Psalm/Psong for April 4 – “4 & 20 Blues” by Jeffrey Foucault

Jeffrey Foucault has a new album coming out in a few weeks. Late last year, though, he collaborated with the poet Lisa Olstein on a record called “Cold Satellite.” His album before that was a collection of John Prine covers. Like Sexsmith, Foucault should be more widely heard than he is.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of “Cold Satellite,” and I didn’t have time to scour the Internet for videos of psongs from it. So, here’s a juicy psong he wrote a while back, “4 & 20 Blues.” I particularly love the line “I got one taste of the apple/And I wanted the whole damn tree.” The bonus of this video is hearing and watching him sing with his wife Kris Delmhorst, who is one of my favorite singers/songwriters of all time. I’m not just saying that because she and I went to the same college (albeit 10 years apart). Later this year Delmhorst is releasing an album of covers of songs by the band “The Cars.” THAT should be a blast.

Lyrics for “4 & 20 Blues”:

Four and twenty blackbirds sitting on a fence
Four and twenty years and I been trying to make some sense
But it don’t look too good mama
Don’t look too good for me
I was wading in the water but I only got washed out to sea

Four and twenty blackbirds flying through the sky
Four and twenty years and still I’m barely getting by
But it don’t look too good mama
Don’t look too good for me
I was toiling in the fields
But the whirlwind is all I did see

Four and twenty blackbirds crowing up above
Four and twenty years and I been in and out of love
But it don’t look too good mama
Don’t look too good for me
Well my cup runneth over
But it never seems to satisfy me

It’s four and twenty thunder
Four and twenty rain
I just walking on the rails
I just keep grinning at the train
But it don’t look too good mama
Don’t look too good for me
Oh my cup runneth over
But it never seems to satisfy me

Four and twenty blackbirds crowing on a wire
Four and twenty years that I been caught up in desire
But it don’t look too good mama
Don’t look too good for me
I got one taste of the apple
And I wanted the whole damn tree


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