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Sam Smith: Echoes Of New Orleans


Compiled By Editor Sam Smith

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day

I know I'm not wrong... this feeling's gettin' stronger

The longer, I stay away

Miss them moss covered vines...the tall sugar pines

Where mockin' birds used to sing

And I'd like to see that lazy Mississippi...hurryin' into spring

The moonlight on the bayou.......a Creole tune.... that fills the air

I dream... about Magnolias in bloom....and I'm wishin' I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans

When that's where you left your heart

And there's one thing more...I miss the one I care for

More than I miss New Orleans

** # # # **

There's a difference between the blues of the New Orleans guys and anyone else and the difference is in a chord, but I can't figure the name of it. It's a different chord, and they all make it.

- Jimmy Rushing

** # # # **

New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin

- Mark Twain

** # # # **

I went down to St. James Infirmary To see my baby there, She was lyin' on a long white table, So sweet, so cool, so fair.

Went up to see the doctor, "She's very low," he said; Went back to see my baby Good God! She's lying there dead.

I went down to old Joe's barroom, On the corner by the square They were serving the drinks as usual, And the usual crowd was there.

On my left stood old Joe McKennedy, And his eyes were bloodshot red; He turned to the crowd around him, These are the words he said:

Let her go, let her go, God bless her; Wherever she may be She may search the wide world over And never find a better man than me

Oh, when I die, please bury me In my ten dollar Stetson hat; Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain So my friends'll know I died standin' pat.

Get six gamblers to carry my coffin Six chorus girls to sing me a song Put a twenty-piece jazz band on my tail gate To raise Hell as we go along

Now that's the end of my story Let's have another round of booze And if anyone should ask you just tell them I've got the St. James Infirmary blues

** # # # **

The people cannot have wells, and so they take rain-water. Neither can they conveniently have cellars or graves, the town being built upon "made ground;" so they do without both, and few of the living complain, and none of the others.

- Mark Twain

** # # # **

Carnival is a butterfly of winter whose last real flight of Mardi Gras forever ends his glory. Another season is the season of another butterfly, and the tattered, scattered, fragments of rainbow wings are in turn the record of his day.

- Perry Young

** # # # **

It's a funny thing how life can be such a drag one minute and a solid sender the next. The day I got out of jail Mardi Gras was being celebrated. It is a great day for all of New Orleans, and particularly for the Zulu Aid Pleasure and Social Club. . . When I ran into this celebration and the good music I forgot all about Sore Dick [the prison yard captain] and the Parish Prison

- Louis Armstrong

** # # # **

Don't write anything you can phone. Don't phone anything you can talk. Don't talk anything you can whisper. Don't whisper anything you can smile. Don't smile anything you can nod. Don't nod anything you can wink.

- Earl Long

** # # # **

People say I steal. Well, all politicians steal. I steal. But a lot of what I stole has spilled over in no-toll bridges, hospitals . . . and to build this university.

- Huey Long

** # # # **

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has done
To this poor crackers land."

- Louisiana, 1927

** # # # **


Over the past thirty years, Louisiana has seen a parade of elected officials convicted of crimes. The list includes a governor, an attorney general, an elections commissioner, an agriculture commissioner, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a State Senate president, six other state legislators, and a host of appointed officials, local sheriffs, city councilmen, and parish police jurors (who are the equivalent of county commissioners). Of the eight men and women elected to statewide office in 1991, three -- Governor Edwin Edwards, elections commissioner Jerry Fowler, and insurance commissioner Jim Brown -- were later convicted of crimes. The FBI said more people -- sixty-six -- were indicted on public-corruption charges in Louisiana in 1999 than in any other state. . .

"We're just not genetically disposed to handle money," lamented political consultant James Carville, who was from Carville, Louisiana. "We ought to bring in the legislature from another state -- maybe Wisconsin or Minnesota -- to handle our money. In return, we'll handle the cooking and entertainment for them. They'll handle our fiscal oversight, and we'll handle their cultural matters." . . .

** # # # **

IMan come down from Chicago, gonna set that levy right; / He said it’s got to be 3 feet high up or it won’t make it thru the night. / The old man down in the quarter / said don’t you listen to that boy, / The water be down by mornin’, son he’ll be on his way to Illinois

- Leon Everette

** # # # **

Forget that New Orleans is actually a little like the Combat Zone with French cooking, it still happens to be part of the great state of Louisiana where people play the political game the same way it's played in Lebanon. The place is one layer after another of tribes, factions and at least a million laughs. The busybodies and goo-goos who adorn Beacon Hill would soon be calling room service at McLean Hospital if they plied their preachy trade in Baton Rouge. The suspender set around Boston. . . would be babbling to a Vienna-bred shrink if they found themselves going one on one with a bunch of down-home pols who think that Ben Franklin is famous because he invented the $100 bill.

