My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist Lyrics

My mother was a Chinese trapeze artist, in pre-war Paris
Smuggling bombs for the underground
And she met my father at a fete in Aix-en-Provence
He was disguised as a Russian cadet in the employ of the Axis

And there in the half-light, the provincial midnight
To a lone concertina, they drank in cantinas
And toasted to Edith Piaf and the fall of the Reich

My sister was born in a hovel in Burgundy
Left for the cattle but later was found by a communist
Who'd deserted his ranks to follow his dream
To start up a punk rock band in South Carolina

Well, I get letters sometimes, they bought a plantation
She weeds the tobacco, he offends the nation
And they write, "Don't be a stranger, y'hear
Sincerely, your sister"

So my parents had me to the disgust of the prostitutes
On a bed in a brothel, surprisingly raised with tender care
Till the money got tight and they bet me away
To a blind brigadier in a game of high-stakes Canasta

But he made me a sailor on his brigadier ship fleet
I know every yardarm, from main mast to jib sheet
But sometimes I long to be landlocked
And to work in a bakery

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