a song jim carroll wrote about patti

"Crow"

[from Catholic Boy by the Jim Carroll Band, 1980]

It must be strange to just fall from the stage
and snap a bone that is so close to the brain
And be attended to by so many down below
I saw a doctor tie you up from so far above
And you start sinking just like light through a black floor
Youd start sliding like burned skin [sounds like "to a side door"]

But crow, when you throw yourself under
Singin's hard when you can't lose control
They don't know, to them in the dark you don't whisper nothin'
And they're' all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul

Musta been hard to be a cashier in a bookstore
And to be surrounded by the history of your true loves
And you'd get naked between the deep shelves in the back room
And have your brain get tan by sharp fluorescent light tubes
And you start spinning like the pillars in the temple
You'd start screaming just like Sister Aimee Semple

But Crow, when you throw yourself under
The streets are hard when you cannot lose control
They don't know, to them the dark don't whisper nothin'
And they're all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul . . . Crow

It was so sweet when you brought donuts to the junkies
[Hey, you'd?] give us something we'd go slip into our coffee
And we'd start reading lines from poems that didn't matter
You covered me with blankets in the Chelsea Hotel lobby
And Id start reachin' for the scar along your belly
They'd start takin' us cause winning is their hobby

But Crow, when you throw yourself under
The streets are hard when you cannot lose control
They don't know, to them the dark don't whisper nothin'
And they're all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul . . . Crow


Carroll gave his first performance as a rock star at a Patti Smith concert in San Diego in 1978. Her opening band split, so she talked Carroll into taking the stage. He "rapped" some of his lyrics, backed by Patti's band. He released his first album, Catholic Boy, in 1980.

Copyright © Jim Carroll 1980



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