One Meatball No Farm … yet

Long story short, we wait for another phase two on another farm.  I’m hopeful that this one will be ours, but I won’t believe it until I have the keys in hand.  So in the meantime, while I’m not learning French or reading about chickens, cows and grass, I thought I’d share on of my favorite songs, One Meatball.

This song is a Campbell family favorite.  We had a 78 record of the Andrew Sisters singing this bluesy song giving it that sassy sister spin.  Though I enjoy that version, Dave Van Ronk did my favorite rendition on his album & The Tin Pan Bended & The Story Ended.  He tells a humorous story about how this song came about (I won’t spoil it here).  Here are the lyrics:

A little man walked up and down,

He found an eating place in town,

He looked the menu through and through,

To see what fifteen cents could do.

One meatball, one meatball,

He could afford but one meatball.

He told the waiter near at hand,

The simple dinner he had planned.

The guests were startled, one and all,

To hear that waiter loudly call,

“One meatball, one meatball?

Hey, this here gent wants one meatball.”

The little man felt ill at ease,

Said, “Some bread, sir, if you please.”

The waiter hollered down the hall,

“You gets no bread with one meatball.

“One meatball, one meatball,

Well, you gets no bread with one meatball.”

The little man felt very bad,

One meatball was all he had,

And in his dreams he hears that call,

“You gets no bread with one meatball.

“One meatball, one meatball,

Well, you gets no bread with one meatball.”

I’m not sure what draws me to this song and why I can’t sing it out loud without welling up with tears.  I doubt it’s any deep meaning in this simple narrative.  More likely, my love for this song is one of those things you remember as a child when things were simple and the word “meatball” was funny.  Even better when your dad sings it after his famous rendition of Little Brown Jug as he puts you to bed.  Other than the chorus, I didn’t know the lyrics until a few weeks ago.  The story is timeless.  My kids love songs about meatballs.  We’ll be adding this to our list of songs to sing.  I suppose when they grow up, they’ll look back fondly singing along with their dad that most satisfying lyric, “one meatball, you gets no bread with one … meatball.”

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