The Butler's Revenge

by Al Duvall



Recorded in Delray Beach, FL in 2001. Pressed and released in NYC, August 2001.


released March 20, 2001



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Al Duvall Brooklyn, New York

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Track Name: Lantana
LANTANA I like to dig in the sand with a shovel and pail , I like to swing on the fin of a suffering whale, but the best thing to do when I get to the beach, is meet my mermaidy friend with a kiss like a leech, And we wade hand in hand where the sea meets the land in Lantana, She's not the kind of a mermaid you show to the kids, she rips the shells off of turtles she wrestles with squids, she brings me watches and wallets from capsizing yachts, and she deposits her eggs when she gets the hots. (Chorus) The bather may cluck her tongue, shake the parasol in her glove, at the heaving of gill and lung and our zoological love, but plenty of folks are beasts in between the collar and hat, I've known pigs and crabs and mules and a low-down rat, So the surgeonfish stuck the needlefish in now I swim with my love with my flipper and fin, I traded my legs to a hammerhead shark who preys on the drunks who are out after dark, And the torches are bright 'cross the waves in the night in Lantana.
Track Name: Smorgasbord Sam
Grease the pan it's Smorgasbord Sam, He waddles in at eight o'clock for melted cheeses by the crock, Ducks and geeses by the flock plus he loves to shove in his piehole whale ribs and a forty-pound ham, he swallows all that his grabbers can cram, Everyone must wait their turn and listen to his stomach churn No one eats before Smorgasbord Sam.
Track Name: Down by the Phosphate Mine
My Clementine her kisses are sweeter than fortified wine, but she left me for an old wifebeater whose theater was darker than mine, so come out put on your breadbag socks 'cause it's raining anchors and engine blocks, we're gonna get drunk down by the phosphate mine, The bootlegger's daughter lives on the hill she ain't good looking but I love her still, it's so far out to the chicken shack you ride a pregnant mare so you can get back, I brought the brewer a bag of malt if I don't get drunk it's the brewer's fault, I don't go to topless bars no more, they make you take your shirt off at the door, (Chorus) Mama I'm so tired I want to drift on down to sleep on the seashells in the deep Oh pretty mama when I die cut a big fat onion to make somebody cry (Chorus)
Track Name: Five Against One
Papa's in the kitchen frying up skin cut up all the organ meat and soak it in gin, brother's in the playpen doing like he's told never mind the fact that he's thirty years old, Sis is in a tizzy underneath a sheet feeling the effects of fermented Cream of Wheat, mama's in her slipper looking for a ball struttin' her stuff by the jailhouse wall, Bow to your corner rosin up the gun jailbird's joy it's five against one, Meet up with the carnies in the sleeper car, pickle punk peeking through a dirty mason jar, two-headed lady sitting by a fan each head wishing that the other was a man, mexicali mama doesn't know I care getting down and dirty with a locket of her hair, Jimmy's in the jailhouse staring at the soap dreaming of the day when he's swinging from a rope (Chorus) Johnny Whippersnapper, Tanya Hedinkoff, jumped on the caboose and now they're getting' off, Sweet as diabetes hotter than a flu a feller never knows what he's getting from you, syncopated rhythm rockin with glee, I got a special someone and that someone is me, like Mother Hubbard starin at the shelf don't have much so I keep it to myself (Chorus)
Track Name: Dry Belly Blues
At a barber school you get a cheap cut but a tattoo college you better keep shut , you get bad marks and you got 'em for life like a hardscrabble farm and a bedridden wife, wishbone pie and leg of cramp ain't had a square meal since I licked a stamp I'm thin and poor but I suffer no lip if I was Jesus I'd have grabbed that whip, A swayback mule and an old blind cow sleeping in the dust in front of the plow, up the creek and down in the mouth the scarecrow packed up and headed south, Snakes and toads crawl out of the pump when the silo's empty climb it and jump, Georgy Porgy gristle and horn we pick 'em clean just as soon as they're born, the old melungeon lives on the hill his advice is "do what thou will", ain't nobody ever lent him a hand so he pulls his beard at our pitiful band , Now that's my tale there's no more to tell I saw you yawn it's just as well, go on home to your bacon and shoes and pay no mind to the dry belly blues
