The Notebooks
of F. Scott Fitzgerald

(J) Jingles and Songs



Lolling down on the edge of time
Where the flower months fade as the days move over,
Days that are long like lazy rhyme,
Nights that are pale with the moon and the clover,
Summer there is a dream of summer
Rich with dusks for a lover’s food—
Who is the harlequin, who is the mummer,
You or time or the multitude?

Still does your hair’s gold light the ground
And dazzle the blind ’till their old ghosts rise;
Then, all you cared to find being found,
Are you yet kind to their hungry eyes?
Part of a song, a remembered glory—
Say there’s one rose that lives and might
Whisper the fragments of our story:
Kisses, a lazy street—and night.


FOR A LONG ILLNESS by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Where did we store the summer of our love
Come here and help me find it
Search as I may there is no trove
Only a dusty last year’s calendar.
Without your breath in my ear
Your light in my eye to blind it
I cannot see in the dark.
Oh tender
Was your touch in Spring, your barefoot voice—
In August we should find graver music and rejoice.
A long Provence of time we saw
For the end—to march together
Through the white dust.
The wines are raw—
Still that we will drink
In the groves by the old walls in the old weather.
Two who were hurt in the first dawn
Of battle; first to be whole again (let’s think)
If the wars grow faint, sweep over...
Come, we will rest in the shade of the Invalides, the lawn
Where there is luck only in three leaf clover.


I don’t need a bit assistance
That’s just—just music in the distance


Little by little
Little by little
That’s the way to do things every day
Little by little
That’s the way to whittle your troubles away


If Hoover came out for the N. R. A.
And babies were born with an extra thumb
My daughter would eyebrow me and say
It was cute, pathetic, juicy or dumb.

If they found a dinosaur in the park
If Einstein failed on an easy sum
I’d hear from my daughter the bored remark
It was cute, pathetic, juicy or dumb.



Yours is received—and I discreetly burn it.
I could hardly do less with such advice than to return it.
Your words are bold enough, may I be bolder?
Try out the plan for me—go lay your shoulder
On the mellow breast of Mr. Holt (don’t knock the feller)
Or Mr. Rickey—or even Mr. Rockefeller.
They’re kind, they’re wise (or think they are) they’re through with fighting.

Infinitely fitter for love—if less exciting!
They’ll feel romance for both, and in addition
There’ll be less worry—there’s less competition
So cease such vaporings. The girls you mention
Have in their time been not without attention
But if their very mattresses were wet
With tears, they could not now play Juliet.


Listen to the hoop la
That’s for Betty Boop—ah


A god intoxicated fly
Got in a room with men
He heard them talk with flashing eye
Of deeds of fist and pen
He heard them laugh, he heard them lie
He watched them leave and then
He flew to where each sticky hand
Had left upon a chair
The sort of drink.



In the fall of sixteen
In the cool of the afternoon
I saw Helena
Under a white moon
I heard Helena
In a haunted doze
Say: “I know a gay place
Nobody knows.”

Her voice promised
She’d live with me there
She’d bring everything—
I needn’t care
Patches to mend my clothes
When they were torn.
Sunshine from Maryland
Where I was born.

My kind of weather
As wild as wild
And a funny book
I wanted as a child
Sugar and you know,
Reason and Rhyme
And water like water
I had one time.

There’d be an orchestra
Bingo! Bango!
Playing for us
To dance the tango
And people would clap
When we arose
At her sweet face
And my new clothes.

But more than all this
Was the promise she made
That nothing, nothing,
Ever would fade—
Nothing would fade
Winter or fall
Nothing would fade,
Practically nothing at all.

Helena went off
And married another,
She may be dead
Or some man’s mother
I have no grief left
But I’d like to know
If she took him
Where she promised we’d go.

——F. Scott Fitzgerald



All my ways she wove of light,
Wove them all alive,
Made them warm and beauty bright—
So the trembling, ambient air
Clothes the golden waters where
The pearl fishers dive.

