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Mary Chapin Carpenter - Mrs. Hemingway -

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Uploaded on Dec 5, 2011

This song is about Hadley Richardson Hemingway, who was married to American author Ernest Hemingway between 1921 and 1927. She was the first of his four wives. Carpenter explained the inspiration for the song to Express Night Out (a publication of the Washington Post):
"This song was something I've been wanting to write, or investigate, since I was in college. That's when I first read [the Ernest Hemingway memoir] A Moveable Feast.......what got my attention was that his first wife, Hadley, was sort of a shadowy figure in literary history and his life. I was always fascinated by her.
People are aware of the story that he fell in love with her best friend and left [her]. This is a song about her life in Paris with him, before all of that happened. In A Moveable Feast he looks back to his life in Paris with Hadley, before the fame, the money, and the corruption if you will, and he always seemed to indicate that that's when he did his best work. " With regard to Hadley, he says in those memoirs, "I wish I had died before I ever loved anyone but her."
Hemingway dedicated his first novel The Sun Also Rises to Hadley and to their son, John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway. It was, he said, the least he could do. All royalties from this book also went to Hadley. Hemingway was, it was said, devastated that he was losing a woman he had loved and still loved.

LYRICS

We packed up our books and our dishes
Our dreams and your worsted wool suits
We sailed on the 8th of December.
Farewell old Hudson River
Here comes the sea
And love was as new and as bright and as true
When I loved you and you loved me.

Two steamer trunks in the carriage
Safe arrival we cabled back home
It was just a few days before Christmas
We filled our stockings with wishes
And walked for hours
Arm in arm through the rain, to the glassed-in café
It held us like hothouse flowers


Living in Paris, in attics and garrets
Where the coal merchants climb every stair
The dance hall next door is filled with sailors and whores
And the music floats up through the air
There's Sancerre and oysters, cathedrals and cloisters
And time with it's unerring aim
For now we can say we were lucky most days
And throw a rose into the Seine

Love is the greatest deceiver
It hollows you out like a drum
And suddenly nothing is certain
As if all the clouds closed the curtains and blocked the sun
And friends now are strangers in this city of dangers
As cold and as cruel as they come

Sometimes I look at old pictures
And smile at how happy we were
How easy it was to be hungry.
It wasn't for fame or for money
It was for love
Now my copper hair's gray as the stones on the quay
In the city where magic was

Living in Paris, in attics and garrets
Where the coal merchants climb every stair
The dance hall next door is filled with sailors and whores
And the music floats up through the air
There's Sancerre and oysters, cathedrals and cloisters
And time with it's unerring aim

For now we can say we were lucky most days
And throw a rose into the Seine
How I can say I was lucky most days
And throw a rose into the Seine

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