Pictures & Poetry – Both Worth a Thousand Words

Poetry And Pictures – Photographs Tell The Story Words Rarely Can

As a professional photographer, creating portraits of ‘America’s Future Leaders,’ most pictures I create tell the story much better than any words might. But this song, by Jamey Johnson, captures the value of imagery in poetry, in words rarely expressing the power of photographs.

This is me and grandma in the summer sun.
All dressed up, the day we said our vows.
You can’t tell it here but it was hot that June.
And that rose was red and her eyes were blue
.And just look at that smile, I was so proud.”
-Jamey Johnson

Enjoy this poetry about photographs from the Black & White era of photography, from the Great Depression, through World War II through the Great Generations’ transition to post war normalcy, building America after a scary war.

‘In Color’By Jamey Johnson

I said Grandpa what’s this picture here
It’s all black and white, and it ain’t real clear
Is that you there, he said yeah, I was eleven
And times were tough, back in thirty-five
That’s me and Uncle Joe just tryin’ to survive
A cotton farm, in the Great Depression

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should’ve seen it in color

This one here was taken overseas
In the middle of hell, in nineteen forty-three
In the winter time, you can almost see my breath
That was my tail gunner ole’ Johnny McGee
He was a high school teacher from New Orleans
And he had my back, right through the day we left

If it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should’ve seen it in color

A picture’s worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should’ve seen it in color

And this one is my favorite one
This is me and grandma in the summer sun
All dressed up, the day we said our vows
You can’t tell it here but it was hot that June
And that rose was red and her eyes were blue
And just look at that smile, I was so proud

That’s the story of my life
Right there in black and white

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should’ve seen it in color

Yeah a picture’s worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should’ve seen it in color
(Should’ve seen it in color)

It’s interesting, in retrospect, as we study and read about World War II, it always seems we were destined to win this war. But I think is was just the opposite, as people toiled day to day in the theater of war and at home, there was no feeling of destiny. More likely, it was a lot of hard work and sacrifice to accomplish the job. Because there was no other navigable path to freedom, no place to hid from the aggressions of war looming in Europe.