No! Pagliaccio non son!

Lillian here. Hosting dVerse one more time before we’re off traveling again from April 16 to May 19 – doing a transAtlantic cruise and then cruising through the Norwegian Fjords, Ireland and Iceland. [I’ll post as I can to my blog – but can’t guarantee reading – apologies in advance.

Those of you who’ve gotten to know me in dVerse, know I love music, tap dancing, and all things positive. I am definitely NOT in retirement – I’d hate that. I’m in rejuvenatement!

Confession: I am a Baby Boomer. A child of the 50s. TV shows like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers; Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and the Ed Sullivan Show. I watched the Perry Como Christmas Show every year. I listened to music on a radio and on my dad’s hand made, hand soddered “hi fi.” I watched the Lennon sisters on the Lawrence Welk Show and in my “later years,” belonged to the Elvis Presley and Fabian fan clubs. No matter your age, unless you’re a really gifted newborn reading this post, the music during the years you grew up in, are oldies but goodies.

So here’s the prompt for today’s Poetics. Look here or on another web site of your choosing, and find the top songs from the year you were born. OR – I’ll give you some leeway here, from the years you were 5, 6, 7, 8. 9. or 10 years old. Pick one and somehow, weave the words from the title into your poem. They can be used in one fell swoop, like He whispered love me tender in his sleep . . . OR you can place the title in different lines within your poem, BUT, they must appear in order….as in He spoke of love to me and I was enamored with his words, tender and soft spoken.

At the end of your poem, BE SURE TO MENTION in a bit of an explanation, what the song title is and the year it was Number 1 on the Billboard or Hit Parade. No need to give away your age…but the song title must be from either the year you were born, or from a year you were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 years old. Have fun with this one!



white face of shame not made up

weeps tears of a clown


Notes: Song Tears of a Clown: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles 1970

Stevie Wonder brought the instrumental track to the 1966 Motown Christmas party because he could not come up with a lyric to fit the instrumental

Wonder wanted to see what Robinson (Smokey) could come up with for the track. Robinson, who remarked that the song’s distinctive calliope motif “sounded like a circus,” provided lyrics that reflected his vision and sang lead vocal.

In the song, his character, sad because a woman has left him, compares himself to the characters in the opera Pagliacci, comedians/clowns who hide their hurt and anger behind empty smiles.

14 thoughts on “No! Pagliaccio non son!

  1. lillian says:

    So much emotion and meaning in so few words! I adore this post.
    Am so glad you provided the musical explanation of how Stevie Wonder worked with Smokey Robinson on this….and the explanation of the clown. Did not know that historical context.
    Am struck by the back-ups role here…..and in the groups of these days. They were performers in their own right.

  2. Waltermarks says:

    That was a great song, Paul. Your words hit the essence of sadness. I didn’t know the history behind it. It had to be one of Smokey Robinson’s greatest hits. Thanks for a walk down memory lane.

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