1. The South Side

From the recording SOUTH SIDE STORIES

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THE SOUTH SIDE (Music & Lyric by Louis Rosen)

I was born
In some North Side room
Near the Edgewater Beach Hotel
Now my folks knew that hotel well
It’s there they used to go to dance the
Nights away
And like they planned
I was the first child born since my
Father’s father had died
So, with a sad, sweet, expectant pride
They gave me his name and they
Carried me home to
The South Side

Now my clan,
If it has roots anywhere
Claims that part of town
It’s where Mom’s family settled down
It’s where Dad was living when he
Came of age
And they met
A blind date at some downtown club
Where Jews didn’t usually go
Where the service and the dancing were slow
In a month he proposed
In a year they were married on

The South Side
Known for Capone and his rat-tat-tat,
That’s the South Side

But in the baby-boom years it was
Nothing like that
It was bungalows all in a row
Where a family dream could grow
And only Democrats knew where the
Bodies were buried on
The South Side

Uncle Ted and Aunt Syl lived
Right near by
Uncle Irv lived a mile away
Grandma Fanny lived with Jen by the
U. of C., near
Ida, Uncle Joe and Aunt Dora Lee, we were
Four generations of the family tree, and the
Child I was
Imagined we’d always be

On the South Side
Latino, white and black, each a separate part,
But the South Shore of the South Side had the
Avenues and alleys that I
Knew by heart,
It was Hyde Park down to U.S. Steel
It’s a memory, yet so real
And my parents both assumed that their
Bodies would be buried
I guess I just assumed that some-
Day we’d all be buried on
The South Side
On the South Side

© 2006 by Louis Rosen/Lullwater Music, ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.