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Randy Hurricane Katrina and Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927

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Watching a culture and possibly a city drown is so unbelievably overwhelming sad that I sit in front of the news stupefied at the human loss, economic loss and potential cultural loss.

While it doesn’t hold the same emotional bereavement of 9/11, it is emotionally wrenching to think about the ripple effect of this devastation.

I sit in my office in Minneapolis and look out on a magnficient August day. The weather is perfect. It is peaceful and calm here. We have electricity. We have food and we can purchase gasoline.

Our lives are good.

Which brings me to Randy Newman. I am finding solace in his music, his celebration of New Orleans, Louisiana and a way of life that we may not see again… but hopefully will.

“Louisiana 1927″

Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through cleard down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangelne

Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tyrin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, “Little fat man isn’t it a shame what the river has
done
To this poor crackers land.”
Randy Newman

About Elana Centor

  • Nancy

    Wow – that’s spot-on. Guess nothing is new….

  • mjinks

    Louisiana 2005

    Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
    Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

    The river rose all day
    The river rose all night
    Some people got lost in the flood
    Some people got away alright
    The river have busted through clear’d down to Plaquemines
    Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

    President Bush came down in a big ol’ jet plane
    With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
    The President say, “Little fat man isn’t it a shame what the river has
    done
    To this poor crackers land.”

    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tyrin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away

    With respects to Randy Newman

  • Andy

    I have been thinking of this song all week while watching with horror the people and city of New Orleans.
    Randy Newman’s song is a perfect retrospective of the conditions in the big easy. Along with him, maybe only a few can understand the cultural scar that this will leave on this nation. For this I am sad and disapointed that nothing since the aftermath of the 1927 flood had been done to protect this beautiful city, a city of undesernible charm and character. Thanks for your blog.

  • Roger Sweeny

    Andy,

    Since 1927, billions of dollars have been spent on scores of miles of levees to protect New Orleans from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. Don’t let your grief blind you to the facts.

    New Orleans is an unusual place geographically. Most of it is drained swampland and below sea level, nestled between two bodies of water that are above sea level. It requires breathtakingly large and complex protection (e.g. every time it rains, a system of pumps turns on to artificially move the water from the below-sea-level city.).

  • jk

    Re: Lousiana 1927

    Don’t know if you all realized this, but Aaron Neville sang this song for the NBC Katrina relief concert that broadcast Friday night.

    -jk

  • Charlotte

    Neville’s rendition of “Louisiana 1927″ was beautiful and poignant.For those willing to listen and pay attention to the lyrics it was also a reminder that indeed it did seem that someone was trying to wash the people of New Orleans away.

  • threse

    FYI, Garrison Keillor’s band also performed this song at the Prairie Home Companion taping ad the MN State Fair on Sept. 2. It was an incredibly moving tribute, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the crowd.

  • frank

    I’ve been thinking about Randy’s song and Aaron’s rendition. Randy rewrite the song to include hurricane Katrina. Let native son Aaron sing it and it will not only become Louisiana’s anthem but it could be a slam dunk fundfraiser. Kinda like Elton’s rewrite for Princess Dianna.

  • Jimmy

    Just curious, since I missed the NBC show. Did Neville change the line, “What the river has done to this poor cracker’s land” to “. . . poor farmer’s land,” as the singers did the following Sunday morning on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” show?

  • Harvey

    No. Neville used “cracker’s” in his concert version but “farmer’s” on his CD cut (on “Warm Your Heart”). Apparently Newman’s original says “farmer’s,” although I haven’t it.

  • Harvey

    Should’ve looked before I wrote! It seems that Randy Newman’s original lyric was “crackers” (from his “Good Old Boys” album).

  • HW Rosenberg

    Sadly noted, there’s a lot more on the Good Old Boys album that’s relevant, including the slavecatcher’s chant:
    In America there is food to eat.
    You won’t have to run through the jungle and scuff up your feet.
    You’ll be as happy as a monkey in a monkey tree.
    It’s great to be in America.

