The Swingin' Pied Piper

Richard "Lord" Buckley, 1906-1960

Hamlin Town's in Brunswick
By jumpin' Hanover City.
The river Weser, swinging wide,
Flips it's walls on the sunny side
A groovier scene you've never spied!

But when begins my ditty
Five hundred swinging years ago
To see the Town Cats brought down
So from squirmin' vermin
was a drag and a pity.

Rats, they flipped the dogs
And knocked out the cats,
And nipped the babies in their cradles,
And swung cheese and cracker parties
Right in the vats and swooped up the soup
From the cook cats own ladles
And split with the kegs of salted sprats,
Blew jam sessions in the men cats Sunday hats,
And even hung up the lady cats backyard chats
By topping their speakin' with screechin'
And squeakin' off-pitched rat style,
Rhythm and Blues that shook all the chicks
Right down to their shoes.

At last the town cats in a body
To the town hall came rocking,
"'Tis clear," sounded they,
"That our mayor's a flip and our corporation is very unhip.
We straighten them out with robes of vermin
For squares who can't or won't determine
To cool the scene and knock out the vermin.
You dig because you're old and fat
That play it cool I gain no rats!
Swing up, Sir, keep your wigs a rocking,
You'd better come on like TV's Van Doren
Or Fate will send you packing."

At this the mayor and the corporation
Shook like cats caught with inflation.
For one solid hour they goofed in council.
The unhip mayor broke the spell,
"For a dollar I'd hock my ermine gown.
I wish I was forty miles out of town.
Oh, it's easy to hip one, to rock one's wig,
But all I get is a strain from this gig.
We've been digging and redigging, but all in vain.
By Gad, we're really strapped for a trap!
Any kind of a trap!"

Just as he said this, what should hap
On the chamber door, "Room, Boom! " came a rhythm tap.
"Hip me!", cried the Mayor,
"What's that?"
With the corporation cats as he sat.
Now the major was a square and very fat cat.
Nor sadder were his peepers nor moister
Than the bull's eye in a brought down oyster.
Cool to noon when his pounce would quiver
For french fried onions and a stack of cows liver.
"Ooh, it's just some cat's scraping his boot on the mat.
But any riff, like the beat of a rat,
Flips my ticker from sharp to flat. Fall in!",
Cried the Mayor, puffing up bigger.

When, WHAM, in came the most far out,
Coo coo character figure.
His long zoot coat from stompers to head
Was half of yellow and half of red.
His lean, stringy frame was tall and thin
With sharp blue peepers at a pinpoint stare.
And skin in dark neon and loose wig hair,
No fuzz on his cheeks, no bulge on his pelvis,
When this cat took a stance he looked just like Elvis.
But lips where his kicks shown out and in,
No cat could dig his kith or kin,
He so gassed them they were moved
To admire this way out cat in his coo coo attire.

One square flipped completely
"Comes on like my great, great, great granddaddy cat,
Jumpin' up at the trump of Doomstone
And split out from his side pads' tombstone!"

Now this cat swung up to the council tables,
"Let me hip you, Your Honor.", said he.
"I am able, by means, of a secret riff,
Dig you dig what I say? A secret riff.
All creatures living beneath the sun
That swing or flip or fly or run,
They dig my jazz like you wouldn't believe.
And I solid use my musical charms
On creatures that drag and do people harm
Like, the gossipers, the prevaricators, the rats and the vipers.
Why the cats all call me 'The Swingin' Pied Piper'"

And here they dug around his neck
A groovy scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To mellow with his jacket of the self same check.
At the end of which huge a silver piccolo
And his fingers were flipping so ficcolo
As if so ready to be blowing upon this piccolo
As low it swung his ancient vest so beat and hung.
Yet hip he, "Poor cat as I am in townery I cool the jam.
Last June from king-sized swarms of dragnets,
I cooled ??? of a gassing sky acre of vampire bats.
I dig you cats is really hung up.
If I can cool you towner rats,
Will you come up fast with a thousand bucks?"
"One grand!", they cried.
"Fifty thousand!" was the exclamation of the unhip major
And his square corporation

