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Steely Dan — Haitian Divorce
Album: The Royal Scam
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 961









Released: 1976
Length: 5:35
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Babs and Clean Willie were in love, they said
So in love the preacher's face turned red
Soon everybody knew the thing was dead
He shouts, she bites, they wrangle through the night, yeah
She go crazy
Got to make a getaway

Papa say
Oh, no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin'
No remorse
Oh, congratulations
This is your Haitian divorce

She takes the taxi to the good hotel
Bon marché, as far as she can tell
She drinks the zombie from the coco shell
She feels all right, she get it on tonight, yeah
Mister driver
Take me where the music play

Papa say
Oh, no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin'
No remorse
Oh, congratulations
This is your Haitian divorce

At the Grotto
In the greasy chair
Sits the Charlie with the lotion and the kinky hair
When she smiled, she said it all
The band was hot, so
They danced the famous merengue
Now we dolly back
Now we fade to black

Tearful reunion in the U.S.A.
Day by day, those memories fade away
Some babies grow in a peculiar way
It changed, it grew, and everybody knew, yeah
Semi-mojo
Who's this kinky so-and-so?

Papa go
Oh, no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin'
No remorse
Oh, congratulations
This is your Haitian divorce
Comments (88)add comment
Greetings from Bavaria to the best radio station of the planet!
Keep it up and please stay healthy! Patrick
SD will always be one of my favs.  Home at last was our wedding song in 2016...
Storytellers of the highest order.  Screenwriters, too?

At the Grotto
In the greasy chair
Sits the Charlie with the lotion and the kinky hair
When she smiled, she said it all
The band was hot, so
They danced the famous merengue
Now we dolly back
Now we fade to black
Haven’t heard this one in awhile I think I like it better now too Classy tune
 nwfirefly wrote:
Sorry... I STILL hate these guys,,,, Is there any way I can block any and all Steely Dan from the music flow... 
 

Doesn't your music machine have a volume control?  How about every notch you turn yours down, I'll turn mine up>
 daedalus wrote:
moshevelvul wrote:
like a martini - for adults only. When I was young (in the 70's) I used to say only old people liked these guys....and....I was right!! As I grew up I slowly and strangely became a huge fan. They made amazing records - strange, twisted sophisticated lyrics wrapped through non-pretentious jazz modalities, that became an extraordinary number of hit songs on A.M radio! Nothing like 'em - true originals.
Well said! These boys were original and in their heyday, the epitome of cool. what a line up of incredible musicians they mustered on their albums over the years.
 
When I started college in 1973, on day one I was walking around campus & heard "Do it Again" wafting from a dorm window, & I new the this was going to be a great adventure (& it was!). It was for young people, but it has definitely stood the test of time, so they have fans of all ages (like my kids, for instance).

RIP Walter Becker.
Almost always with Steely Dan I'm more interested in the music than the lyrics, but in this case what excellent lyrics!  It's like you see everything the way you do in a movie, and yet the story is so compact the whole life comes across in 3 or 4 verses.  And the faux-Caribbean carries that pretty well too.
This tune comes too early for this sort of consideration; but I just started to stream an old HBO series from the 2004-6 era, well after this tune originated.  But for some reason it makes me think the Steely's must have tapped into that shows consciousness.  Deadwood.  
Okay...please don't wack me for the thought.  It just came to my......{#Beat}

Anyway...love the Steely...I always have.  And I must confess I don't understand anyone who doesn't like 'em.  I mean...what's up with THAT sentiment?  

So it goes I suppose.

Highlow
American Net'Zen
 nwfirefly wrote:
Sorry... I STILL hate these guys,,,, Is there any way I can block any and all Steely Dan from the music flow... 
 

     don't be sorry, be happy.. 
Sorry... I STILL hate these guys,,,, Is there any way I can block any and all Steely Dan from the music flow... 
 sp_woods wrote:
Summer evening of '96 at Nat Baily Stadium ( baseball) in Vancouver BC. Steely Dan set up their stage at second base and played for about 2 hours! Amazing gift to a very appreciative, joyous audience.
 
I was there; great fun!
Summer evening of '96 at Nat Baily Stadium ( baseball) in Vancouver BC. Steely Dan set up their stage at second base and played for about 2 hours! Amazing gift to a very appreciative, joyous audience.
 Totally with you! Awesome tune.

stevenstarr wrote:
WA DAR YA NUTS?  6.7   YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF    solid 8.5  sheech

 

This makes me feel like breaking my piggybank for a serious vintage Marantz or Sansui amp and a pair of Kappa Infinity.
What a good sound {#Clap}
WA DAR YA NUTS?  6.7   YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF    solid 8.5  sheech
 Steely_D wrote:
Best song about adultery and unexpected pregnancy I've heard all day!
 
