May 15, 2011
And now it's goodbye
To the Rich Daley reign
The fun and the glory
The pleasure, the pain.
For more than two decades He ruled like a king And answered his critics: "Put dis up your thing!"
They called him "Boss Junior" A nod to his dad Who also was mayor For good and for bad.
But Richard M. Daley Was not Richard J. He made his own city He had his own way.
He said, "I will make Dis old town like Paree! Tres chic and tres global!" His minions cried, "Oui!"
The sky filled with towers The parks with cute chairs: A glitzy new look For da city of Bears.
The streets sprouted tulips And wrought-iron rails (And meanwhile his cronies Were hauled off to jails.)
He knew every alley Each corner and wall (But nary a thing About rot in the Hall ...)
He moved out of Bridgeport His old Irish spot As downtown went upscale And condos got hot.
He biked and he peddled His countless grand schemes: "Let's plant on the rooftops! Let's dream the big dreams!
Let's get the Olympics! Let's court the Chinese! Let's name streets for Oprah! I'll do what I please!"
He took over schools, And in cover of dark He bulldozed Meigs Field To make way for a park.
He tore down the projects His father had built But poor is still poor In Chicago's new gilt.
No, all was not gold In the Kingdom of Rich The people got angry They often did (express their grievances impolitely).
He chewed up the language He barked at the press And, yes, he sure bungled That parking-box mess.
The budget's a wreck And recycling still stinks (At least we can still Eat foie gras with our drinks.)
And yet in the end Richard Daley was great A leader, a thinker Who guided our fate.
In Uptown and Pilsen Along Lake Shore Drive Chicago was changed By that big Man on Five.
For all he did wrong, He did good with his clout He made this town better And loved it full out.
So now he retires To be with his wife Chicago's next chapter Will start his new life.
Yes, time marches forward And Rahm marches in A new gang's in power The new games begin.
But in this last moment Let's make a brief stop To say we were lucky With Daley on top.
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