[Milton-L] Oscar Brown, Jr: Fruit and Serpents

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 30 19:13:18 EST 2009


While composing a blog entry this morning --
 

http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2009/01/you-knew-i-was-snake-when-you-took-me.html
 
-- on the image of an asp biting Cleopatra that Terrance Lindall or Yuko Nii sent my way, I recalled a song by Oscar Brown Jr. titled "The Snake" that Al Wilson performed:
 

http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=1EMF8f75ln4&feature=related
 
Looking for the lyrics, I found them and another Oscar Brown song, "Forbidden Fruit," at the following website:
 

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=92938
 
I also noticed a slightly differing version at a related website on "Songs from the Garden of Eden":
 

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=104919
 
Perhaps these links are interesting for some Milton List readers.
 
At any rate, I do have a question. In Brown's "Forbidden Fruit," Adam and Eve have sex after eating the fruit. Was Brown influenced by Paradise Lost in composing his song? Or some other source? (Or simply inventive?) Here are the lyrics:
 

FORBIDDEN FRUIT
Oscar Brown, Jr.
 
Eve and Adam had a garden. Everything was jake,
Till one day a voice said, "Pardon, miss, my name is Snake.
You see that apple over yonder; if you'll take a bite,
You and Adam both are bound to have some fun tonight.
Go on and eat forbidden fruit.
It's quite a treat, forbidden fruit.
It's mighty sweet, forbidden fruit.
Go ahead and taste it. You don't wanna waste it."
 
The Lord had said in the beginning, "Everything here's free,
Except that apple. It leads to sinning. Leave that apple be."
But Eve got tempted so she tried it, and as chicks can do,
She teased her man till he decided he'd just try some too.
"Go on and eat forbidden fruit.
It's quite a treat, forbidden fruit.
It's mighty sweet, forbidden fruit.
Go ahead and bite it. Bet you'll be delighted."
 
I hate to tell you all what followed: the Lord was most upset.
Saw them making love and hollered, "What have you two et?"
And when they made a full confession, the Lord said, "Well, I see.
I'll just have to teach you a lesson about not minding me.
Go on and eat forbidden fruit.
It's quite a treat, forbidden fruit.
It's mighty sweet, forbidden fruit.
You all went and did it. Now you're gonna get it."
 
The Lord made Eve be Adam's madam, have his kids and all,
Laid some labor laws on Adam, and he made the snake to crawl.
And ever since the days of Eden, this world's been sinful, my!
Nowadays folks are even eating apples in their pie.
Go on and eat forbidden fruit.
It's quite a treat, forbidden fruit.
It's mighty sweet, forbidden fruit.
Go ahead and taste it. You don't wanna waste it.
Go ahead and bite it. Bet you'll be delighted.
You all went and did it, now you're gonna get it:
Forbidden fruit.
 
And to help you sing along to Al Wilson's rendition of Brown's "The Snake," here are those lyrics:
 

THE SNAKE
Oscar Brown, Jr.

On the way to work one morning, down the path alongside the lake,
A tenderhearted woman found a poor half-frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew.
"Poor thing" she cried. "I'll take you in and I'll take care of you."

"Take me in, tender woman.
Take me in, for heaven's sake.
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk,
And laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk.
She hurried home from work that night, and as soon as she arrived,
She found that pretty snake she'd taken in had been revived.

"Take me in, tender woman.
Take me in, for heaven's sake.
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

She clutched him to her bosom. "You're so beautiful," she cried,
"But if I hadn't brought you in, by now you might have died."
Well, she stroked his pretty skin again and kissed him really tight.
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite.

"Take me in, tender woman.
Take me in, for heaven's sake.
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

"I saved you!" cried the woman, "and you've bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm gonna die."
"Ha! Shut up, silly woman," said that reptile with a grin.
"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in."

"Take me in, tender woman.
Take me in, for heaven's sake.
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.
"Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.
"Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.
 
If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading -- and you can also now thank me for all my trouble in posting this stuff.
 
Jeffery Hodges
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