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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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What is 'Frank Hayes disease'?

When a performer forgets lyrics or guitar chords, filkers will sometimes call out, "Frank Hayes disease, give generously!" Those of you not familiar with Frank Hayes might be curious about this strange affliction.

Frank Hayes is indeed a real person. Here's his Wikipedia entry.

From a Duckon bio years ago: "By 1983 or so, my ability to forget had reached legendary status," Frank writes. "Some filkers claimed they got temporary amnesia just from sitting in the same room as me. On one amazing (but true) occasion, Heather Alexander borrowed a guitar, not knowing it was mine--and promptly forgot a song she had known for years."

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