My Breakfast With Ronald (1985)

for high soprano, Bb clarinet, and piano - 6 mins.




My Breakfast With Ronald was written in 1985 at the request of the Clarion Trio, who gave the premiere performances of it on the East Coast.  The piece is scored for soprano, clarinet, and piano, with poetry by Kevin Lynch, the former Music Critic for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a regular contributor to Downbeat Magazine, and the founder of  Lynch’s scattered poem alludes to the apprehension at that time in regard to Ronald Reagan, the former MGM STUDIOS contract player, who was appearing in his final role for USA STUDIOS, as “President of The Free World.”  President Ronnie, among other things (not the least of which was jacking up our national debt more than any other president in our history before or since), regularly fell asleep during cabinet meetings, setting a precedent for the – at the time – brand new, Post-Watergate, Republican Party.



By Kevin Lynch


The day I woke to brew,

cupboards bare but toe jam,

was like the old same day.

Or was it? Yes, my hair still stood

at six angles that never add up

to a hole lined with fur

from which they stole my egg.

Can’t fry wit no brains (sung with blues phrasing)

To what wit is it?

A package from Saskatoon arrives,

I plunked it on the settee.

My nose has been crooked lately,

Jules and the elevator operator

stared and stared.

I'm a bit unhinged in the closet,

knew I'd stay in too long –

the shoes I never wearever I go

have stepped already. I stumble,

grab a coat that grabs

my snout in a cuff.

Ah, best to stay in the closet today.

To chilly to walk the cat.

My sister has a baby

While the hound pouts and

the president naps in the cabinet.

My doorbell rings.

It's a singing telegram,

for the deaf man next door,

I find off-key and needlessly gay.

I'll sing it to him at three.

I opened the package and

“There’s my egg.” T’was quite good

though the griddle spat “so-so.”

November 19, 1984




Last Updated: April 6, 2013