When she wept and begged a kiss
Very close I’d hold her,
And I know so well in this
Fine fierce joy of memory
She was very young like me
Though half an aeon older.

Once she kissed me very long,
Tiptoed out the door,
Left me, took her light along,
Faded as a music fades—
Then I saw the changing shades,
Color blind no more.



Clear in the morning I can see them sometimes:
—Men, gods and ghosts, slim girls and graces—
Then the light grows, noon burns, and soon there come times
When I see but the pale and ravaged places
Their glory long ago adorned—And seeing
My whole soul falters as an invalid
Too often cheered. Did something in their being
Of worth go from them when my ideal did?

Men, gods and ghosts, cast down by that young damning,
You have no answer; I but heard you say
“Why, we were weak. We failed a bit in shamming.”
—So I am free! Will freedom always weigh
So much hung around my heart? For your defection
Break! You who had me in your keeping, break! Fall!
From that great height to this great imperfection!,
Yet I must weep—Yet, can I hate you all?



He loved me too much; I could not love him!
Opened my eyes so wide I did not see;
For all I left unsaid I could not move him;
He did not love himself enough for me.
He dropped the helm, he let his ship, unruddered,
Ride the calm waters of my youth and sin—
His was the blameless past, and still I shuddered
Seeing the dark spot where his lips had been.
“How you must loathe me, child of youth and brightness!
All my—well, sentiment. Ah—I’m a bore—”
…I smile and lie, and pray for more politeness,
And shiver when his curled hair nears once more.
Trembling before the fire I gasp and rise,
Yawn twice and hint of sleep, profess to nod,
—An image flashes, flares to life and dies;
A devil screaming in the arms of God.
He’d gone too far, lost all his pride somewhere
On my small heart—And all that I could see
Was his stark soul that labored, grovelled there:
I loathed him for that soul—that love of me.



The gorgeous Vatican was steeped, in night,
The organs trembled on my heart no more,
But with a blend of colors on my sight
I loitered through a somber corridor;
When suddenly I heard behind a screen
The faintest whisper as from one in prayer;
I glanced about, then passed, for I had seen
A hushed, dim-lighted room—and two were there.
A ragged friar, half in a dream’s embrace,
Leaned sideways, soul intent, as if to sieze
The last grey ice of sin that ached to melt
And faltered from the lips of him who knelt
A little bent old man upon his knees
With pain and sorrow in his holy face.



Death shrouds the moon and the long dark deepens,
Hastens to the city, to the great stone heaps,
Blinds all eyes and lingers on the corners,
Whispers on the corners that the last soul sleeps.
Gay grow the streets now, torched by yellow lamp-light,
March all directions with a staid, slow tread;
East West they wander, through the sodden city
Rattle on the windows like the wan-faced dead.
Ears full of throbbing a babe awakens startles,
Lends a tiny whimper to the still, dark doom;
Arms of the mother tighten round it gently
Deaf to the marching in the far flung gloom.
Old streets hoary with dead men’s footsteps,
Scarred with the coach-wheels of a gold old age;
Young streets, sand-white, fresh cemented, soulless
Virgin with the pallor of the fresh-cut page.
Black mews and alleys, stealthy eyed and tearless,
Shoes patched and coats torn, torn and dirty old;
Mire-stained and winding, poor streets and weary,
Trudge along with curses, harsh as icy cold.
White lanes and pink lanes, strung with purple roses,
Dancing from a meadow, weaving down a hill,
Beckoning the boy streets with stray smiles wanton,
Strung with purple roses that the dawn must chill.
Soon will they meet, tiptoe on the corners
Kiss behind the foliage of the leaf-filled dark.
Avenues and highroads, bridlepaths and parkways,
All must trace the pattern that the street-lamps mark.
Steps stop sharp! A clamor and a running!
Light upon the corner spills the milk of dawn.
Now the lamps are fading and a bluewinged silence
Settles like a swallow on a dew-drenched lawn.



