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Inspirational Thoughts for Today.

Here's just what you need...a tragic ode to love by Edith Piaf, and then two poems by Bonnie Parker (1910-1934), about her American adventure with Clyde Barrow, making the bankers nervous, the Law furious, and some victims of the Great Depression delirious. Or perhaps you're ready to jump to the soppy prose of Hollywood vamp Reatha Watson (1896-1926), better known as the actress Barbara La Marr. Watson's poems reside under the copyright © of Don Gallery, Watson's adopted son. Finally, early Seventies words of wisdom from David Bowie and Kim Milford, also courtesy of their copyrights.

Padam, Padam

Edith Piaf

Cet air qui m'obsède jour et nuit
Cet air n'est pas né d'aujourd'hui
Il vient d'aussi loin que je viens
Traîné par cent mille musiciens
Un jour cet air me rendra folle
Cent fois j'ai voulu dire "pourquoi?"
Mais il m'a coupé la parole
Il parle toujours avant moi
Et sa voix couvre ma voix...

Padam, padam, padam,
Il arrive en courant derrière moi
Padam, padam, padam,
Il me fait le coup du souviens-toi
Padam, padam, padam,
C'est un air qui me montre du doigt
Et je traîne après moi comme un drôle d'erreur
Cet air qui sait tout par coeur
Il dit: "Rappelle-toi tes amours
Rappelle-toi puisque c'est ton tour
'Y a pas d'raison pour qu'tu n'pleures pas
Avec tes souvenirs sur les bras"
Et moi je revois ceux qui restent
Mes vingt ans font battre tambour
Je vois s'entrebattre des gestes
Toute la comédie des amours
Sur cet air qui va toujours...

Padam, padam, padam,
Des "je t'aime" de quatorze-juillet
Padam, padam, padam,
Des "toujours" qu'on achète au rabais
Padam, padam, padam,
Des "veux-tu" en voilà par paquets
Et tout ça pour tomber juste au coin d'la rue
Sur l'air qui m'a reconnue...

Écoutez le chahut qu'il me fait...
Comme si tout mon passé défilait...
Faut garder du chagrin pour après
J'en ai tout un solfège sur cet air qui bat
Qui bat comme un coeur de bois

This song controls me night and day
Not a song you hear written today
It comes from far away, where I'm from
Carried by a hundred thousand musicians
One day this song will drive me out of my mind
A hundred times I wanted to ask it "why?"
But it stole the question away from me
Always speaking before I can try
And with a voice always louder than mine...

Padam, padam, padam,
Following right behind me
Padam, padam, padam,
Beating me down with your memory
Padam, padam, padam,
It's a song that discovers my fears
And I carry it around like a strange error
This song knows all that I hold dear
It says: "Remember your lovers
Remember when it's your turn to suffer
There's no reason for you not to cry
With all the memories you carry on by"
And again I see those left behind
Across twenty years like the beat of a drummer
I watch as their images collide
Just like the comedy of lovers
From this song that goes on forever...

Padam, padam, padam,
An "I love you" on the Fourteenth of July
Padam, padam, padam,
An "Always" is so cheap to buy
Padam, padam, padam,
An "I want you" like a present to hide
And all only to end up standing on the street
With the song that always unmasks me...

Listen to that crazy dance it insists I try...
As if my entire past marched on by...
Hold onto some sorrow for later
I share a bar in this song that beats
That beats like a wooden heart

The Story of Suicide Sal (1932)

Bonnie Parker

We each of us have a good alibi
For being down here in the joint;
But few of them really are justified
If you get right down to the point.
You've heard of a woman's glory
Being spent on a downright cur,
Still you can't always judge the story
As true, being told by her.
As long as I've stayed on the island,
And heard confidence tales from each gal,
Only one seemed interesting and truthful--
The story of Suicide Sal.

Now Sal was a gal of rare beauty,
Though her features were coarse and tough;
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the up and up.
Sal told me this tale on the evening
Before she was turned out free,
And I'll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me:

I was born on a ranch in Wyoming;
Not treated like Helen of Troy;
I was taught that rods were rulers
And ranked as a greasy cowboy.
Then I left my old home for the city
To play in its mad dizzy whirl,
Not knowing how little of pity
It holds for a country girl.
There I fell for the line of a henchman,
A professional killer from Chi;
I couldn't help loving him madly;
For him even now I would die.
One year we were desperately happy;
Our ill gotten gains we spent free;
I was taught the ways of the underworld;
Jack was just like a god to me.
I got on the FBA payroll
To get the inside lay of the job;
The bank was turning big money!
It looked like a cinch for the mob.
Eighty grand without even a rumble--
Jack was last with the loot in the door,
When the teller dead-aimed a revolver
From where they forced him to lie on the floor.
I knew I had only a moment--
He would surely get Jack as he ran;
So I staged a big fade out beside him
And knocked the forty-five out of his hand.
They rapped me down big at the station,
And informed me that I'd get the blame
For the dramatic stunt pulled on the teller
Looked to them too much like a game.
The police called it a frame-up,
Said it was an inside job,
But I steadily denied any knowledge
Or dealings with underworld mobs.
The gang hired a couple of lawyers,
The best fixers in any man's town,
But it takes more than lawyers and money
When Uncle Sam starts shaking you down.
I was charged as a scion of gangland
And tried for my wages of sin;
The dirty dozen found me guilty--
From five to fifty years in the pen.
I took the rap like good people,
And never one squawk did I make.
Jack dropped himself on the promise
That we make a sensational break.

