Earliest Known Poem

 282874316_10b72b8b2f_o

My mother wrote down the song/poem I was singing to myself at age four and pinned it up in our hallway. [That evidence of early creativity and my family's support for it remained in view there for 30 years]

I thought I planned
A magic wand,
A wand, a wand, a magic wand
But what I wanted was a dawn
But they cannot know when
Because they're not my friends.
The little ones run from side to side
Lie down here, lie down there,
And where, where, where.
Then it is the end.
Then I said I'll go to bed.

– Dinah 1969

Published by

dinahsanders

Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

10 thoughts on “Earliest Known Poem”

  1. Paul just found these entries this morning. Wow.
    A letter missing from your poem — next to last line “TheN it was…”
    I was so impressed with that poem and still am. Of course, I also get to enjoy the linked image of tiny Dinah in a short flowered dress, long blond hair swinging as you dance and sing. Memory has you dancing in that same narrow hallway, but I’m not sure — since that was where I always saw the poem and the associated image, perhaps memory has merely moved you there for ease of storage.
    Love, MumJinx

    Like

  2. Whoops. Fixed that typo.
    After I get all my piles of papers & old pictures added to the site (estimate: c. 7-9 years from now), I should go through adding pictures from Mum’s collection, especially of the house I grew up in, of which we have so many happy memories.

    Like

  3. I am looking for to words/song I get a pain in my sawdust–sung by a dolly and one of my favorite childhood memories as my cousin and I listened to her Victola. Your blog came up as a reference but I do not find the words. Do you know the song? thanks for sending if you do. Joan

    Like

  4. Hello Joan,
    I’m not sure why you would have ended up here, but fortunately I can help a bit.
    A Google search for “I’ve Got A Pain In My Sawdust” yields quite a few hits including this page on the music of 1909: http://www.answers.com/topic/1909-in-music
    That page includes in its list:
    “I’ve Got A Pain In My Sawdust” w. Henry Edward Warner m. Herman Avery Wade
    That information helped me find an archived comment on a now discontinued message board called KIDiddles[1] discussing this very song:
    “There’s a songbook that has the lyrics and score for that song. Go to your local library and ask them to interlibrary loan it for you – there are 37 copies of the book in the US. Here’s the info:
    Songs From the Golden Eras, 1900-1929
    ed. Ronny Schiff MCA/Mills OCLC 1894095 ”
    [posted May 2, 2003, by KellyG629]
    A prior post mentioned it had been available as a player piano roll.
    And then another post gave the full lyrics from sheet music in the poster’s possession:
    ” A little bisque doll and a little rag doll
    And a dolly imported from France
    Were sitting one day on the shelf of the store
    With a doll that could wind up and dance;
    When all of a sudden the shopkeeper heard
    A scream that rang out thro’ the store,
    And this was the plaint of the little bisque doll
    That made such an awful uproar;
    I’ve got a pain in my sawdust,
    That’s what’s the matter with me;
    Something is wrong with my little inside,
    I’m just as sick as can be.
    Don’t let me faint, someone get me a fan,
    Someone else run for the medicine man,
    Ev’ryone hurry as fast as you can,
    I’ve got a pain in my sawdust.
    They took her away in a hospital van
    And the whole town was filled with the blues,
    For ev’ryone thought it was quite an odd thing,
    And the papers all printed the news;
    The surgeons looked wise and they all shook their heads
    And asked her just where she was sick;
    “I think it’s ‘appendisawdust’,” she exclaimed,
    “And won’t you please do something quick?”
    I’ve got a pain…
    Oh, sad was the day for the little bisque doll,
    For they cut all her stitches away,
    And looked for the seat of the terrible ache;
    “‘Twas a delicate task,” they all say,
    For none of the surgeons had ever before
    Performed on a dolly’s inside,
    They tried to restuff her but didn’t know how,
    And this was her wail as she died;
    I’ve got a pain… ”
    [posted December 11, 2003, by marysoprano]
    I tried searching by song name on Amazon.com and in archive.org’s audio collection, but did not find any recordings available.
    Hope this helps!
    By the way, you could probably have gotten all these answers within hours if not minutes by calling the reference desk of your local library. You just got lucky in leaving your comment on the blog of a librarian. 😉
    Dinah
    [1] Google’s cached copy of the discussion: http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:G2sWTrMchd8J:www.kididdles.com/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/kididdles/yabb2/YaBB.cgi%3Fboard%3Dcopyright%3Baction%3Ddisplay%3Bnum%3D1051887876+%22I%27ve+Got+A+Pain+In+My+Sawdust%22+that%27s+why&hl=en&client=firefox-a

    Like

  5. Did anyone see CSI tonight? They featured this song “I’ve Got A Pain in My Sawdust” in a story about a female serial killer whose father is a ventriloquist. His doll “sings” this song in his act. Unfortunately, the serial killer (his daughter) locked onto the song because of events from her childhood and her singing it at the end was pretty creepy. Sister/father jealousy… fascinating. Just wondering if any fans of the song saw this and what their response is…

    Like

  6. I see I am not the only curious CSI fan. I also found the 1909 sheet music on eBay. Apparently the little doll fears she has “appendisawdust”. The pain in my sawdust reference just seemed so odd to me I had to Google it…

    Like

  7. I remember my mom (may she rest in peace) singing the chorus to this song when I was a little girl. Even though it was used by the killer on CSI it brought back many good memories.

    Like

  8. I remember hearing this song when I was a little girl with my Grandma in some shop and I was totally creeped out when I heard it! It now doesn’t help that CSI had the serial killer singing the same song! Wow, that was a memory I’d buried deep that was dug up last night for sure!

    Like

Comments are closed.