TCS: The Day the Music Died

. .  Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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The idea is to die young as late as possible.
– Ashley Montagu

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Not everybody gets to live to a ripe old age, and only a fortunate few who die in youth will be long remembered.

February 3, 1959
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson
are killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa


A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

– Don McClean, from “American Pie”

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Buddy Holly & His Crickets – That’ll Be the Day
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Ritchie Valens – La Bamba
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The Big Bopper – Chantilly Lace
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Let Me Die A Youngman’s Death

by Roger McGough

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death


“Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death” from The Mersey Sound: Restored 50th Anniversary Edition, © 2007 – Penguin Modern Classics

Roger McGough (1937 – ) English poet, broadcaster, children’s author and playwright. He is the presenter on the BBC Radio4 programme Poetry Please. Considered one of the leading members of the Liverpool poets, who were influenced by Beat poetry and Liverpool’s 1960s culture. His work was featured in The Mersey Sound, a 1967 anthology of poetry by McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, which became one of the bestselling poetry anthologies of all time, selling over 500,000 copies. McGough was responsible for much of the humorous dialogue in the Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine, although he did not receive an on-screen credit.

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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