Friday, April 24, 2015

Bosnywash

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on May 10, 2014. Image credit: Jppi at Morguefile.com.)



I wrote this song more than thirty years ago, and to my surprise I still find it relevant. "Bosnywash" is a name given to the strip of urban sprawl between Boston, New York, and Washington, but here it's personified as a sort of monster...



The Bosnywash is an ugly thing, with yellow smoggy smoky rings
Floating all around its snout and gushing from its nose;
Evil eyes and halitosis, grime and crime and all such grossness;
It eats Virginia countryside, and that’s the way it grows.
Bosnywash, oh, Bosnywash is comin’ to your city,
Comin’ to devour all the countryside so pretty,
And if you ever let it in, with you it will faithfully stay,
For Bosnywash won’t go away, not before the Judgment Day.

I saw a town among the hills, fields and trees and rippling rills,
Where neighbors helped their neighbors just as if they were their kin.
Came back, now it’s all subdivisions, televisions, indecisions,
Factories, parking lots, and malls: Bosnywash has moved in.
Bosnywash, oh, Bosnywash, it spread out from the big town,
Belching smog into the air and litter on the farm ground.
That little town has let it in: now it will faithfully stay,
For Bosnywash won’t go away, not before the Judgment Day.

With a pile of big chain stores it covered up the running sores
On the shoulders of the hills, and along the riverside.
You could not see the trees were dying; once all the smoke was flying
You could not see the mountaintops, or even the valleys wide.
Bosnywash, oh, Bosnywash, it covered up the wreck it made.
It even paid them for it: their choice, credit, cash, or cheque it paid.
But soon the money will be spent, and it will faithfully stay,
For Bosnywash won’t go away, not before the Judgment Day.

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,”
Said the Bosnywash, “so you people must be free,”
But they were not free, not the way their grandparents would choose.
It’s not the grandparents’ choice to make; it’s up to you and me.
Bosnywash, oh, Bosnywash, save something for the children,
Leave some willows growing green by the few good springs that still run,
And leave some pleasures with them that will faithfully stay,
When the Bosnywash will go away, when it has to go, on the Judgment Day.