Franklin's Table

Album: Down in the Cellar (2000)

Songfacts®:

  • This song, from Al's concept album about his favorite drink, was provisionally called "Rupert Brooke" right up until they recorded the vocals, but he couldn't find a wine reference so he opted for Ben Franklin as the central character. It was originally a sort of a desperation song by a female protagonist but morphed into a tribute to one of the true giants of history. Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) is an authentic American hero: author, diplomat, statesman and inventor, among his many other talents.
  • Al has often harped back in his songs to a long lost golden age, yearning to see Josephine Baker dance in a Paris cabaret or to tread the roads of Mediaeval Britain. Although it is doubtful if he or any of us would prefer to live in an age before computers, jet planes, modern medicine or running water, the point should be taken.

    The narrator of this song is one of Franklin's neighbors; he doesn't understand world affairs or Franklin's experiments, but he likes the wine, the roast beef and the conversation.
  • The strings on "Franklin's Table" were arranged by Laurence Juber, who also engineered and produced the album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

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