Singer-songwriter Paul Metsa on Molly Spaun

Molly Spaun owned Molly’s Tavern in Superior for more than 60 years. The Tower Avenue bar drew an eclectic mix of clientele that included bikers, prostitutes and sailors. Spaun, 99, died Wednesday. (Photos courtesy of Oscar Muench)

Molly Spaun, once referred to in the News Tribune as “the First Lady of Superior’s tavern business,” died Wednesday of health complications after a series of heart attacks this past winter.

Singer-songwriter Paul Metsa wrote a song about Spaun years ago. An MP3 has been added to the story.

Metsa also sent along the lyrics:

Twenty fourth of December a stranger I walked like I just lost the keys to the city   As a stranger I sent postcards ‘round the world but the picture tonight wasn’t pretty

I walked in the shadows of haunted hotels like a miner trapped in a cavern but I looked to the East and a star it shown down and it led me right to Molly’s Tavern


So I followed the footprints made in the snow by Salvation Army musicians I got in line and stood right behind a tap dancer and two blind magicians


You would have thought I had been there before as Molly stood there to greet me  Eighty years old and a gleam in her eye said “you’re expected” and proceeded to seat me




C’mon ye low down rounders, lift up your low down ways pass the malt and the mistletoe it’s almost Christmas Day


I walked around and the harp player asked if I would like to request a selection I smiled and I asked for God Bless the Child and for him I took up a collection


I spotted a man with a white beard and red from a distance looked just like Kris Kringle  He went to the roof and I thought I heard hoofs and I swear

I heard sleigh bells a jingle

We waltzed on a dance floor made out of glass between dances we sang Christmas carols then we lit candles had a moment of silence and the bartender read F. Scott Fitzgerald


Molly said first we must give to receive we put our trinkets into the kitty in went my compass and my grandfather’s watch and I pulled out the key to the city




And so I guess if there’s a lesson I’ve learned it is one that will keep me from danger sometimes you get lost just so you will be found and return the kindness of strangers


I explained how I felt as I kissed Molly’s hand like a miner freed from a cavern “Merry Christmas baby,” is what she said to me “but its like this each night in my tavern”


So I sail on the oceans and I look at the sky and it seems like the whole worlds on fire and I just want to make angel wings in the snow and sing this song in that midnight choir