Track Name: In the Shack
Be careful what you do with those idle fingers either go to work or take a nap, and never give a penny to those orphan singers they're only gonna take you for a sap, the bums are strutting in from the stockyard rails the townsfolk are outnumbered three to one, they're fighting off the dogs with bricks and nails the preacher's handing everyone a gun, But in the shack where the crocodiles crawl not a soul has ever come to call, in the shack in the middle of the slough no one knows just what it is I do, I was born exhausted and raised up lazy, my daddy taught me that's the way to be, he had some common sense but he was champagne crazy got a banjo tattooed on his knee, he took me to the zoo to see al God's critters took me to the town to see the men, I felt heir eyes upon me and I got the jitters I never did go anywhere again, But in the shack near the turpentine trees, I can do most anything I please, in the shack by the Soggyville road folks don't know but brother they've been told
Track Name: Blend It
Calling all alchemists brewer and mulchers to centrifuge samples of curious cultures, pulverize pottery paintings and sculptures, pump out the stomachs of musical vultures, mix it up and make a paste so I might have a little taste, Calling on spawn of congenital dustbins Mennonite mamas and hillbilly cuzbands, to copulate freely in couples and dozens, unify languages colors and customs, breed for me the perfect mate so I can ask her on a date, Calling all comers to speed evolution into the vat of corrosive solution, separate gold that's lost in dilution, primordial pudding that's free of pollution, if you can blend it you'll never end it.
Track Name: The Spree
We got whisky ,gin, sweet Lucy, white eye, jake and headache wine, red biddy, rum, corn coffee, sangaree and turpentine, there's coolie mud, Miss Emma, ether, white horse Charlie, ope, and sterno, cocaine, Rosa Maria, coal gas, muggles , dope All around the world from Tonsil City to Magee, tonight we're gonna do the heelch bring it to the spree, we got scrapple, bacon, haggis, souse, frankfurters, jack deer stew, tadago pie, blood pudding, kidneys, hearts and beef au jus, There's Darcy, Ophy, Bridgit, Sophie, Cherry, Angeline, Katrina, Helga, Betty Jane, Matilda, Josephine, (Chorus), we got pesos, c-notes, wampum, frogskins, shillings, shekels, krones, hammers, six-guns, crowbars, knives, shillelaghs, razors, bones, pianos, washtub banjos, duck calls, fiddles, clarinets, cards and dice and rooster fights all butts and bats and bets (Chorus)
Track Name: Admiral of the Narrow Seas
Me myself and a mutual friend met a troll with a magical bean , we climbed the vine all the way to the end where we were met by the dominant gene, they say that truth is a chef with no tongue his butcher's meat comes from mythical herds, we set up shop with a portable lung and collected songs from dissected birds, Your ship is in a bottle and the rocks are on your lee, surrender to the admiral ,dear, of the narrow seas, "Thy form could knock the pope off his mule" the mason spake to the drum majorette, I quench my thirst with a bucket of fuel and roll a gunpowder cigarette, mocked by crows the purveyor of woe proclaims that Rome wasn't burnt in a day , pump those bellows there's horses in tow and fill the sails on our wagon of hay, (Chorus) Give me a root beer and hold the root I'm now prepared to pickle my tripe, I fairly lost a domestic dispute over gravestone rubbings and an opium pipe, serpents strike the ankles and shins but nothing slows the mummers' parade, they limp along with their hideous grins their feathered robes still proudly displayed (Chorus)
Track Name: Stevedore's Back
