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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