And when the morning of the warning’s passed, the gassed
And flaccid kids are flung across the stars
The psychodramas and the traumas gone
The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars
And does she want to see the stains, the dead remains of all the pains
She left the night before
Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies, and make them
Realize their urgent cry for sight no more
When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch
– Tandyn Almer, “Along Comes Mary”
Whatever else Tandyn Almer did with the rest of his life, he’ll have forever authored one of the greatest bits of twisted sunshine pop and doobie entendre soft rock to harmonize and flute-solo its way onto Top 40 radio and prime time television.
Now, it’s probably safe to say the inspiration for The Association’s 1966 toe-tapper was not the mother of Jesus Christ–and likely not even a woman at all. I think we can all assume that Mary’s middle name is Jane.
But the Mary–the O.G., blessed virgin, greatest-story-ever-told, gettin-it-done-in-a-manger Mary–indeed comes along all over the place, just about any ol’ time. Every front yard is Mary’s potential domain; any porch her possible perch. The city’s backyards are so full of clandestine, hidden Marys that we’ll never have a true accounting of them all. [You don’t know how that keeps a speculative journalist awake at night!] It’s enough to drive a Mary-curious atheist into confession.
So on this Mother’s Day, we return to an old favorite Orbit subject: Mary, the mother of all mothers, in some of her various occasions around town. Links to earlier coverage appear below.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there. While your kids won’t be able to take you out to lunch, may your empty cups taste as sweet as the punch.
Mary and friends
Empty Mary Grottos
More Orbit Mary coverage:
- The Front Yard Marys of Bloomfield, Part I and Part II (June 26, 2016 and May 19, 2017)
- Alms Race: The Front Yard Marys of Beaver County (April 22, 2018)
- Color Me In Presston: The Front Yard Marys of McKees Rocks, Part 1 (Nov. 18, 2018)
- Hail, Mary! Front Yard Mary Roundup (Nov. 27, 2016)
 Almer’s Wikipedia entry confirms that “Along Comes Mary” is indeed Almer’s biggest songwriting success, but that he “invented a waterpipe called the Slave-Master, described by Jack S. Margolis and Richard Clorfene in A Child’s Garden of Grass as ‘the perfect bong.'” So, you know, there were definitely some other hits.