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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 07, 1912, Image 13',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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Occasionally some man has sprung from the plain people who'
sings because he must. He was not trained to do it. He had no
expensive college education which made him think of making liter
ature. He simply had melodies that crooned in his brain and love
for his kind that abode in his heart, and the result was true song.
Such a one was Burns in Scotland; such another was Beranger
in France; and such, we, are persuaded, is James Whitcomb Riley
In each" case their first friends and first audiences were com
posed of the plain people. Burns' simple love songs, Beranger's
ballads about home folk, Riley's melodies about little children and
Hoosier farms, went straight to the heart of the people who or
dinarily do not care for poetry, because it is above their heads.
After all, most of us feel emotions more rapidly than we think
thoughts. We cry or we laugh more readily than we ponder cloudy
metaphysics. And that is the reason we hail as our brothers cer
tain singers long before thfe critical pundits awake to the astonishing
fact that these men have produced literature !
Riley, the disqoverer of "Little Orphant Annie" and another
quaint lad and lass, will live in our American literature just as sure
ly as our Longfellows and our Poes. And that is why it is fitting
that we should all celebrate his birthday today. He has been pecu
liarly our kind of man one oS us, living our kind of life, thinking
pur kind of thoughts, sharing our sorrows and. our joys.
SoTiere is to Jim Riley poet laureate of the plain people, long
may he sing for our delight.
. -v . o o
WHAT THE TAILOR KNEW
' "Are you married or single,
sir?" asked Snipquik, the tailor,
as he measured his customer.
"Good gracious '"exclaimed the
new suit seeker.' "Married, of
l course! But what on earth do
you want to know that for?"
"Theniet me recommend this,
sir," said Snipquik brightly. "My
own device, sir a patent safety
deposit pocket for married men.
It contains a most ingenious lit
tle contrivance that feels exactly
like a live mouse. Yes, I thought
jyauM like itsirXi
"I hope, Carruthers," said the
sad parson, very gravely, "you
don't spend all your earnings?"
"No, sir," responded Carruth
'ers, respectfully". "I -always makes
it a strict rule,sir, never to spend
.more'n two-thirds of me wages,
"AH, that's gdod that's good!"
nodded the parson. "And do, you
'put the other third in the bank?"
"Oh, no, sir," responded the
man. "I puts it to much better
use than that I gives it to the
missus, to keej hottse-oni0 .