It was like my childhood hero turned up on my front porch.
I stared at his name in my in-box while my brain did spastic flip-flops between 1978, when I listened to Barry constantly on a small black cassette player in my tiny yellow bedroom, and now, when I play Naughty Songs For Boys and Girls on the Ipod in my kitchen for my girls while I make breakfast.
But Barry turns out to be a real person living in Maryland who actually takes the time to email me because I posted the lyrics to his song?
I was grinning like a fool.
I ran outside to tell my husband, who was raised Catholic in the 60s in a small rural town by a mother and father who were well into adulthood when he was born. He grew up watching Lawrence Welk and listening to big band and had never heard of Barry until we had kids. But even he thought this was extremely cool.
I emailed Barry back and said, “Is that really you?”
Those of you who had a deprived childhood may not know Barry’s songs and stories. But there’s a good chance you heard him sing “All I Want is You” in the opening credits of the hit film Juno. You know, when she’s walking around with a big jug of Sunny D? That song was actually recorded on his second album in 1977.
Polisar has been making smart, witty, deep, funny, silly music for kids for over three decades. Kids like me, who grew up listening to “Never Cook Your Sister in a Frying Pan” and “My Brother Threw Up on My Stuffed Toy Bunny.”
And only ended up only the most deliciously sort of warped because of it.
After he was censored, Barry started putting stickers on his albums that read “Warning: the songs on this recording may be offensive to some people. Children are advised to use discretion in exposing adults to this material. Exposure may result in a sense of humor.”
My pal Barry wants everyone to know that some of the rebellious children he used to entertain recently banded together and released a 2-CD, 60-song tribute album of his songs called We’re Not Kidding! A Tribute to Barry Louis Polisar. Hear free samples at http://www.barrylou.com/.
Barry Louis Polisar emailed me! Made my whole stinkin’ day.