There was a country horse, they say
Who one day came to town.
Chalked on his side (he was a bay)
Was “Send me to Carter Brown.”
So chaperoned by villagers
From friendly bin to bin
The nag arrived by easy staggers
Up at the Pine Crest Inn.
And with surprise in every pore
Twas noted by the country masses
This singular old gee-gee, wore,
Instead of blinders, Horn-rimmed glasses!
Now Carter seldom off his base is—
But this exceptionable horse
Drew him out briskly from his office
To ask (in Polish, Welsh, and Norse):
“O horse!” he cried, “What occulist
Concocted this, to thus surprise us?
Is there a watch upon your wrist?
Or other quaint and queer devices?”
“O Carter!” said the steed (and balked
At grooms, quite dumb and ineffectual
Who tried to snub him while he talked):
“Carter,” he said, “I’m intellectual.”
“I’ve had my little shot at knowledge.
My name’s not Jones or Smith or Johnson,
“But—” (and to prove he’d been to college,
He neighed a bar from “On, Wisconsin!”)
“My name is Fido,” he confessed,
“It’s true, yes, by it I’ll be bound
With that sad moniker I am blessed
Because they thought I’d be a hound.
“That is my tragedy, my cross,
That’s what still keeps my heart a’burning,
Am I a dog or just a hoss?—
(I’ve sublimated it in Learning.”)
His host had fainted. When he came
To life, he shouted with a frown:
“Why did you bring, in Heaven’s Name
Your problem here to Carter Brown?”
“Because—” the Beast replied—“they tell
You’ve heard so many horsey lies, you
’ll ne’er be told in heaven or hell
One fact on horse-flesh to surprise you.”


She lay supine among her pekinese
Her dress was pink; she had a lot of guests
All had been given long intelligence tests
(Square carrots ought to fit octagonal peas)
She used to dandle God upon her knees
And tell him how—and still kepp nicely humble
Take us to ride with Jesus in the rumble
Drunk as a fool on wine that had no leas
Poor Sarah—brown back hanging from her pearls
Poor us who wanted her to be the same
Never to change for she had made us stable
She was as good and bad as she was able
Change and live on, sweet metal, ours the blame
Ours is the wig forever yours the curls



It is hot tonight—my hand sticks to this paper
Listen—in the unrequited years
Wasn’t it me you looked for sometimes at the races
beaches, tables? Didn’t your odd delicacies and fears
melt away one time when we made funny faces?
at each other on a canal boat,
galley, floating palace—fifty months ago?
Didn’t we tell the whole story, sit and dote,
stare pop-eyed at each other? Didn’t we though?
Cast us as Mona Liza and Jack Horner
Will you! With neither of us supposed to care a damn?
—My version is the last sight of your head around a corner—
And the awful unsaid blankness of a telegram.
It is hot tonight but the humidity will not show in the typewriting.



We don’t want visitors, we said
They come and sit for hours and hours
They come when we have gone to bed
They are imprisoned here by showers
They come when they are low and bored
Drink from the bottle of your heart
Once it is emptied the gay horde
Shouting the Rubyiat, depart

I balked—I was at work, I cried
Appeared unshaven or not at all
Was out of gin—the cook had died
Of small pox, and more tales as fall
On boor or friend I turned the same
Dull eye, the same impatient tone—
—The ones with beauty, sense and fame
Perceived we wished to be alone

But dull folk, dreary ones and rude
Long talker, lonely soul and quack
Who hereto hadn’t dared intrude
Found us alone, swarmed to attack
Thought silence was attention; rage
An echo of their own home’s war
Glad we had ceased to “be upstage”—
—But the nice people came no more.


Pretty Boy Floyd
And School Boy RoweWent walking up the street.
If you want a flapper—shake her
If you want a maiden—make her
If you want a woman—take her
In a jitney heaven on a cheap gilt street etc.
(finish) It’s me
(Good Lord)
It’s me.


Counter Song to the “Undertaker”

Bingo Bingo
Princeton only boasts
When it roasts
Old Eli-Yale.


