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

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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