King Kong Serenade - the Lyrics
Crossroads of America [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

Minnie Mouse gets grabassed
by a white whiskered alchy
in the leftover 50’s light
of the arcades of 42nd Street
jazz Cadillacs scream in octaves
generations wait at the cosmic light

At the crossroads
of America

The ghosts of Kerouac and Monk
waltz with the wrecker ball
they dance the runaway dream
for leave sailors and poet boys
the masterbuilder’s crane is chewing
spitting out the pits of B-movie queens

The millennium bus is coming
the ball’s about to fall
the mean streets of inspiration
metamorphose into a mall

King Kong Serenade [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

Allen Ginsberg came down
and sang for the virgins
of Patterson, New Jersey
to float across the river
on the backs of drunk sailors
take crippled saxophones
bend them into red Buicks
and ride them like horses
through the streets of East Harlem

He plays the King Kong Serenade
the King Kong Serenade

And in the dead TV evening
he bangs his harmonium
for the outcast angels
for Mingus and Moondog
and the janitor of America
to spring the street temptress
and swindle the sentries of oblivion
out of the lost visions
of schoolboys from the Bronx

And he plays for the king
to come down again
to quake the streets again
to mount the granite towers
and gaze into the pink windows
of unspeakable delight
to grasp the girl again and dance off
to the subway gardens of Babylon
and live happily ever after
in the eternal midnight

Hopper's Town [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

The cherry letter-G
bounces off Joe Louis’ cheekbone
below the Garden marquee
strikes a window corner
across the blackening street
where it contemplates eternity

This is Hopper’s town
Edward Hopper’s town

Mingus on the el train
emerges from a tunnel
old woman leans from a window
untold stories glint
in umber trapezoids of sun

The river gets up on jagged legs
checks into the El Morocco
Pete Hamill is there
Dos Passos is there
Garbo is walking 5th
sun striped and blue

A woman undresses
on a bed in a corner
of an apartment on Tenth
she is had in the half light
that hacks the subconscious night

Downtown [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

Platform cheek to cheek
the paper hides the morning geeks
signs read in shock speak
sunglassed to the knees
the drive for sex so sleek
it rushes 42nd Street

In doorways and hotel rooms
ghosts of Broadway loom
hawking used blue dreams
to haygirls and escapees
get your killer lights your shade
three-card monte babe

Downtown, downtown

In high heels and violet
sits a dream girl Chanel fat
in the arms of the Regency Hyatt
chardonnay and sun hat
black cigars, grey lapels
a yellow cab ride from hell

In the cracked Brooklyn glass
Muhammed’s face does dance
in bomb ticks from time past
star-sickened romance
eyes, heat, life, chance
the subway snakes the tenements

The roulette train squeals
the leopard lights feel
hour of the neon queen
night bows to kiss her ring
the bebop piper kneels to play
The King Kong Serenade

In death’s drag best
Muhammed’s fate is dressed
the park dark ahead
our dream girl tempting red
tag, bang, night, bad
mad tango with her head

Chalk, tape, flashworks
paunched detectives work
mutant tabloid Jesus men
digging in with pen
no weapon seen
they say he killed her with the street

Platform cheek to cheek
the paper hides the morning geeks
signs read in shock speak
sunglassed to the knees
the drive for sex so sleek
it rushes 42nd Street

You, Coney Island [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

And what was the world then
newly teased with incandescence
in the restless morning
of the new century
looking up from the mechanical day
to the dream lights
at the Brooklyn shore
to you, Coney Island
of painted alleys and desire
of fire and crude fortune
to you, Coney Island
of sword swallowers
and dummied moons
of the Blue Man
and the Wonder Wheel
Madame Twisto
and the Mule-Faced Boy
you, Coney Island
for the wanting of girls
from dark rooms and summer stoops
you, Coney Island
for women with dish cloths
at the window
wishing away the sound of the trolley
and the eating machines
singing to the coarse radio
before the Hitler-carved world

When Topsy the Elephant
killed three men
it took Thomas Edison
and all the juice of Dreamland
to bring her down

And what was Freud musing
the summer of ‘09
there at the snake tongue
of Dreamland
the captain maybe
awed before his prized commission
imagination now monster
with legs and lipstick full
what was he thinking halted there
before the klieg lights of temptation
the Man from Borneo
and the Siamese Sisters
before the felt and paste heaven
and the all-mechanical hell
before the electric clowns
and the Chute-the-Chute
tossing lovers into odorous proximity
clenched thighs thrown open
the accidental crotch of animal desire
pitched facewise in the hot dog air