Let's update that: "Best song about hypergamy and cuckoldry...".
"Now we dolly back, now we fade to black."
I remember hearing those lyrics way back in '76 and it was the key to SD's lyrics overall - cinematic storytelling, complete with camera instructions. Until that moment I was a bit puzzled as to what these guys were doing but after that revelation they became my favorite band - well other than Little Feat - for all my college years and beyond.

RIP Walter. I still treasure the email you sent me.
 Sam_Chucklestone wrote:

Ditto, but this is the only vocoder hit of theirs, or any one else's, I like. I don't like vocoders much.

 
It was cool in the 70's! I'm sure Peter Frampton is still making millions from it.
 Dave_Mack wrote:

Wha? I don't see those themes in there. I thought it was about a woman getting married, the marriage failing, the woman going to Haiti for a cheap divorce (hazy on this part...was it possible?), then going back home and feeling bad about the whole thing. I think the baby mentioned in the last verse refers to the marriage itself.

 
At the Grotto 
In the greasy chair 
Sits the Charlie with the lotion and the kinky hair 
When she smiled, she said it all 

The band was hot so 
They danced the famous Merengue 
Now we dolly back 
Now we fade to black 

Tearful reunion in the USA 
Day by day those memories fade away 
Some babies grow in a peculiar way 
It changed, it grew, and everybody knew 
Semi-mojo 
Who's this kinky so-and-so?

She has a child by the Haitian guy. Half white/black - semi-mojo.
{#Devil_pimp}zesty ! rip walter
"Straight to the stars" where strong spirits shoot, man made great music with Fagen    {#Clap}  
RIP, WB, and thank you for helping create and perform some of the most seminal music and immortal art this planet has ever enjoyed!
Rest in peace, Walter Becker. Steely Dan's music was a staple during my college days. I was looking forward to seeing this amazing pair of musicians soon in Baltimore, but it was not to be.

Your music is your legacy and it lives on.
 I saw them as well then, thought they talked a little to much about themselves and would have been nice if Donald could have hit a couple of more notes. Band was great though.Steely_D wrote:
Last month I caught three of their nine Vegas residency shows. Still cranking! Each night they did a lot of the expected hits and then two or three songs they only played once. Didn't do this one, sadly.

Still - worth your time if you're a fan. 

 


 Steely_D wrote:
Best song about adultery and unexpected pregnancy I've heard all day!

 
Wha? I don't see those themes in there. I thought it was about a woman getting married, the marriage failing, the woman going to Haiti for a cheap divorce (hazy on this part...was it possible?), then going back home and feeling bad about the whole thing. I think the baby mentioned in the last verse refers to the marriage itself.
This has a particularly low rating, yet this is really the only track of theirs that I like.  Odd. 
Last month I caught three of their nine Vegas residency shows. Still cranking! Each night they did a lot of the expected hits and then two or three songs they only played once. Didn't do this one, sadly.

Still - worth your time if you're a fan. 
 Paul_Darby wrote:
Massive fan of all their work. This band are a one-off, never be a band like this again in my lifetime. Actually saw them live on thursday, stunning band. What's about now? 50cent, American Idols, crappy USA rock bands like Green Day and some weak arse dance music for the tone deaf. Great! Ok we produced Coldplay and I fully apologise for that on behalf of all real music lovers in the UK.

 
If "50cent, American Idols, crappy USA rock bands like Green Day and some weak arse dance music for the tone deaf" are all you think there is nowadays, you must not have been paying very much attention.
A different kind of song from one of the landmark albums of modern music. Appreciating the lyrics of Steely Dan may not be easy for everyone: they're often cryptic and always wry; they invite thought, and require a genuinely open mind. But the music is top-notch
I love RP, after all these years, reading the lyrics....who's this kinky so-and-so.  
It's1981,,, and this song is playing at house in Falmouth Ma somewhere in my mind.......
 Paul_Darby wrote:
Massive fan of all their work. This band are a one-off, never be a band like this again in my lifetime. Actually saw them live on thursday, stunning band. What's about now? 50cent, American Idols, crappy USA rock bands like Green Day and some weak arse dance music for the tone deaf. Great! Ok we produced Coldplay and I fully apologise for that on behalf of all real music lovers in the UK.
 
Can't a dude love Steely Dan and like Coldplay?  I like Coldplay.  Also like ABBA.  

