May 10 haiku

May 10 is one of the fuller days on the musicians’ birthday calendar, requiring probably the most ridiculous mash-up I’ve mashed up. Written a year ago.

Today’s birthdays: Fred Astaire, Maybelle Carter, Donovan, Sly Dunbar, Steve Thomas, Sid Vicious, Dave Mason, Marvin Young (Young MC), Bono. Yow!

May 10’s birthday song?
Broadway tunes, country, reggae,
Folk, punk, rock and rap

Fred Astaire, dancing
On air, so cool, so classy
Never missed a step

Dance on the ceiling?
If anyone could ’twas he;
No one filled his shoes

From Baryshnikov
To Balanchine, other greats
Worshiped at his feet

Oh, he could act, too
And sing with the best of them
Though his voice was light

“Night and Day” and “They
Can’t Take That Away from Me”
He sang first and best

Ginger spiced his act;
They had “A Fine Romance” and
Called the whole thing off

Diction and phrasing,
Lyricism, elegance
He was the top hat

“Country” was the word
For Mother Maybelle Carter
And her wondrous clan

Maybelle sang and played
Her unique guitar technique
Was “the Carter scratch”

She had three daughters
Including Johnny Cash’s June
They were quite an act

Listen and you’ll hear:
Her voice and guitar stylings
Play on in Nashville

Donovan didn’t
Play bluegrass but he might have
Rolled some and smoked it

“Catch the Wind” he did
Flower power’s troubador,
Sunshine Superman

Not nearly so great
As his ego said he was
But still tons of fun

Hey, who else would rhyme
“Laleña” with “can’t blame ya”?
Or hail “Atlantis”?

So hail Donovan
Still trippin’ out there somewhere,
Keepin’ things groovy

Reggae’s groove supreme
Often starts with the sticks of
The man Sly Dunbar

When Sly sets the beat
It’s Jamaican poetry
With Shakespeare on bass

The rhythm section:
Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare
Their names say it all

Sly, Robbie, so hip
They’re joined at the studio
By music’s top acts

Sly’s the beat, the kick
The tom, the highest high hat
He’s the music, mon

Another drummer
To celebrate: Steve Thomas,
Of Shooting Star fame

The classic rockers
From KC keep going, and
Steve keeps the beat

“Hang on for Your Life”
Was good Shooting Star advice;
Too bad Sid couldn’t

Sid Vicious was punk
Personified, charisma
Beaucoup attitude

Funny thing, he played
A Fender Precision Bass
With no precision

His bass chops were lame
Sid memorized Ramones’ licks
Still, he roundly stank

Edge and energy
Were his specialties, shy boy
Desp’rate for something

But the heroin
Trumped the music, so often
That drug’s legacy

Girlfriend Nancy dead,
A bloody murder, for real;
Sid soon followed her

Dead at 21
A total waste, burying
Punk’s pivotal prince

Opposite of Sid?
Try Dave Mason: Killer chops,
Workmanlike on stage

Dave Mason was great
With Traffic, Hendrix, the Stones,
Clapton, Harrison

You think he’s not great?
It’s only you and me, and
We just disagree

Marvin Young found fame
“Let ’Em Know” “My Name Is Young”
With his early hits

He made a career
Though he had to read his raps
Take notes with his notes

Though Young MC’s not
Young anymore I bet he
Still can “Bust a Move”

Last we have Bono
Always rock’s ambassador
Ready for a cause

From streets of Dublin
He rose to fame with his band
Passionate, sincere

Bono, eyes shaded
Sensitive to light, and plight
Of the world’s needy

U2 and me too
We’re all in this together
Bono rightly says

May 10th’s symphony:
For all who still haven’t found
What we’re looking for

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