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Remember when

March 8, 2008

I remember when a boy in my English class by the name of Gene Parsons came to school with this poem written out on a bit of paper. It was 1983 so not many people had computers, you either typed something like this on a typewriter or you wrote it out yourself.

I think our school got it’s first apple machine around about 84 or 85. We were only allowed to look at it while the teacher demonstrated, how times have changed.

I decided to go looking for the poem and found it about 1 minute by typing “remember when hippie meant big in the hips” into Google. What I find amazing is that you can virtually find anything you want on the net.

Remember when

Remember when hippie meant big in the hips
And a trip involved travel in cars, planes, and ships?
When pot was a vessel for cooking things in
And hooked was what grandmother’s rug might have been?

When square meant a 90-degree angle form
And cool was a temperature not quite warm?
When roll meant a bun and rock was a stone
And hang-up was something you did to the phone?

When fixed was a verb that meant mend or repair
And be-in meant simply existing somewhere?
When neat meant well-organized, tidy, and clean
And grass was ground cover, normally green?

When lights and not people were switched on and off
And the pill might have been what you took for your cough?
When camp was to quarter outdoors in a tent
And pop was what the weasel went?

When groovy meant furrowed with channels and hollows
And birds were winged creatures like robins and swallows?
When fuzz was a substance that’s fluffy like lint
And bread came from bakeries, not from the mint?

When jam was preserves that you spread on your bread
And crazy meant balmy – not right in the head?
When swinger was someone who swung in a swing
And pad was a soft sort of cushiony thing?

When far-out meant distant, way up in the blue
And making the scene was a rude thing to do?
When dig meant to shovel and spade in the dirt
And put-on is what you would do with a shirt?

Words once so sensible, sober, and serious
Are making the freak scene like psychodelirious.
It’s groovy, man, groovy, but English it’s not.
Methinks that our language is going to pot.

Website: scdiffer.blogspot.com via Topblogarea.com


4 Responses to “Remember when”

  1. Spirit on May 20th, 2010 4:41 am

    This poem has been around a long time. I first saw it in an Ann Landers’ column in the early 1970’s-when I was in junior high. I recently began looking for it, and although I did find a different one, this is the more complete version.

    And…back then, to copy anything, you had to run it through a ‘mimeograph’ machine, that used carbon sheets for making the copies. I handwrote the column and did just that…

  2. Kelly on September 11th, 2010 11:37 pm

    I also remember this, but from an English class in the early 70’s. I am now going back to school at the age of 50 and we were discussing the evolution of language. I thought of this poem but the only line I could remember was the last one: It’s groovy, man, groovy… It took only about 30 seconds to find it. I am going to print it (yes, so much easier now!) and take it to class. I think besides myself, only one other person can actually relate to all of the slang in this poem, and she isn’t even the teacher! Boy, do I feel old!

  3. Elizabeth on June 21st, 2011 1:02 am

    I came looking for this poem too. I heard it in English class in the mid ’70’s and I think about it so often I figured it was time to find it and remember it properly! The words definitely speak to a certain era….I wonder if it can be updated…

  4. Jonathan on December 8th, 2011 8:42 am

    This poem was written by Barry Greenstein (my brother) and first published in a literary compendium called “English Alive!”. Cape Town in South Africa circa 1970

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