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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The mystery of Kerouac's 'Hallelujah, I'm a Bum...bum again' solved

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Over the years I've gone over Kerouac's 'On the Road' many times. It puts me in the zone for working with my archive from that era which has a large collection of beat generation photography, films and ephemera and mimeo revolution / small press poetry. 
In 'On the Road' Kerouac makes reference to 'Hallelujah, I'm a Bum...bum again.' I never could figure out what he was talking about. Today the mystery was solved. 'Hallelujah, I'm a Bum' is a song.

Makes Me Grateful for My Bed Daniel D_ Teoli Jr_llr.jpg

Photo by D.D. Teoli Jr. Skid Row, Los Angeles 1971

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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No, didn't think of that. I heard the song by chance on a stream radio broadcast. Normally I do Google things like 'boomer's highball' or 'balling the jack.' But the bum phrase didn't mean much to me to look up. Kerouac said the person sang it, but I figured it was the same as if some said they heard me sing 'I wanna win the lotto.' Referring to a way of speaking, but not a real song.

You have to try and figure things out even with Google as one source said a boomer is a drifter and another said a boomer is a new trainee. But looks like the source saying they are a trainee is gone, can't find it. 

If you have never heard On the Road audiobook, get the Matt Dillion version. Excellent! I got it from the library inter-library loan.

That must have been something in the railroad (steam) era. I'd love to have been able to photo it.













Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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