Mean old world

IMG_4815I’ve wanted to work into my lessons a piece about story-telling, about how it goes back to the ancients gathering at night, how we transmitted our understanding of the universe to new generations.

On my mind was the song C’est La Vie (You Never Can Tell). Friday night and all day Saturday – when not running errands – I was listening to Chuck Berry songs, looking for ways to build another lesson – one about the birth of rock and roll and how Berry – before Motown – brought “black” music (Blues and R&B) to a white audience – and how he was “covered” by so many musicians. Today, Sunday, I learned he died. I wonder how many others had a similar experience.

Two stories told in song

It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished `em well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madam have rung the chapel bell
C’est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They finished off an apartment with a two-room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was jammed with TV dinners and ginger ale
And when Pierre found work, the little money comin’ worked out well
C’est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all blues, rock, rhythm, and jazz
But when the sun went down, the volume went down as well
C’est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, it was a cherry red `53
And drove it down to New Orleans to celebrate their anniversary
It was there where Pierre was wedded to the lovely mademoiselle
C’est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a teenage wedding and the old folks wished `em well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madam have rung the chapel bell
C’est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

Long distance information, give me Memphis, Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
She could not leave her number, but I know who placed the call
‘Cause my uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall

Help me, information, get in touch with my Marie
She’s the only one who’d phone me here from Memphis, Tennessee
Her home is on the south side, high up on a ridge
Just a half a mile from the Mississippi bridge

Help me, information, more than that I cannot add
Only that I miss her and all the fun we had
But we were pulled apart because her mom did not agree
And tore apart our happy home in Memphis, Tennessee

Last time I saw Marie, she was waving me goodbye
With hurry-home drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye
Marie is only 6 years old, information, please
Try to put me through to her in Memphis, Tennessee

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