Who are we? We are our stories.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

The White Rose Bouquet

I love song lyrics that tell stories and blur the line between lyrics and poetry. Initially I fell for this short phrase  "... Irish poets, raconteurs and libertines". I found the writing style interesting, capturing a vague feeling of a past time.  

I then went to Google to learn about "card squeezers" and "blistering the Bees". It seems before cards had number/suit designation in the upper left-hand corner, players had to spread their hand to see the pips or faces and an opponent could somewhat judge the strength of the hand by how wide is was spread. A squeezer would never spread his hand, merely remember the card on top then shift it to the bottom. "Bee" was the primary brand of fine playing cards and of course "blistering" was card marking. I knew "the gambler's fallacy" from flipping quarters. The probability of an event happening does not depend on what has happened in the past - each flip is still 50-50%. 

I also checked out the .32-20, which was a Colt .312 diameter round with 20 grains of powder. It was a heavy, slow velocity bullet; poor distance kill, but deadly at close ​range. 

The New Amsterdam Theatre was built in 1903 and is the oldest theatre still on Broadway.

There was a time I was wild, young, and handsome
I was smokin' cigarettes at age thirteen
At seventeen I was drinking in the taverns
With Irish poets, raconteurs and libertines
At twenty-one I was a full-time gambler
A card squeezer who blistered the Bees
I carried a .32-20 in my pocket
And I heeded not The Gambler's Fallacy

Thereupon I was asked to be a procurer
By a young woman of desire named Olivia Mae
So for mutual financial benefits
We opened the House of the White Rose Bouquet
Olivia was a beauty and quite flirtatious
She enjoyed the company of rakish men
And we fell deeply in love with each other
And prospered in our house of ill-repute and sin

And even though I was in love with Olivia
There were other girls and indiscretion
A patron of the house was a physician
And he gave me a cure for my transgression
One night Olivia found my hidden blue bottle
With tablets shaped like coffins inside
She mistook them for opiate narcotics
And swallowed the mercury chloride

How my heart died when I found her
In her green beaded dress, dead on the floor
At her service, I cocked my .32-20
For I could not stand the sorrow anymore

The House of the White Rose Bouquet
Fell into disarray and was torn down
The place is now a beacon of decency
For it's a theatre known as The New Amsterdam

At night after the audience has departed
Never knowing where they were was once a brothel
A figure walks across the darkened stage
In a green beaded dress, carryin' a blue bottle