Brevity=Wit Entry #14A

March 8th, 2010 by Wordsman

I should have known.  I should have anticipated that writing about an extremely controversial topic like Paul Revere would land me in trouble.  I should have predicted that, shortly after posting the latest edition of Brevity=Wit, my inbox would be rent asunder by a veritable firestorm of enraged emails.  But, foolishly, I did not.  And this is what I got for it:

“Paul Revere never made it to Concord!”

“How could you not mention Samuel Prescott and William Dawes?”

“He never said, ‘The British are coming!’  Most Massachusetts residents at the time thought of themselves as British!  He actually said, ‘The Regulars are coming!’ . . . oh wait.  You did that.  Never mind.”

Personally, I think that these people should really take up their problems with Longfellow.  He wrote the poem.  I was just going off of his work (and, for the record, even Hank gave a nod to both tradition and accuracy by using the phrase “British Regulars.”)  But, since he’s been dead for approximately 130 years, I guess I’m the only one around who can do anything about it.  So, here goes.

Listen, my readers, with “oohs” and with “aahs”
To a tale of Sam Prescott, and poor William Dawes
In the middle of April, Seventeen-seven-five
Truly no one is still alive
To remember that famous time of year

It began with Doc Warren, who told his friend Bill
“You must spread now the news of the Regulars’ plot”
Said Dawes, “Do not worry.  I certainly will
And I’ll bring this guy Paul along with me.  Why not?”
They rode out of Boston, past the late-night tramps
And Paul wasted time messing ’round with some lamps
Soon they arrived in old Lexington
Warned Hancock and Adams that they’d better run
‘Fore the Regulars came and spoiled their fun

There, near old Lex, they met young Doctor Sam
Coming back now from paying a call on his gal
So Dawes told him, “Hey buddy, we’re in a small jam
Do you think you can help us?”  “I verily shall!”
And the three rode to Concord, with its weapons stores
The protection of which was the chief of their chores
And away the three flew, with their speed at the top
Driving their horses so hard they were like to drop
Till a man in a red coat suggested they stop

British horsemen, at Lincoln, planned them to detain
But Will Dawes had a mission, a most sacred task
He and Prescott would break out, show the Redcoats disdain
While Revere, he just sat there (probably with a flask)
But Dawes’ sacred mission was lost on his horse
Who bucked him the first chance that it got, of course
But Sam Prescott escaped, leaping over a wall
And he had the good sense not to on his butt fall
He warned Concord, Acton, Framingham–warned them all

Now, Revere was not useless, as some’d have you believe
He was busy as he did to Lexington ride
Through fair Middlesex County he bobbed and did weave
And by time he was done they were fit to be tied
But to put him in Concord, where he didn’t belong
Longfellow, I am sorry to say, was quite wrong
And to leave out poor Prescott, and great Billy Dawes
Cheating them out of their highly deserved applause
Such a mighty affront should be against the laws

Posted in Brevity=Wit | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Shirley Says:

    I like yours better. But if this site is going to continue to be so picky about getting things exactly right, I’m going to stop making comments!

  2. Gramma F Says:

    How would you like me to recite Version 2 of the Ride to visiting tourists? Not that I actually ever recite Longfellow’s! I just ask a couple of questions for them to get wrong.
    GW (no, not Bush) did use the now Longfellow as his HQ while in MA. A good take-in should you wish more history info.

  3. Gramma F Says:

    OOPS! I see I left out “house” in the phrase intended to be “now Longfellow house.”

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