  • R. Gorham

    Sorry to correct HW Rosenberg, but the lines he quotes are from “Sail Away,” another Randy Newman album. Not to say there is lots of relevant stuff on Good Old Boys, too!

  • L

    One of the sweetest songs ever was. Now so more than ever.

  • Bruce

    You might want to check out this version:
    I am a friend and fellow musician to Jay. No one has any idea how this song made it to #2 on the radio in L.A.!
    I do know the history.
    It was recorded live in 1990 on a VCR in Jay’s living room. His wife, Rebecca was under the weather and he performed a mini-concert for her.
    I think there are 10 or so more songs on the tape.
    I also know that Jay would want this song to generate as much support for the victims of Katrina. He has a BIG heart and is one of the most caring persons I have ever known.
    If you want more of Jay, follow the link at the end of this post.
    A few years back I had the honor of producing and recording what Jay calls a “record” called Images. No copies this time. You’ll find this CD as well as his other “records” on his web site.

    The direct link to Louisana 1927 is here

    Please spread the word about this recording. It has the potential to bring help and many blessings to the victims of Katrina.

    Regards,

    Bruce Adams

  • JCvP

    Another take on…
    Louisiana 2005
    (James van Pelt)
    based on
    Louisiana 1927
    (Randy Newman)

    What has happened down there, is Katrina came,
    Category Five from the south, and it started to rain
    It rained and blew so hard that the levee gave in,
    Eight feet of water in the streets of New Orleans.

    The lake flowed in for days, the water rose all night,
    Some people got lost in the flood, bodies floatin’, such a terrible sight;
    Poor folk abandoned in the city, like they couldn’t be seen,
    Eight feet of water in the streets of New Orleans.

    Louisiana, Louisiana,
    They tried to wash you away, they tried to wash you away.
    Oh Louisiana, Louisiana,
    They tried to wash you away, they tried to wash you away.

    President Bush, he flew over in Air Force One,
    Came down and hugged a few kids and took off again.
    President say “Sorry I’m late, I’ll send help,, you’ll see,”
    “Gonna shoot all the looters, this’ll make us all stronger, ain’t it great to be free.”

    Louisiana, Louisiana,
    They’re trying to wash you away, they’re trying to wash you away.
    New Orleans, Louisiana,
    Gonna come back some day, gonna come back some day.
    Gonna come back some day, gonna come back some day.

  • http://peacevids.org/audio/9th_ward_new_orleans_2b.mp3 David Roe

    This piece was written on I-10, less than 200 miles from The Crescent City September 1, 2005

    9th Ward New Orleans #2 by Chris Chandler and David Roe
    Louisiana 2005 (1927) David Roe and Randy Newman

    What has happened down here is the winds have changed
    Katrina roared in from the Gulf and it started to rain
    Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
    Six feet of water in the streets of That Old Town Of Mine

    The Levee broke to the left
    The levee broke to the right
    Some people got lost in the flood
    Some people got away alright
    Ponchartrain has busted right down the Canal Street Line
    Six feet of water in the streets of That Old Town Of Mine

    CHORUS
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away

    President Bush flew over in a big jet plane
    Didn�t stop for a photo op or to shake a hand.
    The President say, “They didn�t vote for me or my old man, Still look what the water done to these poor people�s land.”

    9th Ward New Orleans, the river has always run through you � but never so literally.

    She has always been a part of you � but rarely like this. Your 19th century widow�s peaks are all that peak from a river once held temporarily at bay by the hands of man. Now 21st century widows stand on your widow�s peaks once again staring in vein for the horizon to materialize the lost.

    But from the lost your culture has always been found.

    It is with you � 9th Ward New Orleans the melting pot of America melts.

    It is from you OUR culture has sailed in from all directions
    From wayfaring sailors seeking the roughest of trade as well as barges filled with amber waves of grain.

    Here the wholesome and the whore are changed forever. Wholesale.

    Whether watching the tops of tankers crest the hands of man while endlessly rocking on stoops or now on roofs watching the river flow on the streets below. You are Alive.

