Pinwheel of Death

Lesley Pryde


SONGS

Writers William Bolcom, Arnold Weinstein

Genres Classical

Recorded 2004

Lyrics HE WAS ALWAYS DRESSED IN BLACK,
LONG BLACK JACKET,
BROAD BLACK HAT,
SOMETIMES A CAPE,
AND AS THIN,
AND AS THIN
AS RUBBER TAPE:
BLACK MAX.
HE WOULD RAISE
THAT BIG BLACK HAT
TO THE BIG SHOTS OF THE TOWN
WHO WOULD RAISE
THEIR HATS RIGHT BACK,
NEVER KNEW
THEY WERE BOWING TO
BLACK MAX.

IM TALKING
ABOUT NIGHT IN ROTTERDAM
WHEN THE RIGHT NIGHT PEOPLE
OF ALL THE TOWN
WOULD FIND WHAT THEY COULD
IN THE NIGHT NEIGHBORHOOD
OF BLACK MAX.

THERE WERE WOMEN
IN THE WINDOWS
WITH BODIES FOR SALE
DRESSED IN CURLS
LIKE LITTLE GIRLS
IN LITTLE DOLL HOUSE JAILS.
WHEN THE WOMEN
WALKED THE STREET
WITH BEDS
UPON THEIR BACKS,
WHO WAS LIFTING UP
HIS BRIM TO THEM?
BLACK MAX!
AND THERE WERE
LOOKS FOR SALE,
THE ART OF THE SMILE,
ONLY CERTAIN PEOPLE
WALKED THAT MYSTERY MILE:
ARTISTS,
CHARLATANS,
VAUDEVILLIANS,
MEN OF MATHEMATICS,
ACROBATICS
AND CIVILIANS.

THERE WAS
KNITTING NEEDLE MUSIC
FROM A LADY ORGAN GRINDER
WITH ALL HER SONS
BEHIND HER,
spoken: MARCO,
VITO,
BENO
WAS HE STRONG! -
THOUGH HE WALKED
LIKE A WOMAN
AND CARLO,
WHO WAS FIVE.
HE MUST STILL BE ALIVE!
AH,
POOR MARCO HAD THE SYPH,
AND IF YOU DIDNT TAKE
THE TERRIBLE CURE
THOSE DAYS
YOU WENT CRAZY
AND DIED
AND HE DID.
AND AT THE COFFIN
BEFORE THEY CLOSED THE LID,
WHO RAISED HIS LID?
BLACK MAX.

sung: I WAS
CLIMBING ON THE TRAIN
ONE DAY GOING FAR AWAY
TO THE GOOD OLD U.S.A.
WHEN I HEARD SOME MUSIC
UNDERNEATH THE TRACKS.
STANDING THERE
BENEATH THE BRIDGE,
LONG BLACK JACKET,
BROAD BLACK HAT,
PLAYING THE HARMONICA,
ONE HAND FREE
TO LIFT THAT HAT TO ME:
BLACK MAX,
BLACK MAX,
BLACK MAX!