And we would ride of a Sunday
down the West Side Highway
of the 1950’s
after the coming of the Jersey lawns
and the pixelated opiate
of Zenith and Disney
me pressed into the front seat
of the ship-like Dodge
and strain to see finally
the sky-sudden Parachute Jump
and closing my eyes
in the windshield sun
could taste
the aqua-smoked boardwalk
the mermaids consorting
in coral splendor
above pitchmen
with nickel smeared aprons
and the penny lament
of mechanical gypsies
and the distant whip
of children flung longward
at the sea’s stinging kiss

Fashion [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

In the glass of Bloomingdale's
ghost taxis flash
feet of comics
hair of trollops
pop pop pop pop

I am fashion
you are fashion
we are fashion

Diplomats, river rats
bartender’s sons
spills from windowsills
electric champions

Playwrights, millwrights
insights so out of sight
car lights, big nights
starlight litters
the streets of no return

Freedomland [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

She wakes on pink curlers
in the chintz Bronx bedroom
where merchants flocked
to hot walk-ups
and housewives boffed seltzermen
behind fake swank
brick apartments
of the Grand Concourse

Freedomland, Freedomland

Mom sat me on a stool
in Walter’s Luncheonette schooldays
same spot the Happyland Disco
got love torched in ‘90
Jews and Latinos
burst in the Spanish sky
ramalama beach chair cuchifritos baby

Land of hairnets, fuck me shoes
transistor radios, fat Buicks
men in hats with sons who went mad
became monstrous hippies
lost Mecong Delta boys
vegetarians, slum landlords

Empress of Night [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

She drove me and Mingus mad
her skirts raised on the wind
whole circuses of light
took us in

Empress, empress
empress, empress
empress, she’s the empress of night

She draws them from Fez and Ohio
tramps, prophets and cutthroats
losing to grifters and ghosts
window by window by window

She makes sure we see
her shadow from the street
she hums a song for boys and beasts

Her Chrysler crown
her taxi beat
her siren song
her iridescent street

Sugar Street [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

The lady’s copper eyes grow green
in the gull darkened dawn of the dream
towers scrape at angels’ feet
divining a mechanical beat
jacketed men move asleep
cheap as ants on Sugar Street

Leo sailed a rotted sea
to ride the trolley of ecstasy
to the kitchen of blood and fear
where the bone meets the mirror
down where migrant armies feed
cheap as ants on Sugar Street

In the smoke and fishhead morn
the gathering of ghetto boys
whores wail, peddlers call
crime sweats on tenement walls
horses die at their feet
cheap as ants on Sugar Street

Anna’s girls shall wear lace
no gutter will the widow face
the landlord’s belly smells of hate
in queer prayer her mouth is shaped
in corners where angels retreat
cheap as ants on Sugar Street

Tarred boots of Warsaw kings
drag the gutters of the Bowery
skirts of Gypsy queens
fly on ragged wings
a new dung, a new seed
cheap as ants on Sugar Street

Clacking blackened factories
slow drown young mens’ dreams
they escape to perfumed streets
where Death’s breath smells so sweet
oh sailors they are lost at sea
cheap as ants on Sugar Street

Poet in the City [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

Oh what you saw Garcia Lorca
at the depression shores of the metropolis

The sparrow meets the factory
the mountain meets the train
the boy meets his mother after death
and I am a cockroach
climbing the sad stairways
gasoline in my teeth
boy of sun and shadow
playing under iron bridges
loving tar and bleached women
driving cars into stanchions and mountains
wanting genesis in televised explosions

I have gathered all the mechanical horses now
and sadly am a dream in your eyes
laying my symbols with yours
at the foot of the volcano
joyrides on rockets of steel and wheat
we steal the flame again and again
carnival boys behind the backs of priests

King of the Moon [>Hear Songs]
Words and music by Allen Shadow

I hated the king of the moon
his hand so good with the universe
it would ring time from my eyes
leaving only the leather beat
of a belt in a Bronx room
all the while the Three Stooges
melting on the TV to Tchaikovsky

And I don’t worry about the moon
and I don’t trouble about the sun
and I don’t cry about the sky no more

And there I am there you are
stellar gangster orphan of Blue Beard
with dark glasses
begging for myself on the corner
of me and every mother’s son
rigged to bet against
my best bluegrass colt

And now in the Hebrew Home for the Aged
there on the absorbent seat
sits the ruler of the universe
hands stilled
lights dimmed down to boyish fear
small ragged grin
all the while Dan Rather
reporting the terrors of the day

X Train
Music by Randy Leago
All Songs © Blue City Music

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