    As we watch your desperate desperados � maybe now we know they have always been there � and that you 9th ward New Orleans, like the lands beyond your levees, have always been armed.

    The desperate do desperate things when made more desperate. And you 9th Ward New Orleans have been made the lowest of the low � but like a savior born in the feeding trough of a jack ass � you are the birth of the blues.

    America does not understand that you can not feel the joy of song with out the blue note of pain. And it is pain you have felt. So who can blame you when you never do say �good Morning America how are you?�

    I don�t think America never asked you.

    9th Ward New Orleans it is you that is alive.

    And yes, Lake Ponchartrain once again had it�s evil wicked way with you and you will bare its pain for a coons age and a slow painful birth will come as a distant trumpet joins your blues.

    And when the world asks what is that sound a Caribbean accent will answer it�s just music. It�s Jas Music � yes, it is Jazz music. Your water will break and a new Louis Armstrong will spring from your loins to blow his trumpet with the mouth of your river � and that music � 9th ward new Orleans, will turn the gulf of Texaco into the sea of Galilee.

    CDBaby is doing a promo. ALL proceeds from Angel of New Orleans are going to the Red Cross.
    Check out their list of all artists who are giving 100 %
    So, buy a CD.
    And pray for the City Care Forgot.
    DR

  • http://peacevids.org/audio/9th_ward_new_orleans_2b.mp3 David Roe

    You can hear the piece here

  • jennifer

    I want to put simply my personal feelings for such a travesty and feeling of such significant loss. The night New Orleans drowned was a historical event and one of immense magnitude. I sincerely feel that most North Americans dont consider it to be as deafening emotionally as 9/11. How can that be? New Orleans was there, with a monumentally historical background to the beginning of both of our nations, Canada and the U.S., long before the trade towers were erected. We have ALL lost a part of our heritage, our history, our early development of our cultural clashes. How can that be any less devastating than 9/11. New Orleans will never be the same. The ones who lost their lives did so because of the love of their community and their livlihood. Wouldnt we all want to protect our homes, family and personal gains? Of course we would. How dare ANYONE criticize or berate any one person for wanting to remain in their home. Now its all gone. The drowning of New Orleans didnt just suffocate the life out of the city but it desicrated an entire era, destroyed legendary habitats and blew out the life of the party.
    Those mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers, sisters and yes, pets, will never ever go back to being their normal selves but once again will have to learn to adapt while the rest of us go on about our daily routines.
    The drowning of New Orleans…….what a way to awaken a continent.
    Destructively,
    Katrina

  • chuckie

    You all have had some cute things to say, taking off on “Louisiana 1927″, and trading “President Bush” for “President Coolidge.” But I think of still other songs on that album, talking about the corrupt ‘populist’ Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanc-er- Huey P. Long, and all of the poor dumb racist geeks and freaks of the area. “Kingfish,” “Birmingham,” “Wedding in Cherokee County”… You get the idea. Or you should.

    You see, Randy Newman covered it all-the local ineptitude and incompetence along with any national indifference. You can all smugly decide that you’ve got President Bush nailed on this one; maybe even Randy Newman, sitting at home in with his Oscar in BelAir or Malibu, will join you in today’s partisanship. But I think he got it right on his own the first time. If you listen to the WHOLE album.

  • Anon

    “Just curious, since I missed the NBC show. Did Neville change the line, “What the river has done to this poor cracker’s land” to “. . . poor farmer’s land,””

    - Actually he (Neville) changed it to:

    poor PEOPLE’S land

    on his Friday performance on NBC

  • Hail

    Heard Randy Newman on NPR this morning. The interview focused on “Louisiana 1927.” He was talking about what a unique place New Orleans was (care free, care-less), but that it was not a good place “to get get your car fixed.” No doubt he’s right.

    I guess it is also not a good place to count on competent police work in a crisis, or effective leadership from its city government.

