Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SONGS THAT TELL A STORY #8: "The Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde" by GEORGIE FAME, 1967


Albie's Note:  One of the odder American Top Ten hits of the 1960s [a decade known for wonderfully odd fare to begin with--  just sayin'] was this classic "Early American Jazz"-style number from a young English keyboardist called Georgie Fame (born Clive Powell, 26 June 1943 and still swingin' today, I'm told.) 

Written-- no doubt-- to cash in on the brief Bonnie and Clyde craze going on at the time, the song is notable not just for a really unusual, downright coolness in it's jazzy musical approach [Fame may have been part of the so-called British Invasion, but his models and heroes were obviously more along the lines of Mose Allison and Hoagy Carmichael than the more usual hoarse old bluesmen!] but also for a real historical honesty in the lyrics!  It's a song about sociopaths, after all, and ol' Georgie, to his credit, doesn't romanticize these hoodlums one bit, which makes the song even more refreshing today than when I first heard it years ago on AM oldies radio as "a mere boy and a beardless youth."

In any case, here it is: a #1 hit in England, #7 in the USA...

Check it out!

The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde
Were pretty lookin' people
But I can tell you people,
They were the devil's children!
Bonnie and Clyde
Began their evil doins'
One lazy afternoon
Down Savannah way
They robbed a store
And hightailed out of that town
Got clean away in a stolen car
And waited till the heat died down.

Bonnie and Clyde,
Advanced their reputation
And made their graduation
Into the banking business
"Reach for the sky!"
Sweet-talkin' Clyde would holler
As Bonnie loaded dollars
In the "Dewlap Bag."
Now one brave man,
He tried to take them alone
They left him lyin' in a pool of blood
And laughed about it all the way home.


Bonnie and Clyde got to be public enemy number one
Runnin' and hidin' from every American lawman's gun

They used to laugh about dyin'
But deep inside them they knew
That pretty soon they'd be lyin'
Beneath the ground together
Pushin' up daisies to welcome the sun and the morning dew.

Actin' upon
Reliable information
A Federal deputation
Laid a deadly ambush
When Bonnie and Clyde

Came walkin' in the sunshine
A half a dozen carbines

Opened up on them

(firearm noises)

Bonnie and Clyde,
They lived a lot together

And finally together
They... died.

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
--Psalm 34:14


Neil Waring said...

Saw that death car when I was a kid, think it cost me a quarter. This past summer we stopped in the Bonnie and Clyde Museum in Louisiana, interesting. The song is pretty cool too.

Oscar said...

Reminded me of Hoagy Carmichael with a little hype, George did a nice job, though. I liked the movie, too.

Albie The Good said...

NEIL: Yeah, definitely looks like those officers meant business! and look at the size of those bulletholes! YIKES

OSCAR: Yeah he really channels those ol' timers like Hoagy! That 20 BEAT CLASSICS Cd above is a nice overview of his unusual career... pretty talented cat!

Thanks for stoppin' as usual, pals :)