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Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts (Baez Joan)

The festival was over and the boys were all planning for a fall The cabaret was quiet except for the drilling in the wall The curfew had been lifted and the gambling wheel shut down Anyone with any sense had already left town He was standing in the doorway lookin' like the Jack of Hearts He moved across the mirrored room, "Set ?em up for everyone", he said Then everyone commenced to do what They've been doin' before he moved their heads He walked up to a stranger and he asked him with a grin "Would you kindly tell me, Mister, what time the show begins?" He moved into the corner, face down like the Jack of Hearts Backstage the girls were playin' five-card stud by the stairs Lily had two queens and she was hopin' for a third to match her pair Outside the streets were fillin' up and the window was open wide The gentle breeze was blowin', you could feel it from inside Lily called another bet and drew up the Jack of Hearts Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine He made his usual entrance lookin' oh, so dandy and so fine With his bodyguards and his silver cane and every hair in place He took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste But his bodyguards and his silver cane They were no match for the Jack of Hearts Rosemary combed her hair and took a carriage into town She slipped in through the side door lookin' like a queen without a crown She fluttered her false eyelashes and whispered in his ear "I'm sorry, darlin', that I'm late", but he didn't seem to hear He was staring into space over at the Jack of Hearts Well, I know I've seen that face somewhere Big Jim was thinkin' to himself Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebody's shelf But then the crowd began to stamp their feet And the house lights did dim And in the darkness of the room there was only Jim and him Starin' at the butterfly who just drew up the Jack of Hearts Lily was a princess, she was fair-skinned and precious as a child She had that certain something It was a kind of a flash every time she smiled She'd come away from a broken home, had lots of strange affairs With men in every walk of life who took her everywhere But she'd never met anyone quite like the Jack of Hearts The hangin' judge came in unnoticed and was being wined and dined The drilling in the wall kept up but no one seemed to pay it any mind It was known all around that Lily had Jim's ring And nothin? could ever come between Lily and the king No, nothing ever could except maybe the Jack of Hearts Rosemary started drinkin' hard and seein' her reflection in the knife She was tired of the attention, tired of playin' the role of Big Jim's wife She'd done a lot of bad things, even once tried suicide Was lookin' to do just one good deed before she died She was gazin' to the future, riding on the Jack of Hearts Lily took her dress off, buried it away "Has your luck run out", she laughed at him "I guess you must've known it would someday Be careful not to touch the wall, there's a brand-new coat of paint I'm glad to see you're still alive and you're lookin' like a saint" Down the hallway footsteps were comin' for the Jack of Hearts The backstage manager was pacing all around by his chair "There's something funny goin' on, I know, I can just feel it in the air" He went to get the hangin' judge but the hangin' judge was drunk And the leading actor hurried by in the costume of a monk But there was no actor anywhere better than the Jack of Hearts Lily had her arms around the man that she dearly loved to touch She forgot all about the man she hated, who hounded her so much "I've missed you so", she said to him and he thought she was sincere But in the hallway he felt jealousy and fear Just another night in the life of the Jack of Hearts Well, no one knew the circumstance But they say it happened pretty quick The door to the dressing room burst open and a cold revolver clicked And Big Jim was standin' there, you couldn't say surprised Rosemary right beside him, steady in her eyes She was with Big Jim but she was leanin' to the Jack of Hearts Two doors down and the boys finally made it through the wall Cleaned out the bank safe, it's said that they got off with quite a haul And in the darkness of the riverbed, they waited on the ground For one more member who had business back in town But they couldn't go no further without the Jack of Hearts Well, the next day was hangin' day And the sky was overcast and black Big Jim lay covered up, killed by a penknife in the back And Rosemary on the gallows, boy, she didn't even blink And the hangin' judge was sober, Lord, he hadn't had a drink And the only person on the scene missing was the Jack of Hearts Well, the cabaret was quiet now and a sign said, 'Closed for repair' Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair She was thinkin' 'bout her father whom she very rarely saw Thinkin' about Rosemary and thinkin' about the law But most of all she was thinkin' about the Jack of Hearts