  • bethiea

    I agree with Chuckie above. The great thing about Randy Newman’s music and the commentary that it makes on our society is that it has always been very balanced, pointing out the inconsistencies and hypocrisy in EVERYONE, regardless of political leanings, etc. For this reason, his music -although satirical and often downright sarcastic- has a hopefulness about it, implying that since virtually everyone has their failings, there must be some good in most people as well. At least that’s the way I read it. Now to get back to the specific topic at hand…I have had his Good Ol’ Boys album since I was a teenager, having been introduced to his music by my older brother. I have always gotten chills from listening to Louisiana 1927, and with everything that has happened, its poignancy is almost unbearable.

  • snufpark

    No need to change the words. That’s like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. Would you rewrite Isaiah Chapter 53 (which astoundingly prefigures the sacrifice of Christ) so that it matches every detail of the New Testament account? I’ve known and loved this song since 1974. It’s rolled around in my head a thousand times. Now, more than ever, it belongs to the ages. What a shame that it took a tragedy like Katrina to bring this beautiful song and its’ powerful sensibility to the awareness of the masses. Don’t bastardize the lyrics, lest we find ourselves musing “Ain’t it a same what the cultural Philistines have done to this poor cracker’s song?”

  • Robyn

    Tonite(FRIDAY 9/10/05) was the 1st time I had ever heard any version of this song… and all I can say is WOW!!!

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Cerulean Cerulean

    Thanks for starting this thread. That song is awesome. I guess I need to buy that CD. Chuckie, there’s plenty of blame to go around, federal, state and local. There’s no good excuse for any of it, but the tradition of corruption and incompetence in that area is long and while the ransacking of FEMA is recent and has a single cause in the Bush Administration.

    There’s no way around that.

    Randy Newman is a genius. I’m going to record “Shelter for the Storm” and check out the performances.

    I wrote a song that seems to have something to do with this although it was written ten days before. I’m trying to record it now.

    Cry For the Lost World

    (Blues Song)

    Cry for the lost world
    One that I see when I close my eyes
    I say cry. Cry. Cry. Cry. Cry
    Used to be love on earth
    Now they say it’s in the sky.

    Cry for the world that used to be
    They took piece by piece from under me
    I say cry oh cry for the world that used to be.

    Smell the ocean. See the night
    Stars by thousands, and candlelight
    Grace beguiling, twisting song
    Strike the notes and hear the song
    Trail of music in the air
    We were the owners, when we lived there

    They took my park.
    They took my places.
    The took the dark.
    They took the spaces.
    Don’t ask me how they did what they did to me.
    They took the ocean–how is a mystery.

    Cry for the lost world
    World that I see when I’m hypnotized.
    What I see in my dreams is not a lie
    I say cry, cry, cry children you wanna cry
    Rich only need apply

    Every sweet thing has gone and left
    We’re left living but we’re bereft

    Cry for the lost girls. They were loved; did they realize?

    Trail of a time that once was lost
    Listen to the voices that have crossed

    Every time you turned around
    they took your babies
    They took your town

    Cry for the lost world
    Cry for the world that used to be
    Cry for the world that lived for you and me
    I say cry, cry all night long is misery

    Trail of a time that used to be
    Singing voices in the luminous sea
    See fallen angels that are you and me
    See fallen angels where the sunset would be
    See fallen angels in their misery

    copyright by author

    copyright by author

  • http://www..mischiefmaker.com/rawson Rawson

    Another great song that will make you tear up is the cover of “We’ll Meet Again” by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (a couple of members of which haven’t been heard from).

    We’ll meet again
    Don’t know where
    Don’t know when
    But I know
    We’ll meet again
    Some sunny day

    The 1927 flood is a — pardon the pun — watershed event in America history, helping to trigger the flight of poor people and blacks from the south to the urban north, driving a permanent wedge between the black population and the Republican party, and helping to spark The New Deal.

    And New Orleans is below sea level, but it didn’t start that way. It has been sinking, along with all of the Mississippi Delta, because of environmental damage caused by the system of dams and levees on the Mississippi. Ever year an area the size of Manhattan disappears becuase of this damage — which can be fixed.

    I wish that the Conservative detractors would stop blaming the victims. It’s a shame that they try.