Touchdown song based on

Whoo-oo won


“Patty’s Pulling Parties.”



There’s a kind of magic near ya.


Colors has she in her soul
Dusky gold and green and white

So if eyes peer out to see
Rain a-slanting down the street
Washing through the colonade
Let us smile and say that she
Paints in green.
Rain a-slanting down the street
By the first lamps of the night
Overhead the willows meet
Bells from hidden places toll
(Colors has she in her soul
Dusky gold and green and white)
Hurried dots upon the day
Little figures scurry by


“Sticking along.” The voice so faint sometimes I could scarcely hear it.
Sticking along? For what, we had forgotten years ago.
Sometimes there was only the cold frim comfort of not being near it,


First a hug and tease and a something on my knees
And then everything
And that’s everything


For the boys that say Hurray


I hate their guts
The lowsy mutts


If you have a little Jew
Beat him (when he sneezes)


You’ll never know
Spring in my heart


Bath tub torch song


Oh where are the boys of the boom-boom-boom
Where are the boys of the boom


For Song—Idea—

He’s just a friend he said. But
knowing what I ( know) (do)
I’d be contented If I could be just a friend.


“I got a suit of silk pajamas—I’m savin’ for you.”


Refrain for a Poem. How to Get to So and So.

You go to X and turning there
Continue on to Berkely Square
etc. etc.
You go to X and something X
And four miles on


In a dear little vine covered cottage
On Forty-second Street
A butcher once did live who dealt
In steak and other meat
His son was very nervous
And his mother him did vex
And she failed to make allowance
For his matracide complex
And now in old Sing Sing
You can hear that poor lad sing.
Just a boy that killed his mother
I was always up to tricks
When she taunted me I shot her
Through her chronic appendix
I was always very nervous
And it really isn’t fair
I bumped off my mother but never no other
Will you let me die in the chair?
He was only sixteen and a fraction
A had ne’er been ail in his life
He had scarcely been fired from his high school
For raping the principal’s wife
Now he sits in the laws foulest dungeons
Instead of his families embrace
Oh how would you like it your ownself
If you stared the hot seat in the face
So write Franklin D. if you can
To send him to old Mattewan
Just a boy that killed his mother
Now he’s in a sorry fix
Since he up one day and plugged her
Through her perfect thirty-six
It was no concern of no one’s
And his trial wasn’t fair
The fact that he shot her was a family matter
Will you let him die in the chair?
Do you think that our civilization
Should punish an innocent lad
Why he said to the judge in the court room
He was aiming the gun at his dad
But the judges denied his petition
And at dawn on the 9th of July
Unless Governor Roosevelt shows kindness
Gus Schnlitski must certainly die
And the death house once again
Does ring to this refrain
Just a boy that killed his mother
With a brace of stolen colts
On July 9 they’ll fill me
With a hundred thousand volts
It was dope that made me do it
Otherwise I wouldn’t dare
’Twas ten grains of morphine that made me an orphinc
Will you let me die in the chair?



This is April again. Roller skates rain slowly down the street
Your voice far away on the phone
Once I would have jumped like a clown through a hoop—
“Then the area of infection has increased? …oh …What can I expect after all—I’ve had worse shocks.
Anyhow, I know and that’s something.” (Like hell it is, but it’s what you say to an X-ray doctor.)
Then the past whispering faint now on another phone:
“Is there any change?”
“Little or no change”
“I see”

The roller skates rain down the streets,
The black cars shine between the leaves,
Your voice far away:
“I am going with my daughter to the country. My husband left today. . . No he knows nothing.”
I have asked a lot of my emotions—one hundred and twenty stories, The price was high, right up with Kipling, because there was one little drop of something not blood, not a tear, not my seed, but me more intimately than these, in every story, it was the extra I had. Now it has gone and I am just like you now.
Once the phial was full—here is the bottle it came in.
Hold on there’s a drop left there. . . No, it was just the way the light fell
But your voice on the telephone. If I hadn’t abused words so what you said might have meant something.
But one hundred and twenty stories
April evening spreads over everything, the purple blur left by a child who has used the whole paint-box.


