Monday, July 25, 2016

Cocaine Lil and Morphine Sue

AG: Then there the great ballad of Cocaine Lil (sic)  (we're coming up into modern times!) - Yeah, anybody know this one? - "Cocaine Lil and Morphine Sue"?

Student: I've heard about four or five different versions.

AG: You know the tune on it?

Student: I've heard one that's Cocaine Lil and Morphine Sue, and..

AG: Uh-huh. The one I have here. I can read this one. I don't know the tune, actually (but I heard it years ago)

"Did you ever hear about Cocaine Lil?/She lived in Cocaine town on a Cocaine hill,/She had a cocaine dog and a cocaine cat,/They fought all night with a cocaine rat./ She had cocaine hair on her cocaine head/Shw had a cocaine dress that was poppy red;/She wore a snowbird hat and sleigh-riding clothes,/On her coat she wore a crimson, cocaine rose./Big gold chariots on the Milky Way,/Snakes and elephants silver and gray/Oh the cocaine blues they make me sad/Oh the cocaine blues make me feel bad./Lil wentto a snow party one cold night,/And the way she sniffed was sure a fright/There was Hophead Mag with Dopey Slim/Kankakee Liz and Yen Shee Jim.." -  ("Yen Shee" is, like, the boiled… from Burroughs, the boiled-down ash of opium) - "There was Morphine Sue and the Poppy Face Kid/Climbed up snow ladders and down they skid;/There was Stepladder Kit, a good six feet,/And the Sleigh-riding Sister who were hard to brat./ Along in the morning about half past three/They were all lit up like a Christmas tree;/Lil got home and started for bed,/Took another sniff and it knocked her dead./ They laid her out in her cocaine clothes/She wore a snowbird hat with a crimson rose;/On her headstone you'll find this refrain/She died as she lived, sniffing cocaine."  

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately sixty-three-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-five-and-a-half minutes in]

1 comment:

  1. For a more avant garde approach, listen to Nancy van der Vate's musical setting: