She Writes A Ballad — in 55 words

Flash Fiction 55, Photography | Posted by Jannie on 29 April 2011 @ 5:55 AM 37 Comments


Is it the kind merry
men in tights wooed
young maidens with?

The kind cowboys
sang ’round campfires
after eating beans?

The kind of ballad
damp teens swayed to
at sockhops in 1979?

Or the kind a free bird
in some hotel in California
would climb a stairway to heaven
for front row tickets to hear?


Those 55 words of (mostly) fictional persuasion are for our host — the G-Man.

Post your own 55 — it’s funner than sucking on tequila-dipped french fries.



Be Sociable, Share!

  • 1

    On 29 April 2011 at 7:21 am

    Lynn said, 

    Actually – nothing sounds funner than sucking on tequila-dipped french fries right now, but I liked your ballad and the pic of Kelly – very angelic. Have a happy weekend, Jannie Muffin! xo

  • 2

    On 29 April 2011 at 9:36 am

    G-Man said, 

    She is so sweet.
    Is that a pepper plant in that terra cotta pot behind
    your baby clone?
    Loved your 55 Jannie Funster,
    Thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

  • 3

    On 29 April 2011 at 11:03 am

    Sara healy said, 

    Jannie — You have a gift for writing poetry with just the right twist of humor. Lines like these,

    ‘The kind cowboys
    sang ’round campfires
    after eating beans?”

    I can just imagine the double music that might “arise” from these songs…If only I had your gift of sharing your humor, as well as your talent.

    Also, love the picture of Kelly. The cat is also kind of cool.

    Have a great weekend, okay:~)

  • 4

    On 29 April 2011 at 11:27 am

    Vered | Blogger for Hire said, 

    How can ANYTHING be funner than sucking on tequila-dipped french fries??


  • 5

    On 29 April 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Linda said, 

    Love your ballad, the picture of the kitty, and prefer my tequila in margaritas. It’s all good. Have a great weekend!

  • 6

    On 29 April 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    There were sock hops in ’79? I don’t remember that.

  • 7

    On 29 April 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Thank you Dear LYNNIE-MUFFIN DEAREST. Even tho Kelly had a bit of a fever that summer day as I recall, she still was up for playing guitar and getting a picture snapped.

    G-MAN, DEAREST, of ass kicking extraordinaire — yes an ornamental pepper The Child picked out and planted. It never grew any bigger all summer, but was pretty cute.

    DEAREST SARA, beans beans the musical fruit…..?? :) Yes, that cat is sweet indeed. Amazing what comes up when you Google “Free Bird.” P.S. You are AWESOME!!!!!!

    DEAREST VERED, well maybe dunking donuts i ncoffee comes in a close second to the tequila fry dipping. :)

    Hi DEAREST LINDA, I love a margarita too!! With a side-order of fries. And salad for my health! Add here’s to YOUR health, my lady, now and always.

    ALICE AUDREY, DEAREST, yes we had ’em in the gym on Friday noons, once a month. Were you deprived of that glorious rite?? :)


  • 8

    On 29 April 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Chris G. said, 

    Great series of references here, in this ballad of ballads – and an adorable picture to boot. Most entertaining, and though I can’t attest to any sockhopping that may or may not have occurred back in the 70s…(not being born yet – a handicap at times, you know?) the humor swings through all the same. So what kind is it?

    (And free bird…somebody *always* asks for the free bird…)

  • 9

    On 29 April 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Denise@TogetherWeSave said, 

    Great job!! Love the picture!!

  • 10

    On 29 April 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Claudia said, 

    ah – so beautiful – i would love to hear her sing..each time has its own ballads…and they are all special and important…

  • 11

    On 29 April 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Shanae Branham said, 

    What a beautiful little girl. I loved this ballad. She makes the perfect maiden.

  • 12

    On 29 April 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Belinda said, 

    I bet her ballad is as beautiful as she is.

    Your barefoot angel, strumming strings, stringing words,singing sweetly.

    Love this. xoxo

  • 13

    On 29 April 2011 at 4:53 pm

    ayala said, 

    So sweet and I love the picture!

