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The Wedding Dance of the Widow Bride

by Geoff Berner

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credits

released January 1, 2007

Voice and accordion: Geoff Berner
Percussion and vocals: Wayne Adams
Violin and vocals: Diona Davies

All songs, words and music by: Geoff Berner
except "Queen Victoria" by Leonard Cohen.

Recorded by: Wayne Adams
at the Factory in Vancouver, Canada.
Mixed by: Wayne Adams
at P.D. Paddy Podey Productions, Vancouver, Canada

Mastered by: Craig Waddell
at Gotham City Studios, Vancouver, Canada

Cover and layout by: Richard Chapman
Emergency Medical Response Team: Karina Zeidler

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Geoff Berner Vancouver, British Columbia

Singer / songwriter / accordionist / novelist Geoff Berner's music combines klezmer, punk, political satire and Balkan dance rhythms. He writes sharp, literate songs that make you want to weep, laugh, grind your teeth, or kick out a window - often all at the same time. Having built a cult following with his weirdly compelling stage presence, G.B. has a strange ability to create fun chaos. ... more

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Track Name: Good Luck Now
I´m internationally recognized
As a really, really lucky guy.
Everybody knows that I´m
The Lucky Goddamn Jew.

But every since my big success
It´s tragic, but I must confess,
I´m under just a tonne of stress!
I don´t know what to do.

Cause

Everybody wants a piece of my,
Everybody wants a piece of my,
Everybody wants a piece of my,
Good luck now.

Commoners and royalty
Try to sidle up alongside of me
And whisper confidentially,
"Could you rub your luck on mine?"

And recently I have been spoke
Of as a possible future Pope,
Africa looks to me with hope,
They´ll have to wait in line.

Cause

Everybody wants a piece of my,
Everybody wants a piece of my,
Everybody wants a piece of my,
Good luck now.

Seems like everywhere I go
Everybody wants to know
How´d someone like me get so
Lucky "you little jerk".

The questions of these idiots
Are all so inconvenient,
Specially when I´m trying to forget
That luck had anything to do with it.
It was all hard work.
(And clean living.)

Everybody wants a piece of my,
Everybody wants a piece of my,
Everybody wants a piece of my,
Good luck now.
Track Name: Weep, Bride, Weep
Weep, Bride, Weep,
Now your girlhood is over, and your womanhood lies stretched out before you,
Weep, Bride, Weep,
Like a dull, grey matronly corpse on the coroner’s slab.
Weep, Bride, Weep,
Nothing but the horrifying agony of childbirth for you to look forward to now,
Weep, Bride, Weep,
While the melodies of yesterday’s parties echo sadly in the past.

Weep, Bride, Weep,
Now I’m sorry but it’s time for me to talk about the subject of your husband:
Weep, Bride, Weep,
I guess you think he’s pretty cute and pretty smart, and maybe even pretty
Deep.
Well Weep, Bride, Weep,
‘Cause he’s a closeted
Marxist, who thinks that marriage is state prostitution,
Weep, Bride, Weep,
So sometimes you’ll have to fuck him just to get him to shut up and go to sleep.

Weep, Bride, Weep,
But not too hard—we can’t have you collapsing out of sheer desolation,
Weep, Bride, Weep,
We need you functionally depressive, so you’ll still get up and drive the kids to class.
Weep, Bride, Weep,
At least tonight your father’s buying all of the liquid consolation,
And the musicians
Will enjoy the bridesmaids
In the ass.

Weep, Bride, Weep.
Track Name: Widow Bride
My son you have been so unwise,
You forgot to ask for my advice.
If you want to have a happy life,
Get yourself a widow bride.

Cause a widow bride has everything
Her husband couldn´t take with him,
And a widow bride knows how to do
Things you don´t know how to teach her to.

If you want a happy life,
Get yourself a widow bride.

King David was a horny king.
He saw a subject that he was interested in.
But her husband was a soldier fine,
So he put him at the front of the battle line.

And the new queen, she had everything
Her husband couldn´t take with him.
The new queen, she knew how to do
Things you don´t know how to teach her to.

If you want a happy life,
Get yourself a widow bride.

My great grandfather was seduced
By Victoria and the language that she used.
She said "I´m looking for a strong young man
To match up with these virgin lands."
She said that they were virgin lands.

But Saskatchewan had everything
Her husband couldn´t take with him.
Saskatchewan knew how to do
Things you don´t know how to teach her to.

If you want a happy life,
Get yourself a widow bride.
Track Name: Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria,
My father and all his tobacco loved you,
I love you too in all your forms,
The slim and lovely virgin floating among German beer,
The mean governess of the huge pink maps,
The solitary mourner of a prince.

Queen Victoria,
I am cold and rainy,
I am dirty as a glass roof in a train station,
I feel like an empty cast iron exhibition,
I want ornaments on everything,
Because my love, she gone with other boys.

Queen Victoria,
Do you have a punishment under the white lace,
Will you be short with her, will you make her read those little Bibles,
Will you spank her with a mechanical corset.
I want her pure as power, I want her skin slightly musty with petticoats
Will you wash the easy bidet out of her head?

Queen Victoria,
I'm not much nourished by modern love,
Will you come into my life
With your sorrow and your black carriages,
And your perfect
Memories.

