I was out of college and at loose ends
in a small town in Missouri.
I was making no progress with my circle of friends
who were anything but in a hurry.
We’d hang around with nothing to do
on a Friday and Saturday night.
Idle minds get in trouble—and so would you–
seeing nothing but dull rural sights.
And then one day I read in the pages
of the local rag called The Bazoo
that our burg would be graced by those 60’s rages–
The Shirelles! They were coming through!
If you’re too young to recall “Doo ronde ronde”
and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”—
I have only the most abject pity for you,
your loss is the source of much sorrow.
That night I went to the Ramada Inn
on the western edge of town
and asked where and when the music’d begin
and was shown to some stairs to walk down.
It was, all in all, a sad final act
for one of the great girl groups;
folding tables and chairs (vinyl backed)
to sit in and hear “Baby It’s You.”
There was the obligatory opening act,
four guys in a soul revue,
who would serve the girls to musically up-back
as best as they could do.
They ran through their numbers, instrumental,
while I drank my two-drink minimum.
Then three or four more, it got detrimental,
to anything but mortal sinimum.
I was getting impatient, drumming my fingers
on a tacky plastic table mat,
when the bandleader said time to bring on the singers
who’re the reason you are where you’re at.
They were in fine form and they brought down the house
as they sang and danced through their hits,
hair piled high, wearing low-cut blouses
that revealed their gorgeous, uh, figures.
As the night wound down, before they headed out of town
the girls gave us one final treat;
they came into the audience in their elegant gowns
and one pulled me out of my seat!
When the President asks you to the White House
you put on your best coats and pants;
so what do you do when a Shirelle asks you
if you’re in the mood to dance?
You get up, of course, and do as best you can
as I did in front of the yokels–
every woman, child and man–
and hope you don’t look like a jokel.
And then came the moment, when I’m dead in a ditch,
‘twill be remembered if anybody missed me;
As the song ended a Shirelle (I don’t know which)
Leaned close and breathlessly kissed me!
As I lie on my deathbed at the end of my days,
Whether I’m going to heaven or more likely, hell
The last words the few mourners will hear me say
Are just these and no more: “I kissed a Shirelle.”