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Ballad of Jack Eric Williams

Ballad of Jack Eric Williams lyrics

Ballad of Jack Eric Williams

WILLIAM FINN
(speak)
Shelter Island! Summer of 2000.

(sing)
Ricky Ian Gordon
You asked me to write you a lyric
You said either story, song, or hymn..s
But your three names remind me of our friend
Jack Eric Williams
Ja-a-ack

Hey, Ricky!
How did he die?-
Wait, let me begin
Yes, I know the diabetic
He forgot to take his insulin
But, he forgot

RICKY
Do you really think he forgot?

WILLIAM FINN
Or was he simply distraught?
For a million reasons why
And what he wanted he got
And he wanted to die-ie-ie

He could write circles around everybody
Around me anyway
But as Jack Eric Williams would constantly say
He wasn?t the fashion of the day-
Were you sick of hearing that?
I was sick of hearing that!
I took it very personally
I thought he was attacking me

Anyway I miss him
And I miss his inappropriateness too
How fat was he?
It seems he just grew and grew and grew and grew
And did you ever see him eat, Ricky?
Did you ever see him chew?
Did you ever see him bite?
Now that?s what I call an appetite

If he?d only lived a little longer
If he?d only lived a little longer, Ricky
With his great musical ear
And cranky elusive passion
Our boy Jack, I think
Would have finally been in fashion

Is the kind of lyric you wanted, Ricky?
No(w)- If you hate it, I?ll write you another lyric, Ricky
Ricky, are you still there?

And at his memorial service
Were you there?
Were you there?
Everyone was saying how Jack had never received the acclaim he deserved
Which of course I believed, but more quietly reserved
And at the end of the service, ugh
I was talking to Quentin Crisp
And he said,
?I never understood his music.?

(speak)
There were gasps in the crowd. People fainted on the floor.

(sing)
?I never understood why the melodies went where they went.
It?s all a crime, gone so wrong.
But, I never understood his song.?

And then I started laughing
Not a little tee-hee
But a laugh from the belly
Which confounded even me
I said, ?I must disagree.?
Ricky! I didn?t know what to say
So I said,
?Jack Eric Williams doesn?t seem to be
The fashion of the day.?

BOTH
If he had only lived a little longer
If he?d only lived a little longer, Ricky

RICKY
Ooooo?

WILLIAM FINN (during ooo?)
His great musical ear
And his cranky elusive passion
Our boy Jack, I think
Would?ve finally been

BOTH
In fashion

WILLIAM FINN
That?s all the news from Shelter Island
Though it?s not exactly news
Give my best to all the three-named composers
Including, especially you
We should all remember to take our insulin
Love, William ALAN Finn

[Thanks to Mii Mii for lyrics]
Last Update: June, 10th 2013


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Musical: Elegies: A Song Cycle. Song: Ballad of Jack Eric Williams. Broadway musical soundtrack lyrics. Song lyrics from theatre show/film are property & copyright of their owners, provided for educational purposes