I went to a party Mom...
June 18, 2010 10:12 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know the origin of the "I went to a party, Mom" anti-drunk-driving poem or, failing that, the earliest it appeared?

You've may have seen the poem about a girl who chooses not to drink and drive but gets killed by a drunk driver anyway handed out in school or emailed to you at one time. Anyone know who wrote it or how far back it was seen? Earliest I've seen it was when it was handed out to us in elementary school in DARE around '97.
posted by daninnj to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to the Park City (Kentucky) Daily News of Mar. 12, 1995, it was written by local sixth-grader Sarah Higgs.
posted by Knappster at 10:22 PM on June 18, 2010

If it helps, I've seen it a bit earlier, around '95/'96. Not sure exactly where it was from, but I remember being told it was a poetry contest winner.
posted by Verdandi at 10:24 PM on June 18, 2010

When read into the Congressional record in 2001, it was attributed to Elisabeth Cercek of Ocala, Florida.
posted by Knappster at 10:25 PM on June 18, 2010

I have a copy of it inside my 1994 high school yearbook which was passed out to us before graduation (a true poetic masterpiece). If I had to guess, I'd probably date it to mid-1980s, which I think was the heyday of MADD-style activism.
posted by alicetiara at 10:31 PM on June 18, 2010

this page is kinda old and a lot of the links might not work but
it looks like a lot of people claimed to have written this poem

posted by Bwithh at 10:44 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's a statement on the MADD website distancing themselves from the poem/email petition; sadly Snopes lists it but doesn't give information on it. This site has some fun claims to authorship, but they all seem pretty bogus to me!
posted by mynameisluka at 10:49 PM on June 18, 2010

A version of this poem was copyrighted by a Jane Watkins - an old hippie/poet/artist in Santa Monica, California, when it was published in the 1997 book "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul".

The poem's title there is "Somebody Should Have Taught Him" and it is listed and described as being "As Retold by Jane Watkins". However, the book also lists a copyright claim by her.

I doubt that she is the original author with a rightful copyright claim, but that's at least an official, published claim of ownershp on the poem
posted by Bwithh at 11:07 PM on June 18, 2010

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