Squirt, Rubber Heart

by Al Duvall



released June 1, 2011

Recorded by Al Duvall at Electric Lagerland, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mixed by Meg Reichardt, Soapbox Studios, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Portrait by Cuss Baxter



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Al Duvall Brooklyn, New York

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Track Name: Clara In Sarasota
Help me friends I’m in a quandary
The gal I’m fond of’s gotten wandery
And where she’s gone is way down yondery
Where they don’t wear too much laundry

Out west in southeast North Dakota
Can’t make my car go one iota
And even Fargo’s far to go to
Much less on down to Sarasota

Through a dusty nation I must hasten
I boarded at the old bus station
It’s crawling slow as a crustacean
My lust has rusted in frustration

Oh Clara, Clara, that’s her moniker
Skin as clear as gin and tonic, her
Absence makes my heartache chronic-er
How I hope that love will conquer
All that distance, with some persistence
To Clara in Sarasota

I rode for days, my backside tingling
With the hoi polloi was mingling
When we stop my spurs get jingling
To the camp of the Brothers Ringling

There she is! And when I smooch her
She tells me she’s a hootchy-coocher
Without a stitch on or a suture
It gives me doubt about our future

When I asked her why, she said in
This world I need to earn my bread and
The circus life I’ve been misled in
It takes a body to get ahead in

Oh Clara spare a heart, is there a
Chance you’ll wear more than mascara
If you’re bare I couldn’t bear a
Flock of goons to drool and stare a
Single instant at your fair skin’s tint
Oh Clara, leave Sarasota!
Track Name: Pickpocket Blues
You can save and save for a rainy day
But that ain’t gonna help you in a drought
Yes, the gravy train has pulled away
And we’re all gonna have to do without
Oh, I have watched my business die
Like the other tradesmen in the town
We all rely on passersby
With their money jingling up and down the avenues
I’ve got the pickpocket blues

Not long ago when folks had dough
A pickpocket stood to make a mint
Now when I make a dip it’s only
Cigar butts, pigeon bones and lint
They’ve all been robbed by Washington
Us small-time hustlers can’t compete
Those fat cats made their grab-and-run
Now there’s nothing left for my discreet rendezvous
I’ve got the pickpocket blues

A smart pickpocket dresses well
Like a banker and not a common thief
We all look like them so you can tell
Who is grifting and who is on relief
My colleagues ply an honest art
We don’t fool you with ticker tape and flash
But suckers now are too damn smart
They head off to gamble with their cash in their shoes
I’ve got the pickpocket blues

So I go down to the gospel tent
When the gas bill and rent are overdue
But the flock’s been sheared, there’s not one cent
Cause the preacher’s already hustled through
And folks who don’t fall for that rot
Are taken by a sales pitch
At night I dream about a spot
Where there’s no big business only rich kangaroos
I’ve got the pickpocket blues
Track Name: Kentucky Mermaid
A mermaid swam around the harbor welcoming the fleet
She met a handsome sailor and he swept her off her feet
She fell hook, line and sinker- she was wet behind the ears
He hauled her up and brought her home, a long way from her peers

Kentucky mermaid, unlucky mermaid
Sits in the bathtub all day
Some life that she leads, just smoking seaweed
And putting the pound cake away
She used to swim around like nothing mattered
Now she’s a fishwife and she’ll end up battered
Kentucky mermaid, you shoulda sure stayed
Back in the Sargasso Sea

Folks watch her splashin’, he takes their cash in
Life has no porpoise, she sighs
Rubs on some lotion, thinks of the ocean
And saltwater pours from her eyes
With bated breath she waits for him to ship out
And tries to pull the fishhook in her lip out
Kentucky mermaid, you shoulda sure stayed
Back in the Sargasso Sea

She went outside to find a creek to sit in
She met a catfish and had kid/fish/kittens
Then tossed her bag in the water wagon
Back to the Sargasso Sea
Track Name: The Merry Misanthrope
Here come those four horsemen, green white red and black
They grin like horny Norsemen as they pull out from the pack
They charge on past the finish to blow the city up
I watch them from the clubhouse and I’m yelling giddy-up

Oh, men are mean and worthless, they rile me up, by garsh
I learned to stare straight through ‘em, now my sermons aren’t so harsh
I fought for God and country, but now I understand
A dunce cap horn-of-plenty is the emblem of our land

This old world’s a shaggy dog and we are just the fleas
It can try to scratch us off but we still do what we please
But soon its master’s coming to scrub it down with soap
That’s why you hear me humming, I’m the Merry Misanthrope

I wooed a moody Creole, I got down on my knees
And gazed in through her keyhole at her silky BVDs
I said Come lie in my arms love and I’ll lie in your ear
The night was full of magic, so I made her disappear

The people I admire lie dead in dusty books
Those rebels under fire, those daring desperate crooks
Those busty curvy hustlers, those crusty scurvy salts
If they were here beside me, I’d be picking out their faults

