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Furry Sings The Blues Lyrics

Artist: Joni Mitchell
Album: Hejira

Old Beale Street is coming down
Sweeties' Snack Bar, boarded up now
And Egles The Tailor and the Shine Boy's gone
Faded out with ragtime blues
Handy's cast in bronze
And he's standing in a little park
With a trumpet in his hand
Like he's listening back to the good old bands
And the click of high heeled shoes
Old Furry sings the blues
Propped up in his bed
With his dentures and his leg removed
And Ginny's there
For her kindness and Furry's beer
She's the old man's angel overseer

Pawn shops glitter like gold tooth caps
In the grey decay
They chew the last few dollars off
Old Beale Street's carcass
Carrion and mercy
Blue and silver sparkling drums
Cheap guitars, eye shades and guns
Aimed at the hot blood of being no one
Down and out in Memphis Tennessee
Old Furry sings the blues
You bring him smoke and drink and he'll play for you
lt's mostly muttering now and sideshow spiel
But there was one song he played
I could really feel

There's a double bill murder at the New Daisy
The old girl's silent across the street
She's silent - waiting for the wrecker's beat
Silent - staring ar her stolen name
Diamond boys and satin dolls
Bourbon laughter- ghosts - history falls
To parking lots and shopping malls
As they tear down old Beale Street
Old Furry sings the blues
He points a bony finger at you and
"I don't like you"
Everybody laughs as if it's the old man's standard joke
But it's true
We're only welcome for our drink and smoke

W.C. Handy I'm rich and I'm fay
And I'm not familiar with what you played
But I get such strong impressions of your hey day
Looking up and down old Beale Street
Ghosts of the darktown society
Come right out of the bricks at me
Like it's a Saturday night
They're in their finery
Dancing it up and making deals
Furry sings the blues
Why should I expect that old guy to give it to me true
Fallen to hard luck
And time and other thieves
While our limo is shining on his shanty street
Old Furry sings the blues
Comments/Interpretations
by wade on 6/1/2008 8:59pm
this is one of the most beautiful songs in the english language.
by kara on 6/13/2008 9:04pm
wade put that perfectly
by bea on 6/23/2008 7:52am
just beautiful!
by nhlanhla* on 8/20/2008 6:18am
definitely one of the most heartfelt songs i ever heard...thanks for the lyrics...
by snip on 4/23/2009 8:38pm
Furry Lewis hated it, but can you blame him? Not a very flattering portrait.
by hahahah on 9/9/2009 2:52am
tihs song is brutal man
by p on 12/25/2009 4:04am
this song is pretty elitist. i love furry and i love joni, but i think this song is a little out of line
by Mark on 5/12/2011 6:59am
Joni paints the cold bitter truth of real life in this beautifully written and arranged piece.

Furry Lewis should have seen what Joni was trying to convey in this one which is, The greats are slowly being forgotten and Beale Streets historical neglect.
by Brooke on 4/15/2012 10:52pm
I really like this song so much
by Str8blues on 11/25/2012 9:14am
I see nothing elitist about it. It's brutal, but sometimes honesty is brutal. Fury didn't hate the song, he just wanted to know where his check was. I don't blame Fury or any of the old bluesmen for their take on things as they watched something they created morphed into a genre and empire of money of which they saw little if any. The Stones rolled into town summer '75 and put Fury onstage, I was 20 feet in front of him as he played. I'm sure he was paid little to nothing. But Joni owed Fury nothing for this song. She just walked Beale, visited Fury and made a hauntingly beautiful observation of her experience. If she'd left him a fifth of Jack and a pack of Lucky's, I really believe all would've been good.
by Neil on 1/26/2013 5:20am
Brooke, that is such an insightful comment. you are an authentic genius


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