Joan Baez is fighting to save a historic Carroll Gardens home — and her crusade has inspired our own in-house bard!
Renowned Brooklyn journalist Gersh Kuntzman dropped by Brooklyn Paper Radio this week to say he was so moved by The Brooklyn Paper’s recent coverage of the folk singer’s crusade to save the Hans Christian Memorial Kindergarten that he wrote his own folk song — “The House in Carroll Gardens.”
“It’s based on ‘The House of the Rising Sun,’ ” Kuntzman told Brooklyn Paper Radio host Vince DiMiceli during a segment on this week’s show.
“Yeah, I figured that out, Gersh,” DiMiceli said.
Kuntzman — being Kuntzman — introduced the soon-to-be-hit number with his own plug.
“Well, you know my history as a songwriter, what with two Fringe Festival musicals — “SUV: The Musical” and “Murder at the Food Coop” — under my swelling belt, plus another on the way,” Kuntzman said.
“Of course you’re talking about your upcoming sandwich farce, ‘The Earl,’ correct?” DiMiceli rhetorically asked.
After a bit more talk about Kuntzman, the boys hit “play” and the song made its world debut. Kuntzman was uncharacteristically appreciative.
“Thanks, Vince,” he said. “For now, at least, there’s no better place in the world to premiere important work than Brooklyn Paper Radio. I hope the song helps the cause — and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my engineer, David Shenk, who did a great job. I wonder, Vince, could I ask you to run the lyrics with whatever story your team puts up?”
DiMiceli replied, “No problem.”
So here it is, folks, “The House in Carroll Gardens” (to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun”), by Gersh Kuntzman.
There is a house in South Brooklyn
That Joan Baez would save
It was a school for little kids
That the new owner would pave.
The Baez family lived nearby
Two generations ago
Now, she wants to save it.
From a company named Avo.
It was a kindergarten
Built before 1898
They’ll tear it down for fancy condos
Seventy feet at legal zoning rate.
It’s filled with hand-made details
Back when men built things with pride.
But now developers will destroy it all.
Set Joan’s concerns aside.
Yes there is a house in South Brooklyn
A neighborhood treasure.
They’ll tear it down and build some crap.
Of that you can be sure.
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