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Photo by Bob Gentry ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

If it's worth doing, it's usually worth doing right away. But I’ll think about that tomorrow.


I thought today might be a good one to answer a round of questions that has been building up.


All of the books, CD’s, songbooks and LP’s mentioned here are available from Stanyan By Mail, except those I’ve mentioned as being out of print.


I really need that song and book. Which album (CD) is it on?
Thanks for your time. Trish Ohran

Dear Trish, The poem Stanyan Street is available in the book “Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows” and on the CD “Sold Out at Carnegie Hall.” The words and music to the song and poem are in the songbooks, “Sold Out at Carnegie Hall” & “The Songs of Rod McKuen, Vol. Two.” Cheers, Rod 


Rod: You wrote a song for Mary Travers, "Children one and all"; on what album can I find it sung by you? Frank Maher

Dear Frank, “Children One & All” isn’t available on CD yet, but it’s included on the albums “Live in London,” “Grand Tour” “Live in Amsterdam” & “Blessings in Shades of Green.” All of these LP’s are still available. Regards, Rod 


Dear Rod McKuen, I have been trying to locate a copy of the song Channing Way. Could you tell me which LP it is on? I would also like to find the LP for Lovers Only. I listened to them continuously back in 1969, when my husband died very suddenly, and I spent many a night listening to the beautiful words and music. I love the Sky, and have just found my album, which I haven't played in years. Thank you for the beautiful and profound words and music that always take me back to a time thirty-odd years ago when my kids were just babies. Sincerely, Annie Long

Dear Annie, There are a few copies of the LP “For Lovers” left at Stanyan, “Channing Way” is available on both “Rod McKuen sings His Own” and “Portrait of Rod McKuen.” Thanks for your moving story. Love, Rod


I am looking for a cut I think is from the Sea. It was very special to me and it refers to (of all things) love, something about "more than peanut butter" and "knowing the moles on your back"

Would you please help me, I really need to find this cut and order it as soon as possible. I have an anniversary on May 2.

Thank you in advance and I am so pleased to hear you are open to sharing you thoughts that mirror ours again. Best Regards – Claire

Dear Claire, You’re looking for “Sunday,” from the San Sebastian Strings album The Earth. Anita Kerr wrote the lovely music for it. It’s also on the LP’s “Back to Carnegie Hall” & “Pushing the Clouds Away.” Unfortunately all of them are out of print at the moment. All the best, Rod


Where could I get the words to "if you go away"? andre van rensburg

Dear Andre, You can find the lyrics to “If You Go Away” in the Flight Plan Archives under the date 10/25/2000. The complete words and music are available in the songbooks “The Songs of Rod McKuen” & “Sold Out at Carnegie Hall." Thanks for asking, Rod


I spent many afternoons enjoying your voice and your poetry in the 70s. I would love to hear them again. Where can I purchase those wonderful poems, today. And, do you ever travel as far away as North Carolina for concerts? Look forward to hearing from you. Judy Namste

Dear Judy, I appreciate your asking about the spoken word albums: “Listen to the Warm,” “Speaking of Love,” “Lonesome Cities” and the new book and CD set “A Safe Place to Land” are all currently available on CD. “The Word” can be ordered on LP.

I traveled to South Carolina several times for concerts and all I need to come again is an invitation from a local promoter. All they need do is contact Jerry Lonn at this site. To give you an idea of how much I like the Carolinas, one week in May of 1976 I played the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, The Greensboro Auditorium and the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte before heading down your way to Columbus to perform at Township Hall. Warmest regards, Rod


Rod, It seems very petty to bother you with such a trite matter but I have no other options. I have a vague recollection of a poem I believe to be titled Ellen's Eyes. I recall entering a poetry reading contest when I was young and used this poem. The title may not be Ellen's Eyes but I am certain that there is a mention of Ellen's eyes in the poem itself. I have searched far and wide to find this poem. Can you help? Jeramy Jarman

Dear Jeramy, You’ve got the title right and the lyrics to the song are in the book “Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows.” Thanks for remembering it. Sincerely, Rod


Rod: Which LP is soldiers who want to be heroes on? Is that on CD now ? Any plans to come to the UK again - saw you in .... must be 78 or 79 I guess Thank you, Paul Hutton

Dear Paul, “Soldiers Who Want to be Heroes” is on the CD “Without a Worry in the World” and the LP’s “The Rod McKuen Folk Album,” “”The Amsterdam Concert,” “Live in London” & “Live at the Sydney Opera House.” Best Regards, Rod.


Dear Rod McKuen, I was halfway through reading a funny section sent in by one of your fans. It was entitled something like; WHY ENGLSH IS SO DIFFICULT TO LEARN. I was chuckling at everything about it when halfway through, my computer kicked me off; I forget what date it was posted on and could not find it since &. I would really appreciate it if it would be possible for you to send me that date it was posted on. I would really like to pass it on to all my friends. Thank You. DSL Young

Dear Diane, I put the question to Jay Hagan and he came up with the following from on of Friday’s Pass it Along features.

What’s That Lying in the Road, A Head?