  • Chuckie

    I wish that the Democrat detractors would stop blaming the federal government.
    It’s a disgrace that they try.

    The federal government has shouldered the burden and cost of the recovery and rebuilding efforts, ever since the city government of New Orleans collapsed into anarchy following a storm.
    Mayor Ray Nagin started the blame game. Now let’s start the investigation of Ray Nagin.

  • Beldridge

    Did anyone know or heard the other versions of Louisiana 1927 by the following artists Jeff Naidean and Marcia Ball? Each artist adds their own haunting artistry to this awesome song that I just heard last week, courtesy of NPR. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions, by the way. Thanks for the ‘updated’ versions of this song. Your ‘take’ on this tragedy is insightful.

  • C Salvo

    I was just feeling bad, and started looking for the Aaron Neville (sic) version of this song and accidentally came across Roger Sweeny’s post. Hey Roger, great investigative work. Who would have thought NO sat below sea level. You are a true genius. Go fuck yourself.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    “I sincerely feel that most North Americans dont consider it to be as deafening emotionally as 9/11. How can that be?”

    A-fucking-men. But — “How can that be?” The answer is simple and tragic: Because this is America.

    I have loved the Newman song for eons. Hearing Aaron Neville’s version gave it new life and resonance — especially considering that Neville’s was one of the many, many houses destroyed in the disaster.

  • chilly

    If you’re going to make accusations toward your political leaders, you should do a little research and at least “try” to state the truth. The ignorant let their emotions steer their comments. The wise person states the truth even if the truth does not support their cause. Lying about our president’s actions and motives will not ease our pain or restore our losses. If you must place blame, you should state facts. If you want to console the hurting, ensenuating there was intent to wipe out the poor and minorities is not the way to do so. It only adds to the pain.

  • http://www.lcv.org Ernesto Del Mundo

    Wonder if any of y’all crackers have heard the old traditional blues song about the 1927 flood titled “I Rowed a Little Boat”. It had been performed by John Lee Hooker among others:

    You know I rowed a little boat,
    five miles ‘cross the pond
    You know I rowed a little boat,
    ’bout five miles ‘cross the pond
    I throwed my things in the little boat,
    it rolled me right along

    It was thunderin’ and lightnin’,
    but it rolled me right along
    It was thunderin’, it was lightnin’,
    Oh yeah, it rolled me right along
    There were thousands of people,
    they didn’t have no place to go, mmm

    Little children they were screamin’
    and cryin’, Oh yeah
    The wind was howlin’,
    they didn’t have no place to go, mmm
    There were thousands o’ people,
    they’s goin’ from door to door, mmm

    My little boat kept rollin’,
    it kept on rollin’,
    You know it rolled me right along
    Mmm-mmm, Kept on rollin,
    Kept on rollin’ Kept on rollin’
    Kept on rollin’, Rollin’
    ———————

    Would be nice to hear that one done one more time…maybe by Keb Mo or another blues traditionalist.

  • Ernesto Del Mundo

    Newsflash to wingnuts…Bush has already admitted he was responsible for the poor response from FEMA. It’s believed to be the first time he has ever shown any hint of responsibility in his entire life, so this is indeed a watershed moment. No doubt induced by Turdblossom’s desparation to stem the approval ratings from cratering any further. But it would be nice if his legion of buttlickers were to follow suit, just this once.

  • carolAnn Jones

    Like so many here the words of Randy’s song have been rolling through my brain since this terrible tragedy. I had to laugh & agree with snufpark’s comments about the cultural Philistines. If you are old enough to remember, this is not the first time Randy was censored. when his song “short people” came out, it was so misunderstood, and there was such an uproar that it was banned from the airwaves of many radio stations (silly as it seems). It’s no wonder Randy gave up & moved to LA.

  • http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,167683,00.html Rich Koster

    I agree that Randy Newman’s original lyrics are classic. I also agree with those who responded to the Bush-bashing that there’s plenty of responsibility on the local and state level — as the way procedures now are in the U.S. (which hopefully will be changed by Congress) is that the federal government and FEMA only step in after requested by local and state officials — i.e., Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin in this case, who both delayed their requests as well as delaying mandatory evacuations. Both also were quick to point fingers away from themselves.

