From the recording DOWN AT DELMONICO'S


TOP OF THE STAIRS / © 2014 James Barton
from the Down at Delmonico’s CD

I knew a place when I was young
And all the world was fine
Where music played and fools rushed in
Under a painted sign
Just a pub where my mates and me
Told tales ‘til the sun did rise
And in a corner booth, we sang our praises
Mixed the truth with a pack of lies
The bloom of youth with such bravado
We kicked our feet up
Fixed on the top of the stairs

You could hear the crowd from a block away
Down at the old saloon
Just enough of that magic stuff
Beneath a bluish moon
A yellow cab rounded the corner
And pulled up by the neon sign
A come-hither face appeared in the doorway
Out of place as she could be
Such a waste, a pearl in a pawn shop
Floated past me
Up to the top of the stairs

The rusty sign sang all night long
A windy wailing blues
A single ray of morning light
Pierces the dusty room
Down below jukebox echoes
Bounce off the basement walls
On an empty stool she keeps me company
I pour a drink every now and then
Time to think, time to remember
A solitary toast to the top of the stairs