The Raven

M'Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court, Edgar, the swinging Edgar Allen Poe's magnificent torch, "The Raven," as translated into the semantic of the hip.

It's a Bugbird.
And like I say, Poe --
Eddie Allen Poe was a swinger.
He loved to en-joy that good whiskey
and chase them little ladies all over the place,
understand what I mean?

Now, you see Poe didn't want that bird,
he didn't need the bird,
he didn't dig the bird,
he didn't send for the bird,
he didn't even know what aviary the bird came from.
If they've knocked the bird on him post paid
he wouldn't have dug it.
'Cause he was hung in front
for a chick by the name of Lenore,
who had already swoop the satellite.
But that didn't bug Eddie.
He's still knockin' that torch and coal on there,
say: "Can they see me in Flip City?"

But just like I say, so many times,
when you don't want the bird,
when you don't need the bird,
when you haven't got the first possible use for the bird,
vrrrrpppt, that's when you get it.
And that's what happened to poor Eddie.

I want you to picture that cat: he's sitting in his pad, he's all spread out. He's flipped, he's flapped, he's had it, undastand what I mean? He can't make it. If he had it, he couldn't swing it so he's sitting there goofing the cool, ya see what I mean?

He say:

It was a real drug midnight
swoooooooooooooooah dreary
I was goofing
Beat and weary
Over many a freakish volume of forgotten score
When suddenly there came a tapping
As if some cat were gently riffing
Knocking rhythm at my pad's door.

Ah, "'tis the landlady," I muttered
On her broom she flies the rounding
Sounding for her rent
WHICH only this and nothing more

Ehh, ooh, will I ever get out of this feeling?
Emmm, emmmm,

Ah, so solid I remember,
It was in that wrought December
And it's swingin', jumpin' ember
Blew it's phantom upon the floor
Groovily I woo'd the morrow
Still hung I sought to borrow
From my book kicks
To knock the sorrow
Sorrow for my gone Lenore
For that sweet, square but swingin' maiden
Whom the fly chicks tagged Lenore
Nameless here forevermore

Oooh, man,

And the silky wear deturning [?]
Of each upper curtain
Moved me, hound me
With freakish flipples
Never dug before.
So that now to cool the beating of my ticker
I stood repeating, "'Tis some strange midnight stud
That's sounding a money beat on my pad's door.
A deuce to cool the morrow
Or some juice to drown his sorrow
Some lightweight riff this
And nothing more.
Jack!" I said, "Or Jilly, if I've crossed you.
Ha ha. Don't jump sore
For the solid truth is
This cat was napping
And so cool did you come tapping
And so light hip you came rapping
Rhythm at my pad's door
That I was scarce sure I dug you!"
Here I opened wide the slammer, Jack.
Swhoosh, I dug the breeze
And nothing more.

Ooh, what are they trying to do to me?
I'll show them - what do they think about -
get my way out of this - why they -
uuumm, what was that?
Look out, look out, look out!
Take it easy, take it easy, take it easy, take it easy!

Stoned into the darkness peering
Long I stood there
I was hung there
Flipped and fitting
King spinning dreams
No mortal cat had ever rode before
But the gasser was unbroken
Diggin' so hard my wig was goin'
But nathin' shakin' nathin's sure
Just one radar blip was goin'
The whispered word: Lenore
This I sounded and it sounded back
Swoo-Swooooh, Lenore.
This one sad lick and nothing more

Oooh, why don't they leave me alone,
why don't they leave me alone?
They're draggin' me.

I backed into my pad
Still turning
All this jazz within me burning
And again I dug the tapping
A stronger beat then was before
"Unsolid hip," says I, "I don't dig
what that is jumpin in my window lattice.
Let me get hip what the rat is
And this big flip I will explore
Let my pounders stay cool [?]
And this flip I will explore"
swoo-shoo, Jack, I drew a blank
And nothing more.

Swhoooo - Who do they think they are to do this to me?!

Gone full out
I found the shutter
When with many a flip and flutter
In there stomped a king sized bugbird, Jack
From way back days of yore
Not a minute tipped or hung he
Not a minute brought or down he
But with stance of king and queen
He swung above my sweet pad's door
Lit upon the bust of Paris
Sat goofin' there and nothing more.

"Unsolid hip," said I, "That you're not craven
Gasser grim and beat up raven
Goofin for the night's Plutonian shore.
Swing hip me to what thy tag is
On the night's Plutonian shore."
Flip the bugbird, "Nothing more."

Solid wig me this bird to dig me
Though it copped out not upon the score
We cannot help it
Being that no single human being
Ever was so sent by seeing a wig like this
Above his pad's door
With such a tag as: Nevermore

Now you see this blasted bugbird came bugging Edgar and gave him such a dreadful time of it that Edgar now wants to divorce the bird. He wants to expel the bird. He doesn't care whether the bird knew Lenore, Eleanor or any of these cats. He wants to blow the bird. So he - I think the bird put one too many Nevermores on him. I don't know how much they weigh but it was just enough to flip that little Eisenglas at the end of the fuse and vrrrpppppt, blow the whole gig. Poe is now flipping. He looks at the bird and he says,

"By this lick you have flipped my meter
You nauseous gasser!
You endless repeater!
Screw before I blow my red hot stack!
Go back to your Plutonian shore
Leave no feather on my heather
Take your black jazz blown together,
Leave this pad my torch unbroken
Screw from the roost above my door!"
Flipped the bugbird, "Neezever Meezore."

From: Lord Buckley: a most immaculately hip aristocrat, Straight Records, (compiled by Frank Zappa), Straight and Reprise LP's, 1970. Released in Britain by Demon Verbals, 1989 and in US by Rhino-Bizarre/Straight & Enigma as a CD in 1989.

Transcribed by EARL RIVERS