Out of Pawn

Anaïs Mitchell

Out of Pawn By Anaïs Mitchell

Hey, uncle Louie, I wrote you a song
I’m glad you got your heart out of pawn
I’m glad you got your king out of check
At least, that’s how things stood when I saw you last

It was New Orleans before the flood
You had just met a girl! You were falling in love!
She lived on the levee and knew the blues
And played harmonica better than you

In a neighborhood bar
In the middle of summer
Shoulder-to-shoulder
Setting like sister and brother
All of the sorrows you told each other
Rose like smoke from the room

The heat and the bourbon was in your head
You were talking in tongues! You were back from the dead!
And the girl and the city were one and the same
And last call never came

And I can see you swimming out into the street
I can hear you singing, “When I die, don’t cry for me”

Hey, uncle Louie, the city is spinning
She sure is pretty, you sure are grinning
She’s leading you home from the heat of the bar
To lie on the levee and look at the stars

You can hold her hand
You can kiss her face
Go slow if you can
Cause the world is a very sad place
And when she leaves, she’ll leave no trace
And the world will still be there

The sky is colored in purple and yellow
You lie on the levee with stones for pillows
And you and the girl and the city make love
With the harlequin sky up above



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