Thomas Anderson

singer, songwriter, rock 'n' roller

Barbara Allen Revisited

by Thomas Anderson

from the album Blues for the Flying Dutchman

She hit the streets midtown.

She looked it up and down.

A refugee from the lost and found,

Up from the underground.

Hey Barbara Allen, all the people said,

We heard that you were dead,

Planted by the old church spire

In the rose bush and the briar.

She just laughed, Later you guys,

You're thinking of Omie Wise;

And if you'll excuse me I gotta run

To call the Times and the Baltimore Sun.

There's a broken heart for every light,

Two wrongs for each right;

There are tears sellin' by the gallon,

For the love of Barbara Allen.

The wind off the river is a midnight moan,

It cuts you right to the bone;

And the bums in the doorway wait for reprive

Or late word that it's Christmas Eve.

Three ravens perched on a traffic light

Talking about a long-lost socialite,

She walked 'neath the wheels of a late-night train,

She washed away in the rain.

You can still hear her cry a year to the night,

See her diamonds flash in the light;

Go over the city with a pair of white gloves

And swear she died for love.

Well they say love, love is strange,

Remarked one raven as the signal changed;

With the whole world clasped in a talon,

For the love of Barbara Allen.

Through the night in a long black car

On a road that stretches far,

Her eyes are tired but her vision clear

And the dark streets disappear.

Was that Barbara Allen, all the people shout.

In the taverns they turn with doubt;

And every atom that whirls in the night

Is charged with her furious flight.

She's gone, she's gone to the other side,

And the city sinks in the tide;

She spits on the ground and she laughs out loud

And pulls away from the star-struck crowd.

Last night I saw the new moon,

And in her arms the old moon;

And the sidewalks sang their ballad,

For the love of Barbara Allen.