Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems
Notes: words and music
by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1960 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1988.
In the Notes to her songbook Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs
Malvina writes: "This song was written at least one fire ago. Now
the distillery has burned down."
Oh, Sausalito's burning, you can see it from the hills,
It looks just like the flaming of a million mountain stills,
Cause the boatyard is on fire and the timber's mighty dry,
And the cans of paint and thinner are exploding to the sky.
Man the pumps! Get the hoses! Sausalito's burning down,
The boatyard is on fire and we've got to save the town.
Well, the flames roared up like thunder and the smoke blew out to sea,
And the houseboatniks came running with their cans of beer and tea,
The lady from Valhalla she was like to have a fit,
And the firemen poured on water, but it helped no more than spit.
Right next to Madden's boatyard was a building of cement,
They thought the walls would save it, but like all the rest it went,
Cause the fire was so outrageous that it burned what nothing could,
And it set La Paz on fire and the pottery burned like wood.
The Nicolls live a block away, they heard the fire bell,
They smelled the smoke upon the breeze, they heard the people yell,
Scott turned the pages of his book and said in accents raw,
"Some damn fool's burning trash again, there ought to be a law."
Miz Helen she came running in her red and yellow dress,
She looked out at the boatyard and the boatyard was a mess,
And Dave and Nicky saved the cat, 'twas all that they could find,
But the kiln and all the lovely pots they had to leave behind.
Well, the firemen saved the little town that hangs above the Bay,
Ondine still is cooking, the distillery's okay,
The Village Fair, it still is there, the houseboats all alive,
And guitars are still a-plunking from Olema to Gate Five.
In the midst of smoke and ruin, old David Morris stands,
A look of wonder on his face, a pot shard in his hands,
It has a wond'rous color never seen on hill or plain,
And they'll have to burn the boatyard down to get that glaze again.