Wooden Music                                                                                                   

As you come to Yokohama, in the sky gleams Fujiyama,
Magic mountain, white and misty, dim to scan;
Then it fades and you are docking. Down the gangway you are flocking
In Japan.
Ricksha coolies yell and chatter, on your ears their voices batter,
Then you note a sort of syncopated beat.
(Clitter-clatter, clitter-clatter!
On the street.)
It's clatter of the getas on the street.

In the nighttime or the daytime, in the worktime, in the playtime
On the hyway, on the wider thoroughfare,
There's a queer reverberation, there's a rhythmical pulsation
In the air.
Multitudes that swirl and scatter--silk and satin, rag and tatter--
They are making wooden music with their feet,
(Clitter-clatter, clitter-clatter
On the street.)
It's clatter of the getas on the street.

Far away is Fujiyama, farther still is Yokohama
Where I heard the coolies talking as they sunned;
While amid the anchored shipping fishermen their nets were dipping
Near the Bund;
Peddler's droning, cymbals clanging, and the samisens twing-twanging
These are clamor that I shall not soon forget,
But when time these sounds shall scatter, I shall hear the getas clattter
Even yet.
(Clitter-clatter, clitter-clatter),
Other memories are fleet
But I'll always hear the getas
Clitter-clatter on the street!

Published in: The Popular Magazine - September 7, 1925

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