Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Ballad of Ukulele Luke and Ukulele Larry

Ukulele Luke had a heavy load to carry:
His former-best-friend nemesis was Ukulele Larry.
Ukulele Larry was depressed by life’s cruel fluke,
That for years he hadn’t talked to Ukulele Luke.

Ukulele Luke grew up with Ukulele Larry.
Ever since they were eleven, in the town of Harpers Ferry,
On Friday afternoons little Larry’d visit Luke
For ukulele lessons, and they’d practice till they’d puke.

It wasn’t long before their youthful friendship faced a test:
Ukulele Larry said his concert uke was best.
But Luke extolled the virtues of his tenor over all.
(“You know they sound the same!” his mother shouted from the hall.)

The ukulele boys from then could never more agree.
Their practice times degenerated into mere decrees
Of “I am right!” and “You are wrong!” and so I’m sad to say
That Luke and Larry’s ukuleles finally parted ways.

And when they turned eighteen, Ukuleles Luke and Larry
Found it time to leave their little town of Harpers Ferry.
Larry was accepted into Harvard, whereas Luke,
Without a backward glance for Larry, headed off to Duke.

The years went by without a word, a phone call, or a text,
Though each one felt a little sad about it, and perplexed.
Then one day Luke received a letter: Ukulele Larry’d
Written him to say he’d gotten hitched (that is, he married).

“I fell in love,” he said, “and she’s a ukulele girl,
But then I learned a fearsome fact that set my mind a-whirl.
She made me her confession over pasta with romano:
Her uke’s no concert, nor a tenor — darn thing’s a soprano!

“She’s known as Ukulele Lucy on the stage,
Her tremolo especially has made her all the rage.
I can’t deny it anymore than I can play piano:
I’m a tenor ukulelist, in love with a soprano.”

Then Luke phoned up his friend and said, “I couldn’t think of how
To tell you this before. I think I’m able now.
I too have found myself in love: with Ukulele Joan.
You’ll never guess the kind she plays — that’s right! a baritone!”

“Can you forgive me,” Larry asked, “for my tenor pride?”
“The fault, good sir,” responded Luke, “is quite on my own side.
We’re best friends first and foremost, whether times be smooth or hairy.”
“I hope we never fight again,” said Ukulele Larry.

So now they play together, Larry, Lucy, Luke and Joan,
And the message that they share is now exceedingly well-known
To all musicians everywhere, old, young, black, white, short, tall:
That ukuleles — any size — and love can conquer all.

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