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the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: rose (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: August 18, 2000 06:55PM

that may possibly be called, "the little man that wasn't there"? i know this is random, but a dear woman in her seventies that i work with is trying to remember a poem like this. any ideas?


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RE: have you heard of a poem...
Posted by: Soma (---.tnt1.hba1.da.uu.net)
Date: August 19, 2000 05:20AM

a dear woman in her seventies that i work with is trying to remember a poem

I, too, am trying to remember it. Here goes:

As I was walking on the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away!


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RE: have you heard of a poem...
Posted by: Morag (---.aston.ac.uk)
Date: August 21, 2000 11:13AM

Hey, I have a different version. I wonder how many versions there are?

Yesterday upon a stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today
I wish that man would go away


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RE: have you heard of a poem...
Posted by: rose (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: August 25, 2000 06:20PM

to soma:

thank you for your response! that is the poem! but, i think that is all that my friend remembers too. i'll be sure to let you know if i hear anymore.

rose


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RE: have you heard of a poem...
Posted by: rose (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: August 25, 2000 06:25PM

and i wonder if there are anymore lines! thanks for your reply.


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RE: have you heard of a poem...
Posted by: Peter Symonds (212.67.150.---)
Date: September 01, 2000 12:18PM

This appears in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (9th ed.) as having been written by Hughes Mearns (1875 - 1965), as reads:

As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd stay away.

Lines written for The Psycho-ed, an amateur play, in Philadelphia, 1910 (set to music in 1939 as 'The Little Man Who Wasn't There')

It's possible that your elderly friend remembers the quotation from having seen and/or heard the musical version around the time it was being performed,in 1939 or thereabouts..


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RE: have you heard of a poem...
Posted by: kaffy bee (213.158.190.---)
Date: October 25, 2004 03:55PM

i've never seen your forum before; i arrived her via a google search while trying to find out for my grade six daughter the name of the author of this poem. thanks a lot for your great information!


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: B (---.eterra.dk)
Date: November 12, 2004 08:28AM

This is how I heard it in a movie once:

Yesterday, I went up the stairs.
I met a man, who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd go away.

/B


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Pamazon (---.vc.shawcable.net)
Date: November 23, 2004 03:53PM

That version was used in the 2003 movie "Identity" with John Cusack and Ray Liota.


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after Peter . . .
Posted by: ilza (---.162.246.59.user.ajato.com.br)
Date: November 23, 2004 04:36PM

1939 news ...

BardWho Penned Man Who Wasn't There Revealed

As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd stay away.

For a good many years, people have puckishly tossed off
those lines, with occasional variations.
There seems to be something fascinating about their
pleasant inanity, a good deal like the fascination which dwells
in Burgess' quote
I've never seen a purple cow,
I never hope to see one, etc.

It has been generally assumed that the creator of the
little man who wasn't there is anonymous.
It took the composition of a song whose lyric is based on
the jingle to bring to light its creator, surprised Prof. Hughes
Mearns of New York university.
Dr. Mearns holds the impressive title of chairman of the department
of creative education, but even now he has his lighter
moments.
The little professor conceived The Man Who Wasn't There'' in
1910. eight years after his graduation from Harvard. The
ditty was first intoned publicly in The Psyco-ed,
a play written for a group of theatrical amateurs. It so happens that
both Harold Adamson. who wrote a' complete lyric with the
non-existent man for the chorus, and Bernard Hanighen. who
wrote the music currently popular, are also Harvard men. They
originally thought the jingle was in public domain. Now they split
their royalties with Dr. Meams.


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.ne)
Date: November 26, 2004 05:14PM

Sweet!


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Chelle (---.bak.rr.com)
Date: December 14, 2004 07:44AM

"Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish that man would go away."
Hughes Mearns (1875-1965)


In Identity, with John Cusack, it ended with:
I wish, I wish he'd go away....


