The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Bobby Edwards, the Troubadour of Greenwich Village (11)

January 15th, 2011 · 1 Comment


Romany Marie (Marie Marchand), whose Gypsy-themed tavern was a popular hangout for decades, reminisced about Bobby Edwards in a long interview with Robert Schulman (for his book Romany Marie: The Queen of Greenwich Village, 2006).

She quotes several Edwards songs, including this charming snippet:

We are holy Christian martyrs
We don’t shave or clean our faces
When we sit in public places
We are so holy that we are sure
That our morals are secure.
Halitosis, halitosis,
Holy Hallelujah.

She recalls his studio:

“He lived for years and years on the first floor of an old building on McDougal Street. You couldn’t get into the place, he had everything there. He did photography, he composed music, he wrote, he did everything. People used to go in there just out of curiosity, to look at all this accumulation. And there is where he composed his songs.”

And she reveals that one of those songs was based on a waitress who worked in her tavern. Bodenheim quoted a bit of it in New York Madness (see the earlier post here); here’s more:

I know a girl
I’d like to whirl,
I’d like to hurl
Into the river one day,
She’s a pest,
Don’t give us no rest,
Always asking for pay.
She’s the belle of Hubert’s Cafe-tit-teria
Down on Sheridan Square
Where the nuts and the bums
With the sex hysteria
Patiently give her the air.
She hasn’t a home,
A place of her own,
She domiciles everywhere,
And her name, if you ask it,
Is Lizzie Mossbasket,
The belle of Sheridan Square.

This seems a bit harsh, but as Marie ruefully recalls, “She was very aggressive… She wasn’t coordinated with her wildness.”

(Posted by Doug Skinner)

Tags: Bobby Edwards · Ukulele

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Angela // Jan 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Fantastic! After spending a few minutes perusing this book yesterday, I think I have to read it… if anything just to hear more about the crazy doctor/inventor husband. The village is rich with characters!

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