Queen Victoria,
The Twentieth Century belongs to you and me.
Let us be two severe giants not less lonely for our partnership,
Who discolor test tubes in the halls of Science,
Who turn up unwelcome at every World's Fair,
Heavy with proverbs and corrections,
Confusing the star-dazed tourists
With our incomparable sense of loss.
Track Name: The Fiddler is a Good Woman
The Fiddler Is A Very Good Woman
She can drink more than any man.
She threw up in her bed last night,
But in the morning she was fine.
In the morning she was fine,
In the morning she was fine.
In the morning she was fine,

The Fiddler Is A Very Good Woman
Of Sitting Bull’s line she’s born.
The blood that runs through her finger tips
Won the battle of the Little Big Horn.
Won the battle of the Little Big Horn,
Won the battle of the Little Big Horn,
Where Custer’s hair was shorn.

The Fiddler Is A Very Good Woman
So rough but pleasing on the strings,
I hear she’s just as pleasing, girls,
On other little things,
On other little things,
On other little things,
On other little things.

The Fiddler Is A Very Good Woman
Her face is sharp but fair,
The Gypsy girl took her to her husband’s grave,
And then she kissed her there,
And then she kissed her there,
And then she kissed her there,
And then she kissed her there.

The Fiddler Is A Very Good Woman,
We sat in the sun on the village hill,
Where the children picked wild strawberries,
And I can taste them still.
And I can taste them still,
And I can taste them still,
And I can taste them still.
Track Name: Traitor Bride
An occupied town
Is like a prisoner who is bound
To fight and curse against the shackles that bind.
You are not supposed to pour
A cup of tea for a poor
Cold, homesick soldier from the wrong side.

She said, “Can’t you see,
His eyes are steady and his face is kind—
He was pressed into service against his will.
I don’t care what they say
I will go to him still,”
The soldier from the wrong side.

What do you think was said
When she screamed and she pled
After her mother found the drawer with the letters inside,
“Oh, you foolish little girl,
Nothing good can befall
Love with a soldier from the wrong side.”

She tried to run and warn him,
But her brothers barred the door,
And out into the darkness they did ride,
She was too late, too late to save him
Lieing face up in the rain,
The soldier from the wrong side.

She said, “Can’t you see,
His eyes are steady and his face is kind—
He was pressed into service against his will.
I don’t care what they say
I will go to him still,”
The soldier from the wrong side.

And when they shaved her head,
Dressed her in mocking white and led
Her through the streets as a traitor bride,
It was plain for all to see,
She’d long since joined the company
Of the soldier from the wrong side.
Track Name: Can't Stay Dry
She was a pink haired girl from Calgary,
She flew across the mountains to see what she could
see.
She never imagined how much fun it would be
To get dragged into the flooded gutter with me.

You try, you try, but you can´t stay dry.

In a raging torrent, or a tiny little mist,
The water gets into everything that exists.
It hits the condominiums like a hundred thousand
fists,
Smashing the dreams of the materialists,

Who try, they try but they can´t stay dry.

On the surface that river is so calm and brown,
But it´s really full of cancer and it wants to drag
you down.
We ought to dam it but we´re gonna have to face
The fact it´s the only reason anybody lives here in
the first place.

We try, we try but we can´t stay dry.
Track Name: Song to Reconcile
This is the song to reconcile
The parents of the bride with the
parents of the groom.
They're eyeing each other suspiciously,
Each on opposite sides of the room.

We've got to get them together
We've got to get them together,
We've got to get them together,
Don't You Know?

It's true that there's some history
Between the families,
A small matter of real estate unresolved.
Then of course there's the even smaller matter
Of the baby's brains, dashed against the wall.

We've got to get them together
We've got to get them together,
We've got to get them together,
Don't You Know?

Oh, can't they see, humanity
Is really one big family
It doesn't matter who,s to blame,
When after all, we're all the same,

Except for vastly divergent views of
History,
Geography,
And possibly even the
Purpose of human life of Earth...

This is the song to reconcile
The parents of the groom with the parents
of the bride
They're fingering their pockets suspiciously
Each still on the opposite side.

We've got to get them together
We've got to get them together,
We've got to get them together,
Oh, Oh, Oh.

Well you don't have to love each other,
but the band requests
That all killing be suspended for the duration
of the event.
Let's pray to God the human urge to have
a good meal
Get fucked up and fuck someone hot
Is stronger than the human urge for revenge.

Then maybe they'll get it together,
Maybe they'll get it together,
Maybe they'll piece it together,
I'm just the accordion player,
So I Don't Know.
Track Name: Would It Kill You?
I’m contemplating
An ultimatum,
Alternating
Between placating,
And hating.

Oh, would it kill you?
Oh, would it kill you?
Would it kill you?
To love me enough
To stay.

So go on with your scheming
Just don’t call it dreaming.
Whyte Avenue’s gleaming—
Is it so fleeting?
Your words have no meaning.

Oh, would it kill you?
Oh, would it kill you?
Would it kill you?
To love me enough
To stay.

So go on and prattle,
You’re planning for travel,
The home front is a battle,
But my friends won’t tattle
On love’s death rattle.