(Sung to the tune of "John Henry")
The Limeliters - 1963
SPOKEN: Well, John Henry might have been a steel
drivin' man, but Max Goolis was a street sweepin'man.....
Lord, Lord, Max Goolis was a street sweepin'man
Max Goolis was a street sweepin' man, Lord, Lord
Max Goolis was a street sweepin' man
When Max Goolis was a little bitty babe
The first words he did utter were
"Listen, Mum & Dad, I plan to spend
My whole life in the gutter, Lord, Lord
My whole life in the gutter
SPOKEN: Well one day the boss came out on the job and
he brought an automatic garbage truck around. He said,
"Alright, Max, turn in your white ducks, fellah, you're
through." Imagine it. Goolis, foremost name in refuse,
cast up on the heap, destitute. He said, "Just a minute,
sir, I deserve another chance. I propose a race, me against
the automatic garbage truck. What do you say?"
Well, the entrepreneur was of the imaginative sort,
always looking for some kind of incentive proposal,
short of profit-sharing and he said, "Alright, Maxie,
in view of your years of devoted service,
I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.
You take one side of the street and the automatic
garbage truck will take the other.
To the victor, belong the spoils!"
They started down the avenue
The scene it really looked bad
The automatic truck was sweeping up a storm
And Max was shovelling like mad, Lord, Lord
And Max was shovelling like mad
Max poured on speed and then he said
"I've only saved a couple o' dimes
I'm behind by thirteen orange peels
And a copy of the New York Times, Lord, Lord
A copy of the New York Times"
SPOKEN: West Coast edition. Well eyewitnesses
tell us that Max wasn't behind at all.
As a matter of fact, he was pulling ahead,
slowly but surely, in an epic of human labour
when someone said suddenly, "Hey, look, there's a parade a-comin'!"
Sure enough it was the United States mounted cavalry.
I'm certain that no one expects us to include the
next verse, certainly not our Aunt David.
Suffice it to say that the wind blew,
and quite a few objects were airborne.
Well, some say it broke poor Max's heart and he died.
And others say, "Not a bit of it, his spirit lives on
in keeping things neat and clean right here in San Francisco,
because Max Goolis was a sreet sweepin' man....."
Max Goolis was a street sweepin'man
He broke his poor heart and then he died
But Max is really not gone
On every single street where garbage lies
His soul goes shovelling on, Lord, Lord
His soul goes shovelling on, and on, and on
His soul goes shovelling on
(Contributed by Mel - December 2007)