I still ask myself if I did the right thing
when I abandoned his floating city
And I don't mean only for the work
fact is, a friend like that a real friend
you won't meet one again
If you just decide to hang up your sea legs
if you just want to feel something more solid beneath your feet
and if then you no loner hear the music of the gods around you
But, like he used to say
You're never really done for as long as you got a good story
and someone to tell it to
nobody'd believe a single word of my story
It happened every time
Someone would look up and see her
It's difficult to understand
There'd be more than a thousand of us on that ship
Traveling rich folks, immigrants and strange people, and us
Yet there was always one
One guy alone who would see her first
Maybe he was just sitting there eating or walking on the deck
Maybe he was just fixing his pants
He'd look up for a second. A quick glance out to sea and he'd see her
Then he'd just stand there rooted to the spot, his heart racing
And every time every damn time, I swear
he'd turn to us, towards the ship towards everybody and scream
The Legend of
The one who sees America first
There's one on every ship
And don't be thinking it's an accident
Or some optical illusion It's destiny
Those are people who always
have that precise instant stamped on their life
And when they were kids you could look into their eyes
and if you looked carefully enough you'd already see her
And I've seen a few Americas
Six years on that ship five crossings a year
Europe, America and back always soaking in the ocean
When you stepped on land
you couldn't even piss straight in the john
It was teady. The john, I mean
But you'd keep bobbing like an idiot
You can get off a ship all right But off the ocean
I was just closing
What can I do for you?
When I boarded, I was
And I only cared about one thing in life
Playing the trumpet
I'm selling it
Best brass money can buy
Six pounds, ten shillings Best I can do
That horn's my whole life, mister
Even being a nobody
has got to be worth more than twenty lousy bucks
It that's how things are, I suppose it's barely worth half a crown
Shut the door when you leave please
You just bought yourself a piece of musical history
Now if you want my advice
go out, treat yourself to a decent meal
At least let me play it one last time
Young man I don't have time to waste
Hurry up, then
Two peas in a pod, wouldn't you say
It's the music you were just playing
What is it?
It doesn't have a name
Just a handful of people have had the privilege of hearing it
That style. I was wondering since this morning, but...
I can't work out who this amazing piano player is
I don't think you ever heard of him
Who is he?
If I told you this pianist never existed
I wouldn't be lying
I don't like secrets
Come on now, Yank who the devil is playing?
That's my secret
It was the first year of this frigging century
as defined by an unknown colored coal stoker on the Virginian
Fucking rich-ass bastards Can't lose nothing
but cigarette butts and dirty-ass handkerchiefs
Can't lose no watch
not even a beat-up Elgin or a sorry-ass cufflink
What am I talking about? Not even a fake fucking ring
A whole cigar
Must've been somebody poor at the party
Look at this shit
Damn rich. Don't forget nothing unless they owe you some money
What in the scuts you doing here?
Howdy do there, Lemon
You said it That's the way the immigrants do it
Have a baby on the ship
and then leave on board another mouth to feed
And, like that, avoid trouble with the immigration office
What's a boy like him going to be when he grows up?
Don't pay those bastards no mind Lemon
Go on, lap it up, boy
This one they left in first class on top the piano
They are hoping some rich guy will come
and stick a silver spoon in his mouth
And who does the little ape get instead?
A poor coal stoker
Someoe is taking you for a sucker, Danny
They have the fun You have the misery
You stinking sewer rats
T.D. was wrote on that box. Any of you shitheads know what that means?
I forgot. You all can't read
They left him for me and I'm gonna keep him
Rest of you all can go fuck yourselves
Danny, what are you going to call the nino?
Hell, I ain't think about that
To start off I'm going to name him after me
Then I'll put
Iike rich folks puts that in the middle, don't you think?
That give it class, to put that in the middle, don't you think?
All fucking lawyers gots initials in the middle of their names
Well, my lawyer was Jonathan PTK Wonder
My son grow up to be a lawyer I swear I'll kill him myself
But the boy's name is still going to be Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon
He ain't the son of no fucking duke, Danny
You found him on a Tuesday Call him
You ain't as dumb as you look colored boy
I found him the first month
of the first year of this frigging new century
So I calls him: Nineteen Hundred
Nineteen Hundred? But that's a number
It was a number, now it's a name
Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred
Danny, your little bambino is not so happy
Come on, hurry. Hurry up Don't worry, your mama's here
Damn. How can something that small shit so much?