    In light of that, I present my own re-write of Randy Newman’s classic…

    “Louisiana 2005″
    Rich Koster, with apologies to Randy Newman and his “Louisiana 1927″ masterpiece

    What has happened down here is the winds have changed
    Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
    Rained real hard and levees broke before it was done
    Twelve feet of water in the streets of New Orleans

    -

    The lake, it rose all day
    The water rose all night
    Some people got lost in the flood
    Some people got away alright
    Hurr’cane first busted through clear down in Plaquemines
    Twelve feet of water in the streets of New Orleans

    -

    (CHORUS)
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away

    -

    Guv’nor Blanco came down in an aeroplane
    She’s a little fat gal with a note-pad in her hand
    The Guv’nor say, “Mister Mayor isn’t it a shame what the lake has done
    To this poor cracker’s land.”

    -

    (CHORUS)
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away
    They’re tryin’ to wash us away

    – - -

    But all of the state, local and federal politicians are now saying they will work together to help people in the affected areas all along the gulf coast. I hope and pray they’ll keep their word. And that is why I also altered the following song lyric:

    Dysfunct’nal After All These Years
    A Song Of Remembrance And Hope

    (By Rich Koster, with apologies to Paul Simon, singer/writer/composer of his Still Crazy After All These Years song)

    I saw my old city
    Flooded streets last night
    She seemed so diff’rent to me
    I just cried
    And remembered ’bout some old times…
    Beignets at Cafe du Monde…
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Oh, dysfunct’nal after all these years

    -

    We’re not like other lands
    So some might theorize
    We seem to lean on
    Old familiar ways
    And I aint no fool for ‘scuses
    That whisper in my ears
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal after all these years

    -

    Four in the morning
    Storms come, warning
    Washing my life a–way
    I’ll never worry
    Why should I?
    It’s all gonna dry and fade

    -

    Through broken glass in windows
    And through holes in roofs, the sky.
    I fear storms’ll do more damage
    One fine day
    But the guv’nor’s pointin’ fingers
    And the mayor’s just the same
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal
    Dysfunct’nal
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years

    - – -

    “Louisiana was dysfunct’nal last month”
    FEMA man did testify.
    I just smiled
    Oh, it wasn’t just the old times
    That’s still how we do things here
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal after all these years

    -

    I’m not the network man
    Who hasn’t lived ’round here.
    Losses of billions
    “Should it be rebuilt
    And if so, how should it be done?”
    Those “experts” in my ears
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal after all these years

    -

    Not from “Noo Awlins”
    “N’awlins”, darlin’,
    Do you know what it means
    To miss “New Or-leenz”?
    Why should you?
    You know Mardi Gras parades

    -

    We are more than Bourbon Street
    We’re alive and jazzed with hope
    We must rebuild the damage
    One fine day
    But it won’t be very easy
    As “Big Easy” wipes its tears
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal
    Dysfunct’nal
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years

    - – -

    Rememb’rin’ our city
    Bustlin’ streets all night
    Saints games, West End, “da parish”
    I just smiled
    All those places “ain’t dere no more.”
    And we drank our Dixie beers
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal after all these years

    -

    I’m gonna raise my glass
    To all that went away
    I’ve seen Katrina
    Scour familiar days
    And I miss my friends who’ve moved out
    And those who died right here
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years
    Still dysfunct’nal after all these years

    -

    Four in the morning
    Tapped out, yawning
    Longing for cafe au lait
    Where y’at, my dawlin’?
    Here with me
    Our angst, it’s all gonna fade

    -

    We have love and our fam’ly
    As we watch debris go by
    Don’t fear all of the damage
    One fine day
    We will grow stronger than ever
    Faith and prayers God always hears
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years?
    *NOT* dysfunct’nal
    Dysfunct’nal
    Dysfunct’nal after all these years

    – - -
    - Altered lyrics by Rich Koster
    - Original lyrics by Paul Simon

  • http://www.polarityrecords.net samm

    Following hurricane Katrina, I wrote and recorded a song called “New Orleans 2005″, to channel some of my anger at the conspicuous lack of disaster relief, and at what I believe are the racist underpinnings of such lack. The ultra-simplistic arrangement (just a drone and voice) as well as its message are aspects of the song which I think many listeners will find appealing. The song is not for sale, but rather is available for free to anyone who wishes to download it. I hope you’ll take a moment to go to the website and listen to the song and, if you wish, download it for free. Thank you,

    Samm Bennett

    PS: Here are the lyrics, though since it is a song, I believe it’s better heard than read…

    new orleans 2005

    see the black man down in New Orleans
    waist deep in the flood waters wading
    gunfire crackles in the distance
    the last glimmer of daylight is fading
    he didn’t have much to begin with
    now his world has come all unglued
    he’s on his way to bust into a grocery store
    to get his family water and food

    new orleans new orleans 2005

    now see the president way up in his airplane
    he says zero tolerance for looters
    i tell you one thing this president
    really knows how to do
    is to send in the guns and the shooters
    but less bullets
    more boats beds and blankets
    and a few hundred lives he might save
    ah but blaming the victim is what we do best
    here in the home of the brave

    new orleans new orleans 2005

    they say the president loves all americans
    no matter the color or creed
    but you decide for yourself
    where the real truth resides
    is it found in the word or the deed?
    if you say you don’t think that it’s racist
    maybe this’ll cut through your
    dense mental haze
    just try and imagine a whole stadium
    full of white people
    left to fend for themselves for six days
    well i don’t think it would’ve happened
    quite that way

    new orleans new orleans 2005

    now if there’s good that can come
    from this tragedy
    it’s that maybe things’ll get rearranged
    lord knows over in washington d.c.
    we’re long overdue for regime change
    one hundred eighty six million dollars
    they spend
    on the war in iraq every day
    with just a fraction of that
    they could’ve shored up those levees
    and kept the floodwaters at bay

    new orleans new orleans 2005

    copyright 2005/Samm Bennett

  • cheryl

    Well, I lived in New Orleans until 9 feet of water, and a tree fell on my house. What is even sadder is my house was looted last week! Wait a minute, I’ll tell you what is the saddest thing you will ever see is the sadness in our eyes. I can always identify an evacuee from New Orleans. We have a stare, a glazed look! I want my life back!! I saw Randy Newman at the Jazz Fest this year and he was the best, but the best gift was the little concert, sort of like Storyteller, and I said I can now die and go to heaven. It was great and such a gift!! Thank You!!
    Cheryl

  • cheryl

    Well, I lived in New Orleans until 9 feet of water, and a tree fell on my house. What is even sadder is my house was looted last week! Wait a minute, I’ll tell you what is the saddest thing you will ever see is the sadness in our eyes. I can always identify an evacuee from New Orleans. We have a stare, a glazed look! I want my life back!! I saw Randy Newman at the Jazz Fest this year and he was the best, but the best gift was the little concert, sort of like Storyteller, and I said I can now die and go to heaven. It was great and such a gift!! Thank You!!
    Cheryl

  • Steve White

    What I find interesting about this song is that it misrepresents what happened in 1927, especially in and around New Orleans. Plaquemine Parish was not flooded by mother nature, but by the old monied interest of the New Orleans banking and financial communities. There was a flood, but the levee below Mississippi was dynamited with President Coolidge’s approval. I suggest anybody interested in this historical moment read John Barry’s amazing book “Rising Tide.”

  • Steve White

    What I find interesting about this song is that it misrepresents what happened in 1927, especially in and around New Orleans. Plaquemine Parish was not flooded by mother nature, but by the old monied interest of the New Orleans banking and financial communities. There was a flood, but the levee below New Orleans was dynamited with President Coolidge’s approval. I suggest anybody interested in this historical moment read John Barry’s amazing book “Rising Tide.”