2005-09-08 / Sam Bari

You can’t beat a system you can’t understand

Surviving after summer
By Sam Bari

You can’t beat a system you can’t understand

To encapsulate the end of summer, I have written the following lyrics that are a parody on Allan Sherman’s 1963 recording, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

Sherman’s song about summer at Camp Granada was a parody of “Dance of the Hours” from “La Giocanda” by famed Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli, 18341888. (Famed for what? He never made MTV or had a hit on his own merit). His original composition was dramatized by dancing ostriches, hippos, elephants, and crocodiles in Disney’s “Fantasia,” an animated film produced in 1940 that was designed to scare the living daylights out of most children and small adults — obviously a low point in his career.

If you are old enough to remember Allan Sherman or Camp Granada, you probably forgot the original color of your hair and remember life without zip codes, area codes, and cable TV.

If you aren’t old enough to remember this song, ask any aging hippie, and if they haven’t destroyed too many brain cells, they’ll probably sing it for you.

An Ode to Summer It’s the end of, my vacation Not a time for, celebration.

Every year I, live this drama,

It’s enough to give the average person trauma.

I’m really not much, of a sailor,

I nearly sank my, Boston Whaler.

I fell in while, we were docking,

I almost drowned and that was more than shocking.


Jamestown. Don’t make me leave you

Jamestown. I’ll always love you.

Please don’t send me to the office

Where they’ll make me cut my hair!


Now the tourists, are all leaving

Packing all that’s, worth retrieving.

When they’re gone the, end is nearing

And there’s no reason why we should be cheering.

Here we are at, end of summer,

We must work and, that’s a bummer.

Jobs are less than, entertaining,

They’re something we should do when it is raining.

All right — so I flunked poetry. Sherman wasn’t exactly a Longfellow either, you know? And he had a huge hit. It’s a classic.

Anyway, the end of summer is not a time for waxing poetic. In a few weeks, the forest of masts in the mooring fields will be nothing but a memory. The docks at the marinas will be disassembled, and Mother Nature will work her splendor as the trees and bears prepare for a long winter’s nap.

Don’t despair. There’s an upside to all of this. The big one that got away has all winter to grow even larger so you can do battle again next year. You have at least eight months to work out religiously so you can look really good in a new and smaller bathing suit when it’s time to hit the beach again. And this year, you’re going to refinish the teak and patch the dings on the hull of the vessel you love.

Well . . . good intentions are just that — good intentions. Those of us with experience know better than to jump into the “prepare for next summer” mode with any great haste. For us, it’s time to go to the coffee shop, sit at the counter and be the first to order a hot chocolate to go with that doughnut, or two, or more. We need time to relax, read the sports page, watch 16 weeks of football, and make sure the fish we caught last summer grows with every telling of the tale.

We’ll eat our way through the holidays, panic over our waistlines in February, and groan about not working on the boat all winter long. We know that nothing is really going to change. It’s the same every year. We may as well enjoy it, because it’s all part of a system we’ll never understand.

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