Mildew and Rust

Parody of “Diamonds and Rust”, words and music by Joan Baez

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Parody lyrics ©2020-11-12 by Bob Kanefsky. All rights reserved. The copyright of the original lyrics and music remain with the holder(s) of the original copyright.

A slash song. The well-known characters should be easy enough to figure out — the trick is to take most of the lines literally, even the ones that sound steamy. The imagery of the Scarecrow and Tin Man’s interaction come more from the 1939 movie than the original book (it never snowed in the chapter “The Deadly Poppies”). The backstory comes more from the book, where the Tin Woodman, Nick Chopper, had a female love interest in his past. I’d say the Scarecrow acts intelligent in both the book and movie, but the idea of him sounding intelligent comes from the book.

Well I’ll be damned,
Here comes the rain again.
Your curséd existence, pal,
Means you’ll need assistance now
And I’m soaked through and through.

Again you stand
Hand on your choppy thing
That sight tugged my heartstrings —
Strong comrade and plaything —
When the road led to you. 

Could not help notice your chin
Was strong, square and steely.
Could not speak of my feelings. 
Where did the kid come from?
A place called the Midwest. 

But I deduced you’d need lubricating.
You seemed worth saving. 
We both know what thunderstorms bring:
They bring mildew and rust. 

I came into this world as big as a farmhand.
Less person than garment,
The original straw man.
You were hard to persuade. 

You only froze, temporarily paralyzed,
So afraid to be ostracized,
Or your heart was still elsewhere
I hoped it had strayed.

I remember you lying
With poppies wilting on the ground
And snow on your chest
Now you’re kneeling as you stuff me
Back down into my pants
In a field in the west. 
A warm wind stirs me inside, 
Tingles till you button my vest
How I felt at the time is
A secret I still can’t confess.

Now you’re telling me
 you’re not romantic
Then give me another word for it
Cause I’m inarticulate. 
Since I don’t have a brain. 

The chance you share that affection, pal 
Is low probability:
beyond your ability
If all you’re offering is mildew and rust,
Then I’m hoping for rain.