Friday, May 8, 2015

parked across from a building advertisng brotherhood

-------------------------- [excerpt, Arthur Schlesinger Journals] --------------


June 9

...At 7:30 in the morning Bill vanden Heuvel called to say that Bobby had died three hours before.

It is all too much....It was all too familiar.  The night was warm rather than cold; but the same sadness penetrated everything. ...

I loved Bobby....I love my country too and I cannot bear to think what this latest horror shows about the direction in which the nation is moving. 

I know Humphrey, McCarthy, Rockefeller and [John] Lindsay, and I know enough about Nixon, Reagan and Wallace:  none of these men is in a class with RFK so far as intelligence, judgment and understanding are concerned.  But beyond this is the sense one has of the progressive decomposition of the system. 

We have now murdered the three men who more than any other incarnated the idealism of America in our time.  Something about our social ethos has conferred a kind of legitimacy on hate and violence.  One shudders at future possibilities. 

There is the fact too that, for the poor [translate, non-rich/working] and the non-white, RFK represented their only stake in the political process.  Walter Reuther said glumly to me as we were waiting to get on the funeral train at Pennsylvania Station, "I'm afraid they will all opt out now...."

July 17

...Stephen and I lunched with Henry Kissinger at the Century today.

Henry told the following story of his first meeting with Johnson

(in connection with the Hanoi negotiations).  Henry said that we should not bomb Hanoi while he was passing messages back and forth to the North Vietnamese. 

Other people opposed this in front of the President, arguing that it would endanger American security. 

Henry finally said, "I cannot believe that the security of the United States will be endangered if for a little while we do not bomb within ten miles of the capital of a fifth-rate agricultural power."

Johnson glowered at him and said, "OK, we will do it the professor's way.  But (glaring at Kissinger) if it doesn't work, I will personally cut your balls off."

----------------------- [end Schlesinger excerpt] -------------


I was riding on the Mayflower
When I thought I spied some land
I yelled for Captain Arab
I have you understand
Who came running to the deck
Said, "Boys, forget the whale
Look on over yonder
Cut the engines
Change the sail
Haul on the bowline"
We sang that melody
Like all tough sailors do
When they're far away at sea

"I think I'll call it America"
I said as we hit land
I took a deep breath
I fell down, I could not stand
Captain Arab, he started
Writing up some deeds
He said, "Let's set up a fort
And start buying the place with beads"
Just then this cop comes down the street
Crazy as a loon
He throw us all in jail
For carryin' harpoons

Ah me I busted out
Don't even ask me how
I went to get some help
I walked by a Guernsey cow
Who directed me down
To the Bowery slums
Where people carried signs around
Saying "Ban the bums"
I jumped right into line
Sayin' "I hope that I'm not late"
When I realized I hadn't eaten
For five days straight

I went into a restaurant
Lookin' for the cook
I told them I was the editor
Of a famous etiquette book
The waitress he was handsome
He wore a powder blue cape
I ordered some suzette, I said
"Could you please make that crepe"
Just then the whole kitchen
Exploded from boilin' fat
Food was flyin' everywhere,
I left without my hat

Now I didn't mean to be nosy
But I went into a bank
To get some bail for Arab
And all the boys back in the tank
They asked me for some collateral
And I pulled down my pants
They threw me in the alley
When up comes this girl from France
Who invited me to her house
I went, but she had a friend
Who knocked me out
And robbed my boots
And I was on the street again

Well, I rapped upon a house
With the U.S. flag upon display
I said "Could you help me out
I got some friends down the way"
The man says "Get out of here
I'll tear you limb from limb"
I said "You know they refused Jesus, too"
He said, "You're not Him
Get out of here before I break your bones
I ain't your pop"
I decided to have him arrested
And I went looking for a cop

I ran right outside
And I hopped inside a cab
I went out the other door
This Englishman said "Fab"
As he saw me leap a hot dog stand
And a chariot that stood
Parked across from a building
Advertising brotherhood
I ran right through the front door
Like a hobo sailor does
But it was just a funeral parlor
And the man asked me who I was

I repeated that my friends
Were all in jail, with a sigh
He gave me his card
He said "Call me if they die"
I shook his hand and said goodbye
Ran out to the street
When a bowling ball came down the road
And knocked me off my feet
A pay phone was ringing
It just about blew my mind
When I picked it up and said hello
This foot came through the line

Well by this time I was fed up
At tryin' to make a stab
At bringin' back any help
For my friends and Captain Arab
I decided to flip a coin
Like either heads or tails
Would let me know if I should go
Back to ship or back to jail
So I hocked my sailor suit
And I got a coin to flip
It came up tails
It rhymed with sails
So I made it back to the ship

Well, I got back and took
The parkin' ticket off the mast
I was ripping it to shreds
When this Coast Guard boat went past
They asked me my name
And I said, "Captain Kidd"
They believed me but
They wanted to know
What exactly that I did
I said for the Pope of Eruke
I was employed
They let me go right away
They were very paranoid

Well, the last I heard of Arab
He was stuck on a whale
That was married to the deputy
Sheriff of the jail
But the funniest thing was
When I was leavin' the bay
I saw three ships a-sailin'
They were heading my way
I asked the captain what his name was
And how come he didn't drive a truck
He said his name was Columbus
I just said "Good luck"


{Journals1952 - 2000.  Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.  The Penguin Press, New York, 2007.}

{"Bob Dylan's 115th Dream"
album:  Bringing It All Back Home
label:  Columbia
genre:  folk rock, blues rock, talking blues}


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