Harmonica and Verse

(I couldn’t find this in the forum. Forgive me if my inadequate search didn’t find it.)

A tiny excerpt from The Song of the Mouth-Organ

"I'm a homely little bit of tin and bone;
  I'm beloved by the Legion of the Lost;
 I haven't got a "vox humana" tone,
  And a dime or two will satisfy my cost.
 I don't attempt your high-falutin' flights;
  I am more or less uncertain on the key;
 But I tell you, boys, there's lots and lots of nights
  When you've taken mighty comfort out of me.

 I weigh an ounce or two, and I'm so small
  You can pack me in the pocket of your vest;
 And when at night so wearily you crawl
  Into your bunk and stretch your limbs to rest,
 You take me out and play me soft and low,
  The simple songs that trouble your heartstrings;
 The tunes you used to fancy long ago,
  Before you made a rotten mess of things.

 Then a dreamy look will come into your eyes,
  And you break off in the middle of a note;
 And then, with just the dreariest of sighs,
  You drop me in the pocket of your coat.
 But somehow I have bucked you up a bit;
  And, as you turn around and face the wall,
 You don't feel quite so spineless and unfit—
  You're not so bad a fellow after all.

 ... "

Robert W. Service from Ballads of a Cheechako (1909)

I know that Robert Service isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and the critics / literary set were (still are?) critical of his writings. Maybe there is a parallel. The last verse:


 I'm a humble little bit of tin and horn;
  I'm a byword, I'm a plaything, I'm a jest;
 The virtuoso looks on me with scorn;
  But there's times when I am better than the best.
 Ask the stoker and the sailor of the sea;
  Ask the mucker and the hewer of the pine;
 Ask the herder of the plain, ask the gleaner of the grain—
  There's a lowly, loving kingdom—and it's mine."

Musicians that don’t play the harmonica will never understand those that do. They look upon our skill as undeserving even undesirable. Blow that thing and know they are jealous.

, Asshole


Hello @HvyMtlHarmonica420,
because this little instrument is underestimated by those who don’t play it! It looks so easy on the outside because nobody sees how much you have to do on the inside with the mouth, tongue, larynx and breathing to lure out all the sounds!

We harp players come to a place completely clueless, reach into our pockets and “Bam” get started… They’re just jealous because we don’t need a transporter to make music… :rofl: