Monday, October 21, 2019

Fran Landesman and The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men

photo © Mark Butkus 2007
Tired little girl  does the best she can...

All the sad young men
Sitting in the bars
Knowing neon nights
Missing all the stars

All the sad young men
Drifting through the town
Drinking up the night
Trying not to drown

Sing a song of sad young man
Glasses full of rye
All the news is bad again so
Kiss your dreams goodbye

All the sad young men
Seek a certain smile
Someone they can hold
for a little while

Tired little girl
Does the best she can
Trying to be gay
For a sad young man

Autumn turns the leaves to gold
Slowly dies the heart
Sad young men are growing old
That's the cruelest part

While the grimy moon
Watches from above
All the sad young men
Play of making love

Misbegotten moon
Shine for sad young men
Let your gentle light
Guide them home tonight
All the sad young men

All the sad young men
Singing in the cold
Trying to forget
That they're growing old

All the sad young men
Choking on their worth
Trying to be brave
Running from the truth

— Fran Landesman

Fran Landesman (1927-2011) was an American lyricist and poet. A fixture of the burgeoning beat scene in her native New York City she would spend her later years in London, England beginning in 1964. Her husband, Jay Landesman published Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and John Clellon Holmes among other beat figures in his Neurotica magazine.

In the swinging 60s they called themselves Fran Fabulous and Stan Stunning. The Ballad of the Sad Young Men has been notably recorded by Roberta Flack and Rickie Lee Jones. Upon her death in 2011 The Guardian newspaper referred to her as the "Godmother of Hip."

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