Big Easy, Baby

Big Easy, Baby


Big Easy, Baby

Oh, how you shimmer and shimmy

Across that teal causeway

Our old rental whipping up

Your scenic Route 90 highway

We drove through wet inked night

To watch the blazing sunrise

Over your Crescent City’s infant day

We breathed in the thick wine dawn

Through the Bayou St John

Lafeyette and misty Rouge Baton

Your wetlands cleaved to greet us

Your moss-soaked oak trees bowed to meet us

And your sultry spell cradled us in its dripping embrace

Sweet Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau

Sent across the Pontchartrain Lake the city’s black crow

It feels like sinful magic, this place

Congo Square is booming an ancient slave call

That reaches down to Haiti, twisting under the pall

Second-line strutting, while the French Quarter’s loving

Whistlin the Mardi Gras parade past the abandoned town hall

Broken pavements, boarded houses

Haunted black streets

Coloured feathers, booming tuba

Free rollicking feet

There’s a scar on your city that can never be healed

It flew in from the swamps, and whispered over marsh field

Even the fortune tellers on Bourbon couldn’t predict the Creole Witch Katrina

Nor did Fat Cats in Sharp Suits fear the Devil’s Diva

But she made herself at home

Twirled her parasol till your city turned to bone

No slaughter was enough to please her

But your sweet city sings a chorus than can’t be silenced

Even in the assassin’s eye or the tuneless violence

And soon those watercolours became solid colours again

Children of Treme, open up your arms to the burnt sky!

Sing oh soulful patrons to the wingless angels up on high

This morning we pray, yesterday morning we danced

To extol the fair Lord’s cruel game of chance

Two-thousand coffins are white. Mourners sharp suits are white

So maybe the good Lord will notice us from the heavens tonight

Homeless Cajun kid too poor to own his own land

Now owns a scenic tower in the town of the damned

No open windows to watch the living go by

At night his ghostly neighbours shuffle on by

Dragging the heavy slave chains they forged in life

Dancing carefree to a soundless brass band

They are granted their prisoner’s leave for one night in Halloween

Where they mingle with the living on the pulsating streets

Sazerac flows freely, while the crawfish is sucked cleanly

And the dead swathed in costume

Strut to the main line’s last beat.