Poison Ivy

I went hiking in upper Bidwell Park last spring with my friends Rob and Stephen. We were admiring (and avoiding) the luxuriant growths of poison oak alongside the trail, and for some reason we started talking about poison ivy, which doesn’t grow in the west. A quick check of Wikipedia tells me that poison oak and poison ivy are both members of the genus Toxicodendron, and both produce a chemical called urushiol that causes an uncomfortable skin reaction in most humans, but doesn’t bother deer, which happily munch on the leaves.

Anyway, I thought to myself that “Poison Ivy” sounded like a good song title, so when I got home, I wrote the lyrics. It came out pretty easily; it’s just following the idea of a woman called Poison Ivy. There is one line that I don’t like much, and I’m still fooling around with alternatives. Can you tell which line it might be?

If you want to try it on the guitar, and if you don’t love playing that E flat chord, you can drop the whole song a half-step, which makes it a bit easier. Anyway, it’s a simple song, but I enjoy playing it. Hope you like it.


Poison Ivy

Once you touch her                           Cm
You won’t forget her                          Eb
If she wants you                                  Fm
You’ll always let her                           Fm
When she touched me                       Cm
Got under my skin                              Eb
When she loved me                            Fm
It was better than sin                         Fm

I went back east
And I got lost
In a patch of jungle
I tried to cross
She called my name
I made a mistake
I turned to look
And she took my cake

She was Poison Ivy                                 Cm
She was my favorite itch                        Eb
She loved me to pieces                           Fm
Left me lying in a ditch                           G7
She was Poison Ivy                                  Cm
She really made me scratch                    Eb
I thought I could take her                       Fm
But I really met my match                      G7
In Poison Ivy                                             Cm      Bb
Poison Ivy                                                  Cm      Bb
Poison Ivy                                                  Cm      Bb       Ab       G7
In Poison Ivy                                             Cm

I don’t want pity
I don’t want scorn
I only wish
I’d never been born
Once she touched me
Now she’s in my brain
Once she loved me
Now it’s the sweetest pain

She was Poison Ivy
She was my favorite itch
She loved me to pieces
Left me lying in a ditch
She was Poison Ivy
She really made me scratch
I thought I could take her
But I really met my match
In Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy
In Poison Ivy