Sound Ideas: Fun Gus’ Song

by Carl Strang

We’re in the season we associate with death and decay. My own personification of this quality is a character named Fun Gus.

Fun Gus, with Carl Strang inside

Fun Gus, with Carl Strang inside

The character was created by Andy Kimmel, then a public information specialist for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, now an executive with the Forest Preserve District of Lake County (Illinois). Gus’ original home was the Halloween program at Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve. When I became Gus, on a few selected occasions I carried him to other venues. Once I was asked to provide a special presentation as Gus at a regional conference of heritage interpreters. One of the moments in that hour was a song I wrote for the event, “Fun Gus’ Song.” Here it is, followed by the lyrics.

Fun Gus’ Song

Copyright ©1997 Carl A. Strang

I am a fungus, my mycelium grows

Through fallen leaves and rotting wood.

Then all at once, a new mushroom shows

Where nothing had before stood.

I might be food, or I might cause you to die.

I might decay your rotting bones.

I might help trees to grow to the sky,

A foxfire light might have shown.

And do you see me just as I am?

Or do you see some evil, some good?

A mirror for your own shadow stands

In every toadstool in the woods.

I am a fungus, my mycelium grows

Through fallen leaves and rotting wood.

Then all at once, a new mushroom shows

Where nothing had before stood.

I am a fungus, my mycelium grows.

I send out spores into the sky.

Where they all land, there is none can know.

In faith no reason to try.

This is the rare, serious side of Fun Gus. In the song he refers to fungal roles as decomposers, mycorrhizal mutualists, poisons, foods, and phosphorescent mycelia, while suggesting there may be some metaphoric value in toadstools.

Can you see me just as I am?

Can you see me just as I am?

A mirror for your own shadow stands in every toadstool in the woods.

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3 Comments

  1. Karen said,

    November 26, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Loved this!

  2. November 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    love!

  3. old and tired said,

    November 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Delightful “sound” ideas.
    Enjoy your blog muchly.


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