Sportsman's Paradise

The Ramblin' Letters
Music by John Prine, lyrics by John Prine & Michael Millet


Michael was playing Paradise late one night back in May with friends in the Bywater and thought the song could be adapted to the oil spill. He came up with this shorlty after. It has since been played on the BBC, WWOZ, at the Kerrville Folk Festival & other folk congregations in the North East.


Sportsman’s Paradise (aka Paradise Lost)

When I was a child, my family would travel,
To south Louisiana, where my parents were born.
And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered.
So many times that my memories are worn.

 And Daddy won't you take me back to St. Bernard Parish,
Way down on the bayou, where Paradise lay.
"Well I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in askin'.
British Petroleum has washed it away."

Sometimes we would travel down Fisherman’s Bayou
To the abandoned old fort on the shores of Lake Borgne.
Where the air smelled like salt: we'd fish with our tackles,
And fill up our ice chest by the light of the morn.

Then the oil company came, with the world's largest dredges,
And they tortured the marshes and stripped the wetlands.
And they drilled for their oil til the swamps were forsaken.
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

When I die, let my ashes float down the ol’ bayou.
Let my soul roll on up to Breton Sounds’ sands.
I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin',
Just five miles away from wherever I am.