Memaw’s Button Box (Song Link Included)

I still keep a lot of odds & ends in the Button Box, including my daddy’s glasses, wallet and his Burnside Consolidated School report cards

On Thanksgiving Day in 1981, I was reminiscing about childhood days of visiting my grandmother, “Memaw” Kerr, in Louisville, Mississippi. She had long since died by 1981 but my memories overwhelmed me for some reason and I put them into the lyrics of a song called The Button Box. Memaw knew that an old wooden tobacco box and its contents – empty thread spools, broken buttons, keys to who knew what, and other little treasures – could entertain my cousins and me in a way that no TV or “storebought” toys and games ever could.

After Memaw died, my Aunt Dot gave me the button box. As I began a somewhat transient early career, I carried it as a fond piece of my past wherever I moved. The box with the blue five-cent tax sticker still attached  has resided with me in five cities since leaving Memaw’s little house in Louisville. It was in my Mobile, Alabama apartment that Thanksgiving morning so many years ago and it inspired memories I thought might be good put to music. Those thoughts occur to me still this time of year. The button box has been in Nashville since 1987, as I have, and I still keep odds and ends in it and sing the song. I hope you will enjoy reading these words and listening to the music.

Click the link below to listen to The Button Box.

The Button Box – Les Kerr

The Button Box
 
The old box held tobacco in the general store
Old men bought it plug by plug ‘til the old box held no more
Somehow, my grandma got that box and put it to good use
She filled it up with buttons that were layin’ ‘round loose
 
I called my grandma, “Memaw,” and my cousins did, too
When we went to Memaw’s, there was just one thing to do
We didn’t need no Tinker Toys or fancy building blocks
We would have a fit to get into that Button Box
 
Chorus:
It held a hundred buttons and some keys that fit no locks
How we used to love to play in that old Button Box
 
The old folks watched us entertain each other to no end
We’d play our little button games again and again
Then, we’d start all over with the same old buttons, too
We handled them with care as if they all were shiny-new
 
Repeat Chorus
 
It held a hundred buttons and some keys that fit no locks
How we used to love to play in that old Button Box
 
Now, we are all older and our childhood days have passed
But we built some memories with buttons that will last
And we, who were the children then, have started our own flocks
And only happy memories fill that old Button Box
 
Repeat Chorus:
It held a hundred buttons and some keys that fit no locks
How we used to love to play in that old Button Box
We would have a fit to get into that Button Box
Words and Music by Les Kerr ©1981
Publisher: O.N.U. Music (ASCAP)

Text and photos copyright 2012 Les Kerr. Learn More about Les at www.leskerr.com

 
 
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About Les Kerr

Les Kerr is a songwriter, recording artist, journalist and author originally from the Gulf Coast now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn More about Les at www.leskerr.com
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One Response to Memaw’s Button Box (Song Link Included)

  1. Pingback: It’s time to take Paul’s advice | Les Kerr's Liner Notes

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