davidbrucehaiku: singer-songwriters







Steve Earle, Bruce Dalzell, John Prine

Are three of the best


NOTE: Check out their music on Amazon and YouTube.




About the time that Daddy left to fight the big war

I saw my first pistol in the general store

In the general store, when I was thirteen

Thought it was the finest thing I ever had seen

So l asked if I could have one someday when I grew up

Mama dropped a dozen eggs, she really blew up

She really blew up and I didn’t understand

Mama said the pistol is the devil’s right hand

The devil’s right hand, the devil’s right hand

Mama said the pistol is the devil’s right hand

My very first pistol was a cap and ball Colt

Shoot as fast as lightnin’ but it loads a mite slow

Loads a mite slow and soon I found out

It can get you into trouble but it can’t get you out

So then I went and bought myself a Colt 45

Called a peacemaker but I never knew why

Never knew why, I didn’t understand

Cause Mama said the pistol is the devil’s right hand

Well I get into a card game in a company town

Caught a miner cheating I shot the dog down

Shot the dog down, watched the man fall

Never touched his holster, never had a chance to draw

The trial was in the morning and they drug me out of bed

Asked me how I pleaded, not guilty I said

Not guilty I said, you’ve got the wrong man

Nothing touched the trigger but the devil’s right hand



“She’s a bottle of mescal on a Tuesday night

“She’s a bronco-bull rider all dressed in white

“She’s a fine-glass jewel box full of dynamite

“My baby scares me, umm, my baby scares me

“She’s driving a Mercedes-Benz with your eyes closed

“She’s doing the tango in a bed of roses

“She’s skydiving wearing no clothes

“My baby scares me, ooh, my baby scares me

“She’s walking in a thunderstorm in a tinfoil hat

“She is skinny-dipping with a Siamese cat

“She’s strolling in a biker bar with a cricket bat

“My baby scares me, ooh, my baby scares me

“She’s got me stepping me up to my fear

“Got me forgetting all I know

“She’s got me laughing through my tears

“She’s got me eating fish with a nice Bordeaux

“When the audience is silent, she sings along loud

“Looks at me with desire even in a crowd

“In this cookie-cutter world the woman makes me proud

“My baby scares me, I kind of like that

“My baby scares me.”



When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake God’s hand
Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand
Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band
Check into a swell hotel; ain’t the afterlife grand?
And then I’m gonna get a cocktail: vodka and ginger ale
Yeah, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long
I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl
‘Cause this old man is goin’ to town
Then as God as my witness, I’m gettin’ back into showbusiness
I’m gonna open up a nightclub called “The Tree of Forgiveness”
And forgive everybody ever done me any harm
Well, I might even invite a few choice critics, those syph’litic parasitics
Buy ’em a pint of [?] and smother ’em with my charm
‘Cause then I’m gonna get a cocktail: vodka and ginger ale
Yeah I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long
I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl
Yeah this old man is goin’ to town

David Bruce: Opera Anecdotes — Children


• José Carreras discovered opera when he was a child. He saw the movie The Great Caruso, which starred Mario Lanza in the title role, and he started to sing the arias that he had heard in the movie. As a result, his family bought a record player and the soundtrack from the movie. Of course, as a child José did not sing as well as he did years later as a star of opera. He sometimes had to sing his favorite aria, “La Donna è Mobile,” in the bathroom; however, he sometimes performed in his mother’s salon, and her customers gave him small tips that he used to buy small toys and candy. As an adult, Mr. Carreras made his debut at La Scala as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera. The great tenor Giuseppe di Stefano saw him in rehearsal and noticed that his costume did not fit well. Mr. di Stefano took him to his own vast costume collection and gave him a costume that fit him better — it was the same costume that Mr. di Stefano had worn in the same role when he performed at La Scala. (43)

• Conductor Walter Damrosch used to give the Siegfried whistle when he wanted his children to come to him. This whistle is the music that Siegfried blows on his horn when he calls the dragon to come and fight him. When his daughter Gretchen heard this music the first time she attended a performance of Wagner’s Siegfried, she almost automatically got up to go to her father, and then she wondered how Siegfried had gotten ahold of her father’s music. The Siegfried whistle came in handy at railway stations — it prevented the children from getting lost. While the family was traveling by train in Milan, Italy, Mr. Damrosch sounded the Siegfried whistle at a railway station, and an Italian who knew the music well answered him. One of the Damrosch daughters went to their father; the other three Damrosch daughters went to the musical Italian. (44)

• Leo Slezak and his wife sometimes allowed their children to bring cots into their room and sleep there. This worked well for their son, Walter, who slept soundly, but their daughter, Greterl, used to stay awake and wait for them to return home after a party. Mr. Slezak wanted her to get her rest, so he said that unless she went to sleep, she wouldn’t be allowed to sleep in his and his wife’s bedroom. The only result was that his daughter pretended to be asleep when he and his wife returned home. He used to ask, “Are you asleep, Greterl?” She would reply, “Yes, Daddy.” Later, she wouldn’t fall for that trick, so Mr. Slezak would hold a chocolate under her nose and ask, “Have a chocolate?” Unable to resist the temptation, Greterl would open her eyes and pop the chocolate in her mouth. (45)

