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Lyr Add: Big Black Mariah (Waits)

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Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 05 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 02 Mar 05 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 02 Mar 05 - 02:53 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Mar 05 - 02:54 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Big Black Mariah (Waits)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 02:21 PM

Tom Waits is an acquired taste, but his lyrics always are interesting if sometimes confusing.

Big Black Mariah
(Tom Waits)

Well cutting through the cane break, rattling the sill
Thunder that the rain makes when the shadow tops the hill
Big light on the back street, hill to ever more
Packing down the ladder with the hammer to the floor
Here come the big black mariah, here come the big black mariah,
Here come the big black mariah, I seen the big black Ford

Well he's all boxed up on a red belle dame
Hunted black johnny with a blind man's cane
A yellow bullet with a rag out in the wind
An old blind tiger, got an old bell jim
Here come the big black mariah, here come the big black mariah
Here come the big black mariah, here come the big black ford.

Sent to the skies on a benny jag blue
Off to bed without his supper like a linda brides do
He got to do the story with the old widow jones
Got a wooden coat, this boy is never coming home
Here come the big black mariah, here come the big black mariah
Here come the big black mariah, I seen that big black ford
Cut through the canebrake, oh, yeah.

Well he's all boxed up on a red belle dame
Flat blue johnny with a blind man's cane
A hundred yellow bullets shook a rag out in the wind
An old blind tiger, on a bell you win
Here come the big black mariah, here come the big black mariah
Here come the big black mariah, here come the big black Ford.

Taken from the web, uncertain if these lyrics are correct. Any corrections?

Black Mariah


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Big Black Mariah (Waits)
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 02:51 AM

Given the fuss surrounding the Padstow 'darkie days' thread - I wondered if well-intentioned US folk were going to post and suggest that the song's name be changed to Big Green Mariah or any other colour than black.

Black Mariah (n): police van - Paddy wagon in the States.

Not too sure about the 'Mariah' bit but I suspect the first bit is because these vehicles were in fact black?

I see from Google that this is also a form of poker and there is a comicbook super-hero of this name. So this name and use of the word 'black' seems to be acceptable   ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Big Black Mariah (Waits)
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 02:53 AM

Padstow Darkie Days


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Big Black Mariah (Waits)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 02:54 PM

Origin of term Black Maria (Mariah) and application to police vans and funeral parlor meat wagons covered in thread 8327 (They call the wind---): Maria Mariah


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