Whatsoever he hews
he gets good reviews,
unlike Webber, who nebber
gets naught but the boot
—except he gets loot.
So much loot he can’t fit in his suit.
—whose art is so exquisite, so superior,
it hankers hard to hunker up its master’s tight posterior.
So refined it leaves behind
the vaulting flute of melody,
the well-stacked house of
Most Overrated Songwriter:
and the mighty vital organ of humanity.
Bring on the clowns indeed!
What we need is some grand old bathtub warmth—
which is a nice lead-in to:
Most Underrated Songwriter:
Not hallowed in hardback,
nor printed in glossy,
his songs are our tunes,
never bossy, nor mossy.
He rocked out of Ragtime
and merged into Swing,
a People’s composer, an unsceptered king,
whose melodies seesaw or snap or soar high
as if they had come from the top of the sky
when in fact they’d been picked from the street (not the valley)
and cobbled together in old Tin Pan Alley.
Singing “Love me or leave me” and “Little white lies”
and “Mammy” who sits there surrounded by pies
and my dead wartime “Buddy” and fine Caroline,
and girlies like Maisie
who’s driving me crazy
and might stop me from reaching my home sharp at seven,
where me and my family make up “My blue heaven.”
Dear all-purpose, all-seasons Donaldson!
Never no more “making whoopee” with the horses,
or asking, “How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm?”
For now he’s safe from alarm—
honored by the hour
as round the world we hymn him daily s,inging-out
beneath the shower.