Monday, February 11, 2013

Mr. Wendal

Have you ever been somewhere listening to the radio - mostly unaware of what is playing - and then BAM you are transported back to a time or place when you hear a song that you had completely utterly forgotten about.

Today, after returning books to the library and slipping through McDonalds to satisfy my need for a hot caffeinated beverage that might have also had whipped cream and chocolate in it (with non-fat milk of course) I turned the radio back up.

Enter Mr. Wendal.

It was 1992 and I was in college. I didn't wear a watch or shoes often. I carried flip flops in my backpack for when they were required. I had big hair and just to mix it up a bit I would sometimes wear pearls with my sweatshirts and a big bow around my ponytail.

A social activist I was not. Just a college student trying to find her way.

I loved this song.

Still do.

You don't have to be a 19 year old college student to get it.

Here, have a dollar,
in fact no brotherman here, have two
Two dollars means a snack for me,
but it means a big deal to you
Be strong, serve God only,
know that if you do, beautiful heaven awaits
That's the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr.Wendal, that's his name,
no one ever knew his name cause he's a no-one
Never thought twice about spending on a ol' bum,
until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn't charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all that money on big colleges,
still most of y'all come out confused

[CHORUS:] Go ahead, Mr.Wendal (2x)

Mr.Wendal has freedom,
a free that you and I think is dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
for Mr.Wendal's a bum
His only worries are sickness
and an occasional harassment by the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him,
but I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no ?
Who are we to judge ?
When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
and killed over a racist grudge
Mr.Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
but we don't hear him talk
Is it his fault when we've gone too far,
and we got too far, cause on him we walk
Mr.Wendal, a man, a human in flesh,
but not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride,
realize that all in all you stand tall

Mr.Wendal, yeah yeah yeah, Lord, Mr.Wendal
We are all someone even if people think we are a no-one - made in His image.
What have you heard lately that stirred memories?


Kezzie said...

Hey Adrienne! Thanks for lurking! Love this post- what an amazing song! I've never heard it before! There are definitely songs that bring back memories! I am singing a song called Jaguar with my school choir that I sang at school and I am right back there everytime they sing it!!!
Yes, we are something made in his image- what a privelege!!!!

Paula said...

I don't know Mr. Wendel but I sure know what you mean about songs bringing back memories. Trisha Yearwood has an old song, (and one of my favorites!) called The Song Remembers When about a memory basically being forgotten until a song comes on the radio and brings it all back.

Sara said...

I heard Adam Ant in the radio today! "Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?" I remember thinking those lines were so scandalous!