A Coat Tale of Two Cities

A collection of reminiscences, short stories and essays
by Larry Maloney

Copyright © 1998 by Larry Maloney.
Illustrations: Copyright © 1998 Carole Best.
All rights reserved.
Published by Muzmo Communication Inc., 1998

Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey was a lover boy who existed in a song book environment. He quarreled with his significant other and she threw him out. That’s all we’ve ever been told.

For the rest of the story, it is suggested that a reconciliation took place after a telephone conversation which might have sounded like this:

“Well hello Dolly.”
“Where have you been Billie Boy, Billie Boy?”
“I’m back home again in Indiana, among my souvenirs and I just called to say I love you.”
“It seems to me I’ve heard that song before. What’s new?”
“Nothing. I’m all alone by the telephone. I’ve had those funny, familiar, forgotten, feelings all day and so I’ve got the right to sing the blues. Have you ever been lonely?”
“No, I get along without you very well.”
“Nights are long since you went away, Doll, and how the ghost of you clings.”
“Who’s sorry now?”
“Nobody’s seen the trouble I’ve seen.”
“Oh I don’t know. Many a heart is aching if you could read them all.”
“You’re mean to me.”
“What about you. You always hurt the one you love.”
“I dream of you more than you dream I do. But that’s no good alone, a dream must be a dream for two.”
“You dream the impossible dream.”
“Give me just one more chance to prove it’s you alone I care for.”
“Don’t call me. Let me call you, Sweetheart. Bye now, I’m hanging up.”
“Wait. How canst thou leave me thus forsaken? Give me five minutes more, only five minutes more. I need someone to watch over me.”
“Oh no. Not me. I’ll walk alone; because, I know you can’t be true dear. What about that Floozie-Susie the Alley Cat? I remember that rainy evening when I threw you out, you admitted, she was ‘the object of my affection’.”
“Yes it’s true. Once I had a secret love. It was Fascination I know. Darling vous aime beaucoup, but if you knew Susie, then I know that you’d comprie.”
“Oh I’d comprie alright. I comprie that the Lady is a tramp. And she’s the somebody else who’s taking my place? Where did you meet her?”
“New York, New York, with other all the other queens you’ll meet on any street. She wore Blue Velvet and I was aflame with such a burning desire. Anyway all we ever did was trip the light fantastic on the sidewalks.”
“Yeah, Right. So while you’re dancing all around the town, give my regards to Broadway.”
“C’mon, be fair. I’m keeping out of mischief now. My problem is that, when I’m not near the girl I love, I love the girl I’m near.”
“Yeah I know. Takes two to Tango. If I do take you back, what’ll you say to all the girls you’ve loved before.”
“Go away little girls.”
“After all this, how can I love you again?”
“They say that love is better the second time around.”
“Why do I love you?”
“Oh you beautiful doll, please say you’re not intending to tease. Let bygones be bygones forever.”
“What about your little brown jug and the elbow bending problem?”
“You don’t know how dry I am. Just cool clear water, and some moonlight cocktails.”
“What about all those diamonds and pearls you used to mention?”
“Honestly honey they just cost money. But if I were a rich man, Ya ba da ba da ba do.”
“You promised to bring me a basket of posies.”
“I never promised you a rose garden and I can’t give you anything but love. Fortune’s always hiding; I’ve looked everywhere. I’ve been working on the railroad but that’s just to pass the time away. Rain drops keep falling on my head and now I’m crying because I’m losing you.”
“Don’t cry for me, ‘Billorino’. The truth is I never left you. So be like I, hold your head up high, somewhere . . . . Somewhere my love, there will be songs to sing.”
“Let’s face the music. Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?”
“I’m bewitched, bothered and bewildered. I don’t know why I love you but I do. You’re just my Bill.”
“Your honey boy am waiting.”
“Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m wrong, loving you dear as I do, but since you ain’t misbehaving, I’m taking a chance on you. Won’t you come home Bill Bailey? Won’t you come home.”
“Happy days are here again.”
“C’mon a my house. And if you stay, I’ll make you a day like no day has been or will be again.”
“Hallelujah. There’ll be a hot time in the old time tonight.”