Roseanne

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

The first part of Robert Hunter's Amagamalin Street Suite. The lyrics below are as printed in "Box Of Rain" - the recorded version has a few very minor differences.

Woke out of a dream
gold hearts with bat wings
pouring out of my throat
Now, what's this note?
Oh, no! Roseanne
She's walked out on me
Ain't that sweet?
... walked out on me

What's wrong with that girl?
Head in another world
Here I sit in Rat City
Hotel and no pity
Roseanne - look at how you treat your man
Roseanne - you don't understand

Bet she's packing her stuff
Planning to catch a bus
I think she's Southern, I didn't ask
I'll check the station

I'll hit the deck and wail
use the method that don't fail
Say it so she's gotta believe
Fall on my hands and knees and cry:
Please
Roseanne
Roseanne
Don't fall out on me

Get out of my life
Get out for good, Chet
Get off your knees
I'll call the police

Roseanne this can't be true
Think of what we been through
I know I've thrown a curve or two
But I deserve
better from you
You know I do
Roseanne
I want to be your man

I'm sick, my head hurts
Whatcha got in your purse?
Empty wallet and gum
Pint of Cuban rum
High heel offa my shoe
Map of Atlanta, what's it to you?

What's the name of the book?
Take it and have a look

"Our Hearts Had Wings"
hmm
hahaha

Romance from the market rack
Roseanne, what trash
Back off, I read what I like
Come on, now, get out of my life
... out of my life


Guess I got no basis to doubt
I'll read it myself and find out
Forget it, I found it in the street
A cold wind rippled its leaves
... rippled its leaves


You complain if I think or
step out to have a drink
You finally took a swing at me
and man, that's over the line
Don't waste my time
I was raised in that scene
It won't happen to me


Roseanne, remember the day
We swore our love would never decay?
Down on the avenue under the el
It rained hearts and flowers fell
Didn't they fall?
Hearts, flowers and all
Didn't they fall ...

Come on Roseanne, let's try again
UNH-UH - you don't understand
This is my moment of truth
If I come back I'll never pull loose
Don't you see?
I'll never pull free
... never pull free


Roseanne, I'm on my knees
Please
don't
fall out on me
I want to be your man
Roseanne
I know I can

You need me to stand behind
Babe, you're not the tough kind
Me, I hustle, I ain't shy
We go together, you and me
It's chemistry
Roseanne
You belong to me!

Remember my uncle who went bail
when I was busted for blackmail?
Well, he's gone to his reward
The will's hung in probate court
It's a matter of time
before what was his
is mine, Roseanne

I ought to spit in your eye
You never even said he died

From now on I'm filling you in
Okay, let's try it again
but don't swing on me
If you do
I'll get you in your dreams


Step by step we walk the line
from Sixty-eighth to a Hundred and nine
Somewhere around Seventy-fifth
Roseanne starts looking ticked
You're going to laugh at me
After I packed up
I turned in the key


Turned in the what? That's what I did
Roseanne, you gotta be kidding
No babe, we're out on the street
No shit, where do we eat?
On Amagamalin Street
At the Silver Snare
I got credit there


Ain't much but it's open late
Cheap and cheerful, grab a plate

Gimme a hammer, I'd crack this bun
CC Rider, what you done-done
you done-done
What you done-done
you done-done

Where will tonight end?
Pray for a new friend
Otherwise we ride the train
to Rockaway and back again
Far Rockaway
Far Rockaway
till the break of day

We could cop some cheap ice
Deal it cut twice
then head out of state
and wait for probate
I leave it to you
Roseanne
What do you wanta do?

Okay, we head for the coast
Out of New York, stop fighting ghosts
Hole up in the Mission, scratch for rent
For you, babe, I'd live in a tent
Spend every last cent
on roses and wine
Just give me the sign
.....

S.F setting
Otis Redding
Bay at sunset
What's that line of Frost?
Miles to go but I ain't lost
You're a Gypsy to me
I'll tell you what I see ...

You'd look fine in a widow shawl
by candlelight with crystal ball
Good market in second sight
You know you look just right
Pull your hair back tight
Yeah, you got it in spades
Be queen of the trade

One thing I noticed today
people believe what you say
You read souls, what people feel
You know, we could make a steal
You got a natural grace -
a Gyspsy face
be a shame to waste

I believe your gift is real
and I know how to wheel and deal
You see through me, that's a fact
That's second sight, ain't no act
I know you can
Madam Roseanne
I want to be your man
.....

Roseanne
where did winter go?
Spring and summer, too
I'm feeeling so down and blue

There's a customer at the door
Baby, why you looking so sore?
What do you mean it's insincere?
Tell them whatever they want to hear
Play it by ear

Cut the line about giving it up
We're starting to make bucks
Clients lining up at the door
What do you mean you feel like a whore?
Now what you say that for?

Why don't you dim the light?
Powder that black eye
Save the martyr routine
You sound like a broken machine
You better understand
a man has a right
to step out at night

You lie around reading swill
acting mentally ill
Where in the hell did you hide the wine?
Drank it yourself? That's real fine
Really first-rate
Look, I got you a date
Get yourself straight
.....

Hello, Roseanne, I'm in New York
Appearance in probate court
Take care, I'll call when I can
'Course I love you, Madam Roseanne

Madam Roseanne, Madam Roseanne
Gypsy to me - Roseanne
Fall, winter, and spring
Two hearts with red wings
All those sweet things
Gold hearts with bat wings ...
Lining the dark part
Spring, summer, and fall -
I'll make that call
Fall, winter, and spring
She just lets it ring
She either isn't at home
or she's not alone ...
I'm sure she's doing well
She's got something to sell
She's a Gypsy to me
Roseanne
I want to be your man
Madam Roseanne, Madam Roseanne
Roseanne - Gypsy to me
Robert Hunter Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1984 Amagamalin Street Robert Hunter

Synopsis
Robert Hunter gives this synopsis in "Box Of Rain":
Chet, a smooth-talking, hard-drinking womanizer, awakens with a bad hangover to discover that Roseanne, his latest meal ticket, whom he has been living with for a few weeks in a cheap hotel, has walked out, leaving only a good-bye note. He figures she'll be heading home--somewhere down South--and hurries to the bus station to intercept her. It seems he'd smacked her around in his drunkenness of the night before, so he has a lot of fast talking to do. He pleads that he has seen the light, that they need each other, and, most important, that he has a good deal of money hung up in probate court, courtesy of an uncle who has just died. She agrees to run with him on condition that he never again raise his hand against her.

It so happens that Roseanne has turned in the key to the hotel room and they spend the night riding the subway back and forth to Far Rockaway. They decide to spend what little Roseanne has left--the price of a bus ticket--on drugs, which Chet cuts twice and deals for ready cash to get to San Francisco in order to hang out until the will passes probate.

Once on the coast, in dire need of money, Chet convinces Roseanne that she has the gift of second sight (after all, he argues, "You see through me") and sets her up as a fortune-teller, relying on his glibness to bring in customers. Over a period of time, Roseanne becomes increasingly demoralized and drinks heavily as Chet gains more and more control of her, eventually pressing her into prostitution.

One day, he disappears. He eventually calls her from New York to say that the will is finally being settled and that he will call again, which he does not do until a year later, after splitting up with his new girl, Maggie (this story is related in the next song: "Amagamalin Street"). In a characteristic fit of sentimentality, he tries to re-establish contact with Roseanne but cannot do so. He comforts himself with the thought that at least she can support herself with the profession to which he has introduced her.