  • 14

    On 29 April 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Dulce said, 

    Lovely picture… and now that you’ve brought that tune to my head… hummm Exquisite verses

  • 15

    On 29 April 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Moonduswriter said, 

    I hear many ballads come from Miss Kellie

    Just waiting for this to be set to music

    Hugs from the moon

  • 16

    On 29 April 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Steve Isaak said, 

    Charming, good piece.

  • 17

    On 29 April 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Neo said, 

    Ok, gotta know, where do I get the mini-kitty strat?

    That is just too cool!

    Would make fretting a bar chord a bit of a pain though, tis okie, I have small hands!

  • 18

    On 30 April 2011 at 3:12 am

    Dakota said, 

    Great words.
    I’ve played the piano for 9 years, and began the guitar a few years back. Great memories. My little brother is 6 and has started playing. What a smile when I taught him Twinkle Twinkle.

  • 19

    On 30 April 2011 at 3:59 am

    Jo Miffo said, 


    As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they, too, have their story.Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in you own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you for what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere live is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, 1927
    (Slightly modified by

    😀 My Poem for GCSE in my last year at school !!! 😀 Think it says a lot about the way I was felling at the time :(

    Kelly looks so cute, I could squeeze her till she pops 😛


  • 20

    On 30 April 2011 at 4:28 am

    SnaggleTooth said, 

    What a cute trubadour!

    The first 2 stanzas gave me Mel Brooks movie visual flashbacks! I couldn’t help it- but good for a laugh-
    Like the last part alot! can play most of those too-
    Fun 55

    Have a good week-end!

  • 21

    On 30 April 2011 at 7:40 am

    Jannie said, 


    Thank you Wonderful Commenters.

    Love you guys!

    Got a little photohopping project for Kelly’s school yearbook that’s a little ovedue, so here I go to it, and I’ll see you all at the library tomorrow to answer these!


  • 22

    On 30 April 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Mama Zen said, 

    Excellent, Jannie!

  • 23

    On 30 April 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    I was! The only dances I went to regularly were over Summer vacation on campus and the nearby university. One of my best friends met her husband to be there.

  • 24

    On 30 April 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Paige von Liber said, 

    are you suggesting that one must be a cowboy to eat beans / have a campfire / fart?

    cause I so beg to differ; One can fart while eating beans watching a movie that has a campfire in it.


  • 25

    On 1 May 2011 at 12:15 am

    Jeanne said, 


    Kelly is always so adorable. 😉

    I’m not used to seeing her without an ear-to-ear grin, though. Gosh, she looks like you just took her campfire dinner away or something.

    Is someone hiding behind the flowerpots pinching her back or something? She has that look in her eyes that she’s not thrilled about something.


  • 26

    On 1 May 2011 at 6:29 am

    Luke Prater said, 

    Clever final stanza! Cute pic also

    warmest salad


  • 27

    On 1 May 2011 at 8:34 am

    Paige von Liber said, 

    To See that which you Should See

    I dare

    Oh yes I dare ye

  • 28

    On 1 May 2011 at 9:33 am

    Jannie said, 

    Jannie is drinking coffee. And loves you.

    Kelly is trying to get out of her piano practice.

    I think I’ll play my blue guitar now.

    And see you later at the library.


  • 29

    On 1 May 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Rhyme Me a Smile said, 

    WHAT?! There is something funner than sucking on tequila soaked french fries? LOL. Really enjoyed the ballad too.

  • 30

    On 2 May 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Talon said, 

    Just lovely, Jannie. Kelly looks like a folk princess :) xxx

  • 31

    On 2 May 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Glenn Buttkus said, 

    Only you could meld Mel Brooks
    with Joni Mitchell, with a dash
    of Neil Young for a kicker.
    Kelly at 5 was a vision; still is.
    But the humor aside, you stir
    the nostalgia like steaming
    blood pudding after a bowl
    of beans and a Beatles concert.

  • 32

    On 2 May 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Now, EVERYBODY — please put DEAREST in front of each of your names, okay?? :)

    CHRIS G, it was the kind of sockhop one HAD to wear a velour sweater to. And preferably after you’d just gotten a perm.