Susan writes:

“No wonder the English language is so very difficult to learn":

We polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
A farm can produce produce.
The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
The present is a good time to present the present.
At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
The dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my clothes.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

Hope this is the one you had in mind. Cheers, Rod 


Hi, We have a patron who is looking for a poem, by you, called "The Box." I've checked your site and have not found a poem with that title. Have you written a poem with this title? Thank you very much. Thirza

Dear Thirza, The question seemed familiar but I was stumped so again I turned to my own personal Boswell, Jay. Here’s his answer: 

Good Morning Rod, This question has been asked and answered in a FP from 17 October 2000. Jay.

Sure enough, Thriza, I pulled up the date in the archives and there was your question asked and answered. Try going to the bottom of this page, hit on the ARCHIVE button, type in the date and you’ll find it. Cheers, Rod


I came to see you in Aurora, and half way through the concert you changed your shoes. I was just wondering what kind of shoes you changed to, because I liked the second pair. If you can't remember that's alright. It's not real important. I did like the concert too. I hope to see you again. Thanks for your time.
Galleon Pontus

Dear Galleon, I’m not sure which sneakers you’re referring to.
If they were square toed then they were made several years ago by Cole-Hawn. If not they might have been Keds. My taste for sneakers is a bit old fashioned and so they are hard to find.
Don’t like Reebok, Nike or any of those flashy jobs. And, I only wear canvas tennies. If it helps any, I usually choose my sneakers to match whatever sweater I’m wearing. Sorry I can’t fill you in a little better.

Glad you liked the concert, Galleon, I had a great time too.
By the way here’s a poem I wrote for and dedicated to Marlene Dietrich that accompanied the above photograph.


How many miles
have I been traveling
or have I always
run in place
marking time
upon a treadmill.

I know this much,
I’ve traveled out of me
                     at last.
       I’ve put off the skin
that had I known
was interfering with what waited,
I’d have shed
two dozen years ago.

Your skin is warmer anyway.
Safer to be hiding in.
At times I feel so close to you
that I am surely
on the inside of you
               looking out.

I wonder
just how many thousand miles
these shoes walked
                      and ran
       and trotted down
before they found your doorway
and began to climb the stairs
that would lead them
to the final bedside
and the last dark closet
they would ever come upon.

Copyright 1975

Marlene was always one of my favorite people. I translated the Leo Fere song, “About the Time” for her. Thanks, Rod


Hi Rod, Having just recently discovered an album of yours The French Connection which I must admit took a while to grow on me, but now love entirely. I would like to ask you what albums you would recommend next for me to purchase. I also love the track you did with Henry Mancini that Scott Walker sings on "The Livin' End " I still cant believe that's Scott Walker singing on that. Anything that comes close to these styles in your recorded output (which I realize must be vast) would be the sort of thing I would be looking to purchase, any recommendations would be much appreciated. Also, do you have any plans to do any concerts in London in the future. Cheers Gerry

Dear Gerry, Yep that’s Scott Walker all right. I know, because I produced the record. In those days he was a teen rocker who went by the name “Scott Engle.”

I probably should recommend the “Rod McKuen / Jacques Brel Songbook" CD, but to get a wider picture of what I’ve been up to over the years why not choose “Speaking of Love” or better still the double CD “The Platinum Album".

Later in the year a double CD will be issued entitled “Chanson.” It will contain the original French songs by such chansoniers as Brel, Becaud, Fere, Michelle Polnariff, Barbara and others. It will be a mixture of French and English with my translations and even a couple of originals I wrote in French. All the best, Gerry, Rod 


I once owned (and cherished) some pages that I had torn out of a Woman's Day magazine from the time of our country's bicentennial. You had written something that, if memory serves me, was called "And I Live In America".

Over the years, through many moves, those pages were tacked on the wall in one room or another in every house I called home. Unfortunately, recently they were lost to a leaky roof incident. If there is any way I can get a copy of that, I would really appreciate knowing where to look. Good things, Deb

Dear Deb, It’s taken me a while to find this one and I plan to feature it in a Flight Plan over the July 4th weekend. Thanks for the reminder. All the best, Rod


Today it belongs to Beth who writes:

“What I love most about our form of government is that you can always count on getting a good chuckle for the day.”


The Federal Government announced it was worried about the long-term effects of medicinal marijuana on the terminally ill"

Don’t forget to join Webmaster Ken Blackie tomorrow for “This One Does it For Me.” Sleep warm.

RM 4/21/01 Previously unpublished

New Riverton Summer concert details announced! Details can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays John Barbour o Shirley Boone o J.D. Cannon o Doug Clifford o Leslie Howard o Jill Ireland o Chipper Jones o Willem de Kooning o Jack E. Leonard o Shirley MacLaine o Barbra Streisand o Anthony Trollop o Robert Penn Warren o John Williams o Paula Yates
Rod's random thoughts When young, we trust ourselves too much; when older, we trust ourselves too little.

April won't apologize for children seeking out irrigation ditches and mud puddles in their search for the meanest place to break in this year's brand new Easter shoes.

Count twenty shades of green in April, and you still miss half a hundred.


If I can walk with April people
       all year long
I ought to do as well in April.

So as one whose Aprils have been many
I’ll hunt for lilacs once again
and hope that spring’s
as good to me this year as last.
Without those friends
I’ve found the fourth month in
I haven’t any friends at all.

With Katie gone
and Kelly growing more sophisticated
               day by day
my life should have some lilacs
at the very least.

April then and always when?

-This poem first appeared in Woman’s Day Magazine in 1969. It was later published in “With Love, 1970”
© 1969, 1970, 1975, 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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