Kyle Gann: Oil Man (1981)

Oil Man

The text of Oil Man, which I arranged myself, is drawn from letters my father wrote from Saudi Arabia when he was working there in 1981-3, and from other stories and texts relating to his life. The verses designated by numbers 1 through 12 are meant to accompany the 12 cumulatively longer phrases in the music. KG


2. Hair receding at the temples.

3. The farm. /
"Come away with me and you'll never have to pick cotton again." She did. It didn't work. She was still picking cotton a week later.

4. Preaching to the neighborhood children, keep the money. The yard is covered with pecans in the fall.
Hola Ponda. /
Deliver the telegrams on a bicycle. / The black band means death in the family.

5. My brother's voice. The French girls wore too much makeup.


7.Net income slipped to $181.3 million, or $2.20 a share, from $189.2 million, or $2.29 a share in the like period a year earlier. Sales rose to $2.95 billion from $2.79 billion. In the nine months, operating profit rose 3% to $534.7 millions, or....

8. Arabia. /
Likely to be 16 to 18% below the levels the company was projecting before the announcement of Canada's national energy program last October. Gas discoveries offshore Sable Island could be commercial and may still.... /
What am I doing?

9. Yanbu is an old city. /
There were so many things I wanted to say. Ten minutes goes by so fast. /
In the afternoon it always gets dusty here. The wind comes up quickly. The young guys here think, "That old geezer is just showing off." Some also believe Jeddah was the Garden of Eden. Tell Rita "happy birthday" on the 21st.

10. The wind. /
Koreans are the best workers. Bachelors are not allowed to swim, see a camp movie, etc., with family-status men. Designated times are set for families and bachelors. Sometimes our work is mass confusion.

11. Ten minutes goes by so fast. /
Yanbu is an old city.

12. As D says, "It's a whole new world out there."

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