this case, a person’s sexuality. Most morning radio shows, road comics, and singer/songwriter/comedians all hopped up on goofballs use the three Ps generously. All I had to do was make a couple of minor changes, like eliminating the spoken parts, adding funnier lines to finish each stanza, and finding the right way to end the damn thing. That took all day!
Mom Worked The Farm
Mom worked the farm, she worked hard every day
With a baby in one arm and one on the way
She’d plant the crops and bale the hay
Mom worked the farm
While Dad taught ballet
Dad taught ballet with panache and great charm
He would plié with a man on each arm
I played catch with Mom
While he soaked his sore feet
After he’d Pas De Deux
He couldn’t be a Pa to me
Mom would wear those loose overalls
Daddy wore tights, pink scarves, and bright shawls
He’d lisp and he twirled and he came off real fey
Mom would drink beer and watch the LPGA
Mom was home while Dad passed away
His dying words were “Dolores I’m g..”
He never finished what he had to say
Still in the closet
Are his clothes, to this day
There were men at the funeral with rings in their ears
Mustaches, plucked eyebrows, and well-rounded rears
The organist played YMCA
One man cried loudest
Dad’s dance partner Ray
Mom was fine after Daddy was gone
Coaching softball and mowing the lawn
She joined an all-girl biker gang
Goes on cruises with Rosie and loves k.d. lang
When I get asked about my childhood
All I can say
Is Mom worked the farm
And Dad taught me…
Cooking and sewing and, black goes with everything
Art and music and, show tunes are fabulous
And it’s ok to be gay (as long as you don’t tell anybody)
Words & music by Paddy G.
Good 1 Music 2014 ASCAP
Editor’s Note: “Mom Worked The Farm” took 2nd Place in the 2012 International Songwriting Competition. Pat has had 2 songs in the finals of this prestigious songwriting contest, taken 2nd Place 3 times, and has never garnered that coveted 1st Place. Maybe, this year?
Two men of Jewish faith walk in to a bar; they see a drunken Irishman falling off his stool and talk to him about going into treatment. They’re truly helpful people, these 2 men, one a Stein and the other a Berg, but as it turns out they also have a slight agenda—they own the rehab facility. After much conversation, gesturing, and persuasion, the two Jewish men get Paddy O’Irish-something to check in for the full 28 days. The joke is… the poor bastard doesn’t have health insurance! Hilarious, right? This will ruin the Irishman’s credit for he cannot pay, and the 2 men will never get their money for they dare not sue. The ensuing debt cripples Paddy emotionally and within 3 months he relapses, gets falling-off-the-barstool drunk again, and needs to go back into treatment. The men, both named Joel, afraid of running into Irish, go into a different bar to have lunch and discuss business, all the while ignoring the obvious addiction issues around them—issues that could make them rich! Funny stuff. As of this writing, the drunken Irishman is shite-faced, teetering on that same bar stool, and reviewing his limited options. And the Jewish businessmen, tired of this country’s lack of universal healthcare and it’s myopic view on addiction, have decided to give up on rehab and are opening a sportsbar by the airport.
My next wife will be a gorgeous woman of inappropriate age, who’ll work full-time as a nurse and overtime as a part-time nurse. Her field of care will be treating the elderly and infirmed, specifically Alzheimer’s patients. She’ll want children someday; I’ll tell her to wait 30 years and I’ll be all the baby she’ll ever need. My next wife will be an orphan with large boobies and a tiny tummy who can afford her own maid and chef because she’s independently wealthy, due to a large financial settlement from her parents’ unfortunate accident—a week after we meet. Her hobbies will be listening to my music, going to my comedy shows, editing my essays, and quick romantic encounters. She’ll love the smell of cigars and encourage moderate drinking, while turning a blind eye to the heavy kind, and won’t mind when I spend weekdays fishing, drunk. My next wife, my new wife, the 2014 model, will be a soft-spoken gal with a big laugh, who can quote all 39 episodes of the original Honeymooners, will HATE The Honeymooners movie with Cedric the Entertainer and think Caddyshack’s hilarious even though I find it dated and corny… it’ll be our only argument. When she edits these essays I wrote of earlier, she’ll allow a little poetic license for run-on sentences, sexist humor, and endings that go nowhere. The end.
N: What is your favorite comedy song of all time?
P: “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro
N: Who do you admire most?
P: The father, son and holy ghost
N: Do you have any tattoos, and if so what and where?
P: The last supper on my daddy parts
N: Would you rather lose an arm or a leg?
P: I just lost an arm and a leg
N: Favorite place to eat?
P: On the couch
N: What’s your favorite TV show?
N: Most embarrassing moment?
P: This interview
N: If you had to pick one car, which would it be?
P: The closest one
N: Why did the chicken cross the road?
P: To answer this question
N: What was your last thought?
P: The answer to the last question
N: Favorite fruit?
P: Elton John
N: Which is worse? A bad laugh or a bad cough?
P: A bad laugh that turns in to a bad cough
N: Are you a cat or a dog person?
P: Most folks think I’m a dog
N: Do you shower every single day?
P: 3 times a day… I can get very dirty
N: Walking past a beggar, spare change or ignore?
P: Don’t you mean walking past another beggar?
N: What is your favorite food?
N: Do you read Harry Potter books?
P: Do you? I’m sorry that was a little defensive… yes
N: What is your favorite place?
N: Have you had a beer in the last week?
P: Does my probation officer read this?
N: What do you do on Fridays?
P: Make drunks laugh