Story 2006-05-08 London, England

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “O Mary Don’t You Weep”
“Evening, London (crowd cheers) go ahead, Charles…this place looks familiar…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “John Henry”
“Thank you…Sam Bardfeld on the violin (crowd cheers) good evening (crowd cheers) oh Lord…(chuckles)…alright…alright, so, uh …Hammersmith Apollo, Hammersmith Odeon, yeah…a lot of ghosts haunting this place tonight (chuckles) let’s do it, let’s tear it up…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Johnny 99”
“That’s right (crowd cheers) we’re gonna raise the roof on this old place…woo!…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Old Dan Tucker”
“Oh yes…yes, tonight I came…I drove into that alley there and…and I have to say I was moved…to puke my guts out when I got inside (laughs)(laughs from the crowd) once that was over – it’s all great now the rest of the night (laughs) come on (?)…alright, a 150-year-old Bob Dylan song…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Eyes on the Prize”
“Well done (chuckles)…alright, uh…thank you…this was a song originally a gospel hymn called “Hands on the plow” and uh…it got re-written in 1956 by a lady named Alice Wine…this is called “Eyes on the prize”…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Long Black Veil”
“[A guy yells “Bruce, I still fooking love ya!”](crowd cheers) We all have our obsessions…it’s uh…let’s try this one…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Erie Canal”
“Yes, yes…(?) “Erie Canal”…alright, this is a song, uh…one of the few love songs, uh, ever written to a mule…funny I, I can’t think of the second one (chuckles) but, uh…mule’s pretty important back in these days, it was written in 1905 by a guy named Thomas Allen, it was originally called “Low bridge, everybody down” and, uh, it was about eighty years after they kind of stopped using horses and mules to lug cargo along the Erie Canal in New York City – upstate New York, excuse me…this is “Erie Canal”…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “My Oklahoma Home”
“Thank you, this is a song, uh…written back, uh (?) in the, uh…in the ’30’s by a guy, a gal named Agnes Cunningham, a Dust Bowl refugee, founder-editor of Broadside Magazine and uh…about a time in American history when…a natural disaster drove thousands of people from their homes, sent them out all across the United States with no place to go and no work and we never thought we’d see that again but we have over the past year in the States…this is called “My Oklahoma home” (crowd cheers)…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?”
“Thank you, we, uh, oh, just came out of New Orleans about a week ago, I guess…we played this New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival…uh, it’s hard to explain what New Orleans is like, it’s, it’s, because there’s…you’d have to go back to, I guess, war time devastation where there’s blocks and blocks and blocks and miles of just, uh, completely, completely ruined neighborhoods, houses on top of houses on top of cars, entire, half of the city’s population is gone, people got on buses and planes and got off wherever they got off and, uh…it’s really the mother city of, uh, American music, so many things came together from down there that also came rolling over there from here so, uh (chuckles) uh, this is a song by a guy named Blind Alfred Reed, he wrote a song called “How can a poor man stand such times and live?” and he wrote it shortly before the Depression (crowd cheers) and I wrote three extra verses, uh… to commemorate our President’s trip down there (laughs from the crowd) the President Bystander (chuckles) and uh (crowd cheers) he managed to, uh, he managed to completely, uh…gut the single American agency that’s supposed to help its citizens in times like that through just political cronyism, that’s what happens when people play political games with other people’s lives, this is “How can a poor man stand such times and live?” (crowd cheers)…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Jacob’s Ladder”
“Thank you…alright, here’s “Jacob’s ladder” (crowd cheers) I was telling the folks last night I did a little reading up on Jacob…Jacob was the guy who was always sort of fucking up in the eyes of God… and uh…I guess he was climbing that ladder a rung by rung and, uh …this is a song based on Jacob’s prophetic dream of escape from bondage, we are all climbing Jacob’s ladder…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “We Shall Overcome” (following “Jacob’s Ladder”)
“Cindy Mizelle – get a spotlight on them (crowd cheers) Curtis King (crowd cheers) yes, Miss Lisa Lowell – where are you, darling? (chuckles) woo!…yes…oh, it takes that and then some…alright… this is a…I think one of the most, one of the most important songs Pete Seeger had his hand in, this is really, uh, probably the most important political protest song of all-time…it’s been sung around the world, as recent as a week ago in the States…immigration marches and demonstrations, this was originally, uh (people applaud) yes, originally a Baptist hymn, it was brought into the Labor movement in the ‘30s and was popularized in the Civil Rights movement in the ‘50s…”

08.05.06 London, England, middle of “Open All Night”
“Alright, come on, we ain’t stopping till everybody’s dancing…one more time, we ain’t stopping till everybody’s dancing…now get some light on them folks…
(…) Now, the last line…the last line is…”Come on in, everybody, ‘cause we’re open all night”…are you ready? (crowd cheers) are you ready? (crowd cheers) are you ready? (crowd cheers) are you ready? (crowd cheers)…”

08.05.06 London, England, middle of “Pay Me My Money Down”
“(crowd sings the chorus)(Bruce strums guitar)…It’s up to you now (crowd keeps singing)…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “My City of Ruins”
“(crowd cheers) I got you (crowd cheers) oh, thank you…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “Buffalo Gals”
“Thank you (crowd cheers) oh yeah (crowd cheers) alright now… this is a song my grandma used to sing to me…alright, band…”

08.05.06 London, England, middle of “You Can Look”
“I heard a tapping on the window and a voice in the dark, it said… “Hey, you…come on out of that car…license…registration”…but… but, Officer, but…but…but what can a poor boy do…except play in a rag-time band?…”

08.05.06 London, England, intro to “When the Saints Go Marching in”
“(chuckles) Oh, man, well…let me see…at this rate I’ll be back in this building when I’m 88 (chuckles) (crowd cheers) that ain’t too old (chuckles) it’s getting younger every day, right? (chuckles)… fun to be back here, fun to be back in this place, damn (crowd cheers) it’s funny, you know, there’s…you remember, you remember just about every show you ever did, for some reason, you can’t remember a lot else but usually if somebody comes up and says “Hey, man, you know, I was at this school back in nineteen” “Oh, yeah, yeah, that was the time when, uh, you know, somebody split their pants or something* you know” but it’s, uh… this place is one of those, uh, just, oh man, it holds a lot of ghosts for me and uh…it’s just, uh, it’s just been fun being, being in here tonight, really, came in that back alley (crowd cheers) a lot of fun (crowd cheers) but man (crowd cheers) I thought they (crowd cheers) I thought they like tore it down or something, I didn’t even think it was still here…you know, I guess they changed the name, I guess for legal reasons, I’m not sure why (chuckles)(laughs from the crowd) but uh, damn, this is one of those places that, uh, that I’m permanently in and it’s permanently in me (chuckles)(crowd cheers) so uh, I wanna thank you, London, you know (crowd cheers) finally ready for hundreds of years old songs (chuckles) (crowd cheers) this is a song we did looking for something special when we went down to New Orleans, this is kind of the theme song of the whole city, I guess, but I was going through an old book and I found a couple of verses that I, I hadn’t heard sung much and, uh, it kind of changed, changed the whole song, but it sort of explains what our whole, whole project here is about and, uh, I’m gonna send this one out to you just as a lovely prayer tonight, thank you for a warm welcome and God bless (crowd cheers)…”
[* This happened to Clarence on March 4, 1988 in Chapel Hill, NC.]

Compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi

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