Works in Progress: #5

I missed a rehearsal the other evening, for a perfectly legitimate reason mind you, and I’m still sad about it. Legitimately sad. I suppose that’s a good thing — it’s an indicator of how vested one is in a given endeavour. How can I not be vested when the subject matter of the songs is so, well, titillating? This is from “Belly of the Whale.” I’ve had the tuba line in my head since about 1998. Can you hear it? Put your head closer. The horn lines came to me during our last trip to New Orleans — just a few months before Katrina bitch-slapped the city. That prompted me to write the lyrics about my first trip there in 1985. I spent a lot of time on our hotel veranda with my grandfather. Watching. Learning. Eating cheese.

They’re building temples out of Wheat Thins and aerosol cheese.

Peeping through the wrought iron at Bourbon Street sleaze.

The boy says, “Those little dudes can dance.” (And the old man agrees.)

“Those ladies aren’t wearing any pants.” (And the old man agrees.)

“That zombie’s in a trance.” (And the old man sees

that the little boy knows just what he’s going to be.)


The next morning smells like vomit and chicory.

He swore to God it smelled like victory.


Hoist the halyards!

Trim the sails!

Set a course for…

The belly of the whale


Trip-a-lippin’ and dippin’ on down the wayward avenue.

Part Quixotic, part catatonic  voodoo parvenu.

He knows the hookers,

He knows the cops,

He knows the man on the sax-a-ma-phone.

He wears a bowler and a robe to brunch

And sprays Chanel on his panettone.

He speaks to ghosts, but on the condition that they only speak French.

He’s got a bulldog with one blind eye named Beaureguard Ubermensch.

And they sashay down Carondelet,

Sashay down Carondelet,

They sashay down Carondelet.


Well. There we go. Hope your September brings you at least one apple pie. We will have some news, hopefully soon, about upcoming show(s) and Jonathon’s whole tongue-bleaching incident. We’re just happy that we can finally all laugh about it now, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that we were all very scared.



All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2012 Jeff Nelson.