LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 14 Number 1, October  2013, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth O’Brien, Editorial Team: Hitesh Lohani, Anne Roberts and David Ratcliffe

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The Red Corvette / A True Story

Martin Pearson - The Dark Side of the Farce albumCollated by Elizabeth O’Brien

Editor-in-Chief’s note: the way Martin Pearson sings this song on his The Dark Side of the Farce album is so excellent I just had to include his lyrics in LEAD Action News, with the merest justification that 1985 was the last year in Australia when new cars designed to run on leaded petrol were permitted to be sold. Nineteen eighty-five was also the year that unleaded petrol became available in Australia. I strongly advise all readers to buy a copy of The Dark Side of the Farce CD, via email or at www.martinpearson.com.au

Background to “The Red Corvette” / “A True Story”

This song is also sung by Betsy Rose, who got it from John McCutcheon. ©1989 John McCutcheon/Appalsongs (ASCAP). Available on "Water from Another Time" from www.folkmusic.com. Used by permission. The lyrics as sung by John McCutcheon in 1989 (plus various claims of the story actually happening, as long ago as 1948), can be found at Urban Legends Reference Pages, by Barbara and David P Mikkelson, at http://www.snopes.com/love/revenge/porsche.asp

Below are the lyrics as sung by Martin Pearson (accompanying himself on guitar). According to Mark Cohen, writing in The Mudcat Café - www.mudcat.org - who first heard it in 1986 [Ed. note: could this date be in error?]: Betsy said that John did it as a basic three-chord folksong, but "I can't write a three-chord song to save my life, so I changed it to an Irish a cappella ballad."

Song lyrics: The Red Corvette, as sung by Martin Pearson

Last morning as I read the paper, in search of a new set of wheels

The classifieds had a most curious ad in their listings of automobiles

I gazed with suspicious amusement, at what seemed like a wild stroke of luck

"Corvette Stingray," it said, "low mileage, bright red, '85 model – sixty-five bucks"

Well I was used to my newspaper's headlines, I phoned up that number straightway

"That ‘85 'Vette -- have you sold that thing yet?" She said, "No, you're my first call today"

I said, "There's been a mistake in the paper, they’ve gotten the price wrong somehow"

"Oh, no," replied she, "they got that price from me." I said, "Don't sell that car, I'm leaving now!"

She lived in that part of the city, I'd ventured just one time or two

Where lawyers, bank presidents, and doctors were residents, and the houses were massive and new

As I turned up her half-a-mile driveway, there in the heat of the day

In the sunlight it gleamed, the car of my dreams -- only sixty-five dollars away

Now the interior was done in white leather, it had a 487 V-8            

Bow wingspan doors, a Hurst four-on-the-floor, and an 8-track 8-deck solid state

There was chrome on the chrome on the fenders, in an aerodynamic design

A bar, a TV, and it was boggling to me that for sixty-five bucks it was mine

Now I was sure that this lady was crazy, selling that car at this price

But as she walked down the lane she seemed perfectly sane -- she was charming and really quite nice

But she smiled with such great satisfaction as she handed me title and keys

I said, "I've just got to know why you let this thing go -- what's wrong with this car, tell me, please?"

Well she said, "I'll be sixty come Tuesday. I've lived here with my husband Earl

After forty years wed, and without a word said, he ran off with a silly young girl

But with his credit cards left here behind him, I knew that he wouldn't get far

Last night from Florida he, sent a wire to me, it said: 'I need money, dear - sell the car!'"

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Last Updated 12 November 2013
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