mens John


Mens John

(Sung to “Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean)

(In honor of Professor John Knight’s Retirement 6/03)


Every morning at the campus you could see him arrive,

He had an IQ estimated 165,

Kinda broad in his learning but narrow in his wit

And everybody knew you didn’t give no shit to mens John.

Mens John, mens John—Big mens John.


That John was smart wasn’t hard to see

(He earned extra credit on his GRE)

Some called him “Big Brain” or simply “The Pate”

But what finally stuck was the Latinate—mens John.


They said John hailed from Ohio State U

And was the brightest teacher in the Old Horseshoe

With one weighty quip from his frontal lobe

Sent a Fellow from the College- to the Tidy-Bowl—mens John.

Mens John, mens John—Big mens John.


Then came the class when one student’s mind

Was closed as any since medieval time,

A folk psychologist and divine-command jurist,

Nothing could dispatch such murky mists—‘cept John.


Through the haze and confusion of such muddled thought

Walked this lucid speaker they simply called “Prof”,

Grabbed a pointed example right out of the air

And threw it at that student with a verbal flair—mens John.

Mens John, mens John—Big mens John.


The neophyte thinker felt wisdom’s love

And the other students blurted “that’s a light bulb above!”

And as the student noted in course evaluation

“There’s no better intro to higher education”—than mens John.


And then the day came after 35 years

When the final lecture spilled out upon deft ears,

The classroom dimmed for the very last time

And everybody knew it was the end of the line for mens John.

Mens John, mens John—Big mens John.


They converted the classroom after he left

And put a marble sign out in front of it—

These few words are written on that sign—

“This restroom’s named for a Big, Big Mind—MEN’S JOHN.”


Mens John—


(one in every UW hall)

Mens John—

(named after our John, one and all)

Mens John—

(I visit his shrine every day!)

Mens John—

(No place has more cells of grey. . .)