Songs

Male Bonding Song

Bill Gallaher, ©SOCAN 1991

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When we learned it was a shocking revelation
That somehow as men we simply hadn’t grown
So we looked at all you women, your pride in feminism
And we started up a movement of our own.
Now we are men, and proud to be men
And we bond every Saturday at three
And we explore with great persistence
Our masculine existence
Beat our drums and run off naked through the trees.

Oh we all go running naked through the trees
As naked as a jaybird if you please
Oh we throw off all our wrappings
And with private parts a-flapping
We all go running naked through the trees.

Yes, every weekend we all meet deep in the forest
Where we beat our drums and fashion spears from trees
And with our faces painted, we all get reacquainted
With our atavistic masculinity.
For we are men and proud to be men
We bond every Saturday at three
And we flaunt with great pretension
Those long penile extensions
As we all go running naked through the trees.

I guess we spent too long pretending we were something we were not
While we hid our inner turmoil and our strife
You thought we had a bed of roses. though we stood with runny noses
Pressed up hard against the window pane of life.
Now we are men and damned proud to be men
We bond every Saturday at three
And it you think it’s just depravity
You don’t know what it’s like to be
A man while running naked through the trees—it hurts!

Bill Gallaher writes:

When the men’s movement started up, there were many who felt an anthem was needed, I leapt to the cause after reading an article in Harper’s Magazine. Here are some excerpts from it:

“My council brothers and I have come together this weekend to be about the business of spear making. We have come to discover what the spear means to us personally and mythically. As an ancient and vital symbol in the mole psyche, the spear stirs something in all of us. At this moment the spear represents only a connection to that inner image of myself on the great plain. It can be used to kill or to defend.

“Talking as we work, the conversation goes to the subject of male lineages and fathers and grandfathers and distant elders. We complete this part of our work by naming our male ancestors. All this hammering has pounded more masculine en­ergy into me. It’s as though the souls of my ancestors are speaking through my hands and bones… Over the months that followed, we all painstakingly mounted our spear points and decorated the shafts. For me the process became something of a romance. For a while, I took my spear jogging with me in the park. I know that sounds absurdly naive, but I really felt everyone would know I meant them no harm. They didn’t. I came to realize that the spear, even in this day and age has a fearful significance at many levels.

“Many times since then I have danced with it, held it for hours, and even slept with it when I needed to be in touch with a deeper part of myself. … Much more importantly, I am beginning to get a sense of what I don’t know and the great mystery it connects me to. I am learning the significance of being a spear-carrier.”

—“Claiming the Spear in the Nuclear Age” by Tom Daly; Harper’s, December 1990-March 1991


Gift of the Sea

Bill Gallaher, ©SOCAN 1994

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Old Jim was a dreamer, a deep-water sailor
Slim as a buntline. spare as a breeze
He filled my head up with songs about whalers
And tales of the South China Seas.
We’d walk down the quay, old Jim and me
While the moon sailed a quicksilver sea
With me just an aimless and foolish young man
And Jim all the things I could be.

The sea was his life; he knew all of its vices
Lost count of the times that he sailed round the Horn
To ports in the Far East for tea and for spices
And all this before I was born.
He chased down the whales through the ice and gales
When he sailed the cold Kamchatka Sea
Though I was an aimless and foolish young man
I remember what Jim said to me:

“You can worry like some
That your ship might go down,
But there’s more ways than one
That a man has to drown.
He can drown in his troubles and fears—
Drown in his sorrow and tears.”

Old Jim is long gone now, he’s hauled up his anchor
Sails by the wind out on some starry sea
But I still hear him say as he nods his head seaward,
“Out there even poor men are free.”
Now sometimes at night when the moon’s on the rise
And I’m anchored in some island’s lee
I think of old Jim and the times that we shared
When he gave me the gift of the sea.

I have never been to sea, in the grand sense of the word, so this song is pure metaphor. It’s for an old friend whose words of encouragement enabled me to believe I was capable of doing things I had previously thought beyond my abilities. Like writing, for example.


The folknik song pages are lovingly produced by John Kelly and Barbara Millikan. Barbara Millikan produced the song pages for this issue.

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