Out on the pike the Piper stepped
Smiling first a little coo coo smile,
As if he was hipped what great jazz slept
In his real cool piccolo all the while.
Then like a solid musical cat,
To blow the pipe, his hip lips wrinkled,
Neon green and blue his sharp peepers twinkled,
Like a candle flame where the salt is sprinkled.
And he blew three far out coo coo riffs.
His crazy eyes shuttered.
And it was if a salty army muttered.
And the grumbling blew to a mighty rumbling
And out of the pads the rats came tumbling.
King-size rats, teen-sized rats,
Streamline rats, pug style rats,
Jet rats, pet rats, pack rats,
Rat rats, blonde rats,
Square old plodders, hip young friskers,
Daddy-os, mommy-os, uncles rats and cousins,
Frat rats by the tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives
Followed the Piper for their lives.
From pike to pike he piped advancing
And riff for riff they followed dancing.
Until they came to River Visa,
Where in they all flipped and perished.

Save one little hip rat, came on like Julius Caesar,
Made it across and lived to carry as he,
The hip recorded he cherished,
To Ratland Headquarters his commentary,
Which was: "When I first dug his coo coo pipe,
It came on like sounds of scraping tripe
And swinging apples flipping ripe hung in the side of ??? gripe.
And the swinging away of pickled ?? boards
And the goofed up boards of jelly cupboards.
And the drawing the corks of rat champagne,
Flasked and splitting the hoops of butter casts.
And I seemed to dig a verse:
'Groovier by far than swing ??? psaltery.
It cooled, swung out.
Oh rat's rejoice the whole scene is one vast, dry psaltery.
So scarf up, pick up, take your munchin', breakfast,
Dinner, supper, luncheon.
And just as a great big bulky sugar-punchin'
All ready stashed like a great sun shone glorious solid,
Just an inch before me, and just as I was sure that it said
'Come bore me." I found the Visa rolling o' me.

Well, you should have dug the Hamlin people,
They flippin' the bells 'til they rocked the steeple.
"Cut!" cried the Major, "And pick up on long poles.
Swing up the nests, jam up the holes,
Up with the carpets as wheelbarrows
And trucks and cool our town.
Leave not a trace of the rats."
When suddenly up the face of the Piper
Jumped in the marketplace.
"If you please," he say,
"A thousand bucks."
"A thousand bucks?!" the Major squared up blue.
And the corporation squared up too.
For council dinners swung like crazy
With claret, mozel and bourbon hazy.
And half this gold would replenish their biggest wine stash
With solid reddish.
To come up with long green for this raw raw fellow
With his crazy zoot coat of red and yellow.

"I'm hip!" squared the Major with a knowing wink,
"This jazz was done at the river's brink.
We dug with our peepers the vermin sink.
And what's real gone can't jumped to life,
I think, but Jim, heh heh, we're not the cats
To slink from getting you straight for something for drink.
A matter of short change to put in your poke.
But as for the big money, of what we spoke,
Heh heh, of that, as you must dig, was in joke.
Besides our loses has made us thrifty,
A thousand bucks? Come, come, come, come, take fifty."

Well the Piper was real brought down.
And he cried, "No drags now.
And besides, I'll jam a promise to visit by dinnertime,
Bag that and pick up on the prime
Of the head cook cat's groovy parties,
All he's rich in, for having put down
In the Calebs kitchen, a gang of scorpions,
No survivors. With him I hip no bargain sale,
with you cats there will be no bail.
Bad cats who flip me in a passion
Will find me blowing some jazz in another fashion."

"He digs," cried the Major, "That I'm on his hook,
Heh heh. Why the cat's trying to treat me like a cook.
Insulted by this lazy cat
with his goofing piccolo so flat.
Trying to cross me, Jack? Well, do your worst.
Blow your pipe until you burst!"

Once more the Piper swung into the street.
To his coo coo lips again grooved his crazy pipe,
His silver piccolo.
And 'er he blew three notes,
Such sweet, cool, coo coo soft notes,
Like a free dues Patrillo cat on a life time gig
That has never yet been heard from a Toscaninis wig.
When, wham! there came a frantic rustling
That sounded like countless little cats
to a jam session hustling.
Small stompers were pattering,
wooden ones And twos were clattering,
Teen hands clapping, little tongues chattering,
And like teeanagers at a stage door
Where Elvis' pictures were scattering,
Out came the little cats running
All the little boys and girls with the rosy wigs
And coo coo curls and sparkling peepers
And choppers like pearls,
flipping and skipping swung merrily after,
this wonderful jazz with shouting and laughter.

