Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Writers


(with apologies to Waylon Jennings, not that he needs them)

They’re hard to love and even harder to hold.
They’ll give you a poem instead of diamonds or gold,
Hardcover Gatsby or even an old paperback
Instead of a sweater from off the markdown rack.
As each night fades into a new day
They’re workin’ on unsalable ten-minute plays.

If you want a nice meal, writers take you to diners.
They’re thinkin’ noirly, you want something finer.
And wherever you go, they’re always eavesdroppin’
Stealin’ folks talk, when you take them shoppin’.
They’re wrong in the head, you know that for sure
But lettin’ them write is the only real cure.

Writers git lost when they’re drivin’ around,
They don’t know the street names in their own home towns.
They’re thinkin’ ‘bout writing a coming-of-age novel
Bout a po’ boy who lives in an unfurnished hovel.
They’re not too attentive, go ahead, say it momma–
They’re anal retentive ‘bout each little comma.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be writers
If you want their financial future to be slightly brighter.
Let ‘em be doctors and lawyers and such,
the schoolin’s as long, but writers don’t make as much.
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be writers.
‘Cos they’re always at home but they’re always alone.
Even with someone they love.

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