Sunday, April 26, 2009


Bruce Benner (click on image to enlarge) Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2009

Br. Bruce Benner pledged the Phi Delta Psi at Beta Chapter in the Spring of 1960. This a memory of Bruce from Big Al Conahan.

I owe this memory to Brother Bruce Benner. He would recite this Bawdy Diddy in the late evenings at the "Rudnick House" It came to mind the other day and thanks to the enormous store house of knowledge available to us from the world wide web, I found the lyrics by Flanders and Swann. Hope you all enjoy this syllepsis bit of prose as much as we all did when we were too young to truly appreciate it.

Flanders and Swann
She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice,
She was fair, she was sweet seventeen.
He was old, he was vile, and no stranger to vice,
He was base, he was bad, he was mean.
He had slyly inveigled her up to his flat
To view his collection of stamps
And he said as he hastened to put out the cat,
the wine, his cigar and the lamps:
'Have some madeira, M'dear
You really have nothing to fear
I'm not trying to tempt you, that wouldn't be right
You shouldn't drink spirits at this time of night
Have some madeira, M'dear
It's very much nicer than beer
I don't care for sherry, one cannot drink stout
and port is a wine I can well do without
It's simply a case of Chacun ð son gout
Have some madeira, M'dear!'
Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass
The fate of the maiden who topes
She lowered her standards by raising her glass
Her courage, her eyes and his hopes
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did
He quietly refilled it again
And he said, as he secretly carved one more notch
on the butt of his gold-handled cane;
'Have some Madeira, M'dear
I've got a small cask of it here.
And once it's been opened, you know it won't keep
Do finish it off, it'll help you to sleep
Have some Madeira, M'dear
It's really an excellent year
Now if it were Gin you'd be wrong to say yes
The evil gin does would be hard to assess
Besides, it's inclined to affect me prowess
Have some Madeira, M'dear!'
Then it flashed through her mind what her mother has said
with her ante penultimate breath;
'Oh, My child, is you look on the wine that is red
then prepare for a fate worse than death!'
She let go the glass with a shrill little cry
Crash! Tinkle! It fell to the floor
When he asked 'What in heaven?' she made no reply,
Up her mind, and a dash for the door.
'Have some Madeira, M'dear'
Rang out down the hall, loud and clear
A tremulous cry that was filled with despair
As she paused to take breath in the cool midnight air,
'Have some Madeira, M'dear!'
The words seemed to ring in her ear,
Until the next morning, she woke up in bed
With a smile on her lips and an ache in her head
And a beard in her ear hole that tickled and said
'Have some Madeira, M'dear!'

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