(Humorous, Tragic and Beautiful)


Our beautiful Ohio somehow betrayed our trust,
Turned from a thing of beauty to a hideous Octopus,
Stretched its grimy arms over towns, both large and small,
And seemed it would not be content until it reached us all.

The people on the hilltops had always felt secure,
Old Man River couldn’t get them, of that we were quite sure;
But this time Old Man River really took them for a ride,
From their part in the flood comes the humorous side.

He chased them back about fifty years in just a single day,
Coal-oil lamps and candles were used to light their way,
He took away their water, and took away their light,
Then took away their pleasures by closing things up tight.

It was a case of “water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink
Water everywhere but in the bathtub and in the kitchen sink.
Things got so topsy-turvy, it really made me laugh,
Who though we’d see the day it was a sin to take a bath?

For a while the biggest hero we could find around the place
Was the man who had the longest beard upon his face,
Dirty shirts and collars became the leading style
If you brushed your teeth each morning, you were afraid to smile,

The disgraceful B.O. had suddenly met its doom,
Odor of perspiration became our leading perfume.
The lazier we housewives were, the bigger heroes we’d become,
They’d pat us on the back for everything we hadn’t done.

If you dared to wash your windows, it simply was too bad;
They’d quickly take away the little water that you had,
If you should turn on more than one small bulb at night
Without a word of warning, you’d lose your electric light!

They had us boiling water ’til our pans were black as ink
Then you had to hold your nose while you tried to take a drink.
We were proud of a smelly house, a greasy sink as well,
They’d tell you not to worry there were no germs in the smell.

Everything was closed up tight, there was no place to go,
We had Blue Mondays, Black Sundays, and ten days of Indigo.
Things were running backwards at such a rapid rate,
Had it lasted much longer, we’d been completely out of date.

All you’d get on the Air were “Do’s” and “Don’ts” and “Stop’s” !
They puffed you full of typhoid scare, then poked you full of shots,
It seemed awful while it lasted, but after all was said and done,
Compared with what it brought to others, that part was only fun.

We could laugh at that part, but to smile would seem a sin
When we think about districts where flood waters had been.
Destruction inconceivable, no matter where you’d ride.
Your heart aches for those who knew the tragic side.

Shattered homes, broken dreams, treasures of a lifetime, gone!
You wondered would they have the heart to go back and carry on.
There is no way it seems that one could estimate their loss—
All their hopes for the future were with the American Red Cross.

The part of this flood that seemed beautiful to me
Was it really brought out how unselfish we could be.
When the call for help was sounded, from far and near they came
All with the thought of giving, none with the thought of gain.

Heroes sprung up like wild fire, worked both day and night
Willing to sacrifice their all to save a brother’s life.
Everyone was willing to lend a helping hand
Money flowed like water from all parts of the land

Even those on the hilltops were very faithful too,
Co-operating whole-heartedly in all they wore asked to do.
Oh, that we would not change, now that the flood In gone,
If only this spirit of brotherly love could live on and on!

Yes that flood had a humous and tragic side, a side of bounty too,
Planting memories in our hearts to live our whole life through
May God bless everyone who in that tragedy played a part,
Proving there is Faith, Hope and Charity in every true American heart.

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