To the cellar and down the stairs you will soon forget your cares for your cares are nothing compared to theirs, aficionados of the garbage can, a pussy footer and an also-ran, a bearded lady trapped in the body of a man, burning books about the rise and fall leaves are brown and the loaves are small, they're sick of nothing now they want it all, Linen leather silk and suede, it's all the same to the chambermaid, gold and ivory in the sack it's all the same to the stevedore's back, Nickel City just around the ridge tea and crumpets underneath a bridge steak and lobster in a kerosene fridge, tar and feathers in a folding bed, velvet curtains in the shanty shed a shiny topper on a lousy head, paregoric from a silver spoon, kept awake by your favorite tune, gasping and hanging from a crescent moon (Chorus)
Track Name: Reconstruction
One brother wore blue one brother wore gray another wore purple with gold lame, two fought each other and died in the War the other one lived as a Pittsburgh whore, he went by the name of Virginia Lee in petticoats down by the factory where freemen and smithies he'd fondle and kiss until they found something was quite amiss, Now beaten and robbed in the anthracite hills consoled by his camphor and morphine pills, a doctor of dubious practice was sought to settle the battle his body fought, a bottle of whisky a carpenter's saw and two goodly handfuls of mud and straw, in powder and lace she is scarred and shut in, she's happier now than he's ever been, one brother wore blue one brother wore gray another wore purple with gold lame, and if you are drunk and it's dark as can be you'll spend a fine evening with Virginia Lee
Track Name: Riding the Pooch
Look out the window there's a new day dawning buddy can you pull down the shade, 36 hours and we're still in Texas and I haven't made anyone cry, I'm stuck in between two handcuffed brothers senorita some other time, 14 miles to Nuevo Laredo and the passport still isn't dry, I'm riding the pooch with a jailhouse muslim and a man trying out a new name, so pass the hooch 'cause we all got trouble but we're one step ahead of the game, Stool pigeon, poor-mouth, sideshow professor, unwed mother-to-be, AWOL, immigrant, dog track cripple, hophead, mailbox bride, stowaway midget in a picnic basket, lumber camp flunked out of school, I read them as easy as a Tijuana Bible still they all have something to hide (Chorus)
Track Name: Flophouse Polka
The devil rides a tandem bike you can join him if you like, cross the tracks and pass the dump just beyond the tallow pump, window gates surround the whores they pawn their clothes in liquor stores, hide your teeth and shade your eyes it's the shiny things they prize, Down where the lowdown folk do the flophouse polka, Everyone is on the verge hold your breath when they emerge, short eyes with the county dentures bragging of illicit ventures, Little Mort and Uncle Vlad decked out in their Sunday plaid, making eyes at Madame Bowery then they roll her for the dowry, (Chorus) a taxi full of schadenfreuders count the harelips and the goiters, lusty tramps and crippled bouncers clutch 120 ouncers, in the kitchen Moe the Rat bakes the lice out of his hat, look the watchman's waking up brain him with your pencil cup (Chorus)
Track Name: Desirable Melba
The swinging piÒata the penny at an arcade, the mattress at an orgy the pavement at a slow parade, they may find it hard to please but they should walk a mile on my knees, O desirable Melba, you turned my magma into lava, o desirable Melba then you broke my vena cava, you inflict your pleasure on me still like a dentist you sure knew the drill, o desirable Melba you walked right by my empty diner, o desirable Melba where my broth awaits in china, you led me through the streets of your mirage to wind up shackled in some dark garage, from the hedge maze to the briar, from Waterloo to Elba I will still admire desirable Melba, from avalanche to pyre, from Waterloo to Elba, able ere I saw desirable Melba
Track Name: Jubilatin' Mama
