The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20724   Message #565413
Posted By: raredance
04-Oct-01 - 11:51 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: King of Names
Ok here's the Sandburg lyrics:

There's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
There's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
An' he took my mother' name
An' he leave my heart in pain,
There's a man goin roun' takin' names.

Additional verses: father, sister, brother etc.

Sandburg's commentary in part is:
"At first glance this may seem a whimsical reference to the census taker going from door to door and taking the names of all people without regard to sex, color, race, or previous condition of servitude. Then we come to the line, "an' he leave my heart in pain," and we know it is a more august and austere Enumerator than any employed in the transient and temporal governments of man. Each verse deals with a relative, mother, father, sister, brother, or other dear one, checked off from the list of the living. A true instance of the poetry "to be overheard rather than heard," it keeps for those of long acquaintance with it, an overtone of a reverie on the riddles of death and the frail permits by which any one generation walks before the mirrors of life."

rich r