This, my most famous song, was inspired by Too Much Harlan Ellison, and also I think, to being dragged to a midnight showing of 'A Boy and His Dog.' It became so popular in SF fan circles that one night while I was playing, Harlan himself was dragged in to listen to it. He was very polite. I know you've heard much more gruesome stuff than this, but this was 1974.
I did illustrate the song for Will Shetterly and Emma Bull's Steeldragon Stories in 1983, just as Omaha was starting to catch on (published for a brief time by them).
Harmonica by Fred Levy Haskell.
| By REED WALLER
Sassafrass Jones, he liked to chew bones
By the fireside, in the red light
And Barnaby Street, he ate human meat
That he killed by himself in the dead of night
Now these two men stumbled through the wreckage
Of what was left of the U.S. of A,
I’ve seen them fly through a Cobalt blue sky
And I’m the only one who’s left to see them pay,
But Sassafrass Jones, he went out on his own
Down the bloody road to New York Crater
And Barnaby Street, he lit north from the heat
He would have brought his wife, but he’d ate her.
Now I followed them away across the desert,
I followed them across a radioactive plain.
I’ll see them dead, if it costs me my Chromium head,
Cause they’re the only ones who’s left to blame.
But Sassafrass Jones, he died all alone
With no help from me, he walked under a boulder.
And Barnaby Street, he had bad news to eat.
He weren’t no damn fun, he just fell right over.
Now that they’re gone, ain’t no point in living on,
Time has robbed me of my bloody chore,
And I can go to my grave, now there’s no one left to save,
But I’ve tried to die so many times before.
© 1974 by Reed Waller