Folks now just are disappointing and happy as can be
Maybe I would like ‘em better if they were more like me
They call me a curmudgeon, but I just grin and hope
And strum upon my bludgeon, I’m the Merry Misanthrope
Track Name: Scrapple Man
Now breakfast is my favorite time, from my pallet I will climb
I push my woman out the way and in the kitchen I will stay
I don't like biscuits, eggs and ham, orange juice or toast and jam
That’s not a waffle on my plate, it’s made of offal but I think it’s great

It’s like the gals in Quaker Town- the inside’s soft, the outside’s brown
I’m a scrapple man, I’m a scrapple man
All brains and ears and hearts and feet, they grind it up and make ends meat
Get the Crisco can, I’m a scrapple man
Just cut a slab off of the loaf- it’s a real square meal
And fry it in the frying pan until you hear it squeal
Then flip that scrapple- like a dime, it’s heads or tails every time
I’m a scrapple man, I’m a scrapple man

The landlord’s put me on a diet- my belly’s getting smaller
And I’m in debt way up to here- if only I was taller
But scrapple's always got me by, though no one knows what’s in it
I've figured out the recipe- I’ll tell you right this minute:
You must be brave to eat it, so I know it's got some cheek
And I know they throw the eyes in, cause it sees me through the week
There’s snout because it smells so good and it makes me snore at work
And the part that’s farthest from the trough is why I’m such a jerk

I don’t need a fork, I grab it up and dunk it in my coffee cup
I’m a scrapple man, I’m a scrapple man
Oh bacon, sausage, they’re OK as long as someone else can pay
But I’m a scrapple man, I’m a scrapple man
I save a slice each morning and I add it to the stack
And when I’ve built my scrapple house I’m never moving back
Oh, ash to ashes, dust to dust, they’ll lay me flat beneath the crust
I’m a scrapple man, I’m a scrapple man
Track Name: In The Woods
Spring is in the air, air is in the mattress
Camping in a spot so picturesque
Just a hidden square somewhere on the atlas
At last we meet beyond the office desk
Can our passions be intense as they seem?
I wonder if it’s only just a dream

If we fall in love in the woods and no one hears us
Are we really making love?
How can I know this is real without a witness
To our lewd displays of physical fitness?
For I’ve seen this scene in my imagination
From all angles and above
Is this just a case of déjà vu?
Can’t tell if your dress is beige or blue
It’s too dark- is this fantasia true?
How I wish a boy scout was snapping with his Brownie
If we fall in love in the woods and no one hears us-
Are we really making love?

I’m as giddy as- as an alcoholic
Opening his second fifth of rye
Like the fit he has, our bucolic frolic
Lying in the wood, has made me high
It must be the wafting scent of turpentine
Oh my wood nymph, please be naughty and I’ll pine

If we fall in love in the woods and no one hears us
Are we really making love?
Not a soul to view our ardor in the arbor
Though I guess it would be harder in the harbor
There is no one to corroborate my story
But the hare and turtledove
If there’s no one banging on the wall
If your ma’s not sobbing in her shawl
How can I tell I’ve done well at all?
If we fall in love in the woods and no one hears us-
Are we really making love?
Track Name: Minstrel Of Lies
I travel the land of the free, boys
Well, maybe not free but it’s cheap
I don’t have the American dream, though
I can’t sleep when I count all those sheep
I’m a sepia creep but good people
I was born with a song in my heart
But when I was fifteen it moved down to my spleen now the doctors can’t tell ‘em apart

I’m a minstrel of lies, I’ve got wandering eyes
See the bags that they carry below
But after the laughter the rope on your rafter
Reminds me to get up and go

One morning the donkey went bonkers
Broke a window and chewed up the glass
It bled to death right in the parlor
It was truly a pane in the ass
In a billiard hall I gave a concert
The acoustics were good as they get
But after the ball I engaged in a small
game of pool and they soaked me, you bet

I attended a charity dinner
The mission was dishin’ out stew
If you wonder why sinners are thinner
Try chewing a spoon of that spew
Then a minister made with the sermon
“The Lord helps those who help themselves”
And desiring His grace I broke into a place
And I grabbed all I could off the shelves

I ordered a glass of refreshment
The bartender closed up the till
He said “Sir, your money’s no good here”
And he gave back my $8 bill
A ventriloquist back in a corner
Sat nursing an invalid stout
He’s a man of good cheer for he never buys beer
It is always another man’s shout

By a crypt a mysterious miss cried
When I kissed her she hissed “You’re a beast!”
But the case was dismissed for a cease and desist
How could I know her sister’s deceased?
As a postscript I learned a statistic
In a leap year the suicides drop
I’ll tell you some more if you walk out the door
But if you come back I will stop
Track Name: Poor, Tired, Huddled Masses (Of Love)
In New York Harbor stands a statue
A big green doctor that you
See greeting the world’s refugees
She holds charts beneath her arm
And her flashlight’s an alarm
When she spots an infectious disease
Now I’m all for immigration, it built this crummy nation
The railroads, the lakes, the canals!
Every country on the map’s
Sent its fine, hard-working saps
Thanks a bundle, now how ‘bout some gals?

