The Ballad of Henri Paul


The Ballad of Henri Paul

Stephen D. Gross


Henri was sittin’ round with his honey love downtown
watching Lucy reruns on TV
had a glass of wine, said, “one more would be fine”
the Merlot’s gone so open the Chablis


Chased with Anchor Steam a shot of old Jim Beam
Spoke with “Uncle Jack” in Tennessee
Some Stoli crystal clear, then one more glass of beer
“Can’t think of anywhere I need to be…”


Call from the Ritz Hotel said, “Climb out of that well
we need a ride so get here pretty quick!”
He jumped up out of bed
the blood rushed from his head
Dodi’s voice had shrunken Henri’s wick


CHORUS: (Insert where you like…)

Henri Paul, Henri Paul
you native son of Gaul
We loved you and we hate to see you go
You should have left that glass
and sat back on your ass
When they found you,
your blood was point four-oh!


“Avoid the paparazzi – they’re pushy like the Nazi
“I’m rich and I don’t want my picture took”
“Just get behind that wheel
lemme hear those tires squeal
This Benz is fast – I want to see you cook!”


Henri felt kinda tipsy, like some one-legged Gipsy
he tweaked his moustache once and then he grinned
“You mean I’ll be assistin’
in you and Blondie’s trystin’?”
“I’ll lay down my stone since I too have sinned”


They promised the chief driver
he’d earn an extra fiver
if he could help them decoy the fotogs
He’d creep along the floor
then sneak out the back door
and leave ‘em panting like a pack of dogs


Dodi rushed the egress with his little princess
but the paparazzi were not fooled
They spied the pair escaping
and with their shutters gaping
they hopped upon their bikes whereby they dueled


Henri commenced to snee
and brag through wine and beer
‘bout how they would never catch his Benz
But he didn’t practice Voodoo
and like some faulty hairdo
the fleers wound up with more split
then their ends


“After we heard his braggin’
we saw him zig ‘n zaggin’
like Maybelleine he left us way behind”
With fare aristocratic
who knew he’d be erratic?
He navigated like he was stone blind


The moon set in the South
here came the tunnel’s mouth
the speed limit sign said “50K”
“I eat my peas and carrots –
besides, my dad owns Harrods
and now I’d like to shtup the night away”


Henri pressed the pedal
he was in fine fettle
there were several reasons
he felt so darned chipper
Why have a big coniption
when this rich Egyptian
was rumored to be such an excellent tipper?


His leucocytes were mixin’
with Guinness Stout and fixin’
to leave the paparazzi in left field
it must of been unnervi
when he began a-swerving
and like a Navel orange he was peeled


One-Twenty miles an hour
and all that raw horsepower
don’t matter if it’s fair or foul weather
You hit a concrete pillar
You’ll look like Phyllis Diller
like Humpty Dump, you’ll not get back together


At first you were all hounded
by Paps you were surrounded
Their intrusive actions raised your bile
with lenses in your faces they
took close-ups of her braces
I think you might have heard one say, “Now smile!”


Now you drive the Highway
in the Lord’s celestial skyway
drink in hand and lots of time to play
Paparazzi are behind
You don’t pay them any mind
‘Cause you paid St. Pete to take their film away