Don’t you worry I surrender
Days are long and life’s a bender
Still it’s true that
Tender is the Night



You have got to take a bath
Just a wee one—a beginner
Cause my mother’s here to dinner
So you’re going to take a bath
Don’t you put me off with maybe
Get your scrubbing brush for baby
We must ride through life
In the very same boat
But I never counted on a billy goat
I am used to your aroma
But to others it means—coma
You have got to take a bath
Oh I will not take a bath
You can lead me to the slaughter
But I’ll just let out the water
Oh I will not take a bath
For the soap it makes me itchy
And the whole idea is bitchy
For you-see-my-dear
When you married your lad
You married his habits so you might as well be glad
Baths are only for the dirty
Haven’t needed one since thirty
And I will not take a bath
There’s no room to swim around dear
You will end up in the pound dear
But you’ve given me your oath, love
You can take baths for us both, love
And I’m quite content to be a Billy goat
But I never counted on a Billy goat
Do you like to be so high, dear
I am aiming at the sky, dear


Mr. Berlin wrote a song about forgetting to remember
A song that I would never dare to borrow
For they sang it East and West from January to December
And we felt for Mr. Berlin in his sorrow
But here the situation is entirely different
If I can remember to forget your way (smile)
To forget a fingers fussing with your hair
(If I can remember to forget)


Mother taught me to—love things
Now you tell me to—hate things
Mother taught me to ----- things
Now you tell me to doubt things, etc.


Truth and—consequences

Bobby loved who—it’s a big do
Bill loved Ruth—but you mustn’t play truly
Truth and consequences


Everytime I blow my nose I think of you
And the mellow noise it makes
Says I’ll be true—
With beers and wines
With Gertrude Steins
With all of that
I’m through—
Cause every time I blow my no-o-ose


For the time that our man spent in pressing your suit
For the books and the towels that you took off as loot
For your general idea you were out on a toot
For my debutante daughter you threw for a loss
For the way you insulted my husband’s big boss
For the crap game you won with that singular toss
Thank you so much Mr. Porter for coming here.
For the servants to whom you did not come across
For the way that you smashed up our sweet little car
For your hoggish attacks on our nicely stocked bar
For the bed you set fire with your God damn cigar
Never ask you to a week end again


Keep the watch!
When-the-tread-of the many feet is still
Hold our place on the heights until
We—come—back—many thousand strong
Keep the watch
—At Princeton


She’s pimply, etc.
But when she gets together with the giggely girls, she’s pimply a succoream


Half-and-Half Girl

Half-hearted Half-a-Miss
Half-hearted measures
Are causing you to miss
Half of life’s pleasures
Half rude and half polite
Half time endeavor
Half wrong but always right
Justified ever
Half truths that make a lie
Half kept intentions
(And need one mention, Pie
Half learned declensions)
Half of a bathing suit
Half of a mitten
Half the time (when it’s cute!)
Love for a kitten
Half finished stories
Sewing—got mired in it
Literature’s glories
Gave up—got tired in it
Half of a language done
Half of a lesson
Half study-time for fun
Half work to guess on
Half of an exercise
Heavens who can know
How one can memorize
Half the piano!
Half liking half a friend
Grow warm or colder
When cross don’t half unbend
Turn the cold shoulder
Half with your duty—Aye!
Fluid like water
Seeking half beauty—my
half-and-half daughter



I may be a What-ho, a No-can-do
Even a banker, but I can love you
As well as a better man
a letter-man of fame
As well as any Mr. Whosis you can name
The little break in my voice
—or Rolls-Royce
take your choice
I may lose
You must choose
So choose
A hundred thousand in gold
and you’re sold
to the old
and I’m broke
when our days a
are gold
I’m begging
Oh, Sister, can you spare your heart?
Those wealthy goats
In racoon coats
can wolfe you away from me
But draw your latch
For an honest patch
the skin of necessity
(we’ll make it a tent, dear)
The funny patch in my pants
take a chance
ask your aunts
What’s a loss
You must toss
So toss!
A gap inside that’s for good.
You’ll be good
As you should
Touch wood!
I’m begging
Oh, Sister, can you spare your heart?