Will agree that Green Day sucks. 
Best song about adultery and unexpected pregnancy I've heard all day!
Been awhile I see. 11 years !  Good to give it a dust off.  A good song from maybe their best album.
Paul said:Massive fan of all their work. This band are a one-off, never be a band like this again in my lifetime. Actually saw them live on thursday, stunning band. What's about now? 50cent, American Idols, crappy USA rock bands like Green Day and some weak arse dance music for the tone deaf. Great! Ok we produced Coldplay and I fully apologise for that on behalf of all real music lovers in the UK. When did all of U. K. nominate u as spokesperson? Notice you just joined RP, so I'll overlook your negative comments. Keep listening to RP & broaden your horizon. The tunes you mention were never played on RP.
Massive fan of all their work. This band are a one-off, never be a band like this again in my lifetime. Actually saw them live on thursday, stunning band. What's about now? 50cent, American Idols, crappy USA rock bands like Green Day and some weak arse dance music for the tone deaf. Great! Ok we produced Coldplay and I fully apologise for that on behalf of all real music lovers in the UK.
If I were to pick just one Steely Dan album (a tough job) it would be "The Royal Scam."
moshevelvul wrote:
like a martini - for adults only. ... As I grew up I slowly and strangely became a huge fan. They made amazing records - strange, twisted sophisticated lyrics wrapped through non-pretentious jazz modalities, that became an extraordinary number of hit songs on A.M radio! Nothing like 'em - true originals.
What did it mean when I liked them as a young teen then? I certainly didn't like martinis then! :roflol: Steely Dan is one of my favorites.... Almost nothing better than them as far as tight, good music, with fun ironic lyrics.
Laid back unprententious music played by consumate professionals. Unlike other "pro" music, this stuff is wonderfully ironic and funny. This cut has the best "voice squawk" guitar solo ever. Frampton can only dream of playing one this well.
stickers11 wrote:
Come on, does anyone really like Steely Dan? I try with every track to find something good.....I can't. Maybe I can't detect their subtle jazz structure or thier layered what-not, but I just don't get it.
I just like the melodies, and the lyrics. In other words, I like their songs. Man it sucks to so intensly like an artist that fully 78.4% of the general population not only isn't aware of, or doesn't care for, but instead barely tolerates their very existence; ie. really hates the shit out of them. I feel like I have to listen to this stuff in a closet somewhere, and then destroy the evidence afterwards. Maybe there could be a Steely Dan's Anonymous group formed for those afflicted with a fondness for their music. We could secretly share our burden with each other privately and quietly, never to speak to others outside the group about our activities within...... Or, let's try this: STEELY DAN RULES, EVERYTHING ELSE IS EXCEPTIONALLY AVERAGE - YEEEE-AHHHHHH BAY-BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
moshevelvul wrote:
like a martini - for adults only. When I was young (in the 70's) I used to say only old people liked these guys....and....I was right!! As I grew up I slowly and strangely became a huge fan. They made amazing records - strange, twisted sophisticated lyrics wrapped through non-pretentious jazz modalities, that became an extraordinary number of hit songs on A.M radio! Nothing like 'em - true originals.
Well said! These boys were original and in their heyday, the epitome of cool. what a line up of incredible musicians they mustered on their albums over the years.
Come on, does anyone really like Steely Dan? I try with every track to find something good.....I can't. Maybe I can't detect their subtle jazz structure or thier layered what-not, but I just don't get it.
PERDIDOUSA wrote:
Arrrrrrggggghhhhhh MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT STOP!!!! And please do NOT play this again.
...What he said. *MUTE*
This song was cited as authority in my Federal Income Taxation textbook. Honest!
like a martini - for adults only. When I was young (in the 70's) I used to say only old people liked these guys....and....I was right!! As I grew up I slowly and strangely became a huge fan. They made amazing records - strange, twisted sophisticated lyrics wrapped through non-pretentious jazz modalities, that became an extraordinary number of hit songs on A.M radio! Nothing like 'em - true originals.
physicsgenius wrote:
Are porn soundtracks NSFW?
Physicsgenius! You're back!!!! Yeaaaa!
I've got a fever and the only cure is more talk box!
Are porn soundtracks NSFW?
Cool! Steely Dan! Let the love flow...
Oh, I do so hate dissing music. but This sucked then and it sucks now. Sorry. It just grates my nerves. Nice artwork on the CD though.
Good golly, this song is like 5 minutes too long.
Wow, I'm surprised at how many people don't like Steely Dan. What surprises me more is that noone has compared their sound to U2. (heh heh)
designerGirl wrote:
I'm going to hire a programmer to write a code for me that automatically changes the station when it detects this kind of noise. I can never seem to find the mute button fast enough.
I'm so with you. I will never ever understand the Dan.
No PLEASE make it stop, along with anything else that sounds like regaee
No, don't make it stop - more Steely Dan!
Arrrrrrggggghhhhhh MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT STOP!!!! And please do NOT play this again.
I'm going to hire a programmer to write a code for me that automatically changes the station when it detects this kind of noise. I can never seem to find the mute button fast enough.
