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Song Parodies -> "Pair o’ Dice Lost, Book I, Part 2"

Original Song Title:

"Paradise Lost, Book 1"

Original Performer:

John Milton

Parody Song Title:

"Pair o’ Dice Lost, Book I, Part 2"

Parody Written by:

John A. Barry

The Lyrics

So much for the past rap, it’s time I’ve wrought
The tale of a craps fest up to this day:
Slim-limbed, thin-fingers Tim has rolled snake eyes.
This damnèd man is angered and dismayed
He captures not the prize…it seems his fate.
A funk he’s in after all the f**ked-up news.
A dismal situtation, loser-style.
He’s bummed, in a funk, not way up but down.
He seeks someone to blame or share his shame.
Such a notion’s risible, invisible.
He now must decide to play more, or go,
Escape this place, with payoff prayers to cease,
Eschew this living hell of whores and drunks
And shun this dump, where torture never ends.

Still, urge to disburse bones is not yet shed;
He feels as if his soul is there entombed.
Desire to beat the house still has him snared.
He knows he should not but may aim to remain.
He is like Hamlet, stuck in phase of fret.
And then his thoughts with paraphrase are leavened;
He muses on the Bard’s iamb paroles.
“To be or not to be” does not tongue-roll well.
He hesitates a spell; then expels this yell:
“To D or not to D?” swelling with ire…
The D could stand for decision or dice.
Decision’s made; he will not traipse outside.
He will discover if he’s wrong, over time,
That he may be a paragon of shame…
Beating the bums will be his destiny
If he rolls 7 or makes his number; purged
Will be the demons that manned his hands.

But as he makes his way through this domain,
He passes past a band that plays tonight,
Imposing pop-schlock that is saturnine
And an aural blight. His mind goes back with ease
To sounds to which he’d listened to with ear unyoked.
He remembers some singles he’d always prized
As a callow boy and which had brought him joy.
And then a flood of memories is released.
De repente,* yesterday’s dendrites are moved.
He croons some tunes as he grooves through the gloom—
Rapping lyrics that had him in rapture’s throes.
Some of these groups had once been all the rage…
Steely Dan, arrangement of whose nickname came
From mad, crazed William Boroughs’ unhinged mind,
Which caused him to write “Naked Lunch”; then share it
Did Becker and Fagan in the band’s cognomen.
The song in question is “Do It Again.”
A tune for which he was over the moon:

Now you swear and kick and beg us that you're
not a gamblin' man;
Then you find you're back in Vegas with a
handle in your hand.
Your black cards can make you money so you
hide them when you're able.
In the land of milk and honey you must
put them on the table.

As he looks at the “bandits” with one arm,
To yet another band is he referring,
And the big hit that Jim Croce composed
A mere two years after “Stairway to Heaven.”
“Bad Leroy Brown” through Tim’s synapses has crossed…
Not lost in Michele Legrand’s mind’s windmills.
Excerpted lyrics wind through his own mind’s substrates:

Now Leroy he a gambler…Friday, ’bout
a week ago, Leroy shootin' dice….

The next song found in his memory’s field
Is from a singer post-First Edition.
“The Gambler” sets neurons alight in this site;
He can sight Rogers’ words that he used to cite:

Every gambler knows that the secret
to survivin’
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowin’
what to keep.
’cause every hand's a winner, and every hand's
a loser.
And the best that you can hope for is to
die in your sleep.

But for last he reserves a blast from the past;
It is his alea iacta est,**
A tune then when crooned impressed him as the best:

It was Stagger Lee and Billy, two men
who gambled late.
Stagger Lee threw seven; Billy swore that
he threw eight.

So if at dice you strive to play your cards right…
Not likely shaved by a blade to the face,
As might be the case with Leroy, who glowers,
As he raises his razor toward your pate—
Or Stagger popping a proverbial cap
In a place where the sun don’t illuminate.

But singing these songs sub rosa plants the seed
In his mind to make way to tables and seek
Weal that might be yielded by gambling gods
As he wields the ivories to win. Or fail?!
He knows from superstitions he should relent.
But in throwing the bones, one can’t employ math,
Which one can exploit in some games to solve
Problems of how to beat the house and score
Against an implacable, irascible foe.
Besides, he believes that he will deploy,
Upon his first roll, 7 or 1l.


*Suddnely
**The die is cast

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