on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 8 Okt

The Mountain Goats: Harlem Roulette

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


Unknown engines underneath the city
Steam pushing up in billows through the grates
Frankie Lymon’s tracking „Seabreeze“ in a studio in Harlem
Its 1968.
Just a pair of tunes to hammer out.
Everybody’s off the clock by 10.

The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you’re never going to see again.

Feels so free when I hit the avenue.
Nothing like a New York summer night.
Every dream’s a good dream,
Even awful dreams are good dreams,
If you’re doing it right.

Remember soaring higher than a cloud.
Get pretty sentimental now and then.

The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you’re never going to see again.

And four hours north of Portland, a radio flips on.
And some no one from the future remembers that you’re gone.

Armies massing in the dusky distance.
Ghosted in the ribbon microphone.
Leave a little mark on something, maybe,
Take the secret circuit home.

Nothing in the shadows but the shadow hands.
Reaching out to sad, young, frightened men.

The loneliest people in the whole wide word are the ones you’re never going to see again.


Background: Traveling to New York in 1968, Frank Lymon was signed by manager Sam Bray to his Big Apple label, and the singer returned to recording. Roulette Records expressed interest in releasing Lymon’s records in conjunction with Big Apple and scheduled a recording session for February 28. Lymon, staying at his grandmother’s house in Harlem where he had grown up, celebrated his good fortune by taking heroin; he had remained clean ever since entering the Army three years prior. On February 28, 1968, Lymon was found dead of a heroin overdose at age 25 in his grandmother’s bathroom. „I’m Sorry“ and „Seabreeze“, the two sides Lymon had recorded for Big Apple before his death, were released later in the year. (Wikipedia)

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