yashpheh wrote:
I can't help it, but Steely Dan annoys the living crap out of me
Steely Dan even doesn't get my heart rate up to the point of annoyance...I just calmly despise their music
Who is that kinky so and so?
Can't give it a 10...what would I give their best then? Nevertheless, what a great song. What the wah-wah was born for....
zeta wrote:
Yes, everyone is a racist. We are all equally guilty. It doesn't make a difference if we try our best to be fair to everyone or are part of KKK. Sorry for the flame, but that just doesn't make any sense. The song is old, tho. Don't like it. edit: typo
I was being sarcastic.
The Brilliance of the Dan.
ABSO- FUCKING -LUTELY! JDF wrote:
I sat by Dean Parks at a dinner a few years ago, and after I figured out who he was I asked him which songs included work of which he was most proud--I remember him mentioning only one song, Haitian Divorce. Steely Dan also happens to be the first band that I ever saw in concert, 7/3/73 at the Santa Monica Civic if my memory is correct... I remember the lights going off in the hall, only being able to see people coming onto the stage when they moved past the tiny red lights on their amps, and then the opening notes of Bodhisattva came pounding out. I lost interest in SD in later years, but their first few albums are still among my favorites.
I sat by Dean Parks at a dinner a few years ago, and after I figured out who he was I asked him which songs included work of which he was most proud--I remember him mentioning only one song, Haitian Divorce. Steely Dan also happens to be the first band that I ever saw in concert, 7/3/73 at the Santa Monica Civic if my memory is correct... I remember the lights going off in the hall, only being able to see people coming onto the stage when they moved past the tiny red lights on their amps, and then the opening notes of Bodhisattva came pounding out. I lost interest in SD in later years, but their first few albums are still among my favorites.
veegez wrote:
Everyone's a "racist".
Yes, everyone is a racist. We are all equally guilty. It doesn't make a difference if we try our best to be fair to everyone or are part of KKK. Sorry for the flame, but that just doesn't make any sense. The song is old, tho. Don't like it. edit: typo
For me, a solid 10
physicsgenius wrote:
It's bad enough we have to listen to music that was old when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but we also have to endure the racist lyrics too?
This song is emblematic of the sneering Dan humor that peaked on this album. The lyrics and tone are tongue in cheek. Everything's fair game, and I seriously doubt Donald and Walter penned, intentionally or not, anything "racist." Check the lyrics for the title track of this album, too. Be an interesting study/contrast.
physicsgenius wrote:
It's bad enough we have to listen to music that was old when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but we also have to endure the racist lyrics too?
Everyone's a "racist".
Oh good! I missed it! A 1.
It's bad enough we have to listen to music that was old when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but we also have to endure the racist lyrics too?
Trustocity wrote:
YEA!!!!!! Steely Dan!!!!!!! Wait. "Haitian Divorce?" Any Steely Dan is better than no Steely Dan, but THIS Steely Dan?
I know, there are at least three other Dan tunes in the RP Library that have never been played, and three or four more than haven't been played in over a year, and in some cases, 2-3 years. And whatever happened to Show Business Kids?
yashpheh wrote:
I can't help it, but Steely Dan annoys the living crap out of me
I like this better than other Steely Dan I've heard. There's also a great line in an otherwise lame song where he says "I cried when I wrote this song." I was chuckling for hours.
YEA!!!!!! Steely Dan!!!!!!! Wait. "Haitian Divorce?" Any Steely Dan is better than no Steely Dan, but THIS Steely Dan? Better than "Kid Charlamagne?" Oh cool! My 1 rating just dropped the score by a tenth of a point. Now that's power. For the record, I never give anything but a 1 or a 10. I like it or I don't. Actually, I've given other scores before, but no more!
8)
god, that guitar wah-wah pedal on the bridge portion of the song--that's an artifact of beauty from the 70s. Nice to hear this song. :cowboy: :daisy.gif:
namesbenny wrote:
I'd have to agree with you, and not the naysayers. I think this is one of their finest works, especially the turn at the end.
And I have to agree with you. The vibes/guitar work at the end of the song (Victor Feldman?/ Walter Becker) make this my favorite from Royal Scam.
I can't help it, but Steely Dan annoys the living crap out of me
Yashure wrote:
Some of the nicest guitar work anywhere anytime by anyone. Period.
I'd have to agree with you, and not the naysayers. I think this is one of their finest works, especially the turn at the end.
Dissonent Broadway Rock--
Missed it! Very representative of the tone of their most caustic album. Fantastic, but Walter and Donald have altered my receptors beyond hope, so there you go.
fingers on a blackboard
Bill, you keep playing these great tunes from when I was a teen, stuff I haven't heard for years.
Take me where the music play...
Band, partnership, ensemble of studio musicians - - Steely Dan is just a musical phenomenon that keeps getting better with age. Case in point: This track and the album from which it comes. They constantly remind me that the '70s weren't all that bad after all.
his voice grates, the instrumentation grates, the lyrics grate. It's mute time for me.
Some of the nicest guitar work anywhere anytime by anyone. Period.