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The Ballad of the Paper Umbrella

from The Best of Bill Metts by Bill Metts



The Ballad of the Paper Umbrella © 2014
Words and Music by William Metts

When I was just a boy I remember that my daddy
had a very unusual habit
He’d always put a paper umbrella in his beer
I had to find out why dag-nabbit

You see the boys at school found out that my daddy
would do such an unusual thing
and I’d get teased from the time I got to school
till the time the final bell ring.

So I gathered up my courage,
went down to my daddy sitting in his easy chair
asked why on earth would a man of his stature
put a paper umbrella in his beer!

Here’s what my daddy told me…He said'

When I was in Nam there was a fella in our company
who liked women less than he liked men.
You know, that’s tolerated more today
than it ever was back then.

His name was Louis, we called him Louise.
We made him sit alone when we were eating.
And I’m ashamed to tell you my son
we gave him more than one undeserved beating

When we got the chance to get out to the bars
to have beers and shots with the other fellas
he would order those sweet girly drinks, you know
the kind with a little umbrellas.

One day we found ourselves in a firestorm
bullets flying all around.
We all frozen in fear
when the grenade bounced on the ground.

That’s except for Lewis,
You see, he jumped on it
to shield the rest of us from the blast,
and because of him I’m here looking at you
and Lewis, he’s in the past.

Then my daddy stood up looked down at me
and said son I hope that we are finished here.
I nodded, took the umbrella out of his drink
and put it behind my left ear,
and I went to school.
I said go ahead knock it off, I dare you.
I double dog dare you.


from The Best of Bill Metts, released November 1, 2019


all rights reserved



Bill Metts Cape Coral, Florida

I have been playing guitar and singing for nearly fifty years now. I Started with American Folk and Blues tunes and finger- style guitar. Had a run in with a Classic Rock band for 6 years or so and I sure was glad when that ended. I spent 15 years playing in nursing homes doing standards from the 30’s and 40’s. Now I mostly write. You will see a bit of all the above in my songs. I hope you like. ... more

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