SONG Foot Of Canal Street
WRITTEN BY Paul Sanchez, John Boutte
PERFORMED BY Paul Sanchez
APPEARS ON Hurricane Party (2000)
Paul Sanchez is a New Orleans treasure who deserves a much wider audience. Sanchez, who performs primarily in New Orleans and Louisiana, is quite simply one of the best singer-songwriters working today. Not only that, he is a gifted producer, as he amply demonstrates in his work with jazz singer John Boutte and on Stew Called New Orleans, their excellent collaboration released earlier this year.
They wrote "Foot of Canal Street" after discovering that both of their fathers -- one black, one white -- were buried on the same cemetery at the foot of said street. Boutte observed that we all wind up there sooner or later, and a song was born. Although the song begins slowly as dirge, the contrasting lyrics stem Sanchez' sunny optimism. "Don't waste your time being angry" because, well, in the end "I'll see you there/at the foot of Canal Street." It then breaks into a second line, one the Sanchez expects to last long after "all is gone."
New Orleans horn charts provide a perfect complement to the lyrics, supplyinh the gravity for the first part of the song and propelling the second line as "Foot" gathers momentum. The charts are a hallmark of Sanchez' arrangements, linking his songwriting to the musical tradition of New Orleans.
"Foot of CanalStreet" merely scratches the surface of Paul Sanchez' best work. For more, check out last year's superb Exit To Mystery St., Stew Called New Orleans, and his production of John Boutte's excellent Good Neighbor.
LYRICSDon't waste your time being angryWhen a moment's better with a smileIf you feel your time's been wastedWaste it here a whileStanding at the bus just across from KraussWaiting for the driver to take me to my heavenly houseI'll see you thereAt the foot of Canal StreetWhat will you wearAt the foot of Canal StreetWill the band be playingAt the foot of Canal StreetWhat will the people be sayingAt the foot of Canal StreetDoes your father lie thereDoes your mother pray thereI'm going to put on my golden crownAt the foot of Canal StreetWhen the levee banks have overflowedAnd the street car has seen its dayWhen all is gone: The plantations,The Treme, and the Vieux CarreI'll be swinging to that musicWay up on the higher groundWhere Pops is blowing "Walk On"And Gabriel making sacred soundsI'll see you thereAt the foot of Canal StreetWhat will you wearAt the foot of Canal StreetWill the band be playingAt the foot of Canal StreetWhat will the people be sayingAt the foot of Canal StreetDoes your father lie thereDoes your mother pray thereI'm going to put on my golden crownAt the foot of Canal Street