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Ellis Paul

Five Alarm Fire on the 4th of July

Five Alarm Fire on the 4th of July

(The Plissey Family Picnic)

Grandpa's drinking whiskey on the sofa

The sofa's in the middle of a bonfire

Bottle rockets and lawn darts flyin'

Nobody died

But everyone was tryin'

It's my family reunion

It's the summer of '79

Pails and kettles filled to the brim

With wild strawberries

The screen door's crackin'

From kids running back to the woods

We told Grandma we found

Uncle Terry's homegrown pot plants

She said she'd leave 'em

In the will if we are good


Oh, There ain't a party

Till the cops show up

With four fire engines

And bearded men in pick up trucks

(vikings, pirates, buccaneers, serial killers)

The flames from the farmhouse

Are 30 feet high (40, 50, 100, 1,000)

It's a five alarm fire on the 4th of July

Forty grandkids climbin'

The apple trees half naked

Uncle Fred's underneath his car

With an acetylene torch

They say it only takes a spark

To get a party goin'

Well, the car caught fire,

Then the garage,

Then the whole damn porch

Burgers flipping like horseshoes

Out on the back grill

We're tryin' to get

A family photo taken

But forty kids won't sit still

And Aunt Diane is flashin'

The camera with her boobies

Uncle Buck is rolling somethin'

He calls a Mon-ster Doo-bie

Seems like the whole town

Of Washburn, Maine

Came to the party

Kids were shakin' Polaroids

They took with the firemen

And yes, the farmhouse did burn down

But not the memories

And Aunt Diane, she sure did

Make herself a few new friends

Oh, its a five alarm fire

On the 4th of July

Strawberry shortcake

Three stacks high

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Let the fireworks fly

It's a five alarm fire

On the 4th of July

We are family

We are family

We are family