You have got a parasite from the fruit of sweet delight, laughing night and day in a world so gray, as it wriggles in my scope how I wonder how you cope, it's ticking your legs while it lays its eggs, you've got to lie down jubilatin mama, look what your cavorting's done to you, hold on and keep yourself from laughin' hold on the needle's only half in, you'll be back to normal in a few, you're singing all the time without a rhyme or reason right in the thick of cotton pickin' season, so hold still my jubilatin mama, pipe down and minimize the drama and do what your doctor tells you to, your man is quite upset because you get so merry he thinks that you are bored cause he's so ordinary, so hold still my jubilatin mama full stop and I don't mean a comma, and do what your doctor tells you to
Track Name: Sacrificial Hootenanny
The crops are withered and dry (dusty pickins) the hogs are fixin to die (and the chickens) It's time to dance in a square (keep on grinning) to find out who we can spare (do some thinning) Swing 'em round the sacrificial hootenanny who's it gonna be, cause it ain't me, yonder's Seven-Foot Shane (imbecilic) he hasn't got enough brain (to grease a skillet) then there's Pappy McGurk (hipshot slacker) too old and feeble to work (stump-broke cracker) (Chorus) in the hay is a young (bird's-eye maple) she stopped my clattering tongue (like a staple) the barn is burning with shame (sexual arson) the wives are screaming her name (and the parson) (Chorus) for those too sorry to jig (fetch the Reaper) the pit is ready to dig (make it deeper) we chase 'em down in the corn (tassels shakin) they're good as never been born (bones are breakin) (Chorus)
Track Name: Fire Up the Still
The land is my living but I can't see how it's too thick to drink and too thin to plow, the sow took the measles and the meat was poor we got no windows but the broken door, so we left our hollers in search of dollars in wide brim hats and cardboard collars, we cobbed our corn and we struck our mash we peddle our jars for that big city cash, Fire up the still take our troubles and bile them down, fire up the still and the essence goes round and round, so take granny's ear trumpet and play me a song hot and salty and two minutes long, say what you will we're gonna fire up the still, I play second fiddle in a one-man band in a cheap speakeasy at High and Grand, the cocaine dispenser is on the fritz the piano player's wearing oven mitts, but soon enough they grabbed my scruff my poison shine was a little too rough, I'm riding a bucket going down a well it must be jelly cause it burns like hell,(Chorus)
Track Name: Miss Grey
Hello and good morning Miss Grey, have you seen the new shoes on display, there's plimsolls for walking, kneeboots and stockings and black Maryjanes for croquet, so please try a shoe on Miss Grey, your ankle is trim and petite, the curve of your heel is a treat, your foot looks so nice on the Brannock device like angel food cake on a tray, as I kneel down before you Miss Grey , In my room I've built her a shrine broken laces that she's left behind, a sock and some suede some drawings I made and a cast made of paper mache, then I bend and give each foot a kiss no nothing is better than this, the sign says we're closed but the spread of your toes informs me you're willing to stay, so please try a shoe on Miss Grey
Track Name: Newport News
Three weeks we've been stuck on this ship in the doldrums this barn on the sea without silo or cow, a fer piece from land let alone East Virginia we must have been shanghaied but I can't reckon how, three weeks in the doldrums we've all gone blind billiards we bicker and brawl to the Sirens' sweet song, the bo's'un's been bad gives himself twenty lashes the captain sashays in a dress from Hong Kong, If ever we get home to Newport News harbor we'll hoot as the mainmast collapses in flames, then back to the mountains where nothing is starboard, away up the Chesapeake, Potomac and James, we've seen some quare folk and we et some odd vittles we've feuded with pirates and men with blue skin, we've licked at red honey from hives of moskeeters the moonshine's all gone so we drunk rum and gin, some's rutted with ladies with veils on their faces some's chawed sweet tobbaccy from Morocco and such, we've been round the Horn but we hone for the holler where they pipe in the daylight and don't trifle much (Chorus) Now the old man's a'howling and westwards we're sailing the mountaineers climb and the miners work low, if the good lord don't rise and the ocean is willing those Williamsburgh girls will soon have us in tow (Chorus)