One Night In Greece

I’ll tell you a story, I swear it’s true
It was a sunny afternoon
September 10th, 2001
We were minding our business, having fun
Hanging out on the coast of Greece
A long way from the belly of the beast
We were drinking and talking and things were good
Living it up as best we could

Then a yacht so big it blocked the sky
Entered the view of our collective eye
It was ostentatious beyond description
It made old Greek ladies have conniptions
And as this bloated behemoth trundled past
We got a square view of the mast
And at the top, ten meters high
Was a sight that made the village cry

An American flag of such massive girth
It seemed to take up half the earth
Now maybe it had to do with the dictatorship
But the Greeks among us began to flip
We were women and men of various stations
An international delegation
And all of us there on the sand
Knew this situation couldn’t stand

As the yacht set down it’s anchor
And sat there like some oil tanker
Well we drank and talked and talked and drank
The sun went down and then it sank
By midnight we’d reached a solution
How to deal with this air pollution
We thought we’d swim out and we’d check
If there was a staircase to the deck

So we stripped down and swam out there
And sure enough there were the stairs
Then a Libyan student named Osama
Took the lead role in the drama
He climbed the stairs and then the flagpole
It was a sight to feed a weary soul
Hanging naked with us beneath
He bit the flag off with his teeth

And flag in hand he jumped down
And we dragged the flag back into town
A small victory one may note
Just a flag upon a boat
Revolution it was not
But one more rich prat in his yacht
Might think twice before he sets sail
With a flag the size of a fucking whale
And our reward for this little caper?
A year’s supply of toilet paper!

“One Night in Greece” appears on Hang a Flag in the Window (CD, 2002).

Someone told me this story at a gig in London, England, and I turned it into a “talking blues.”  Every word of the song is true except for the bit about the toilet paper.  I met the Libyan student named Osama at a gig in London a year or two later, as well.