Joe Flood Translates and Sings Georges Brassens

by Joe Flood

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1.
2.
3.
04:11
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
03:30
10.

credits

released March 8, 2014

1. The Bad Reputation (La mauvaise réputation)
2. The Thunderstorm (L’orage)
3. The Gorilla (Le gorille)
4. Song for a Kind Stranger (Chanson pour l’Auvergnat)
5. Chasing Butterflies (La chasse aux papillons)
6. I’m a Child Again (Je me suis fait tout petit)
7. The Gravedigger (Le fossoyeur)
8. Age Has No Bearing (Le temps ne fait rien à l’affaire)
9. Jenny (Jeanne)
10. Friendship Evermore (Les copains d’abord)
Recordings produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel with
Joe Flood (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo);
Garth Hudson (accordion, piano, melodica); Eric Ambel
(electric guitar); Mark Dann (double bass on tracks 1, 3,
4, 6, and 8); Skip Ward (double bass on tracks 2, 5, 7, 9,
and 10); Thierry Arpino (drums on tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8);
and Phil Cimino (drums on tracks 2, 5, 7, 9, and 10).

All songs © Warner-Chappell Music.
All English lyrics © Joe Flood, 2011.
Cover art: Liz Grace.

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about

Joe Flood New Haven, Connecticut

Joe Flood is a songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist who has performed, written, and recorded with many of the great names in American roots music, among them The Band, Blues Traveler, Dr. John, Bottle Rockets, Laura Cantrell, Eric Andersen, Happy and Artie Traum, Jim Weider, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Jono Manson, and the list goes on! Please visit www.joeflood.net for more information. ... more

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Track Name: The Bad Reputation
In this small town it's safe to say
My reputation's here to stay
If I do or don't it's all the same
No harm is done to my bad name
I don't do a thing to get people riled
'Cept go along my way like a carefree child
But those good fine folks who never stray
Hate to see you go your own way
And everybody curses me
Except the mutes
Obviously

Fourth of July, Memorial Day
At home in bed is where I stay
That music in step, hup, two, three
Has got nothing to do with me
I don't do a thing to hurt one or all
Choosing not to answer the bugle's call
But those good fine folks who never stray
Hate to see you go your own way
And everybody points at me
'Cept th' amputees
Obviously

I cross paths with some apple thief
Chased by some clown giving him grief
I stick my foot out just enough
That clown falls down and hushes up
I don't do a thing to hurt anyone
Letting some poor thief and his apples run
But those good fine folks who never stray
Hate to see you go your own way
And everybody jumps on me
Except the lame
Obviously

No need to look for prophecies
I know the fate that's promised me
Find them a rope to suit their taste
They'll string me up no time to waste
I don't pose a threat to your house and home
Just because my road doesn't lead to Rome
But those good fine folks who never stray
Hate to see you go your own way
They'll all come see me hanged for good
Except the blind
That's understood!
Track Name: The Thunderstorm
You can keep your blue skies and your fine sunny days
Sunny skies make me sick and fill my eyes with rage
My temper rises with the pale blue sky
For my life's greatest love, greatest joy, greatest pain,
I owe to Jupiter, god of thunder and of rain
She came to me with lightning from on high

In November the storm came upon us and burst
Thunder pounded the roof while thunder roared its curse
And eerie lightning danced there in the din
Aroused from her sleep, she put bare feet to floor
And not pausing to dress came rapping at my door
A neighbor begging me to take her in

Won't you please open up, I'm alone and afraid
My poor husband's gone out to ply his thankless trade
You'd think he'd know to come in from the wet
But he won't stay at home in our bed nice and warm
He's a company man in business with the storm
When you sell lightning rods that's what you get

Thanking Franklin's invention I opened my arms
And I snuggled her close to keep her safe from harm
And what was left to do love did for me
You can sow bits of ir'n round the whole countryside
But you'd better plant one above your frightened bride
Or fate will show you how cruel it can be

Now when Jupiter'd left to make noise somewhere else
And my new love, alas, had come back to herself
All unafraid now she was safe and warm
She went back home again to dry off her old man
After we'd made a date, a promise, and a plan
To rendez-vous at the next thunderstorm

