Friday, May 22, 2015

Down On Avenue A, 1922



Anton van Dalen shared the following with us this week...

Ever since my settling on Avenue A in 1971, I have been collecting the neighborhood's history. That gathering is of diverse interest with ephemera and artifacts of all kinds. It includes vintage press photos, flyers, maps, architectural salvage, street signs, etcetera.

One of my favorite finds is this sheet music of 1922 titled "Down On Avenue A." The great cover image in style, fashion and attitude still looks contemporary, timeless.

As now with impending summer the down on Avenue A sidewalk parade has started anew.

You can find more details about the music here.

7 comments:

Gojira said...

Wow, I would love to know the lyrics; they're not on the website this post links to, and when I Google the title and the word "lyrics", the Dictators' lyrics to "Avenue A" come up. Somehow, I doubt they're the same song. Thanks for sharing, Anton, maybe you should have an exhibition of these treasures someday!

j.b. diGriz said...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8ZlzzTSBZ8


Benny got a new tattoo
Down at the St. Mark's Zoo

He walked down to the park
Drinkin 40's, till it's dark
Talkin to a grey haired man
In a tie-dyed shirt and ragged pants
He said,
That's where the hippies used to play
Down on Avenue A

Susie got a new pair of shoes
Now she don't know what to do

So she's sitting in the Park
Smokin pot till it's dark
Talking to a toothless man
With spiky hair
And leather pants
He said,
I knew Stiv in the day
And that's where the junkies used to play
Down on Avenue A

When every memory is gone
and everything you know is wrong

Takin the edge off on a beautiful day
with a Frappacino and a cre brulee
yeah, it's all over when you see a Range Rover
and to my bodega, I say hasta luega

it's not what you do, it's what you say
and it's not who you know, it's who you pay

Down on Avenue A

Anonymous said...

The lyrics are at the site the last link points to. There is a scrollable column on the right side of the page with the sheet music pages, complete with lyrics.

Anonymous said...

The line at TJ's
All the Froyo you can handle
The NYU br0's woo-hooing at night
Every building a bank

is that how the song goes?

Jill said...

Violinsky http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0899239/

His birth and death dates make me realize that my mother knew people born in the 1800s.

Alec C. said...

[1st verse]
You've seen all the beauties they show on the screen
But down on the Eastside they've got a real queen
She dresses plain I don't know her name
But she’s just the type that drives fellows insane
If you don't think that she’s sweet
Here's where to go for a treat

[Chorus]
Down on Avenue A you'll see her every day
Tho’ she don't powder her cheeks or her nose
She gets all the fellows wherever she goes
Once when she was alone a gay called her up on the phone
And gee whiz she hung up
That show how she's brung up
‘Way down on Avenue A

[2nd verse]
Down on the East side they never eat cake
The kids are as tough as a 40 cent steak
Sunshine or rain they never complain
If they get a toothache they laugh of the pain
It's not a bad neighborhood it's rough and it's tough but it's good

[Chorus]
Down on Avenue A you'll see her every day
Tho’ she don't powder her cheeks or her nose
She gets all the fellows wherever she goes
Once when she was alone a gay called her up on the phone
And gee whiz she hung up
That show how she's brung up
‘Way down on Avenue A

Shawn G. Chittle said...

Anton is as much an Avenue A treasure as the treasures he collects. I believe he's the last birdman in the East Village, perhaps all of lower Manhattan?