And now it's goodbyeTo the Rich Daley reignThe fun and the gloryThe pleasure, the pain.
For more than two decadesHe ruled like a kingAnd answered his critics:"Put dis up your thing!"
They called him "Boss Junior"A nod to his dadWho also was mayorFor good and for bad.
But Richard M. DaleyWas not Richard J.He made his own cityHe had his own way.
He said, "I will makeDis old town like Paree!Tres chic and tres global!"His minions cried, "Oui!"
The sky filled with towersThe parks with cute chairs:A glitzy new lookFor da city of Bears.
The streets sprouted tulipsAnd wrought-iron rails(And meanwhile his croniesWere hauled off to jails.)
He knew every alleyEach corner and wall(But nary a thingAbout rot in the Hall ...)
He moved out of BridgeportHis old Irish spotAs downtown went upscaleAnd condos got hot.
He biked and he peddledHis 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 darkHe bulldozed Meigs FieldTo make way for a park.
He tore down the projectsHis father had builtBut poor is still poorIn Chicago's new gilt.
No, all was not goldIn the Kingdom of RichThe people got angryThey often did (express their grievances impolitely).
He chewed up the languageHe barked at the pressAnd, yes, he sure bungledThat parking-box mess.
The budget's a wreckAnd recycling still stinks(At least we can stillEat foie gras with our drinks.)
And yet in the endRichard Daley was greatA leader, a thinkerWho guided our fate.
In Uptown and PilsenAlong Lake Shore DriveChicago was changedBy that big Man on Five.
For all he did wrong,He did good with his cloutHe made this town betterAnd loved it full out.
So now he retiresTo be with his wifeChicago's next chapterWill start his new life.
Yes, time marches forwardAnd Rahm marches inA new gang's in powerThe new games begin.
But in this last momentLet's make a brief stopTo say we were luckyWith Daley on top.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times