A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear

© Stephen Savitzky. CC-by-nc-sa


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Lyrics [pdf]

C F C Am
You've h ad a rough j ourney;  a hellish long d ay;
There's a f ire in your throat and an ache in your h ead
C F C G C G Am
And you l ong to be b ack in y our  own  coz y b ed.
Dm G
But the w orld you grew up in has vanished aw ay.
C Am
You're w eary and sick and you're fr ightened by change
C* F C F C G6
When som ething wraps 'round y ou l ike a sw irl  of warm a ir
C* F Am
For there's n o place as comforting, g entle, or str ange
F C Csus2 C
As the m ind of the M id dle-S ized Bear.
C Am
For the M iddle-Sized Bear is a creature most r are
He'll f eed you on honey and tea in his l air
And you d on't think you trust him, but m aybe you'll dare
Have a t alk with the Middl e-S ized B ear.
He's clumsy, forgetful, ill-tempered, and shy;
There's dust on his spectacles, gray in his fur;
Sometimes he growls when you think that he'd purr,
But he holds you so gently and just lets you cry.
He says he's not clever, but sometimes he's wise,
Sometimes he's so silent you can't tell he's there
And he quietly kisses the tears from your eyes
As you sit with the Middle-Sized Bear.
For the Middle-Sized Bear is a creature most rare
He'll sing you a song as he brushes your hair
And they say it's a comfort just knowing he's there
As you talk with the Middle-Sized Bear.
There's a line in his journal that pierces your mask
Though he says at the time that he's probably wrong;
But he sums up your fears in a few lines of song,
And answers a question you never would ask.
A letter, a message, a voice on the phone,
A scrap of a song coming out of thin air.
Perhaps it's enough to know you're not alone
As you talk with the Middle-Sized Bear.
For the Middle-Sized Bear is a creature most rare
He knows you don't love him, but he doesn't care
And you think you could trust him, if only you'd dare
Have a talk with the Middle-sized Bear.

The Middle-Sized Bear is a character out of science fiction: the section ``Conversation With the Middle-Sized Bear'' in Cordwainer Smith's novella, Mark Elf. For several years I've used it to refer to the aspect of my personality that is, so people have told me, comforting to talk to and be around.

This song is very much a composite; the first verse is almost entirely out of Cordwainer Smith; the last two are more about the women in my life who have encountered the Middle-Sized Bear over the last year. It's a little unusual in being largely autobiographical but in the second and third person, so that it's singable by anyone.