And that's how little Nineteen Hundred grew up
Inside that cradle as big as a shi
But since Danny was afraid they'd take him away
on account of some business concerning documents and visas
the boy lived his early years
always hiding in the belly of the Virginian
Okay, now try one for yourself
Put your finger up here against these words
so the letters can't run off on you
All right, keep going
Just a little bit more
Boy, you read like a god, Lemon
Now go on, put them all together
kind of like them boiler valves Come on
Mango Mama. All right. Deep going
Danny, why are you laughing so much
Because these are names of horses Don't that make you laugh?
Listen to this
And this one
What's a mama, Danny?
A mama's a horse
Matter of fact, you know what I say Mama's the best horse in the world?
Thoroughbred You bet on a mama, you always win
The King of Lemons
Dad, put your finger here and read
T.D. doesn't mean
Who's this pansy ass?
That's enough reading for tonight
Too much reading is bad for you
What else is bad, Danny?
Everything off the Virginian is bad
They got sharks on the land they eat you alive
You keep away from they, you hear?
Danny, what's an orphanage?
Well, a orphanage is like a great big prison
where they lock up folks that ain't got kids
So if I wasn't with you they would put you in an orphanage?
You got that right, little Lemon
Watch out, Danny
Roll over. Roll him over
My God. Doctor
Call the doctor. Get the doctor
Danny, you bloody cow. Talk to me
Ain't nothing but a pat on the back, boys
and Times Were Good
It took him three days to go toes up, old Danny
He let go on the sixth race in Chicago
Drinkable Water by two lengths over Vegetable Soup
and five over Blue Foudation
I will fear no evil for Thou art with me
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me
In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
Nineteen Hundred was eight years old then
He'd made the trip between Europe and America
about fifty times, I imagine
The ocean was his home
He never set foot on dry land Never
Though he'd seen it from the ports a hundred times
But he never got off the boat
as far as the world was concerned he didn't even exist
There wasn't a city, a parish a hospital, jail or baseball team
that had his name any place
He didn't have a country, he didn't even have a birth date. No family
He was eight years old but officially
he had never even been born
Captain. Captain, wake up
What's his name?
Not the song, the boy
Like the song
Nineteen Hundred, all of this is entirely against the regulations
Fuck the regulations
But I don't understand
what the record has to do with any of this
This record shouldn't exist
The only existing matrix was destroyed right after it was cut
This is a matrix
Quite handy for on-the-spot recordings
that sort of business
How did you get your hands on this?
I spend the better part of the day
putting the bits and pieces together
I found them by accident.
Hidden inside one of those two pianos
I bought them from a second-hand dealer
They've emptied out an old hospital ship
It's over there, mate
Slow down not so fast with that pulley
Easy up there, easy
Watch that! These aren't bananas, you know
-Where are you from?
-What do you do?
-I'm a barber
-Sign him on -Thanks very much
Next. What's your trade?
I'm a carpenter. A good mechanic
What do you do?
I play the trumpet
We've already got musicians on board. Next
Where the hell is he going?
What's that? I don't know
When you don't know what it is it's jazz
It was the happiest day of my life
All those people hope in their eyes
The goodbyes, the sirens
And that big floating world starting to move
It felt like one big party A huge bash
just for me
But just three days later
the ocean got tired of the festivities
What's the matter?
Lose your sea legs?
YOu're the new trumpet man aren't you?
And you blow a Conn
Come with me I have a cure for your misery
Take the brakes off, please
Trust me. Just take the brakes off
Hop on next to me
What are you, some kind of nut case
You better get on now or you never will
Tell me something do you have children?
They'll lock you up
in the orphanage one of these days
I see you know your horses
Just a litte
Good evening, Captain
Care for a ride?
Tell me again how big the fucking window was
It was a big fucking window
We're going to be shoveling coal
on this ship till eternity
Least you know
what you'll be doing when you grow up
You're from New Orleans, right?
How'd you know that?
I love that town
Really? I haven't been there in a while?
In winter, it's beautiful
And in March
you can always count on one afternoon
when you least expect it
the fog slides in
a milky barrier
hangs just below the street lamps
It cuts everything off
Iike a white blade. And it's magic
Houses lose their top floors
trees lose their branches
St. Louis Cathedral loses its spires
People passing by they lose their heads
So from the neck up everything disappears
All you can see in Jackson Square
is decapitated bodies stumbling around
bumping into each other saying
That's it Too bad it doesn't last long
How do you know all these things?
