Tell Me Jane

One night my wonderful friend Eric Stand asked if I would accompany him to pick up a friend of his, Stephie Bershad, and drive her home to Brooklyn. I agreed and when we got to her house (Union St.?) I met her roommate, Jane Teller, who was sitting at the kitchen table. I developed an immediate interest for this exotically pretty, super smart and funny, and definitely offbeat woman. We would spend many hours at that kitchen table in the months that followed, in many a fanciful mental excursion. I’ve never had conversations quite like that again, but they, like her, were addictive. I’m reasonably certain she liked me a fair amount, but I certainly didn’t generate any romantic sparks with her. Even so, hope springs eternal, and over the course of our friendship I wrote her two songs. She was a wonderful poet, and on a bulletin board in that kitchen was a short poem of hers which ended with the line: And the frog was naked. This song was originally entitled: Confessions of a Naked Frog. 

Tell Me Jane

 

Brown leaves of autumn toasted in summer’s heat

Swirling up, floating down, everywhere that I am

Brown leaves of autumn cluttering up the street

Perfectly oblivious to temperature and time

Now I didn’t wade through

Twenty feet of snow

Sunsets at four

And ten degrees below

Just to find summer’s gone before it has begun

While I slept through the whole bloody run

Will you, won’t you please explain

What goes on, tell me Jane

Spring will be on its way and then

I’ll be left wondering when

I’ll get this chance again

What goes on, you should know, tell me Jane

 

Sat on a toadstool, gurgling quietly

Happily wondering while it’s still allowed

Searched for a mushroom, settled on a canapé

Perfectly oblivious to parasols and clouds

This was my system season after season

I was an anomaly, a frog without a reason

Now my shadow is gone before it has begun

And I still wonder what’s with the sun

Will you, won’t you please explain

What goes on, tell me Jane

Spring will be on its way and then

I’ll be left wondering when

I’ll get this chance again

What goes on, you should know, tell me Jane

 

Played for the maestro my timpani symphony

Never for a moment thinking I might be denied

Played for the maestro and she expressed her sympathy

Doctor Gloom went Boom!Boom!Boom! and then broke down and cried

And so we disbanded (if you’ll excuse the pun)

I joined the croaking chorus while the doctor chose to run

All he left was the captivating rhythm of his drum

And the tune he’d mysteriously hum

Will you, won’t you please explain

What goes on, tell me Jane

Spring will be on its way and then

I’ll be left wondering when

I’ll get this chance again 

What goes on, you should know

Tell me Jane.