You can keep your wretched refuse
Your uncles and your nephews
Give me poor, tired, huddled masses of love
The inspectors out on Ellis
Can just send back all the fellas
Give me poor, tired, huddled masses of love
Women here are full of morals, decency and pride
They’ve been resting on their laurels
And their laurels are getting wide
They could use some competition
From someone with ambition
Give me poor, tired, huddled masses of love

Now when I watch them disembark
I’m like a wolf at Noah’s Ark
Those poor, tired, huddled masses of love
Such a strange exotic style
She must have been abroad awhile
Those poor, tired, huddled masses of love
She goes through without a passport
Those customs men aren’t fools
Britannia rules the waves
But America waives the rules
When we find we’re at a loss
For gals who come across
Those poor, tired, huddled masses of love

If I meet a sexy exile who’s trying to work in textile
Like those poor, tired, huddled masses of love
Then strictly out of pity, I’ll escort her ‘round the city
Ah, those poor, tired, huddled masses of love
If she’s poor, I’ll buy her dinner
And take her to a show
If she’s tired, I’ll fix the guest room
And off to bed she’ll go
But I won’t be quite as subtle when I get in a huddle
With those poor, tired huddled masses
Those sweet, young, lonesome masses
Those poor, tired, huddled masses of love
Track Name: On Lushington Avenue
My father sure neglected me
All he gave me was just a trust fund
So I wouldn’t stay on his country estate
In the manor to which I’m accustomed
I left with just some pocket change
Seven million, maybe less
Would you like to hear my tragic tale?
Would you like to hear it? Yes.

Oh, what fine spirits I’m in
I’m singing in the bathtub gin
I’m slumming round in old New York
And I black up with a champagne cork
Oh unemployment suits me fine
And I know why no winos whine
Just boozing up and blacking out
In the town that I call mine
The city’s skyline looks to me like bottles on a rack
I drink my way from north to south then somehow I get back
Oh New York really has it all
From Sammy’s to Paresis Hall
Driven on by rum demonical
Here’s an alcoholic chronicle
Seen through my shotglass monocle
On Lushington Avenue

A chilly room up in an attic
Oh honey isn’t it rheumatic
Just a window shade to greet the dawn
And a floor to hang my clothes upon
Though comforts I don’t have as such
I’ve got loads of money I can’t touch
And the sweet milk of amnesia
Prevents me from regretting much
I know I must grow up and drink in social clubs one day
When father dies, but then where there’s a will there is a way
The world revolves around this town
That’s how it seems when I lie down
And my stomach’s raw and racked with pain
Battered by the amber waves of grain
But I rise and hit the skids again
On Lushington Avenue
Track Name: Tiptoe Through The Turnips
Inside a pie it’s blueberry
Inside a whale it’s blubbery
And you may view a shrew buried
Down deep inside the shrubbery
And if you look inside this fool’s head
You’ll find more vices than a tool shed
With vises I’ll hold you, but if you get cold you
Can soak inside the tub or we could just

Tiptoe through the turnips
And let my lips rub on your lips
And we’ll cross the rows of green to
A lean-to I’ve been to
Barely big enough to screen two
When the chill of November nips
And we won’t need any permits
We can live on love and turmits
Just a pair of happy hermits we’ll be

I used to be an optimistic person
But things do not improve they only worsen
Just grief and woe and sadness
And misery and madness
The kind of life a gypsy slips a curse in
I’m glad you find society deplorable
Oh, your agoraphobia’s adorable
My lust had lost its luster
Nobody passed my muster
But you’re as bad as me, perhaps more horrible

Oh, love to some is a daffodil or rose
But they are only fit for sunny weather
The roots and tubers underneath our toes
Symbolize the way we are together

So let’s burrow down like gophers
With no chaperones or chauffeurs
It will be too damp for loafers but you’ll
Tiptoe on your boot tips
‘neath the root tips of the turnips with me
Track Name: Bluesless Blues
I'm picking cotton, I’m picking cotton
From a bottle of aspirin
I feel rotten after all that cognac at the ball
I’m from the school of Fort Knox
I wasn’t born not to win
If it weren’t for badminton I’d have nothing bad at all

I'm picking cotton, I’m picking cotton
Over linen, silk or tweed
Something simple to go with my old sharecropper shoes
And my shares keep going up
I’ve got everything I need
Except that lowdown feeling
I’ve got the bluesless blues

I’ve got the bluesless blues
The thrill of being broke and all alone
Is the only thing that I don’t own
The thing I’m bound to lose
And since I get to choose
Which kind of misery I get to sing
The imitation or the real thing
I’ll take the blues-less blues

My woman left me, my woman left me
A million dollars when she died
She took an ocean cruise but the yacht left her behind
Down in the river she was found
And at the bank I nearly cried
I went home to my wife to ease my troubled mind

Woke up this morning, woke up this morning
Sipping cappuccino foam
On a nudist beach, oh will a matchbox hold my clothes?
I’m so far away from home
Why did I leave to roam?
‘Cause Rome in spring is where all the smart set goes