The drag Mayor was so shook and the unhip council
Stood like squares cut out of blocks of wood.
Unable to swung or step a sound
As the children cats flip by on the bound.
But could only dig with real sad eye
The rock n' roll crowd at the jazz pipers back.
The square mayor was solid on the rock
And the unhip councils bosoms flipped in beat
As the Piper cut from the main stem street
To where the River Visa rocked and rolled
It's waters a solid bulls eye for their sons and daughters.

But dig, he turned from south to west
To Koppleburg Hill his rhythm addressed.
Solid after him the little cats pressed.
Cool was the kicks in every breast.
"He'll never make that far out top.
We're hip he must let the music drop."

When double O, as he swung to the mountainside,
A wondrous rock and roll portal opened wide.
Came on like a jazz concert cavern, suddenly hollowed,
The jazz piper swung in and the little cats followed.
And when all made the inside scene to the very last
A jazz fanfare blew and the swinging king-sized
door in the mountainside, bam bam, shut fast.

Did I state all? Nay, one little cat with a very bent frame,
And who could not make the dance scene all the way.
And in years that swung after,
If you were to blame his brang down attitude,
He used to say, "Ah, it's a real solid drag
In our town since my play cats cut out.
And I can't forget that I am forever shut out
From all the groovy sights they see,
Which the Swingin' Pied Piper also promised me.
For he was jazz hipping us he said
To a real crazy joyous land,
joining the town and just at hand
Where soda pop rivers gushed and hot dog trees grew
and king-sized flowers with a perfumed hue
And everything was coo coo and new and sparrows
Flipped brighter than peacocks here
And there dogs dragged raced with the leaping deer,
Where honey bees swung
with wondrous kisses instead of stings
And circus ponies were born with eagles wings.
And just as I solid knew my bent frame
Would be straight as sweet jazz stomped
And I stood still and dug myself outside this happy world gate
Playing the loner against my will
With my bent foot limping as before
And to never pick up of that country more."

Sad drag, alas, for Hamlin,
There came to many a towncats wig
A text which says that heavens gate
Flips open to the money cats at an easy rate
As a needles eye swings a camel in.
The square mayor sounded east, west, north and south
To hip the Piper by word of mouth.
Wherever and however it was men cats luck
To dig him silver and gold to his tickers content
If he'd only cut back the way he went
And swing the little cats behind him.
But when they dug 'twas a long gone endeavor
And the jazz piper and his little cats had cut out forever,
They made a law that the lawyer cats never
Should dig their records dated duly,
If, after the day, the month and the year,
These words did not as well appear,
And so long after what had jumped off here
On the twenty-second of July,
thirteen hundred and seventy-six,
And solid in the memory to fix,
The price of the children cats last retreat
And they called it the Swingin' Pied Pipers street.

For anyone playing on the pipe or piccolo
Was sure for the future to lose his gig,
The law said that no bar or tavern
To shock with jazz a street so solemn.
Straight across from the place of the cavern
They put down the scene upon a column
And on the great church window painted the saying
"To hip the world acquainted,
How their little cats were swooped away."
And there it swings to this very day.
And let me hip myself to say that in Transylvania
There's a coo coo people that ascribe
To real crazy style of ways and dress
On which their neighbor cats solid stress
To the daddy-os and mommy-os having risen
From some deep far out jazz cavern prison,
Into which they were jazz jammed a long time ago
In the swinging band out of Hamlin town out
In Brunswickland but how or why
They do not dig or understand.

So, Jack, let's you and me be wipers out,
Of scores out with all men especially pipers,
Whether they pipe us free from rats, rock and roll
Or the blue suede shoes,
Let's solid keep our promises and we'll never blow the blues.


From unreleased recording: Performance for Sir Henry Miller, Nepenthe, Big Sur, California, Autumn, 1959

Transcribed by EARL RIVERS

[Text Only Version]

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