"My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist" lyrics - THE DECEMBERISTS

"My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist"

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 of 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
And left for the cattle but later was found by a communist
Who had deserted his ranks to follow his dream
To start up a punk rock band in South Carolina

And 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