Hush Little Baby, April 14, 2012

The Town Hall

New York, NY

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Papa and His Baby See Manhattan (Hush Little Baby)

Listen (MP3)

Hush little baby, don't say a word
Papa's gonna take you to West 43rd
The street where Benchley and Harold Ross
And Dorothy Parker liked to hit the sauce
If literary history is not an inspiration,
Papa's gonna take you to Grand Central Station
Two blocks away, not too far,
And trot downstairs to the Oyster Bar
And if the Bar is fresh out of oysters
We'll take the subway up to the Cloisters,
And if it doesn't amaze like it oughta,
I'll take you to see La Traviata
And if the Violetta does not sing prettily,
Papa's gonna take you to Little Italy
And if the food has too many cooks
Papa's gonna take you to Strand Used Books,
And if the used books are too dry
I'll take you to the 92nd Street Y
And if the poetry reading's a bore
And the metaphors you've heard before
And the poets' muse is a much too solemn muse
Papa's gonna take you to St. Bartholomew's
But if the Gothic has no charms
Papa's gonna take you to Broadway Farms
And if their broccoli, you just can't broccol it
Papa's gonna take you to Godiva Chocolate
And if you're not in the mood for confection
How about we check out the Frick collection
And if the art is too serene
We'll stop in at Picholine
And if the poached perch pate pales
Papa will take you to Bloomingdale's,
And if Bloomingdale's doesn't quite bloom
We'll head west and visit Grant's Tomb,
And if his tomb makes you blue
We'll stop and see the Central Park Zoo
And if those polar bears are in a coma
We'll go to an exhibition at MOMA
And if you're not fond of Jackson Pollock
(Too loud, too brash, too alcoholic),
We'll head west and see what we find.
Ninth Avenue in the 50s is lined
With joints where one can be wined and dined
And there Papa's credit card will be declined.

Yes, little baby, Papa's in hock,
Papa's plastic will not talk.
Papa is flat out broke, baby. Yes,
His American Express is expressionless.
He's been deVisaed and unMastered,
All because of you, you beautiful child.
But do not fret, baby, come with me
And ride the Staten Island Ferry for free.
In all the world, an amazement to see
Manhattan lit like a Christmas tree,
A dazzling blazing twinkling sight
That appealed to Fitzgerald, E.B. White,
O. Henry, Walt Whitman, Edna Millay
And many writers of today.
Then we'll pack our bags and head for home
Out on the range where the buffalo roam,
Back to the farm, to pay our debts,
And live on Cheese Whiz and Creamettes.
And eventually when the money's made,
And the pigs are sold and the bills are paid,
We'll put down the shovel and the pitchfork,
And get dressed up and come back to New York.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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