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Southern Cultures 12.4 (2006) 96-97


Doc Watson on the Cicada Concert
R. T. Smith

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Figure 1
"They seem to think they have something to say. I wish they'd get tired of tuning and play." Doc Watson (right, with Tom Ashley), courtesy of Wilson Library's Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
[End Page 96]

They seem to think they have something to say,
those locusts high in your circle of pines.
I wish they'd get tired of tuning and play.

I can't tell if it's murder or chivaree.
You know it's mountain. Listen at the whine.
They seem to think they have something to say.

You think they'd hurry; they live about a day
to marry and leave a hollow shell behind.
I wish they'd get tired of tuning and play.

"Shady Grove," "Omie Wise," "Gypsy Davy,"
anything with blue chords and a sober shine.
They seem to think they have something to say

about life's sweet desperation. The way
they hover, praying whilst they die and dine,
I wish they'd get tired of tuning and play

a ghost song or ballad. If you ask me,
an old time melody's not hard to find.
They seem to think they have something to say.
I wish they'd get tired of tuning and play.

"Doc Watson on the Cicada Concert" previously appeared in Brightwood, published by Louisiana State University Press, and it appears here courtesy of the author.

R. T. Smith is the editor of Shenandoah and author of twelve books of poems, including Trespasser, Messenger, and Brightwood. His stories have appeared in The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, New Stories from the South, and Best American Short Stories, as well as in his collection Faith. He lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 96-97
Launched on MUSE
2006-10-18
Open Access
No
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