Well, to shorten a sad lengthy story,
Five years have gone over my head
Without even so much as a letter--
At first I thought he was dead.
But not long ago I discovered
From a gal in the joint named Lyle,
That Jack and his moll had got over
And were living in true gangster style.
If he had returned to me sometime,
Though he hadn't a cent to give,
I'd forget all the hell that he's caused me,
And love him as long as I live.
But there's no chance of his ever coming,
For he and his moll have no fears
But that I will die in this prison,
Or flatten this fifty years.
Tomorrow I'll be on the outside
And I'll drop myself on it today:
I'll bump 'em if they give me the hot-squat
On this island out here in the bay...

The iron doors swung wide next morning
For a gruesome woman of waste,
Who at last had a chance to fix it.
Murder showed in her cynical face.
Not long ago I read in the paper
That a gal on the East Side got hot,
And when the smoke finally retreated,
Two of gangdom were found on the spot.
It related the colorful story
Of a jilted gangster gal.
Two days later, a sub-gun ended
The story of Suicide Sal.

The End of the Road (1934)

Bonnie Parker

You've read the story of Jesse James--
Of how he lived and died;
If you're still in need
Of something to read
Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang.
I'm sure you all have read
How they rob and steal
And those who squeal
Are usually found dying or dead.

There's lots of untruths to these write-ups;
They're not so ruthless as that;
Their nature is raw;
They hate the law--
The stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers;
They say they are heartless and mean;
But I say this with pride,
That I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.

But the laws fooled around,
Kept taking him down
And locking him up in a cell,
Till he said to me,
"I'll never be free,
So I'll meet a few of them in hell."

The road was so dimly lighted;
There were no highway signs to guide;
But they made up their minds
If all roads were blind,
They wouldn't give up till they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer;
Sometimes you can hardly see;
But it's fight, man to man,
And do all you can,
For they know they can never be free.

From heart-break some people have suffered;
From weariness some people have died;
But take it all in all,
Our troubles are small
Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.

If a policeman is killed in Dallas,
And they have no clue or guide;
If they can't find a fiend,
They just wipe their slate clean
And hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.

There's two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow mob;
They had no hand
In the kidnap demand,
Nor the Kansas City Depot job.

A newsboy once said to his buddy:
"I wish old Clyde would get jumped;
In these awful hard times
We'd make a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped."

The police haven't got the report yet,
But Clyde called me up today;
He said, "Don't start any fights--
We aren't working nights--
We're joining the NRA."

From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide,
Where the women are kin,
And the men are men,
And they won't "stool" on Bonnie and Clyde.

If they try to act like citizens
And rent them a nice little flat,
About the third night
They're invited to fight
By a sub-gun's rat-tat-tat.

They don't think they're too smart or desperate,
They know that the law always wins;
They've been shot at before,
But they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.

Some day they'll go down together;
They'll bury them side by side;
To few it'll be grief--
To the law a relief--
But it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.

What would Janis think?
"I think I'll have that drink now."

The Man Who Sold the World (1971)

David Bowie

We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there, he said I was his friend
Which came as some surprise; I spoke into his eyes
"I thought you died alone, a long long time ago."

"Oh no, not me, I never lost control.
You're face to face with the man who sold the world."

I laughed and shook his hand and made my way back home
I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died a long, a long, long time ago.

"Who knows? Not me. We never lost control.
You're face to face with the man who sold the world.
Who knows? Not me. We never lost control.
You're face to face with the man who sold the world."

Justice (1972)

Kim Milford

Jimi, Janis, Judy, Jim, Jesus...
J stands for jive, and justice too
I love you so much, I don't know what to do
I know about the beating people put you through
It takes a lot of doing to do what you do.

Evil has ways to charge into battle
Rock can be fun, but watch the hook
The glassy-eyed devil, he's a crook
Just check out how many souls he already took...

"You can't fool me," she said;
I laughed and said, "I know..."
"You can't sing the blues and live," I said;
"I know," she said, "I know..."

Children are lost, we're falling to pieces
I know the way, it ain't cool
Judgment has come with an iron rule
Check out your existence or stay a fool...

"You can't fool me," she said;
I laughed and said, "I know..."
"But you can't sing the blues and live," I said;
"I know," she said, "I know..."

The Moth (early 20s)

Reatha Watson

I hate them
Because to me they seem like the souls
Of foolish women who have passed on.
Poor illusioned fluttering things
That find, now as always, irresistible
The warmth of the flame.
Taking no heed of the warning
That merely singed their wings.
They fluttered nearer and nearer
Till wholly consumed to filmy ashes
of golden dust.
I fear them.
Yet, I watch them fascinated.
They make me see the folly
That what it seems women are created for.

The Savage (early 20s)

Reatha Watson

For women's life was love,
Since life beginning
And the hypocrite alone calls sinning.
But if ever the highway of sin
I would trod straight on,
Till I returned unto dust and sod,
And then as the blood ran riot in my veins,
Two lips trembling with ecstasy and pain.
I would call out for death
Though I knew full well
I had gained a paradise through the gates of Hell.

Bombs away!

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Updated Sunday, 11 March 2012, by joel at
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