As I walked to the bus stop one morning last May
at the loveliest hour of a perfect spring day
I was bursting with joy, so I followed my feet
and I took a long shortcut past Mulberry Street.
But something (I couldn’t say what) gave me pause…
If I had to say what I’d’ve said “just because!”
— But O! What a big mammaluc’ that I was!
‘Cause I didn’t turn back, I still followed my feet
Till I came to the sign that reads Mulberry Street.
And I spoke to a grizzled oldtimer named “Pops”
(whose job was to keep a sharp lookout for cops.)
He told me I shouldn’t be seen there that day!
If I knew what was good I’d stay out of the way!
— but just as I started to go, who’d I meet?
But the capo of capos on Mulberry Street!
He was dressed to the nines, like the rest of his ilk,
down to knee socks and underwear made of pure silk!
And his shirt and his suit… it was silk everything!
(except for the rock on his huge pinkie ring.)
This son of a gun was just loaded with class,
And I knew that my goolie was soon to be grass!
He was having some words with a fellow named Dom
on the methods of making a handgrenade bomb!
(And he mentioned some judges who’d gone on the take
and said to send flowers to somebody’s wake,
— someone not dead yet, who’d made a mistake!)
And he saw that I’d overheard all that was said!
So he pointed and mouthed the words:
“Marco, you’re dead!”
And then out of the gutters and alleys they came!
They pointed their fingers to shoot me with blame!
A whole gaggle of goombas, three hundred pounds each,
And a mean-looking consigliere named Cheech!
— and to make matters worse someone said:
“You’re a Sneetch!”
And you know what befalls all the Sneetches who sing:
They go down to the East River…
How it fills me with horror! (and terror! (and dread!))
to think of the terrible things that they said:
“Remember what happened to Sonny Schiavone?
Who almost ate that exploding calzone?
“Or to ‘Shoe-Shine’ McSnuffle McSniffle McDrip,
Who just happened to buff an exploding wingtip?
“Or to Frankie “The Oobleck”, who blabbed to a Fed?
And who’s stiff as a statue… that’s filled full of lead!
“And to Louie “the Weasel”… that Sleazle , that Slouch!
Whose last words were “What the…”
and “Uh-oh”… and “Ouch!”
“Not to mention that movie producer named Fred
who’s morning was ruined by an ex-horse’s head!”
“And let’s not skip over that bozo named Johnny
who befriended a certain D.A. Giuliani.”
I shook like a yellow-tailed Sneetch’s tail… feather.
And the last threat they threatened they threatened together:
“You wound’ta see what you shouldn’ta see
If you hadn’ta been where you shouldn’ta been!”
“You can’t whack me!” I shouted, “I’m only thirteen!”
Just thinking of all of it hurt my poor head!
(Who doesn’t mind thinking of winding up dead?”)
But now it’s too late to deny what I say
(regarding his clear disregard for the law.)
Because Florence and Rocco, Dolores and Pete,
Said they all saw me see him on Mulberry Street!
And my mudder… God bless her!… turned white as a sheet
When I told her what happened on Mulberry Street.
She said he’d be judged by a jury of peers
so they’d have to find twelve other top racketeers!
And I knew that when what’s-his-name did beat the rap,
I could bet I’d be taking a permanent nap!
Which means I’d be untemporarily dead!
So what could I do?? I blabbed to some Fed.
Though he looked like a goomba (he was quite short and fleshy)
And his voice sounded just like the actor Joe Pesci!
He said he could help me get out of my jam,
if I was just willing to pack up and scram!
“Yessir! Sir!” I shouted… “I certainly am!”
“I would go into the Federal Witness Protection Plan!!!
I’d sail to the island of Solla-Sollew.
Were goombas can’t get me… or tell me from you!
Well, tough guy?! What would you do???