Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Plant Kingdom: Poison Ivy

The Coasters: Poison Ivy


Jim Gill: Poison Ivy


“Leaves of three, let it be.” That’s the old saying about Toxicodendron radicans, or Rhus radicans, “it gives you itchy hands.” A common vine at the edges of woods, in floodplains, and disturbed areas, it give nasty skin rashes to people who are susceptible. It bothers me some, but I can usually avoid it.

The first song was a hit for the Coasters. I’ll let the Wikipedia take it from here.
"Poison Ivy" is a popular song by American songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally recorded by The Coasters in 1959. It went to #1 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This was their third top-ten hit of that year following "Charlie Brown" and "Along Came Jones." The song discusses a girl named Ivy, calling her "Poison Ivy" because of her reputation with men as a player. The song makes references to other flowers such as a rose and a daisy, and diseases like measles, mumps, chickenpox, the common cold, and whooping cough. In a recently published biography about Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller, the song's authors, it was revealed that the song's lyrics are about sexually-transmitted disease, not the illnesses previously thought. (Whoa!)
The second tune is kid-folk by a Chicago-area musician named Jim Gill. He doesn’t have Wikipedia entry, so I will mention that he has six CDs, as well as some books and a DVD. Some of the tunes a bit repetitive for the preschool set, but his crack studio band and witty lyrics make him quite listenable for the parents. His tunes are mostly jazz and folk influenced.

Guest post by Paul T

blog comments powered by Disqus