Poison Ivy


A good friend of mine got a case of poison ivy last week. Of course, it itched liked crazy. after passing along my concern, my mind (as usual) went to music, specifically a song I heard when I was a kid. “I think it was the Coasters,” I thought, “and certainly it was written by Leiber & Stoller.” And so it was.

I checked out the Wikipedia post on the song, and according to the post, “the song’s lyrics are about sexually-transmitted disease”, rather than the diseases stated in the bridge of the song:
Measles make you bumpy
Mumps’ll make you lumpy
Chicken Pox’ll make you jump and twitch
Common cold’ll fool you
Whooping cough’ll cool you
Poison Ivy’s love’ll make you itch

I did not know that.

This song went up to #7 in the pop charts in 1959, and to #1 on the R&B charts.

I don’t garden – my wife does – and I’ve been lucky enough to avoid it while mowing the lawn.

(I HAVE used calamine lotion, though, after an allergic reaction to penicillin when I was 16; as Steve Stills said at Woodstock, “Three days, man, three days!)

The map below shows the native habitat for Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze ssp. negundo (Greene) Gillis, eastern poison ivy

ROG