I wonder if Columbus really said the world was round,
Then fretted about sailing o'er the edge as his boat hit ground.
Alex Bell did ask the question, "Watson, come here. I need you,"
But he talked into a light bulb....a fact, that's known by few.
Did De Soto in New Orleans say, "I claim this land for France.
Plus the Mississippi tributaries." (He certainly took no chance!)
The Indians didn't like that. Besides, they didn't speak French.
De Soto thus met his inglorious end in a water filled trench.
"Give me liberty or give me death!"(I have heard it all my life),
But Patrick Henry was seeking divorce from a long-suffering wife.
Washington gave a famous speech about renouncing foreign affairs,
But created "Washington Slept Here Signs", inducing local stares.
Stanley met Livingstone in Africa. Imagine the worldwide shock,
Knowing he'd walked into that clearing and asked, "What's up, Doc?"
Gen. Douglas MacArthur's famous quote would make historians burn,
A reply to a Manila barkeep, "The booze bottle? I shall return!"
Ms. Antoinette's "Let 'em eat cake!" said with a toss of her head,
Was misunderstood by the rabble and they tossed her head instead.
Caesar in his salad days said, "Do as the Romans do",
They overthrew his reign. Ergo, "Don't bite off more than chew."
Words have changed the course of history, so we're always told.
Many of those words have no meaning, if they're looked at cold.
Who is to say all historical sayings with which we are imbued
Don't have their genesis grounded in some mindless family feud?
Copyright © 2012 by Frank Koerner