When I decided to write the September 2018 Friday With Joan blog post with a headline inspired by "Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and interview families in the business, I asked Marcus Bales, who has been collaborating with Mike Whitney, to consider coming up with a parody of the song famously performed by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings and written by Ed Bruce and Patsy Bruce to go along with it.

I am grateful to Marcus for the lyrics and to Mike for his perfect rendition. Were I you, I’d hire them for work for your meetings to add some pizzazz! Check out Marcus’ lyrics and listen to Mike’s performance below.

Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Planners (© Marcus Bales 2018)

No client is easy to work with, and they’re harder to keep
They want gold and glitter while snarling it better be cheap:
Glitzy gift baskets and well-behaved wait-staff
And shrimp, caviar, and champagne.
And though you can’t stand them when they’re drunk on site
Somehow you never complain.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be planners
Don’t let ‘em take FAM trips to sites they won’t use
Make ‘em be drunkards who’re singing the blues
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be planners
Their vendors will play ‘em
Their clients won’t pay ‘em
And attendees will give bad reviews.

A planner hates low-budget clients, and challenging venues,
Inadequate kitchens, the IT guy being a jerk;
Wait staff who don’t know their jobs and the ones that do
Seem to have slept in their clothes
And everything’s different
From the promised site set-up,
And even the toilets don’t work.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be planners
Don’t let ‘em take FAM trips to sites they won’t use
Make ‘em be drunkards who’re singing the blues
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be planners
Their vendors will play ‘em
Their clients won’t pay ‘em
And attendees will give bad reviews.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be planners
Don’t let ‘em take FAM trips to sites they won’t use
Make ‘em be drunkards who’re singing the blues
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be planners
Their vendors will play ‘em
Their clients won’t pay ‘em
And attendees will give bad reviews.

Additional Information About the Songwriter and Performer

Not much is known about Marcus Bales except he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, and his poems have not been published in Poetry or The New Yorker. Contact him at: marcus.bales@gmail.com.

[Here’s the truth: Joan Eisenstodt and Marcus Bales first met in an AOL Writers Chat room in 1994, eventually meeting face to face. Marcus, a glass artist, whose facility with words is remarkable, at one point in our friendship, wrote “The Joaniad” which, on my death, may be available for publication!

It chronicles my life and gives insight into my career!]

Mike Whitney's first song was published and played on Cincinnati radio in 1971, followed by a regional hit by Bob Braun in 1973, "My Best Friend.” He performed in road bands and did solo work from 1970 to 2016.

Mike has worked as an entertainment columnist for Clay County Progress for sixteen years, 2002 to present.

Related Reading From the September 2018 Edition of Friday With Joan

Click here to view additional content in the 09.07.18 Friday With Joan newsletter.