“Flash Harry”

November 25, 2018 at 8:56 am (Harry Nilsson, Music, Poetry & Literature)

Written Nov. 24, 2018…

The laughter and the craziness
go hand in hand
drunken revelry on demand
that was the man they called Flash Harry
songs for the kiddies and a few for the walking dead
the nighttime calls that inspire mortal dread
3-day benders with the wife screaming,
“when ya comin’ home?”
never knowing if you’ll wind up in the gutter or a hotel in Rome

A voice that can reduce grown men to tears
delivers the knockout blow
Saturday night’s high brings another Sunday low
the vampires of Hollywood,
madmen in tandem
a runaway train running off the rails
there’s always another good time just around the bend
though nobody knows when the delirium will end

He put the lime in the coconut
and sweetness in the sour
getting from the hangover to another happy hour
everybody’s talkin’ ’bout Flash Harry
millions know the words
but not many know the name
singing like an acrobat on a trapeze wire
from the proverbial frying pan he jumped into the fire

Blood on the microphone
demons in the closet
a gram or three before the wedding
just to steady the nerves
a love for Una that would last for all time
he could be your closest friend,
then turn straight on a dime
the boy from Bushwick causing havoc,
but allowing others to take the blame
that was the man with the unprintable name

A lovable teddy bear with protracted claws
the night owl breaking all the laws
a bottle of cognac in one hand and a grenade in the other
he was everybody’s favorite big brother
though now he’s sadly gone,
a man cut down in the prime of his years
friends recalling his majesty
through laughter and through tears
but his voice will sing throughout the ages
and this was the man they called Flash Harry.

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