John Milton Hayes

(1884-1940 / Lancashire, England)

Comments about John Milton Hayes

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  • Peter Miller (1/3/2007 5:34:00 PM)

    There is more known about Milton Hayes than I have found on any internet site. It stated somewhere that he was born 'probably in Lancashire'. In fact he came from Manchester. He served in the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross. Two poems well worth adding to any anthology are 'Let Me Awake', written under fire in the trenches, and 'Orders' written in 1936. Many references get the title of 'The Green Eye of the Yellow God' wrong - there is no 'Little' in the title. Hayes was also a comedian and made a series of recordings in the 1920's entitled 'The Meanderings of Monty'. One of these has 'You know what I mean? ' on the reverse. Amongst those who parodied his verse was Billy Bennet with 'The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog' and 'The Tightest Man I know' Hayes retired from the stage in about 1928 and wrote a number of articles for the 'Manchester Guardian' in the 1930's. He died in the South of France (I THINK in Marseille) and is buried there. I can provide copies of 'Orders' and 'Let me Awake', but only by post. I haven't yet mastered the scanner!

    Peter Miller

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The Whitest Man I Know

HE’S acruisin’ in a pearler with a dirty nigger crew,
Abuyin’ pearls and copra for a stingy Spanish Jew,
And his face is tann’d like leather ’neath a blazin’ tropic Sun,
And he’s workin’ out a penance for the things he hasn’t done.
Round the Solomons he runs, tradin’ beads and castoff guns,
Buyin’ pearls from grinnin’ niggers, loadin copra by the ton;
And he’ll bargain and he’ll smile, but he’s thinkin’ all the while
Of the penance that he’s workin’ out for sins he hasn’t done.

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