March 28, 1973  

When I was a little boy long years ago
We lived by the side of the road
There was no place for a garden
And there was no grass to be mowed  

There were men working the roads daily
Using a scraper in making the grade
There were also other men helping
As they had a pole tax to be paid  

The scraper was drawn by two horses
And those horses they did often beat
And the language that they were using
Is not even fit for me to repeat  

My older brother  John was always listening
To every thing that they said
And instead of using  his own language
He was using some of theirs instead  

So he hitched up two of his older sisters
Used a couple of long strings for a line
And drove them all up and down the yard
Thinking he was having a wonderful time  

My mother was watching as usual
And heard what brother John was saying
So she immediately stopped all this nonsense
And after this reprimand he was obeying  

Going back in thought I remember
That little house by the side of the road
As there was no place for a garden
But there were cricket, grasshopper and toad  

When I was a wee little bit of a baby
They put me in a box to stay
While my two older sisters often
Would steal a few minutes to play

There was a faithful dog to guard me
As they went off to have their play
And he would sit there hour after hour
Keeping all harm and danger away  

These are just a few things that happened
When we lived in the house by the side of the road
My folks were always very poor but fighting
For better things where no grass had to be mowed  

By Joseph Edward McLaughlin