February 22nd: Leetla Giorgio Washeenton

My mom used to read/quote this poem to us every February 22nd. I know it’s tomorrow, but I thought some of you might want to read it today on President’s Day. You have to do your best Eyetalian accent for the full effect.

Leetla Giorgio Washeenton
By Thomas Augustine Daly

You know w’at for ees school keep out
Dees holiday, my son?
Wal, den, I gona tal you ’bout
Dees Giorgio Washeenton.

Wal, Giorgio was leetla keed
Ees leeve long time ago,
An’ he gon’ school for learn to read
An’ write hees nam’, you know.
He moocha like for gona school
An’ learna hard all day,
Baycause he no gat time for fool
Weeth bada keeds an’ play.
Wal, wan cold day w’en Giorgio
Ees steell so vera small,
He start from home, but he ees no
Show up een school at all!
Oh, my! hees Pop ees gatta mad
An’ so he tal hees wife:
“Som’ leetla boy ees gon’ feel bad
Today, you bat my life!”
An’ den he grab a bigga steeck
An’ gon’ out een da snow
An’ lookin’ all aroun’ for seek
Da leetla Giorgio.
Ha! w’at you theenk? Firs’ theeng he see
Where leetla boy he stan’,
All tangla up een cherry tree,
Weeth hatchet een hees han’.
“Ha! w’at you do?” hees Pop he say,
“W’at for you busta rule
An’ stay away like dees for play
Eenstead for gon’ to school?”
Da boy ees say: “I no can lie,
An’ so I speaka true.
I stay away from school for try
An’ gat som’ wood for you.
I theenka deesa cherry tree
Ees goodda size for chop,
An’ so I cut heem down, you see,
For justa help my Pop.”
Hees Pop he no can gatta mad,
But looka please’ an’ say:
“My leetla boy, I am so glad
You taka holiday.”

Ees good for leetla boy, you see,
For be so bright an’ try
For help hees Pop; so den he be.
A granda man bimeby.
So now you gotta holiday
An’ eet ees good, you know,
For you gon’ do da sama way
Like leetla Giorgio.
Don’t play so mooch, but justa stop,
Eef you want be som’ good,
An’ try for help your poor old Pop
By carry home som’ wood;
An’ mebbe so like Giorgio
You grow for be so great
You gona be da Presidant
Of dese Unita State’!

11 thoughts on “February 22nd: Leetla Giorgio Washeenton

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I read it (had it memorized) as a child but had no idea who had written it. I am so glad to be able to read it again.

  4. He Chris,

    I too memorized Leeta Giorgio – for my 8th grade public speaking contest (participation was required) … and I walked away with 1st prize (even though I completely botched the middle), probably because the poem finale brought tears to the eyes of the judges. Given that was some 40 years ago, it nice to that T. A. Daly’s work is still appreciated out there.

  5. My mother used to read this to us as well. I love this poem. Even so, it makes me cry.

  6. I always remembered this from when I was very young but forgot most of the words. Thanks to the Internet I can smile at it again!

  7. I went to visit my Mom a few months ago. She told me she had something for me and went into her room to get it.
    Her surprise was the English Lit book I used in Ninth Grade about 50 years ago. As I looked through it later, I came upon the poem “Da Leetla Boy” and it stirred me as much today as it did way back when. I looked it up in Internet and came upon the poem “Da Leetla Giorgio Washeeton” by the same author. I’m enjoying it now. It touched my 60 year old soul in a way that kids nowadays probably wouldn’t understand.

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