Sunday, September 11, 2005

Louisiana 1927

You've probably heard this song a few times by now--in the background of news stories, covered by Aaron Neville, I understand, for one of the benefits (hope they release an album). Not too late to post the lyrics here, I think. When he recorded it back in 1974, Randy Newman may never have guessed his hauntingly beautiful song, originally a sad look back, would also be a sobering glimpse into the future.
Lousiana 1927
Randy Newman

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through cleard down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has
To this poor crackers land."

You can also watch the Shelter from the Storm benefit concert, which opens with Newman singing the song. It's followed by an extraordinary verion of "One," in which U2 is joined by Mary J. Blige. And here's a tender acoustic version of the song recorded by Jay Johnson. I picked up the LP version of Newman's original a couple of years ago at a record shop. Records come cheap these days, so it's great having a record player.

My thoughts remain with all the people down in Louisiana.

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