dVerse Writers: The Ballad of Henry and Ruth

The prompt was to write a poem in a certain musical style.  This tale is heart-rending in a typical late-50’s, early-60’s style. If you were alive and paying attention during that era, you should be able to put a tune to it:

The Ballad of Henry and Ruth

Before she met him at the candy store,
her days were empty and her life was a bore;
but when he offered her his Jujyfruits,
in just a moment they were in cahoots.
He was the drummer in a R&R band.
Down all 5th Avenue, he held her hand.
She felt his pulse beat pump a sweet love tune
and knew he’d be her Sugar Daddy soon.

Yes she met him at the candy store,
between the sucker rack and front screen door.
He nearly tripped over her Mary Janes
and crashed into a rack of Candy Canes.
The Double Bubble and the Tootsie Roll Pops
collided with the mints and lemon drops.
Their love was written in the moon and stars,
but realized beneath the Hershey Bars!

Oh Henry, she was crooning, and much more.
He loved this Bit O’ Honey down to the core.
Shifted his Firestick and they went for a ride
his Baby Ruth snuggled right up to his side.
She cried, “Oh, Henry!” as they hit the Mounds,
poppin’ wheelies as they did the rounds.
He was no Slo-Poke, tell you here and now,
so as he swerved to miss a big Black Cow,

The car rolled over on its Rollo Bars
crashing into six  more hot rod cars.
Atomic Fireball” said the words on his car.
Now how appropriate those two words are.
100 Grand it costs him on Payday
so he’ll be working every night and day—
his Red Hot mama working by his side,
for now his Sweet Tart is his blushing bride.

Repeat Chorus:

Just in case you weren’t around way back then, I’ve italicized the names of the candy bars and hard candies of the era. Sorry for ruining the fun of those of you familiar with the times. I know.  It’s pretty bad, but that, too, was typical of the songs of the era.

This poem suits today’s dVerse prompt so well, that I have to submit it again, two years after its first appearance!

This poem is written to a prompt at dVerse Writers.

24 thoughts on “dVerse Writers: The Ballad of Henry and Ruth

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    I can’t remember the name of the song this is riffing, but weirdly, I can remember most of the words and the vroom vroom of the motorcycle engine. Talk about blasts from the past! I was dating a guy who had an incredibly cool bike. I called him Michael Motorcycle. His parents owned an island off the coast of Florida. If ONLY I could have fallen in love with him, because he was a rich guy. Alas, but I am genetically unable to fall in love for money. Maybe it’s because I didn’t meet him at the candy store but rather in a music appreciation class at college. I don’t think there were any candy stores by then … Are there any now?

    Obviously, this is way cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I actually liked it. It was less namby-pamby than many of them. She was a bit of a rebel, as was he. And that image of the leader of “the Pack” suggested, I don’t know. Wolves? Rats? Deck of Cards?


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Oh good. It was so silly I almost didn’t complete it, and then I got in the mood again and thought why not. And it was fun trying to remember all the candy bars. My favorite was the 7 Up bar with seven different flavors of chocolates all joined into a rectangle. I only really liked four of them but still liked the novelty of it. Do you remember them?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lillian

    Oh My! So glad you reposted this — it does indeed go extremely well with the prompt! And you’ve added many many candies and candy bars to the list! I grew up in the 50s and 60s and absolutely remember every single candy you mention here. Not sure of the tune you had in mind…there was something about the Ballad of ???? and Johnny???? This did back many many memories of these candies…I remember licking and gnawing forever on a Slo-Poke. The one not mentioned here, and not in my list for the prompt, that your poem brought to mind was sitting in the old Genesee Theater in Waukegan, Illinois eating Milk Duds! Remember those?


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Oh yes. They lasted longer than any other chocolate candy.. and tasted so good with popcorn. I was actually thinking of “Leader of the Pack” but then the lyrics turned off on their own so it doesn’t work. Someone actually has set this poem to music. Must see if he’d record it for me.



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