You’ve driven me crazy
What’ll Jung do what’ll Jung do
My yen for you makes everything hazy
What Jung do to you
How true—were the doctors who
psychked me
who liked me
Believe me they knew
but you—were
the kind of neurotic
schitzotic when
I needed you
You’ve driven me crazy
I’ll do the same to you



Where the Choo-Choo trains go
All the yellow cabs are rushing
To the seven-ten for Flushing (etc.)
(with three trains—Winchester, Long Island, New Jersey—events en route, false legs over seats, etc.)



Sway-yed and driven
by forces I don’t understand
(high) Sway-ed and driven
Got to eat out a somebody’s hand
Gotta eat
Gotta eat out a somebody’s han’
But gotta eat
Sway-ed etc.



The ground cried out to him
It clasped his middle
He knew finally
The end of the riddle.

Some things we know
About death and birth
He knew he was due to go
Down back into the earth


Life’s to short to
Wait for a boy like you to make up his mind.
Life’s too short to
Meddle with anyone else but you.


When Zelda Sayre and I were young, the war was in the sky.


To Carter + Marion

What wonder if the poet wants to rave
That the bells within the washer start to ring,
That the banners in the flagstone start to wave,
For at seven-forty-five tonight, it’s spring.
The crackers in the cracker box explode,
The very shoes I wear are get­ting tight.
Why this modest, unassuming little ode,
Is careening around the paper as I write.
I must go and pull a strip tease
in the park, But remember, dears, this most important thing.
Though I’m fined by Misseldine for being stark,
Still at seven-forty-five tonight, it’s spring.


The Barber’s too slick,
The maid’s too clean.
The boy’s too quick,
The clerk’s too keen.
The music too gay,
The tunes too mad.
I’m leaving today,
And that’s too bad.
Compliments of a contented guest.


From the room where Mandy lay,
And the toilet flushed like thunder
Out of China cross the way.



My name is Death. You may remember me.
We met some days ago, but you refused
The introduction, and with such snobbery
That I felt temporarily confused.
I’d thought to meet you on some great day
When you were drowsing in the oldsters’ land.
On silent feet, I’d come to where you lay,
Before you knew it, I’d have touched your hand.
But since you have the art of driving well,
You’ve quite forgot that you might meet another
Who drives as fast but clumsily as hell.
So I may see you soon. Step on it, brother!
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
But the story of Carter’s is not on sale.
Dead men generally tell no tale.
Ye Scott ha’ not wi’ Carter bled
By road sign “Dangerous Curve Ahead”.
Gather ye Carter while ye may
From all the points of the Zodiac.
This is the tie that he wore that day,
Here is a tooth and part of his back.
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note
As we dropped the bits into the rumble.
We wrapped his spleen in his overcoat,
But we lost his ears in the jumble.
All the Kings horses and all the King’s men,
That are not at the Coronation,
Managed to gather up Carter again,
But couldn’t restore animation.
The splendor falls
On Carter’s gall.
Stones scattered o’er.
Route one-six-seven,
The convicts crush them into mush
While Carter Brown looks down from Heaven.
We’ve just replaced the car, cash down.
But how we miss you, dear old pal, you
We’ve no new model Carter Brown.
Your chasis had no trade-in value.



My love is down
I saw the blow
Only my love for him
Makes me know
God give me pity
That doesn’t frown
Stand away—stand aside
My love is down!
I had a room once
Brush and a comb
When things were tough
I could run home
Now there’s the ring and ?
Purse—and a town—
But stand away—stand aside
My love is down!
My love’s a rough neck
My love’s a pug
All of the family
Think I’m a mug
I was just born this way
Somebody’s clown—
Stand away! Stand aside!
My love is down!
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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