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Big Words

The Wright State University Honors Department presented me with a Distinguished Alumni Award in Dayton, Ohio on June 8th, 2006.  I was asked to make a speech to the graduates of the honors program and somehow managed to squeeze in writing this song in the week before the event.  Because of the timing, I ended up stealing my own material so I could get it performance ready in time.  It's chord progressions sound a whole lot like Yo-Yo, but with different lyrics and a bridge.  Pretty much sums up what's important to me...

Johnny can read – in fact he does it rather well
He can turn a fancy phrase just like he’s ringing a bell
He knows his modern lit – the philosophers too
With his sheepskin in hand, this boy is ready to cruise
Now he’s searching for signs at the cross in the road
To tell him which way to go
            He’s looking for some Big Words
            To guide him through this Big World

Johnny’s learned a lot of Large Words, but he knows it’s not the length
Or the syllable count that gives ’em meaning or strength
The most unassuming words can have the greatest power
For pulling us through life’s darkest hour
Words like Truth and Peace and Flow
Try and Trust and Grow
            Yes, I’m talkin’ ’bout Big Words
            For living in this Big World

Now I’m not knocking higher education
Some of my very best friends have graduate degrees
But when it’s time for life’s last examination
Spelling Constantinople and Timbuktu
Might be fine for Dr. Seuss, but they just won’t do
And supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Simply isn't big enough to coach us
            On thriving in this Big World
            That’s why we need some Big Words

Now Johnny knows what he needs to fill an order this tall
The biggest word of all
            I’m talkin’ ’bout Love, Love, Love
            I’m talkin’ ’bout Big Words
            I’m talkin’ ’bout Love
Love, Love, Love
            (Might be Webster's biggest word, but it's not the algorithm)
Love, Love, Love
            (Is Mary's favorite word, but we need something more ferocious)
Love, Love, Love
            (Constantinople and Timbuktu)
            (Are big with Dr. Seuss, but they just won't do)
Love, Love, Love
I’m talkin’ ’bout Love

2006 Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA
1 June 2006

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