The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #328   Message #3589161
Posted By: Jim Dixon
05-Jan-14 - 02:59 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: On the Front Porch (from Burl Ives)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD FRONT PORCH
THE OLD FRONT PORCH
As recited by Burl Ives on "We Americans: A Musical Journey with Burl Ives"

I miss the wicker chair and table freshly painted every spring,
The old folks in the rocker, and the children in the swing,
And the trellis by the railing where the brown thrush used to sing.
I really miss the old front porch.

And I miss the neighbor playin' banjo, singing songs of long ago,
And the jokes we heard on headsets from our crystal radio,
And the faint bouquet of lilacs when the breeze began to blow.
I really miss the old front porch.

It was a place to run from showers,
For spending wondrous hours
Watching rainbows in the sky,
For reading Sunday's funnies,
And hoping the Easter bunny
Might leave a basket there as he hopped by.

And I miss that pretty girl in pigtails looking like a dream in white,
Who joined me in the shadows holding hands till late at night.
It's funny how the tears come back to dim my eyes tonight,
But I really miss the old front porch.

I miss the jack-o-lantern pumpkin in the corner by the rail,
And the window soaped on Halloween my some mischievous male,
The witches ridin' cornstalks, a ghostly fairy tale.
I really miss the old front porch.

And I miss the happy sound of footsteps of a holiday surprise,
Smiles of friends and relatives with Christmas in their eyes,
And the snow stomped from boot lashes(?) of every shape and size.
I really miss the old front porch.

It's a place for apple pie
On the fourth day of July,
A place to wave your country's flag,
A place for friends to share
Bursting fireworks in the air
And popcorn from a big brown bag.

And I miss that valentine she left there in the mailbox by the door,
The two hearts with an arrow from the little country store.
You'd think that I wouldn't care that I don't get 'em anymore,
But I do; I miss the old front porch.

- - - - -
The recording I transcribed from was 4:12 in length, and was completely recited, not sung. There is another shorter recording—between 2:58 and 3:11 in length—shorter only because the tempo is a bit faster—that appears on many other albums. On that recording, Ives sings the two 6-line bridges, and there are backup singers that sing the refrain "I miss the old front porch" along with his speaking it. There are only a few minor differences in the words.

Apparently "boot lashes" are a real thing, because I found the term in some old books, but it is rare, and I couldn't find a definition. "Boot laces" come to mind, but it's hard to see how boot laces would leave a significant amount of snow on a porch, compared to the boots themselves. It even occurred to me he might be saying "galoshes" rather than "boot lashes" but that sounds rather far-fetched.