Waiting For The Parade

This lyric was inspired by a old woman I once saw standing on a small, green-painted median along lower Broad St. in Lynn, Massachusetts.  She was bundled against the cold of this winter day, standing mostly still but with an slight affection for a small bounce.  She faced the oblivious traffic holding a small American flag in her hand.  I thought I saw a secret smile, as if she was the recipient of some prize only she could see.  She looked for all the world like she was waiting for a parade she knew was just around the corner.  It spoke to me of the past glory of the city of Lynn, and the timeless quality of love for those who defined the happiest days of one’s life.

Once upon a time
In our fair city
Father took me to
The grandest parade
A hundred marching bands
With ribbons and tassels
Oh, what beautiful
Music they made

High above the crowd
On my father’s shoulders
Floating in a sea
Of laughter and smiles
All the finest men
In coaches with stallions
Dancers and batons
And it went on for miles

(chorus)
That was long ago
Before the Great War
Now the sidewalks are empty
And the marchers are gone

No one can hurt me
In this world that I’ve made
Where I cling to my father
Waiting for the parade
(end chorus)

Everything has changed
The days are so sad now
How I long to hear
Those beautiful bands
But I would give it all
A thousand times over
Just to feel the touch
Of my dear father’s hand

(chorus)
That was long ago
Before Father marched off
To deliver us from evil
In some faraway land

The battles are over
And the bands have all played
But my father never came home
To be in the parade
(end chorus)

The people passing by
They look at me strangely
As I hold my flag
And stand there and smile
They could never know
The peace that I’m feeling
Gazing at my father
and once more a child

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The Answer

I always knew I wasn’t me
But I never thought that I would see
The answer laid in front of me
To a question that I dared not ask

Those who came before me knew
The life I lost was never mine
Before I found the answer too
I guess I just ran out of time

If I were ever standing there
Could I find the words to say
Or mute, witness to a time long past
I guess I’ll never see that day

Another life, in which I was
Nothing but an afterthought
Or not, but that I’ll never know
Another answer that can’t be sought

To all those who are part of me
But all those who will never see
The answer to a question, me
The answer to a question…
No one ever asked

End of the Day

Apparently I rewrote this extensively back in 2010 and forgot I had done it! Nice…  Anyway, here’s the new version, now with more wordplay..

Betwixt
Between
I drift from scene to scene

Bereft
Adrift
Was there something that I missed?

A stitch in time
A change of mind
To redefine the life I’m living

How strange it seems
To wake from dreams
And feel so very
Ordinary

A man
Repose
And everybody knows

To fill
The gaps
Just stuff me full of maps

That lead me where
Nobody cares
About the man who’s standing there

My voice is still
But still it drives
Me to a whole new understanding

(chorus)
The lion never wants
To go back in the cage
The actor never wants
To leave the stage
They say that power corrupts but when you take it away
Cold darkness falls at the end of the day

The ways
And means
To build another dream

Are all
Deferred
Because you’re not preferred

So shed a tear
And raise your beer
In mock salute to what’s behind you

Then raise your voice
In battle cry
And mock the very
Ordinary

(bridge)
Things in motion tend
To never want the ride to end
Careless of the destination
Motion its own explanation
Feeling like I’ve jumped the track
Beyond the point of turning back
And now inertia is the force
Keeps me on this unguided course

(chorus and outro)

Chinese Tea

Every day they find
A new way to sell the lie
They pit each man against
Those whom among he lives

Give one man a nickel
Tell the other it’s a dime
Just the crumbs from their table
It’s all by design

(chorus)
Dance for their amusement
As they wave the bloody shirt
Sell off your father’s freedoms
And you give until it hurts

That teabag came from China
And so did your flag
The only things still Made in USA
Are plutocrats and paper bags
(end chorus)

They control the picture
They control the sound
The views expressed are
Pre-digested by the pound

Satellites carpet-bombing
A nation under siege
They say believe in Jesus
Or better yet believe in me

(chorus)
Don’t worship that bronze idol
Here I’ve got one made of gold
You can get one of your very own
Where tinfoil hats are sold

It wards off miscegenation
And it repels tigers, too
It’s signed by Rupert Murdoch
And it keeps away the blues

(end chorus)

They lead you into temptation
Then they lock you up in jail
Corruption breeds seduction
And the odds say that you’ll fail

Waiting

Just another light year
Still waiting for the big bang
The flashes get smaller and further away
But still I seem to hope and pray

A cold and gray November brings
Nothing but the winter in its wake
It takes the eye with cold abandon
Revealing nothing of the spring

Still, we carry on
Building our sorry forts against
The slings and arrows
The thousand natural shocks
Still, we tend to our henges
Looking to the angle of the sun
Still, we seek the sign that spring will come

Insidious optimist, hideous pessimist
Which one will win out and conquer the rest of us
Silliness torrents us, solemnly testing us
Bifurcation, halving the best of us

The pocket magicians invent their new wonders
To both attract and repel one another
Windows embedded that sometimes reveal
Exactly the view that we wish to conceal

Dual screen displays, in millions of colors
To make us feel this way or that
Focused by groups, intended to dupe
And make us feel useless and fat

So here I rest
Still
Waiting