It's a cute - if predictable - story, in which the narrator starts by quoting the virus-like jingle, explores the horrors experienced by those infected with it, and concludes with the following lines: "Why did I write this article? It was for a worthy, even a noble, purpose. It was to warn you, reader, if you should came across those merciless rhymes, to avoid them--avoid them as you would a pestilence." (Ha ha ha.)
I didn't see anything at all about the M.T. story on the Punch Brothers' website -- even after running a google search on the site for words such as "twain", "clemens" and "passenjare"[fn2] -- but in this instance, wikipedia gives me the answer I like, so I will of course assume that wikipedia is correct.
But the Punch Brothers' music is reasonably infectious in its own right, and their concert in Prospect Park was a good excuse for a farewell picnic for Lauren, who is also leaving New York.
What's up with all these departures, anyway? Is it a sign?
fn1: I recall becoming aware of the M.T. story and a modern version of it simultaneously, in early elementary school (the mental image is of our kitchen in Ohio). In the modern story, there is a catchy rhyme about donuts which similarly hijacks the narrator's brain. It's something like "There's not no nuts in you-know-whats. Because a wholly whole hole with a hole bitten in it is a wholly whole hole, and it just plain isn't!" But I haven't been able to find this online in a google search, so I don't know the author or title of this piece.
fn2: For example, the google search passenjare site:www.punchbrothers.com returns ZERO hits (same result if you substitute in "twain" or "clemens"), whereas the search bluegrass site:www.punchbrothers.com returns 189 hits.