And from that day to this I've not lowered my eyes
Giving over my days to gazing at the skies
And ogling every cloud I chance to see
Eyeing stratus and nimbus without any shame
And to each cumulus I wink and speak her name
But still she hasn't come back here to me

For her husband it seems made his fortune that night
While old Jupiter raged and I held her so tight
Those lightning rods made him a millionaire
And he carried her off toward those ever clear skies
Some poor country of fools where dark clouds never rise
And lightning never flashes in the air

Please see that my poor plea finds its way to her door
Thunder beating its drum to bring the rain once more
Remind her of that night and how we were
When a stray lightning bolt struck this poor heart of mine
And with intent to kill engraved it with this sign
A little flower that looks just like her
Track Name: The Gorilla
A big strong gorilla stood upstage
While the crowd of ladies downtown
Gazed through the bars of his small cage
Without pausing to look around
With no shame they all nudged each other
And craned their necks for a better view
Of a feature my dear old mother
Would forbid me to name for you
There's a gorilla!

All at once the door of the prison
That the animal had called home
Swung wide for no obvious reason
And the young beast was free to roam
Teh ape quit his posing and preening
And he cried out, "Today's the day!"
I bet you all can guess his meaning
Before I even have to say
There's a gorilla!

The zookeeper wailed, "What a bungle!"
And his consternation was great
For his mighty prince of the jungle
Had never known even one mate
When those of the female persuasion
Discovered the monkey was hot
They postponed their investigations
And just all took off like a shot
There's a gorilla!

While moments before these same females
Had ogled him boldly enough
The ape forced tehir hand and they turned tail
Their big talk had just been all bluff
Their missed chance seems even sillier
Since the gorilla I've heard say
Is better at getting familiar
Than a man is any old day
There's a gorilla!

Everyone went running for cover
Out of range of the prowling ape
Except a decrepit grandmother
And a young judge who stood and gaped
While everyone else sought protection
In his rolling, shambling gait
The ape sped off in the direction of grandma
And the magistrate
There's a gorilla!

"Oh, well," sighed the centenarian,
"The idea that it would want me
Strikes me as extraordinary an'
The kind of luck I never see."
The judge in his robe saw him coming
But he through, though not too hard or long,
"He'd never take me for a woman,"
But what followed would prove him wrong
There's a gorilla!

Now suppose one of you just might be
Like the monkey forced to choose
Between a judge or an old lady,
Which one would you take of the two?
Left with no other tale to tell you,
You cna believe me, girsl and boys,
It's no trouble for me to sell you
On the old gal as my first choice
There's a gorilla!

It may be true that as a lover
The gorilla puts us to shame
But it's some comfort to discover
That on brains he can lay no claim
The old lady smiled and showed no fear
But he foolishly let her be
And grabbing that fool judge by both ears
He dragged him off behind a tree
There's a gorilla!

The rest I leave to your assumptions
For sadly not even the half
Would be fit for public consumption
But it could give us all a laugh
For the judge all dignity scorning
Shouted "Mommy!" and cried like heck
Like the man who that very morning
He'd blithely had hanged by the neck
There's a gorilla!
Track Name: Song for a Kind Stranger
It's sung for you this weary song
My backwoods friend who right or wrong
Gave me for free the wood you sold
When my life left me in the cold
You who built me a ifre when
All those good solid citizens
And all of that well-intentioned crowd
Were happy to see me put out
It wasn't much, four sticks of wood
But from these bones it stole the chill
And in my soul it's burning still
As bright as the home fires should
You, my fine friend, when you should die
And the pallbearers bear you by
May they lead you beyond the sun
To th' eternal one

It's sung for you this weary song
Poor housekeeper who right or wrong
Gave four bits of bread to eat
When my life left me in the street
You who fed me from your board when
All those good solid citizens
And all of that well-intentioned crowd
Just laughed at my being locked out
I know you just spared what you could
But from these bones it stole the chill
And in my osul it's burning still
As wild as a bonfire would
You, dear lady, when you should die
And the pallbearers bear you by
May they lead you beyond the sun
To th' eternal one

