Uncle Belly’s Leaning Shed

This is one of my oldest songs. It’s a kind of whimsical jazz-blues thing about an imaginary bar where everyone is welcome. Uncle Belly’s Leaning Shed (in my imagination) isn’t the smartest joint in the world, but it sure is welcoming and it does make you feel happy and loved.

(Trivial aside : when I was at college studying electronics, about 1986, me and a bunch of pals – hi Lee and Annette – did a spectacular version of this at the student summer party. My entry as my alter-ego, saxophonist Krank Handel, is still talked about to this day!)

In more recent years, here in Antwerp, we had (for a while) a beautiful art-deco cafe called Cafe Kiebooms, run by gentleman psychologist-wrestler (yes, really, and they ARE perfect skills for a “cafe boss” … !) and good friend Vic Mees. Sadly, for reasons too sad to relate here, Cafe Kiebooms is no longer with us. Vic very much, and he and that wonderful cafe, with some of its gentle clientele, are featured in the video for this song.

There's a place that I know
Where only the poor people go
Every night, from the door
You'll hear the sound of laughter

It's not fashionable, it's not chic,
And when it rains the roof sometimes leaks.
The only light comes from the lamplight
Hanging from the rafter.

Until the sunrise comes,
The drifters and the bums,
Let down their hair and put the world to rights,
Almost every night

It don't matter if you got no money
It ain't the kind of place that you need bread
Come on, get yourself a taste of honey
Down at Uncle Belly's Leaning Shed

Four in the morning and the city slumbers
The office workers safely home in bed
Come on, get yourself a game of numbers
Down at Uncle Belly's Leaning Shed


If love's your thing bring a madam, bring a mister
If you're a wino bring a bottle instead
Prepare to share them with your brother and your sister
Down at Uncle Belly's Leaning Shed
Down at Uncle Belly's Leaning Shed

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