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Owl (---.jetstream.xtra.co.nz)
Date: July 14, 2005 07:53AM

Hey there Texas What do you say
are you whistling in the dark
just to scare the ghosts away?
Well I've got something followin' me
that I can't see
I think someone's put an awfull hex on me
A HEX ah Tex
I think your just a little perplexed
Well, if you'd court a load of what I saw last night
you'd have past the yanky clipper on it's maiden flight

Last night I saw apon the stair
a little man that wasn't there
he wasn't there again today
oh how I wish he'd go away
and then when I came home at three
the little man was waiting for me
but when I looked around the hall
I couldn't see him there at all

go away, go away, and don't come back any more
go away, go away, and hey, don't slam the door

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

leads off off into a classic Miller Jam
Tex was a singer in the Glen miller Orc.
Tex Bineeky ( spelling will be way out, sorry)


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: ilza (---.user.veloxzone.com.br)
Date: July 14, 2005 08:16PM

Tex Beneke


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Owl (---.jetstream.xtra.co.nz)
Date: July 16, 2005 08:37PM

Thanks ilza, I was right, I was way out. I came across this version as a child on an extended player forty five record my folks had. The other tracks, I can't remember, they must have been love songs, no interest to a nine year old.
If the idea of 'little men that aren't there' fascinates anyone else (or am I the only one) Manfred Man put out a song in the sixties called "My name is Jack" on the flip side was a song called "There is a Man".

There is a man who sits in the corner of my room
no one else sees him
When I tell them
There is a man who sits in the corner of my room
they beat me.
Oh go away, you're not really there
and don't come back another day, pleeeeeaaase.

It had a short spoken piece in the middle about taking him home to use as a door stop. I've never seen this track on any of their albums.


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: ilza (---.user.veloxzone.com.br)
Date: July 18, 2005 06:40PM

amazing

There is a man ... was written by Tom McGuinness ( who played guitar)


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: marian2 (---.range86-130.btcentralplus.com)
Date: July 19, 2005 03:43AM

He still does - my husband had one of his CDs for a recent birthday, and we quite often go and see the Manfreds on tour. Paul Jones manages to stay youthful looking and the others are all pretty aged, so it is a rather strange visual experience, but they sound great both acoustically and electronically (often the first set is electronic and the second acoustic). Don't recall them performing There is a man, though they often do very old stuff in among the new.


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Bluerk (192.168.128.---)
Date: January 12, 2006 07:31AM

'As I was walking up the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there
again today.
I wish, I wish, he'd go away.

Is from a book or television series or something called the tomorrow people. I am pretty sure of it. I am sure that it was in there somewhere


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: January 12, 2006 12:15PM

Maybe "The Tomorrow People" did quote it in 70's but it seems to have been written in 1910. (see Peter Symonds' post above)


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: gillyflower (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 08, 2006 07:21AM

This is also by Hughes Mearns and called "The lady with technique"

As I was letting down my hair
I met a guy who didn't care,
He didn't care again today -
I LOVE 'em when they get that way!


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 08, 2006 09:41AM

I was JUST reading about The Tomorrow People yesterday....when i was reading about Craig Hinton's passing:

[en.wikipedia.org] />
I always enjoyed The Tomorrow People. the one from the 70's....with The Mama especially

oh yes, and the Hearts of Soggoth


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: PoetWit (76.204.17.---)
Date: November 18, 2008 04:25AM

I was watching Discovery's Candace Bergen narration of "Understanding The Universe" which had me search for the quoted the poem of the discussion on this page, because I had written something similar:

Looking out into the vastness of nowhere
I saw a man standing there,
standing at the bottom of the stairs.
to go up, or to go down?
He did not care.
With an urge, right on up he went
strange sounds were heard below his ascent.
~ Damon Runyon Lesjack, 1988


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: marian222 (86.158.48.---)
Date: November 19, 2008 11:07AM

A modern politician parodied it, when Gordon Brown's honeymoon period wore off,as

As I was going up the stair
I met a man who wasn't Blair
He wasn't Blair again today
I wish that man would go away.


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Re: the little man that wasn't there
Posted by: Amidnighttear (24.192.204.---)
Date: May 29, 2009 01:11AM

Antigonish by Hughes Mearner
the poetic version goes

Yesterday upon the stair
I saw a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish I wish he'd go away

theres actually a song written called," the little man who wasnt there," about it which goes:
As I was going up the stair
I saw a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away


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