Mike's Big Book of Songs

New South - Mrs. Ernst's Piano

mrs ernst gave piano lessons
on sunday afternoons
to the children of the neighborhood
she'd teach simple tunes
at her old pianola
the children would pound
while mrs ernst's husband
read the paper with a frown

see the neighborhood was changing
they say it was going down
they were putting up new houses
east of town

mrs ernst had a visit
from her neighbor mr gun
mr gun wanted piano lessons
for his son
mrs ernst said "i must think it over"
mr gun asked her why
she said, "I have my reasons sir
thank you and goodbye"

see the neighborhood was changing
they say it was going down
they were putting up new houses
east of town

see mrs ernst's husband
he had fixed views
the world was black and white
he saw know subtler hues
and mr gun was surely black
but mrs ernst she thought
a child is a child
and children should be taught

see the neighborhood was changing
they say it was going down
they were putting up new houses
east of town

so that evening mrs ernst
asked her husband if she might
teach piano to a black child
surely it would be all right
mr ernst answered her
in no uncertain terms
"over my dead body, mrs ernst"

see the neighborhood was changing
they say it was going down
they were putting up new houses
east of town

"over my dead body"
mr ernst replied
"over my dead body" he said
and soon after he died
mrs ernst, a widow,
did what must be done
and gave piano lessons
to mr gun's son

see the neighborhood was changing
they say it was going down
they were putting up new houses
east of town

mrs ernst still teaches piano
on Sunday afternoons
at the old pianola
in her living room
while her husband looks down
from a photo in a frame
she knows he wouldn't like
but she does it all the same

see the neighborhood is changing
they say that it went down
when they put up them new houses
east of town

©2002 Mike West

Return to New South Index
Return to Songs by Album Index
Return to Songs by Genre Index

Home Bio CDs Gigs Reviews Links Mailing List Contact  
Mike's Big Book of SongsSquirrel StuffColoring Book