Cabaret Songs

Composed by William Bolcom (b. 1938)

At the Last Lousy Moments of Love
At the last lousy moments of love he wanted to tell me the truth.
At the last writhing rotten moments of love he wanted to tell me the truth—
About me, of course.
Thanks, I’ll need this.
At the last lousy moments of love, he wanted to tell me-
That I wasn’t doing too well.
I was eating and drinking and talking too much.
He wanted to tell me as a friend at the last lousy moments of love.

He wanted to tell me he was leaving, he’d waited too long—
To tell me that I was self-righteous—
Even when I wasn’t wrong,
And I spoke about friendship,
‘till our friends gave me up as a friend for the season,
For which reason, he wanted to tell me this truth.

He wanted to tell me these things, as a friend,
He wanted to tell me, but he didn’t in the end.
At those last lousy moments of love—
He said it all, with his body—
To my best friend.

Waitin
Waitin waitin
I’ve been waitin
Waitin waitin all my life.

That light keeps on hiding from me,
But it someday just might bless my sight.
Waitin waitin waitin

Amor
It wasn’t the policeman’s fault
in all the traffic roar
Instead of shouting halt when he saw me
he shouted Amor.

Even the ice-cream man
(free ice-creams by the score)
Instead of shouting Butter Pecan one look at me
he shouted Amor.

All over town it went that way
Ev’rybody took off the day
Even philosophers understood
How good was the good ‘cuz I looked so good!

The poor stopped taking less
The rich stopped needing more.
Instead of shouting no and yes
Both looking at me shouted Amor.

My stay in town was cut short
I was dragged to court.
The judge said I disturbed the peace
And the jury gave him what for!

The judge raised his hand
And instead of Desist and Cease
Judgie came to the stand, took my hand
And whispered Amor.

Night was turning into day
I walked alone away.
Never see that town again.
But as I passed the churchhouse door
Instead of singing Amen
The choir was singing Amor.

Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs, a collaboration with poet Arnold Weinstein, are some of his most-beloved songs. Bolcom wrote four volumes of these songs for his wife, singer Joan Morris. Their memorable texts, by turns witty, thoughtful, tragic, and sassy, have ensured that these songs have remained some of Bolcom’s most popular pieces.

—Joe Turbessi

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