It's sung for you this weary song
You, the stranger, who right or wrong
Gave me a sad smile on that day
The cops came and hauled me away
You who didn't cheer them on when
All those good solid citizens
And all of that well-intentioned crowd
Were glad to see me knocked about
It wasn't much from where they stood
But from these bones it stole the chill
And in my soul it's burning still
As warm as a summer sun would
You, kin dstranger, when you should die
And the pallbearers bear you by
May they lead you beyond the sun
To th' eternal one
Track Name: Chasing Butterflies
A spring in his step, not a whistle wetter,
The devil in his grin, a glint in his eye:
He might be a boy, but there's no man better
Ever went off chasing butterflies
Near the edge of town, he looked up and met her
Cinderella still in her maid disguise
He smiled big and said if she liked he'd let her
Go with him to chase some butterflies
Cinderella beamed, shook free of her tether
Found her newest dress and boots just her size
And then arm in arm like birds of a feather
They set off to chase some butterflies
Little did they know out among the heather
Cupid lay in wait for the perfect prize
Not just one young heart, two young hearts together,
Two young hearts out chasing butterflies

Sitting side by side, he began to pet her
She said, "Once for all, let me set you wise:
It's not in my skirt, it's not in my sweater,
That you should go chasing butterflies."
Her two lips on fire swore that they knew better
How his two met hers you may well surmise
As to who was got and who was the getter
Let's leave that up to those butterflies
Knowing that the day could not last forever
Hearts about to burst they said their good-byes
Swearing if they lived forever they'd never
Miss a chance to chase some butterflies
So long as they love, so long as the weather
Keeps the clouds away and tears from their eyes
They may wander far and wide in the heather
But they won't be chasing butterflies
No more chasing butterflies
Track Name: I'm a Child Again
I had never once taken off my cap
For anybody
Now I'm hat in hand kneeling at her lap
Each time she calls me
I was a lone wolf; she called me indoors
Where I still linger,
At her tiny feet begging one treat more
From her sweet fingers

I'm a child again before this little doll
Whose eyes close when you lie by her side
I'm a child again before this little doll
Who cries for mama when you hold her tight

I was cold as ice but she melted me
Before I knew it
Her lips fed the fire I fell willingly
Burning into it
Teeth flash pearly white every time she smiles
Or she sings to you
But she's a she-wolf when you get her riled
Best watch what you do

I'm a child again before this little doll
Whose eyes close when you lie by her side
I'm a child again before this little doll
Who cries for mama when you hold her tight

I can still recall running wild and free
Those days are over
She's the jealous queen of all that I see
And takes what's owed her
One poor pretty girl I looked at one day
With too much feeling
That one pretty girl who dared look my way
She sent home reeling

I'm a child again before this little doll
Whose eyes close when you lie by her side
I'm a child again before this little doll
Who cries for mama when you hold her tight

All the innocents and the wise men say
That lost in her charms
When with my last breath my last prayer I pray
I'll be in her arms
Your love may be foul, your love may be fair
But once love's met you
If it gets you here or it gets you there
Love's going to get you

I'm a child again before this little doll
Whose eyes close when you lie by her side
I'm a child again before this little doll
Who cries for mama when you hold her tight
Track Name: The Gravedigger
Lord knows I'm not one who'd ever pray
That another's soul be borne away
But if death stopped coming 'round
I would starve here ont his mound
A poor gravedigger am I

There are those who think that I take pride
In a living made off those who've died
But look closely and you'll see
I don't do it willingly
A poor gravedigger am I

Any time I set my feelings free
That's the time my friends make fun of me
They all poke me in the side
Say, "You look like someone died!"
A poor gravedigger am I

"Death's just part of life," I hear them say,
But I don't know why it is that way
There are those, but i'm not one,
Who can take death as it comes
A poor gravedigger am I

Dear departed one who I'll never know
Should you meet the Lord six feet below
Let him know how much it hurt
This last shovelful of dirt
A poor gravedigger am I
Your poor gravedigger am I
Track Name: Age Has No Bearing
As soon as they snap back from that frist slap on the ass
These young knuckleheads think they're miles a heado ftheir dads
And as soon as they're all losing their hair or going gray
Old men start to shout for these punks to get out of their way
Well, I'd like ot wiegh in on the question
From my middle age to those just mentioned

