Joan Baez - The Altar Boy And The Thief Lyrics

At night in the safety of shadows and numbers
Seeking some turf on which nothing encumbers
The buying and selling of casual looks
Stuff that gets printed in x-rated books
Your mother might have tried to understand
When you were hardly your daddy's little man
And you gave up saluting the chief
To find yourself some relief

Finely plucked eyebrows and skin of satin
Smiling seductive and endlessly Latin
Olympic body on dancing feet
Perfume thickening the air like heat
A transient star of gay bar fame
You quit your job and changed your name
And you're nearly beyond belief
As you hunt down a little relief

The seven foot black with the emerald ring
Broke up a fight without saying a thing
As the cops cruised by wanting one more chance
To send Jimmy Baldwin back over to France
And a trucker with kids and a wife
Prefers to spend half of his life
In early Bohemian motif
Playing pool and getting relief

My favorite couple was looking so fine
Dancing in rhythm and laughing in rhyme
In the light of the jukebox all yellow and blue
Holding each other as young lovers do
To me they will always remain
Unshamed, untamed, and unblamed
The altar boy and the thief
Grabbing themselves some relief

The altar boy and the thief
Catching a little relief

Other Lyrics by Artist

Rand Lyrics

Joan Baez The Altar Boy And The Thief Comments
  1. blahblah24681357

    my queen

  2. fatin islam

    respect from #BANGLADESH, our liberation friend.

  3. mike smith

    interesting song.  I cant imagine this coming out back in the day when being gay was so looked down upon.

  4. daniel bisson


  5. ganicha

    Superbe, merci merci merci !!!!!!

  6. Pattie Noah

    Thanks for posting this. I used to perform this song myself right after the album came out. It's one of my moving.

  7. Mata Pöze

    One of the most beautiful song she's ever written!

  8. area62310

    thanks taddyd1 for the details!
    Also to you Scout4Me1 for posting

  9. taddyd1

    She dedicated this song to James Baldwin when he came to one of her shows in France.

  10. taddyd1

    JB lived in Santa Monica @ the time Blowin Away came out. She's frequently mentioned the Pink Elephant (now defunct) as the the inspiration for the song. JB and Robert Redford were the co-chairmen of the Santa Monica Pier Centiennial this year; she performed to a record crowd of over 10,000 at one of the annual free summer Pier Concerts last July. She frequently stayed @ a friend's apartment above the Carousel on the Pier where she wrote "Heartfelt Line or Two". She revived it for the show.

  11. taddyd1

    no, it's the gay bar that inspired the song.

  12. taddyd1

    A night at the Pink Elephant in Santa Monica.