- A. J. Liebling

** # # # **

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun...

Way down in Louisiana
Close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods
Among the evergreens...

She's my red-hot Louisiana Mama
From a town called New Orleans

** # # # **

Like the morning [Earl Long] saw that Schwegmann's was selling potatoes for forty-nine cents a ten-pound sack. Schwegmann's is a string of three big supermarkets here that sell everything -- furniture, automobile parts, grits, steak....Earl says, 'Come on, boys, I can't afford to pass that up,' and he goes downstairs and gets into his eleven-thousand-dollar air-conditioned official Cadillac ... , and the state troopers get out in front on motorcycles to clear the way, . . . and they take off. They pull up in front of Schwegmann's -- all the sirens blowing, frightening hell out of the other shoppers. . . . So he buys a hundred pounds of the potatoes and tells a state senator to pick them up and carry them to the car, and then he sees some alarm clocks on sale and buys three hundred dollars' worth, and tells some representatives from upcountry to carry them. And eighty-seven dozen goldfish in individual plastic bags of water, and two cases of that sweet Mogen David wine. . .. "Well, when they got out there on the sidewalk, under about a hundred degrees of heat, the stuff won't all go in the trunk of the Cadillac. . . . So Uncle Earl sends a couple of senators and a judge into the store again to buy some rope.

- A.J. Liebling

** # # # **

Blanche DuBois: You're married to a madman.

Stella: I wish you'd stop taking it for granted that I'm in something I want to get out of.

Blanche DuBois: What you are talking about is desire - just brutal Desire. The name of that rattle-trap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another.

Stella: Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?

Blanche DuBois: It brought me here. Where I'm not wanted and where I'm ashamed to be.

Stella: Don't you think your superior attitude is a little out of place?

** # # # **

bury me down in new orleans
so I can spend eternity above ground
you can flood this town
but you can't shut the party down
ain't no drownin' the spirit
we callin' the children home
ain't no drownin' the spirit
we callin' the children home

- B. Payne, P. Barrere, and F. Tackett, 'Calling the Children Home'

** # # # **

Here . . . is Ignatius Reilly, without progenitor in any literature I know of -- slob extraordinary, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one -- who is in violent revolt against the entire modern age, lying in his flannel nightshirt, in a back bedroom on Constantinople Street in New Orleans, who between gigantic seizures of flatulence and eructations is filling dozens of Big Chief tablets with invective.

His mother thinks he needs to go to work. He does, in a succession of jobs. Each job rapidly escalates into a lunatic adventure, a full-blown disaster; yet each has, like Don Quixote's, its own eerie logic. . .

Imagine an Aquinas gone to pot, transported to New Orleans whence he makes a wild foray through the swamps to LSU at Baton Rouge, where his lumber jacket is stolen in the faculty men's room where he is seated, overcome by mammoth gastrointestinal problems. His pyloric valve periodically closes in response to the lack of a "proper geometry and theology" in the modern world.

- Walker Percy, Introduction to Confederacy of Dunces

** # # # **

I could only imagine how many haggard and depraved eyes were regarding me hungrily from behind the closed shutters; I tried not to think about it. Already I was beginning to feel like an especially toothsome steak in a meat market. However, no one called enticingly from the shutters; those devious mentalities throbbing away in their dark apartments were apparently more subtle seducers. I thought that a note, at least, might flutter down. A frozen orange juice can came flying out of one of the windows and barely missed me. I stooped over and picked it up in order to inspect the empty tin cylinder for a communication of some sort, but only a viscous residue on concentrated juice trickled out on my hand. Was this some obscene message? While I was pondering the matter and staring up at the window from which the can had been hurled, an old vagrant approached the wagon and pleaded for a frankfurter. Grudgingly I sold him one, ruefully concluding that, as always, work was interfering at a crucial moment.

- Ignatius J. Reilly in Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

** # # # **

I know all about you degenerates in the Quarter. I ain't let rooms ten years in the Quarter for nothin'.

- Tennesee Williams, Angels in the Alcove

** # # # **

One of these days the people of Louisiana are going to get good government - and they aren't going to like it.

- Huey Long

** # # # **

Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.

- Huey Long

** # # # **

I'm for the po' folk, I'm for the middlin' folk, and I'm for the rich folk, if they behave themselves.

- Earl Long

** # # # **

I'm not against anybody for reasons of race, creed, or any ism he might believe in except nuttism, skingameism or communism.

- Earl Long

** # # # **

Hell yes, I think you should use ideals or any other goddamn thing you can get your hands on - Earl Long asked by a young state legislator whether ideals had any role in politics



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