I started growing a mustache -- and beard and long hair -- almost immediately upon my arrival as a freshman at Wesleyan University in the fall of 1970.  It was my (mild-mannered) declaration of independence from home and high school.   I think I have shaved my upper lip just three times in the past forty-something years, and each of those times the mustache reappeared quickly, usually at the insistence of my wife.

© 2003 Steven E. Cutts

a Studio C recording, October 2006



When I was seventeen, I dreamed of growing hair

Upon my upper lip; I’d get a mustache going there.

The other guys would envy me with jealousy, and I’d get all the girls!


Finally on my own, no rule to tell me “No,”

I put my razor down – I just let it grow:

My emblem of virility’s ability, like Sampson and his curls.


“What a great mustache!” I was hoping folks would say;

My girlfriend called it “fuzzy” and “absurd.”

But that first mustache lived to see another day;

I ditched the girl and vowed to grow an even better great mustache!


I did not disappear; it kind of grew on me. 

Not just that boyhood dream – not just some novelty.

A fashion statement in it hairy self and a herald of the times.


For a while I waxed the ends – handle bars all sticking out. 

Sometimes a Fu Manchu – little hairs all turning south.

Then other times a goatee would emerge as a mustache redefined.


My great mustache -- it kept hanging round,

growing fuller bit by bit.

My great mustache -- instead of going underground,

It persevered and gradually matured into a great mustache.


The few times that I’ve dated to go without my masquerade,

I’ve shaved it off and checked it out and always been dismayed.


I admit the color’s changed as time has rolled along. 

For a while I tried to say that it was going blonde,

But there are truths so obvious and transparent hair color can’t disguise!


Oh, my gray mustache --  it has been a life-long friend, my silver fur accessory.

I think my gray mustache will probably be here ‘til the end;

Not exactly womb to tomb, but still it’s been a great mustache.