You know ever since I came on board
I been hearing a lot of talk about a guy
He's supposed to have been born on this ship
and never been off it since
Twenty years without ever
setting foot on land?
They say this guy makes music
that's never been heard before
I've heard of him too
First off I thought you were the guy
But then something didn't add up
I figured: if he's Nineteen Hundred
how could he know New Orleans so well?
Because you've been to New Orleans
If I told you I'd never set foot in that town
would you believe me?
Whoever you are
Gald to meet you
How we doing?
We're supposed to blow it up
not wait for it to be eaten by the fishes
You're not going to blow up a goddamn thing
because my best friend is on this ship
You'll all be responsible for murder
Get him out of here!
Do whatever you want, but get him off my case
I'm not making this up and I'm not crazy
If I tell you there's a man
aboard the Virginian
it means there's a man aboard the Virginian
We cleaned that scuttle from stem to stern
Not even doorknobs were left
Only dynamite. Dynamite
How can you be so sure that's a man on board?
If you've any proof, out with it
Because I'm the horse's arse
who has to throw that switch
I'm sure he's there
I spent the best years of my life
on the Virginian
End of line
All right! Run it down
What the hell do you think
about when you're playing?
Where does your mind go
when you hit the keys?
Last night I was in a beautiful country
Women had perfume in their hair
And it was full of tigers
And each time he ended up someplace different
In the heart of London
on a train in the middle of the country
on the edge of a giant volcano
in the biggest church in the world
counting the columns
and staring up at the crucifixes
Hey, Kid, give us a good tarantella
And you show me how a tarantella goes paisa
Why the hell don't you get off?
Just once? One time?
See the world for yourself
with your own eyes?
You ever think about it?
You could do anything you wanted to
People would go crazy for you
You could make beaucoup bucks, man
Get yourself the finest house
Get yourself a wife
God knows you
can't spend the rest of your life
traveling back and forth like some yo- yo
The world is out there
Nothing but a gangplank to cross
And what's a gangplank? A few stupid steps
everything is waiting at the bottom of those steps
Why don't you just do it
Why don't you just get off?
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
I think land people
waste a lot of time wondering why
Winter comes and you can't wait for summer
Summer comes and you live in dread of winter
That's way you never tire of traveling
Always chasing someplace far away
where it's always summer
Doesn't sound like a good bet to me
Hold it! Stop everything
Forgive me for allowing myself
to your music was so strong
You don't look too happy
to be going to America
It's not America
It's everything I leave behind
Until a few years ago I know only my field
The world for me started and ended there
in that little piece of the land
I never walked down the main street of a city
Maybe you can't understand but
I understand perfectly
I know someone
who went through something very similar
And one fine day did his field go dry too?
And did his wife also run off with a priest?
And did the fever take his five children?
No. But he ended up alone too
Then he is more lucky than me
I still have a daughter The young one
And it's for her
that I decide one day to fight against my bad luck
and travel all over without a destination
And then one day
when I go through
one of the many towns I never see before
I come to a hill
And then I see
the most beautiful thing in my life
I never see it before
It was like lightning hit me
Because I hear the voice
The voice of the sea?
Yeah, the voice of the sea
I never heard it
The voice of the sea it is like a shout
A shout big and strong
screaming and screaming
And the thing it was screaming was:
with shit instead brains
life is immense can you understand that?
I never think of it that way
A revolution was in my head
I suddenly decide to change my life
to start fresh
Change life. Start fresh
Tell that to your friend
It's Max Tooney, your friend
Come on out, Nineteen Hundred!
I'm your friend too
Even if we never met
Don't worry, no cops
You said something about a piano
Where was it exactly?
We found it over there
On the violin yours truly, Bill Douglas
Tuba and bass, Freddie Loycano
Max Tooney on trumpet
And finally, on piano
Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred
For the last time Nineteen Hundred, just...
just the normal notes
End of the line
Where do yu get it?
I don't know. You see that woman over there
She looks like someone
who's killed her husband
with the help of her lover
And now she's running off
with the family jewels
Don't you think this music's her?
Damn, it's true
You see that guy over there?
He can't forget a thing
Listen to his music
His head bursts with memories
and there's nothing he can do about it
And look at that one there
She looks like a prostitute
who's thinking of becoming a nun
Now, look at this one
See how he walks?
I'd say he's in someone else's suit
judging by the way he wears it
I'd say he's a stowaway
slipped into first class
Iooking for an amorous adventure
This one's got America stamped on his eyes
I can already hear him screaming