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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

Yesterday is gone, don’t waste time reliving it. Today is here make the most of it because tomorrow might not come.



Happy Monday. For those of you attending “Tap Your Troubles Away” this coming Saturday night I just found out my solo is in the first half of the program so you might plan on getting to the Luckman Theatre a little early. At the end of the evening I’ll be joining Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and the rest of the cast for the Grand Finale.

For those of you who have been asking about it, The Actor’s fund has also announced that they will be selling the “Kurt Weill Centennial Celebration” original cast CD at the theatre. I’m not sure yet if Dwight will be able to get copies of the disc for sale through Stanyan By Mail. Just thought I’d warn you.

On we go to the mailbag. As usual there are a number of “where is?” and “where do I find?” questions.


Dear Rod, I am wanting to quote a line from one of your poems in a novel I'm writing and I can't find it, nor can I remember it exactly. It is part of a poem recited by Glenn Yarborough just before he sings the song "Stanyan Street" on one of his albums of your work from the mid-late '60s. The poem might be "Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows." The line says, "In my mind I ride the bridge from _____________ home..." and I am wondering. Is it "from Sausalito" home? Or San Francisco?

What I'm really trying to establish is the poet's (your) relationship to Sausalito. Is that home, or is Sausalito the place on the other side of the bridge from home? I must say that you were the first poet I ever truly loved.... and I am now President of the National Association for Poetry Therapy! Thanks for your help, Kathleen Adams

Dear Kathleen, The missing word is “Sausalito” and the work is the title poem from the book “Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows.” Glenn did record it and so did I on several LP’s.

Sausalito and San Francisco have both been home to me at different times in my life so I think of the two places with great fondness.

I had no idea there was such an organization as The National Association of Poetry Therapy, but it makes perfect sense to me since over the years I heard from many doctors, theologists and psychotherapists who say they’ve used my works in their practice. Thanks for writing. Warmly, Rod


dear mr mckuen - i was hoping you could help me. recently, i converted an old video tape of my parents onto vhs format & we watched it for the first time since 1972 – I wasn't even born yet. my dad had dubbed music over parts of the video, especially the part where he was filming the (what is sacred to me & my family) land / property on which i grew up in michigan.

the music during this part of the video was instruments with you speaking poetry. a poem about how everything returns back to the earth. it was absolutely beautiful, sad, meaningful, moving. could you possibly tell me what the name of this would be & if it might be on one of your cd's or in a book, etc. i was hoping to find it for my parents. they used to have it on record, but when they finally had to leave from our sacred place, they threw away a lot of things, & i think most of their records had warped, etc. thank you for your time - shannon b sipperley

Dear Shannon, it sounds as if your parents might have dubbed material that I did with Anita Kerr and The San Sebastian Strings for an album entitled “The Earth.”

The album is not available on compact disc but there are selections from it on the CD “Speaking of Love.” Meanwhile here are the lyrics to the title song from the album.

Song from The Earth

One drop of water cannot fill a fountain.
One grain of sand doesn’t make a mountain.
And a hand full of dirt is just about all we’re worth
in the eyes of the Man who made us all from the earth.

Those who go alone those who go together
those who give the world its trouble
those who make it better.

We’re all on our way to dust from the day of our birth
from the ground we’ve come and we’re all going back to earth.

So stay for a while with me walk another mile with me
live another day for what it’s worth tomorrow
and tomorrow and tomorrow we’ll go back to the earth.

words by Rod McKuen, music by Anita Kerr -from the album “The Earth,” 1968

All the best to you Shannon. Sincerely, Rod


hello mr mckuen you could say that i am a fan of yours and I have a question, where can i get the song “Soldiers Who Want to be Heroes” as a download? Yours Sincerely, Duncan MaCleod

Dear Duncan, Thanks for writing and please read the answer to the following letter. Kindest Regards, Rod


Dear Rod: I think "We" is one of the loveliest things you have done, and yet I never heard it anywhere except on an old 8 track, long gone. I have a lot of your CDs, but I have only heard "Love, Let Me Not Hunger" by Glen Yarbrough on one of his collections of your songs. And yet it is so very lovely. I was wondering, have you recorded it and I just can't find it, or, if not, why? I am delighted to find your site. Lovely man. Velveteen

Dear Velveteen: Thanks for the comments, I wrote “We” with Henry Mancini for the film “Me Natalie.” It’s available on the CD’s “The Rare Mancini” & “McKuen at the Movies.” Both can be ordered from Stanyan By Mail. Both Sue Rainey & Shirley Bassey have recorded it as well.

As for “Love, Let Me Not Hunger,” I’ve recorded it several times; on the albums “The Beautiful Strangers” and “Pastorale” and in 1974 it appeared complete with verse in a new vocal I did for the CD “Early Harvest.” All are also available at Stanyan By Mail.

Better news still: The version of “Love, Let Me Not Hunger” that appears on “Early Harvest” was made available on an MP3 file along with “Soldiers Who Want to be Heroes” two weeks ago on this site. Both can be downloaded free of charge. Check out the “Site Map” for instructions. All the Best, Rod


I noticed on your site that you said you have some songs or midi's to download. where can I find these. I was introduced to your site by Mel Webb. I am just learning about you. Sorry if I have been uninformed before this. But I would love to hear some sample of your music. Can you tell me how to download this? thank you! Bea in Va. Beach, Va. Bea Heath

Dear Bea: Thanks for asking. Again, check The Site Map for downloading instructions. All the best, Rod


Hi Rod: Where can I find the words to Interlude? Ailene Wise.