    DENISE, thanks!! xo

    CLAUDIA, yes music through the ages all has had its magic.

    SHANAE, ah, thanks. quite a cutie indeed. And she is a lovely singer.

    Belinda, I have her on video making up songs and playing random notes — so cute to see.

    AYALA — thank you. xoo

    DULCE, which tune? Or all 3? (4, if you include Blue Bunny’s “Beth.’ :)

    HUGS FROM THE MOON, well, maybe not these words exactly set to music, but I am working on 2 new songs for my next studio session in early June — one is called “YOU” (for my husband) and the other “ME” for me! :) And the world.

    STEVE ISAAC. Thank you. Tho I deem it not my very BEST 55, but it is acceptable, I guess. :)

    NEO — yes, that is waaaay cute, that guitar. I am kind of teaching myself the AM7 and DM7 at the 5th fret, and the E on 4th, and my fingers are saying “Hey, why are you doing THAT?? Isn’t open 1st position good enough for us??” :)

    DAKOTA, who is your favorite piano composer these days? Glad to hear your bro is learning early.

    JO, JO, JO, JO, JO, JO!!! “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter.” I do well to remember this, yes!! We are each unique and have our own lovely gifts to offer the world. “everywhere live is full of heroism.” SO TRUE!! Much beauty and goodness abounds. Yes, those “dark imaginings” they do not alight or dwell in me. (well, MOST of the time!) :) Or until she poops?? Kelly, I mean? 😉 But back to your class speech, thank you, JO! Life IS beautiful, and I know not how i got through it until you sent me that first letter in 1994!!!

    SNAGGLE, and what shall we wear around the campfire as we play? I imagine you’ll have donned your shiny magenta full-length bodysuit??

    MAMA ZEN! thank you xo

    ALICE AUDREY, did you go to an all-girls school, or something? Ever the mystery of you deepens. :)

    PAIGE VON LIEBER — I did NOT mention fart! Did I? And one can fart in the library, but one may feel better about one’s self esteem if one does not take the chance when there are other humans nearby. :)

    JEANNE, actually I think he had a bit of a fever, plus the sun had been in her eyes. And she also was feeling rather deprived as she had not been to France, Australia and Vienna yet. She is an old, old sensitive soul. :) But seriously, yes.

    LUKE, I shall have a better poem next time, I hope. More a a break your heart with blueprints of butterflies quality and such than lowly old clever. :) But, seriously, yes.

    PAIGE –I saw your lovely toesies!!!! Mine are soon ready for a Total Redo, but I think I’ll continue to touch them up for the next week, then let them lie fallow to breathe for 3 days before sculpting them into pink skating rinks of perfection again. Might go for more of a light dusty rose hue.

    RHYMING SMILER, :) i bet I could come up with a list of 20 things AS fun as sucking those tequila fries. :)

    TALON — you lovely one you. Thanks! it is fun to have this picture indeed!

    GLENN!! Guess what??? one of the two songs I laid down the basic tracks for this past Friday night was been compared by 2 separate people on 2 separate and equally enchanting occasions as very Beatle-y! whoohooo. Blood pudding? That’s made from meat, right?? :) I think I far prefer rice pudding with raisins. Mom’s rice pudding!!


  • 33

    On 2 May 2011 at 4:58 pm

    sheila said, 

    Awwwwwwwwwwww! That’s so so so sweet! Love the pic too!

  • 34

    On 4 May 2011 at 10:09 am

    Neo said, 

    Dearest SA,

    What exactly is wrong with the open positions of those chords? You’re just trying to be difficult now aren’t you!!!

    – N

  • 35

    On 4 May 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Sheila, my Love, thanks.

    neo— ab-so-freaking-lutely NOTHING wrong with those chords, in fact I prefer them, the long string sound — but I learn new chords to try and keep up with teh boys. :)


  • 36

    On 5 May 2011 at 1:11 am

    dani h said, 

    she’s beautiful! something about her expression makes me think folk songs like Peter, Paul & Mary sang. very clever and entertaining 55!

  • 37

    On 5 May 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Oh, thanks Dani! It does remind me of them too!!

home | top