Age has no bearing on the matter
When you're an ass, you're an ass
At twenty-one or as a grandpa
When you're an ass, you're an ass
I'd ask you please cast no aspersions
Going up or over the hill
Young dumb-ass as fresh as a daisy
Old ass who's been through the mill
Young dumb-ass as fresh as a daisy
Old ass who's been through the mill

All you innocent young aspiring assholes to be
Take your old men for the asses you'll never be
You old asinine jackasses as blind as you're sure
That these young asses for the asses you never were
I ask you, ponder this suggestion
Just one middle-aged view of the question

Age has no bearing on the matter
When you're an ass, you're an ass
At twenty-one or as a grandpa
When you're an ass, you're an ass
I'd ask you please cast no aspersions
Going up or over the hill
Young dumb-ass as fresh as a daisy
Old ass who's been through the mill
Young dumb-ass as fresh as a daisy
Old ass who's been through the mill
Track Name: Jenny
Oh, Jenny, yes, Jenny
There’s a room at her inn if you’ve no hearth or home
The last place of its kind you will find as you roam
Until you reach the good Lord’s inn at last
And enter there without a knock
Through a door with no lock
Knowing trouble’s past

That’s Jenny’s, yes, Jenny’s
You’re nobody at all come from no matter where
And miraculously you can pull up a chair
To find you’re just one of the family
And if you push in just a bit
In her heart you can fit
Snug as you can be

And Jenny, that Jenny
She is poor and her table’s not so well supplied
But the little that’s there will keep you satisfied
Just by her giving it so willingly
Her water is turned into wine
Bread becomes cake as fine
As cake ought to be

And Jenny, poor Jenny
You pay her what you can the price always is right
A quick kiss on her brow or on her hair so white
Play something like a guitar chord or two
And for a tip just lead her to
Some poor dog or cat who
Is as lost as you

And Jenny, poor Jenny
Never found in her garden a baby to hold
And to love and defend when the four winds blow cold
And nurse with her own milk at her own breast
How sad and empty she could be
With no child on her knee
Just like all the rest

But Jenny, yes Jenny
Doesn’t cry anymore over what might have been
Why should she care to be just one more mother hen
When she is mother to the universe
And ev’ry child who’s born to cry
In the earth, sea, or sky
Is already hers
Track Name: Friendship Evermore
She was no tall ship brave and stout
The kind old sailors wax about
From Amsterdam to Singapore,
Out to Singapore.
She sailed upon the bounding main
Of that big duck pond down the lane;
They called her “Friendship Evermore”,
Friendship Evermore.

Their motto wasn’t poetry,
No, they weren’t tempting destiny.
They were just friends down to the core,
Right down to the core.
Her captain and all of her crew
Were no sons of the well-to-do,
But they were buddies aft and fore,
Friendship evermore.

They weren’t half-brother demigods,
No yacht club peas all in a pod,
No budding prep school commodores,
No young commodores.
But any time worse came to worst,
They always put their buddies first
And rode the wave fate held in store,
Friendship evermore.

Now they weren’t angels, that is true,
They hadn’t read the gospels through,
Not even one among the four,
Not one of the four.
John, Peter, Paul, and company
Had just one creed, one litany,
But it rang true from shore to shore:
Friendship evermore.

Friendship stood watch and walked the bar,
Shone bright and high like their north star,
Though woe strike like a man-o-war,
Like a man-o-war.
If they were ever in distress,
Their arms all waving S.O.S.,
You’d see spelled out in semaphores,
“Friendship evermore”.
If any hand should ever fail
To be on deck at time to sail,
You’d think that albatross of lore
Had croaked, “Nevermore”.
And if it turned out to be true
That death had claimed of one her crew,
With every tide that washed the shore
He’d be missed the more.

Of all the boats I ever knew
Just one sailed where the four winds blew,
Full sail into what lay before,
What might lie before.
She sailed upon the bounding main
Of that big duck pond down the lane;
They called her “Friendship Evermore”,
Friendship evermore.