On the water down in New Orleans
My baby's the pearl of the quarter
She's a charmer like you never seen
Singing voulez vous
Where the sailor spend his hard-earned pay
Red beans and rice for a quarter
You can see her almost any day
singing voulez vous

And if you hear from my Louise
Won't you tell her I love her so
Please make it clear
When her day is done
She got a place to go

I walked alone down the miracle mile
I met my baby by the shine of the martyr
She stole my heart with her Cajun smile
Singing voulez vous
She loved the million dollar words I say
She loved the candy and the flowers that I bought her
She said she loved me and was on her way
Singing voulez vous


Lyrics submitted by GaslitAbbie

"Pearl of the Quarter" as written by Walter Carl Becker Donald Jay Fagen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Royalty Network

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Pearl of the Quarter song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentAhh, the classic "I fell in love with a hooker" song--and in true 'Dan fashion, the hooker is willing to humor him ("She said she loved me and was on her way...") and leave him begging for her to cease her promiscuous ways and stay with him. I think "Voulez-vous?" translates to "Do you want [this]?", which is a logical sales pitch.

    I wonder if Sting listened to this song when he wrote "Roxanne."
    ProfessorKnowItAllon October 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the few songs about a hooker that features pedal steel.
    thermo4on June 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionNothing like red beans and rice for a quarter.

    Fall in love with a hooker and that pedal steel will be playin' the blues fer ya. :)
    strangemanon March 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMoldering facades of apartments in the French Quarter / overwhelming sadness in the pedal steel guitar / imagining Louise's face / the shrine of the martyr / someone who died at the hands of sinful humanity / the world's oldest profession / unrequited love / musical notes that turn into tears...

    This song does it to me every time.
    NomadMonadon May 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPearl Of The Quarter shows that, in addition to everything else, these guys could write great love songs. Beautiful pedal steel playing and heart rending lyrics make it sit comfortably beside Doctor Wu and Maxine...
    franirl38on July 15, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, "charmer" is NOLa slang for a woman, usually white, lower/middle class.
    kjoon November 02, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou guys have dirty minds. Louise probably works in a food truck, serving up beans and rice to the sailors.
    Toadlyon August 17, 2020   Link

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