The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde
The Story of Suicide: The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde (written by Bonnie Parker)
We, each of us, have a good alibi
For being down here in the joint;
But few of them are really justified,
If you get right down to the point.
You have heard of a woman's glory
Being spent on a downright cur.
Still you can't always judge the story
As true being told by her.
As long as I stayed on the island
And heard confidence tales from the gals,
There was only one interesting and truthful,
It was the story of Suicide Sal.
Now Sal was a girl of rare beauty,
Though her features were somewhat tough,
She never once faltered from duty,
To play on the up and up.
Sal told me this tale on the evening
Before she was turned out free,
And I'll do my best to relate it,
Just as she told it to me.
I was born on a ranch in Wyoming,
Not treated like Helen of Troy,
Was taught that rods were rulers,
And ranked with greasy cowboys. . . .
You've read the story of Jesse James
Of how he lived and died
If you're still in need of something to read
Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.
Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow Gang,
I'm sure you all have read
how they rob and steal and those who squeal
are usually found dying or dead.
There's lots of untruths to these write-ups
They're not so ruthless as that
Their nature is raw, they hate all law
Stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.
They call them cold-blooded killers
They say they are heartless and mean
But I say this with pride, I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.
But the laws fooled around and taking him down
and locking him up in a cell
'Til he said to me, "I'll never be free,
So I'll meet a few of them in hell."
The road was so dimly lighted
There were no highway signs to guide
But they made up their minds if all roads were blind
They wouldn't give up 'til they died.
The road gets dimmer and dimmer
Sometimes you can hardly see
But it's fight man to man, and do all you can
For they know they can never be free.
From heartbreak some people have suffered
From weariness some people have died
But all in all, our troubles are small
'Til we get like Bonnie and Clyde.
If a policeman is killed in Dallas
And they have no clue or guide
If they can't find a fiend, just wipe the slate clean
And hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.
There's two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow Mob
They had no hand in the kidnap demand
Nor the Kansas City Depot job.
A newsboy once said to his buddy
"I wish old Clyde would get jumped
In these hard times we's get a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped."
The police haven't got the report yet
But Clyde called me up today
He said, "Don't start any fights, we aren't
working nights, we're joining the NRA."
From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide
Where the women are kin, and men are men
And they won't stool on Bonnie and Clyde.
If they try to act like citizens
And rent a nice flat
About the third night they're invited to fight
By a sub-gun's rat-tat-tat.
They don't think they're tough or desperate
They know the law always wins
They've been shot at before, but they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.
Some day they'll go down together
And they'll bury them side by side
To few it'll be grief, to the law a relief
But it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.
Love at first sight
Bonnie Parker is the second daughter in a family with three children. The Parkers are simple folks. After the death of the father, the family Parker moves to Dallas . To Bonnie, life seems not so bad at all. She really likes her mother. She is an excellent pupil. She dreams of a career as an actress.
Clyde Barrow is the son of an illiterate cowboy. He has seven brothers and sisters and he is rarely found in schools. He enjoys robbing banks with a wooden pistol. He loves automobiles and music. The family is very poor. In 1922, Clydes father works in Dallas in a petrol station.
In 1926, school is out for Bonnies. The romantic stories she reads, have awakened a restless desire. She marries Roy Thornton, a small criminal. She is sixteen. In her diary Bonnie writes down her secret thoughts, and perhaps also some poems. This could be one of them:
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
She was sixteen. She said:
‘You are the moon and the sun
and the stars.' -
And he? What did he say?
That she was the earth
where his roots were? The air
that he would breathe? The water
he would drink after three days
in the desert? The fire
that consumed him?
Love at first sight...
It's a feeling as cosmic
as it is comical.
Saying for instance:
'I am the first cosmonaut
who lands on your heavenly body!'
Something like that.
The 1967 "Bonnie and Clyde" Movie Trailer, with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, directed by Arthur Penn
As a thief
Roy is never there. Roy is always absent.
Bonnie is bored. Bonnie takes a job as a waitress at Cafe Marco.
Sometimes it seems to her as if her life has been terminated before it has started. As if she is buried alive.
And Clyde ? He has found a job, and then lost it. And found a job. And lost it. He listens for hours to some raw blues or melancholic folk music. Behind this visible horizon has to be another, invisible horizon that he would like to see with his very own eyes.
Clyde plays the guitar. Clyde plays the saxophone. An occasional car theft pays for his passion for guitars and saxophones, automobiles and fashionable clothes. Clyde works with a real gang, which includes his older brother Buck. They have their first big hit in a playroom, where Clyde with only a broken pistol disarms two guards.
1929. Clyde and his brother Buck are wanted in several cities in Texas . Clyde is now twenty years old. On a street in Dallas he meets this girl... It's love at first sight. And not just 'something like that'.
AS A THIEF
He loves her as a thief
in the night,
in the silence of his car,
in all her secret
It feels like he's missing
as if he's lost
But she goes misty too
while he evaporates
in her hands.
The Walkabout's Bonnie and Clyde song; with photos of Bonnie & Clyde
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