Black Rose (Black 47)

“Black Rose” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Black Rose” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Larry Kirwan.
Tune: Larry Kirwan.


Mr. Frankie Diamond was my best friend.
We were partners in a business down on C & 7th.
Nothin’ ever got this good brother down.
He was a real live wire in an electric town.

Now, Frankie started hangin’ with an uptown girl,
Harlem lady in the social whirl.
Saturday night, he’d put on his best clothes
And go out steppin’ with his Black Rose.

Now, Frankie went upstate for a couple of years,
A guest of the nation, and he was in tears.
He called me up. He said, “Hey, friend of mine,
I got one favor to ask you while I’m doin’ my time.”

Oh, she’s the Queen of New York City.
She bewitch all men soul.
She the blood that flow right through me.
Oh, don’t be messin’ with my Black Rose.
Oh, keep your hands off of my Black, my Black Rosie.
He don’t own ya.

While Frankie was upstate, his Harlem girl
Continued to spiral in her social whirl.
So I paged her from my gig on East 7th.
I said, “Hey, babe, you doin’ anythin’ ’round about 11:00?”

She said, “Uh-uh,” in her uptown voice.
So we met at Beirut for cocktails and ice.
When she crossed that room in her tight red dress,
I wasn’t thinkin’ of Frankie, I have to confess.

She said, “Hey, best friend, let’s go back to my place.
I need to fix my mascara and remodel my face.”
But it rained on the way back to her house.
And when she closed the door, she took off her blouse.

She’s the Queen of New York City.
She bewitch all men soul.
Next thing I know, I’m whisperin’ sweet nothin’s,
Lyin’ in bed with my Black Rose,
Ah, makin’ love to my Black, my Black Rosie.
He don’t own ya, so stay with me tonight.

At nights, I’d lie there and listen to her breathe.
With the sweat on my brow, how could she sleep
So deep, so sweet, as calm as a rock,
While I pushed back the seconds oozing from the clock?

Now, the letters I wrote Frankie returned unread.
The word leaked out I’d be better off dead.
But in the crimson dawn, Black Rose would unfold
And drain all the poison from my soul.

Drain me, Rosie.

Now, I’m standin’ up here on Forty-Deuce,
Another terminal man waitin’ for his bus.
Here come Frankie with his head all shaved.
Is that a piece in his pocket, or is it a blade?

Now, I’m lyin’ face down in the terminal dirt.
With a hole in my chest, I don’t feel no hurt.
I don’t wanna go to heaven. I been there before.
Just spent two years in paradise with my Black Rose.

Oh, she’s the Queen of New York City.
She bewitch all men soul.
Oh, when you go and find her body,
Oh, bury me next to my Black Rose.
I’m still in love with my Black Rose.
She’s up in heaven now, my Black Rose.
You won’t be makin’ love to my Black, my Black Rosie.
He don’t own ya, so stay with me tonight
For the rest of your life.

Roshín dhubh, me no can get over you.
A time is in me mind no matter what I do.
A Roshín dhubh, me no can get over you.

Now, Frankie comin’ back, and I know that I am through.
Mr. Frankie Diamond tell me do the right thing.
Watch his girl while he away at Sing Sing.
But me and Rosie, we have a little fling.

Now Frankie comin’ home, wicked trouble it will bring;
Wicked trouble it will bring.

Roshín dhubh, me no can get over you.
A time’s in me mind no matter what I do.
A Roshín dhubh, me no can get over you.

Now, Frankie comin’ back, and I know I am through.
Lord, have mercy!


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