Twas the day before the fourth and all through the yard
Every creature was stirring, the kids worked so hard
The lawn nicely mowed, not a weed could you find
Four grills were out back, right under the pine
The children wrapped streamers in blue and in red
While Brookdale soda bottles danced in their heads
And Gert in a tirade and Joe in a sweat
Had too much to do – it can’t be the fourth yet!
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
Gert sprang from her coffee to see what’s the matter
Away to the front porch she ran like a deer
Well, maybe a deer that’s seen better years
The sun beating down on the newly cut grass
Made everyone pray for this heat wave to pass
When, what to Gert’s wondering eyes did appear
Everybody quit working – my mother’s worst fear
Now that is too much for a lady like Gert
A slow moving child made her insides just hurt
More rapid than eagles her orders they came
And she scolded and shouted and called them by name
Now Trudy, Now Rita and Kathy and Pat!
Now Joanie and Nancy and Celia and Bill!*
Go sweep off the porch! Go clean the front hall!
Now get to work! Get to work! Get to work all!
Well that was enough for the children to hear.
Their knees were-a-shakin, they trembled with fear.
So back to the house the kids they did run
With a list full of chores that weren’t very fun!
They put up the flag, they blew up balloons
They vacuumed the floors, they cleaned up their rooms
No hedge was uncut, no porch left unpainted
Why, Jim worked so hard, he just about fainted!
Gert was so happy – she started to hum
Maybe, just maybe her kids won’t be bums
They are pretty lazy and don’t move very fast
And sometimes they need a kick in the … rear.
Every third of July, Gert gets a nice present
To see her kids work is a sight that’s so pleasant
And we wish you, dear Mom, the best when we say,
“Happy Birthday to you – may you have a great day!”
*Notice she didn’t yell at Jimmy. He was already hard at work.