Eric Andersen arrive peut-être un peu tard sur la scène Folk. Son premier disque date de 1965 et le ton de cette scène a commencé à changer, avec l’émergence du folk-rock et les production du nouveau Bob Dylan. Mais il avait dans ces années produit plusieurs chansons qui avaient connu un certain succès, en particulier Violets Of Dawn, dont on trouve sa version sur ce site, et surtout Thirtsy Boots, une chanson sur les militants des droits civiques, qui a été reprise par Judy Collins et Bob Dylan, et que l’on trouve également sur ce site dans une version collective. Son écriture est pleine d’images qui rappellent celles de certaines chansons de Dylan, avec ses énumérations, ses formules poétiques et ses rapidités.

Certains passages de The Hustler, tirée de son deuxième disque en 1966, rappellent la conscience politique et sociale de son auteur, ainsi lorsqu’il évoque les policiers qui tuent les hors-la-loi un par un… et les dans-la-loi pour le plaisir, quand la loi de la jungle règne.


THE HUSTLER

Oh you can try and run me down
But you can’t drive me on the ground
But you’re not there I’ll be around
Haunt you I won’t make a sound
Track you I don’t need a hound
You think your lost I got you found
You’re surrounded though you think that they can’t see
Your castle walls they all will fall
You’ll be surprised that all in all
Nobody really cares at all
You won’t believe the biggest goal
I can bite your heels when you crawl
The pain will come from those so small
Go cry wolf or better you should scream
Though you’re not on top you think your first
The surgeon scalpel steal the nurse
Who can let the others feel the hurt
When you’re the driver of the hearse
So you’ll feel bad but they’ll feel worse
Without you what would the doctor be?

Chorus:
I’m watching you but not like quite before
I will find you you’re the one I’m a looking for
But when it’s over don’t say sorry any more

Abreast this painter run him down
Into the night to paint the town
While putting everybody on
Blowing smoke rings for the crown
You brag of those you’ve been around
They listen to your silly sounds
Disciples pass your bread around
While the cross is hidden in your gown
They think that they’re on holy ground
Not knowing Judas watches from the tree
While posing as the saint of need
You got fathered to the one who’s weak
By using words like sad defeat
You laugh but you got lose the beat
The girls all giggle at your feet
The squealing people that you meet
You might get made but be discreet
Don’t you take your mask of trick or treat
As you get the stars down on their knees
But do you really think that you have far to meet?
Believing in the magic noose
That trips the egg the golden goose
And with it you can never lose
While fairy tales are steal the truth
I don’t let go hey I don’t let loose
For the goose is flippin’ of the roof
And without its wings how can you be free?

(Chorus)

The lone ranger he just rides along
Protecting those that don’t belong
In the land that has no right or wrong
Time till you just load his gun
For killing outlaws one by one
Shooting in-laws just for fun
While the jungle laws are on the run
Step out before you get stepped on
Sadists wear their war paint on
Afraid if you’re in the dark to long
Cause you know the jungle is no place for the meek
You say life is absurdity carnival for melodies
You hide the big time bitterly
You set the stage so faithfully
You’re hocker for more mystery
While marching so religiously
Is the army that has paid to see
The choir boy of reality
Laugh at all authority
And you smile oh so cynically
Sole possessor of his key
And it’s sad to know that’s all you’ll ever be
And you said keep on the sunny side
That life is just a rainbow ride
Silver studded surfboard glide
On the whinnin’ waves keep your hide
Don’t you hit the moon when you fly to wide
It’ll bring to you down below the tide
It’s where no one keeps their tears inside
The waters hide them if you cry
For in the waves there are no mysteries

(Chorus)