In my kitchen, by my door
Ants are crawling ‘cross my floor.
Along the wall they march in style
Regimented, single file.
I want them gone but I’m unable
To stop the sacking of my table
At night I spray and set the traps
But they return for kitchen scraps
Some are clearly on patrol
Scaling up the dog food bowl
They’re climbing all around my sink
Descending downward for a drink
I see their small antennae rattle
They’ve dug in for a long hard battle
They’ve even come with queen and throne
And claimed my kitchen as their own
Copyright © 1999 Barry Louis Polisar. From the book Insect Soup: Bug Poems. Rainbow Morning Music. Reprinted by permission of the author.
In 2007, the director of the film Juno was searching iTunes for another song, when he typed in the wrong title and discovered Barry’s 30-year old song “All I Want is You.” He used Barry’s original 1977 recording in the opening credits of the film Juno. The music soundtrack sold over a million copies worldwide and won a Grammy Award in 2008. Barry almost didn’t record his song in 1977, but decided to include it as “filler” on his second album.
Although he never looked for commercial success, Barry’s songs have been used on television spots all over the world. He currently sings his song “All I Want is You” in an ad that airs on TV in the US. Other songs have been broadcast in Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK.
On April Fools’ Day, 2010 many of the rebellious children Barry used to entertain came together to release a 2-CD, 60-song tribute album called We’re Not Kidding! They re-imagined Barry’s songs like “Never Cook Your Sister in a Frying Pan” and “My Brother Thinks He’s a Banana” in new musical genres; an Irish band covers his song “Potty Training” and a Klezmer band from Brooklyn sings “Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose”–in Yiddish! The album was produced by musician Aaron Cohen, lead singer of the L.A. punk band The Radioactive Chicken Heads. Like many of the artists on We’re Not Kidding!, Aaron had Barry’s early recordings as a child.
Barry continues to write, sing and perform in schools, libraries and art centers throughout the United States…and marvel at the way the world unfolds.