• Tenor Carlo Bergonzi knew early that he wanted to sing professionally. When he was 14 years old, he was working in a cheese factory, pushing a wheelbarrow and singing. However, his foreman stopped him and said, “One cannot do [two] things at once. One can either work, or sing.” Immediately, young Carlo made up his mind: “In that case, I’d much rather sing!” Before going home, he told the story of his quitting to his father, who worked in the same cheese factory. His father approved of his decision: “Good. Now go home.” The next day, Carlo auditioned for a singing teacher. (46)

• Even at a very early age, soprano Geraldine Farrar was determined to appear before the public. In 1892, when she was 10 years old, her hometown of Melrose, Massachusetts, decided to put on a celebration with schoolchildren representing the first 13 states. Her school had the honor of selecting a girl to participate. Geraldine was selected, and she represented Massachusetts on a float. Watching the float with black eyes — courtesy of Geraldine — were two little girls in her class who had not wanted her to be the girl participating in the celebration. (47)

• As a small boy, Andrea Bocelli spent time in a hospital because of his congenital bilateral glaucoma. His eyes hurt, and he was restless. However, his mother discovered that at times when he lay pressed against a wall he became relaxed, and when he moved away from the wall he cried. His mother moved next to the wall and concentrated. From the room next door came the faint sound of music. She went next door and requested permission to sometimes bring her son in to visit and to listen to the record player. In this way, young Andrea discovered music. (48)

• When Christine Nilsson was a child, her family was impoverished. One way they made money was to teach Christine and her brother a few songs, and whenever their mother saw a stranger coming, she had the children play music for him until he had given them money. Some strangers gave them money because the strangers liked their playing; others gave them money so that they would stop their playing. Later, she made great sums of money as an operatic soprano. (49)

• In the 1960s, while Schuyler Chapin was head of the Columbia Records Masterworks department, his family had an outing with the family of soprano Eileen Farrell. One of Mr. Chapin’s sons, Sam, was just starting to learn how to tell jokes, and he asked Ms. Farrell, “Where does a 600-pound canary sit?” After hearing the answer, “Anywhere it wants to,” Ms. Farrell asked him what a 600-pound canary would sound like. Sam didn’t know, so Ms. Farrell said, “Like this,” and she sang a high C that had Sam covering his ears. (50)

• On October 11, 1968, Plácido Domingo became the father of a boy, whom he named Alvaro. The very next night, Mr. Domingo sang at the New York City Opera in Pagliacci. He played the part of a clown, and in one scene he was supposed to throw candy to a chorus of children on stage, but on this night he instead threw cigars to the adults, including adults in the audience. Each cigar was marked, “It’s a boy!” (51)

• When Maria Callas was a young girl, she and Jackie, her sister, were supposed to make their bed, but sometimes they forgot. Whenever that happened, their mother would go to their closet, take out their clothes, and put the clothes in the hallway. Maria and Jackie would come home, see the clothes, and say “Oh, Mother!” Then they would pick up their clothes, put them away, and make up their bed. (52)

• As a child, Gladys Ripley wanted to be a soprano, in part because she loved the “Miserere” duet from Il Trovatore, but nature insisted that she be a contralto. She was finally won over after hearing the singing of contralto Clara Butt. Ms. Ripley was impressed by the diamond tiara that Ms. Butt wore at the concert, she realized that contraltos could be important people, and she became a contralto. (53)

• Mariah Carey’s mother, Patricia, sang with the New York City Opera, and of course she listened to recordings of opera at home, and sometimes she sang along. One day, she sang part of an aria, then she stopped, and Mariah sang the next line — in Italian! At the time, Mariah was not yet three years old! (54)

• Antoine de Choudens was a music publisher who got rich from the French rights to Charles Gounod’s Faust. However, Mr. Choudens did not like music. Whenever his children misbehaved, he used to threaten to take them to the opera unless they straightened up.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


250 Anecdotes About Opera  (Kindle eBook: 99 cents):


Buy the Paperback:


davidbrucehaiku: CHRISTMAS PRESENTS






Mother lacks money

Needs perfect Christmas presents

Kid likes pretty rocks


NOTE: Someone on Reddit wrote about receiving rocks as Christmas presents. His single mother walked all over town looking for pretty rocks because she knew her son liked rocks. He was very happy to unwrap and receive the presents.


Free davidbrucehaiku #14 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #13 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #12 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #11 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)

Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)

Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 1 (pdf)

Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 2 (pdf)

Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 3 (pdf)

davidbrucehaiku: too real






being there — too real?

just pull out your camera

now it’s like TV


Free davidbrucehaiku #14 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #13 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #12 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #11 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)

Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)

Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 1 (pdf)

Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 2 (pdf)

Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 3 (pdf)