Bother me tomorrow, today I’ll find no sorrows

Although the measures he took might seem rather extreme, it’s no surprise that he was a perfectionist who was known to discard 95 percent of his initial material while establishing a theme for his next project, which would then take him a year to complete. This is especially noteworthy considering (unlike most writers) he refused any advances, preferring to receive payment only after his work was done.

Happily he would live a long life and publish 46 books, for which he’d receive enormous reward, iconic acclaim and eminent recognition that included: a Peabody Award, a Pulitzer Prize, two Emmy Awards, two Academy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Born in 1904, the son of a Springfield, Massachusetts brewer (until Prohibition) and   grandson of German immigrants, Theodor Geisel was a good student who went on to Dartmouth, where he rose to the rank of editor-in-chief of the collegiate humor magazine. Unfortunately when he and some friends were caught drinking gin in his room, the college dean (with the irresistible name of Craven Laycock) required him to resign from all extracurricular activities.  Since fish gotta’ swim and writer’s gotta’ write, he found it necessary to establish a nom de plume by using his middle (and his mother’s maiden) name, “Seuss”.

Although he experimented with other pseudonyms, upon graduation the young writer and illustrator began to publish whimsical articles and illustrations in a broad array of periodicals as “Dr. Seuss” …while building a national reputation in the world of advertising for his whimsical print-ads and slogans as Ted Geisel.

In 1937, while returning from Europe with his wife, the literary side of whimsy won out when Geisel became inspired by the rhythm of the ship’s engines and sketched out a poem that would become his first book.  Set on an actual street near his boyhood home in Springfield, the story was of a boy who dreams up an elaborate tale to tell his father, about all the outlandish things he sees while walking home from school.

Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, the manuscript was rejected by 43 publishing companies, and very nearly burned by it’s author, before it was finally published by Vanguard Press, with the now legendary title, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”… All of which leads us to this song, written more than 30 years later in 1970.

John Fogerty may have received flak from some (and credit from others) who were convinced that “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” with its “flying spoon” and dream-like imagery was laden with drug references, but he remains adamant that it was actually written for his three-year old son, Josh and directly inspired by a father-son reading of that career changing story by Dr. Seuss.

Included as a track on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s (fifth) album “Cosmo’s Factory,” the song swung its way up the Billboard Singles chart to reach a position that was strangely familiar to CCR, who never had a chart-topping hit.  Instead Lookin’ Out My Back Door reached Number 2, the same Billboard ranking achieved by “Proud Mary”, “Bad Moon Rising” (which topped the UK Chart), “Green River” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.

Although CCR broke up in 1972, Fogerty continues to perform this “Seussical Song” in concert, sometimes with the addition of a fiddle and occasionally with a rye tweak of the lyrics, from “tambourines and elephants” to “tangerines and Elvis.”

LISTEN TO THIS SONG – Friday 1 February 

Lookin’ Out My Back Door

 Just got home from Illinois

Lock the front door, oh boy!

Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch

Imagination sets in, pretty soon I’m singin’

Doo, Doo, Doo

Lookin’ out my back door

 There’s a giant doing cartwheels

A statue wearin’ high heels

Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn

A dinosaur Victrola listening to Buck Owens

Doo, Doo, Doo,

Lookin’ out my back door

 Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band

Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?

Doo, Doo, Doo

A wondrous apparition provided by magician

Doo, Doo, Doo

Lookin’ out my back door

 Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band

Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?

Doo, Doo, Doo

Bother me tomorrow, today I’ll find no sorrows

Doo, Doo, Doo

Lookin’ out my back door

 Forward troubles, Illinois

Lock the front door, oh boy!

Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn

Bother me tomorrow, today I’ll find no sorrows

Doo, Doo, Doo

Lookin’ out my back door

One thought on “Bother me tomorrow, today I’ll find no sorrows

  1. Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s