The sweet pretty things are in bed now, of course The city fathers, they're trying to endorse The reincarnation of Paul Revere's horse But the town has no need to be nervous The ghost of Belle Starr, she hands down her wits To Jezebel the nun, she violently knits A bald wig for Jack the Ripper, who sits At the head of the Chamber of Commerce
(CHORUS) Mama's in the factory, she ain't got no shoes Daddy's in the alley, he's lookin' for food I'm in the kitchen with the tombstone blues
The hysterical bride in the penny arcade Screaming, she moans, "I've just been made" Then sends out for the doctor, who pulls down the shade And says, "My advice is to not let the boys in" Now, the medicine man comes and he shuffles inside He walks with a swagger and he says to the bride "Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride You will not die, it's not poison"
Well, John the Baptist, after torturing a thief Looks up at his hero, the Commander-in-Chief Saying, "Tell me, great hero, but please make it brief Is there a hole for me to get sick in?" The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly Saying, "Death to all those who would whimper and cry" And, dropping a barbell, he points to the sky Saying, "The sun's not yellow, it's chicken"
The king of the Philistines, his soldiers to save Puts jawbones on their tombstones and flatters their graves Puts the pied pipers in prison and fattens the slaves Then sends them out to the jungle Gypsy Davey with a blowtorch, he burns out their camps With his faithful slave Pedro behind him, he tramps With a fantastic collection of stamps To win friends and influence his uncle
(CHORUS, last line changed to:) I'm in trouble with the tombstone blues
The geometry of innocence, flesh on the bone Causes Galileo's math book to get thrown At Delilah, who's sitting worthlessly alone But the tears on her cheeks are from laughter Now, I wish I could give Brother Bill his great thrill I would set him in chains at the top of the hill Then send out for some pillars and Cecil B. DeMille He could die happily ever after
Where Ma Rainey and Beethoven once unwrapped their bedroll Tuba players now rehearse around the flagpole And the National Bank at a profit sells road maps for the soul To the old folks' home and the college Now, I wish I could write you a melody so plain That could hold you, dear lady, from going insane That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain Of your useless and pointless knowledge