Friday, April 27, 2007

i've been fond of this song since about 1967 ... one of the great crowd scenes

They're selling postcards of the hanging,
They're painting the passports brown,
The beauty parlour is filled with sailors,
The circus is in town.
Here comes the blind commissioner,
They've got him in a trance,
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker,
The other is in his pants.
And the riot squad they're restless,
They need somewhere to go,
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row.

Cinderella, she seems so easy
"It takes one to know one," she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets, Bette Davis style.
And in comes Romeo, he's moaning
"You Belong to Me I Believe"
And someone says,
" You're in the wrong place, my friend
You better leave".
And the only sound that's left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row.

Now the moon is almost hidden,
The stars are beginning to hide,
The fortune telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside.
All except for Cain and Abel,
And the hunchback of Notre Dame,
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain.
And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing,
He's getting ready for the show,
He's going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row.

Now Ophelia, she's 'neath the window,
For her I feel so afraid,
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid.
To her, death is quite romantic,
She wears an iron vest,
Her profession's her religion,
Her sin is her lifelessness.
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah's great rainbow,
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row.

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood,
With his memories in a trunk,
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk.
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette,
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet.
Now you would not think to look at him
That he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world
Inside of a leather cup,
But all his sexless patients
They're trying to blow it up.
Now his nurse, some local loser
She's in charge of the cyanide hole,
And she also keeps the cards that read
"Have Mercy on His Soul".
They all play on penny whistles,
You can hear them blow,
If you lean your head out far enough
From Desolation Row.

Across the street they've nailed the curtains,
They're getting ready for the feast.
The Phantom of the Opera
A perfect image of a priest.
They're spoon-feeding Casanova
To get him to feel more assured,
Then they'll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words.
And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls
"Get Outa Here If You Don't Know
Casanova Is Just Being Punished For Going
To Desolation Row"

Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do.
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row.

Praise be to Nero's Neptune,
The Titanic sails at dawn,
And everybody's shouting
"Which Side Are You On?"
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain's tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow,
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday,
(About the time the door knob broke)
When you asked how I was doing ,
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention,
Yes, I know them, they're quite lame,
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name.
Right now I can't read too good,
Don't send me no more letters no,
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row.

an early bird ( i didn't like the way he was looking at me )