Dear Ailene: The words and music to the song “Interlude” are contained in the songbooks “52 Popular Folk Hits” & “Kaleidoscope.” Both are out of print. It is available on the LP’s “Seasons in the Sun 1" & the double LP “Seasons 1 & 2,” “Interlude” is a very old song and was written with my late friend Hale Matthews. Here, thanks to Jay Hagan’s industry, are the lyrics. Warmly, Rod


A meeting, quite by chance
a try at brief romance
soft lights and pale champagne
to chase the rain, an Interlude.

A secret rendezvous
a stolen hour or two
the clock stands still till dawn
comes calling on an Interlude.

Somewhere a bell is sounding
two hours before the day
to keep our hearts from pounding
we think of words we’ll never say.

And so the evening ends
farewell, my newfound friend
the next time raindrops fall
you may recall an Interlude.

A brief romantic fling
we tried to catch the ring
we tried to fly, to soar
but it was nothing more
than just an Interlude.

words by Rod McKuen, music by Hale Matthews ©1963 by Stanyan Music


In 1971 I had an album I loved and one of the songs was called, or had the phrase in it, "My Dog Likes Oranges" I have no idea how old the album was or even what happened to it, but I NEED another one. Thanks. Sincerely, Becky King

Dear Becky: According to Jay, “My Dog Likes Oranges” was featured on the San Sebastian Strings album “The Sky.” We still have a few copies of the LP left at Stanyan By Mail. It’s also in the book “Watch for the Wind,” available from the same source. Warmest regards, Rod


Hi Rod, I ended up with a dog from the New York terrorist attack. Our shelter people went to New York and help reunite the pets with the families. The ones that could not be sheltered there, were photographed and pictures were left for the humane shelter there.

We brought many of the surviving animals here to Youngstown. I ended up with one that turned out to be an orphan. Both of his
people were killed. He has a microchip identifying him. So of course I am fostering him while they try to match him up to a man and a woman about 35 years old.

He is a sweetie, but what dog isn't? Love to you, Rose

Dear Rose, A very sad story with as happy an ending as possible. The tales from ‘Ground Zero’ or as the firemen prefer to call it ‘The Site,’ just keep coming. Yours is yet another one that breaks the heart. Love, Rod


Hello, I am looking for some help. My father's 60th birthday is coming up in April 2002 and I am looking for a poem by Rod McKuen to recite to him.

My dad has always been my hero. He worked hard his whole life to support the five of us, right up until his stroke six years ago. After his stroke he became a shadow of the man he once was, but in his true form he survived and carries on. Even though he does not have the use of his left arm and limited use of his left leg, he continues to be a happy, and strong man. He always has a joke or funny story to tell any one he meets.

The reason I am looking for a Rod McKuen poem is because when I was growing up my father always had his Frank Sinatra, or Rod McKuen albums playing. When I was in school and the class had to do a report on a poem of their choice, all the other kids picked old and very common poems, I did my report on a Rod McKuen poem. To me he was commonplace in my house.

I know that McKuen is my dad's favorite poet, so I was hoping to find something appropriate to celebrate his life at his surprise 60th birthday party. I hope you can help Thank you Arthur Polgano

Dear Arthur: This is a pretty tough one but how about one of the pieces of prose I wrote for Frank Sinatra on his “A Man Alone” album? That way you could cover both bases.

I mentioned it to Jay Hagan who suggested my song “Happy Birthday to Me” from the album “Grand Tour.” I’m not sure since it might seem a little ‘down’ for the event. Here are the lyrics:

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy birthday to me I’m older, you see
and there are still some things I don’t know.
Like why does it take a birthday to make
you wonder how little you know.

I’ve played ‘Kick the Can’ and ‘Hide and Go Seek’
‘Run Sheep Run’ and the lot. Hearts and Flowers’
by the hours play ‘em and what have you got ?

Happy birthday to me I’m older you see
but there are still some things I don’t know.
Like why when you give all you’ve got you can give
do people get frightened... and go.

Off and running as though in a race
afraid to laugh or cry gone to wherever
seldom if ever stopping to tell you goodbye.

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me.
I’ve read all the books that I own
but none of them say why it takes a birthday
to show you how little you’ve grown.

Words and music by Rod McKuen ©1968 by Stanyan Music

Since we have a little time till his birthday (the same month as mine) write and let me know if these ideas work. If not I’ll give it some more thought. My best thoughts are with you and your father. Warmly, Rod

Sleep warm.

RM 11/3/2001 Previously unpublished

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays Bryan Adams o Mark Breland o Eugene Debs o Will Durant o Myron Floren o Art Garfunkel o Walter Gieseking o Jonathan Richard o Guy Greenwood (Radiohead) o Jon-Erik Hexum o Vivien Leigh o Javy Lopez o Mantovani o Joel McCrea o Peter Noone o Tatum O’Neal o Gram Parsons o Roy Rogers o Natalie Schaefer o Sam Shepard o Paul Simon o Elke Sommer o Ike Turner o Bill Walton
Rod's random thoughts Silence never needs improvement.

To articulate aloud a certain moment, insures its memory.

The strongest asset any country has is its children.


You might have been a nun in love with God
thinking men not good enough to see your close cropped hair
or know your midnight eyes.

A drum majorette perhaps with batteried baton
who dreamed of Radio City on the football field
such a childhood might have lead you to the silver screen
and not into my arms.

We might have gone through other gardens then
and never known this park.
I might have closed my eyes and age one day
never having seen you walk.
Never having heard you scold my unshaven chin
or open up your arms to let me in
unshaven but not afraid.

I’m grateful then for your upbringing
it led you like an arrow here
uncomplicated and mine.

-from “Listen to the Warm,” 1968

© 1962, 1963, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1999, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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