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#1134037 - 12/27/17 07:50 PM Magic  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,656
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,656
Magic ©2017 Robert George BMI

Moonlight poured like mother’s milk upon the river’s mouth
And a honeysuckle wind was softly blowin’ south
Tommy rolled a tire to the muddy riverside
Pushed it in and sailed off in the dark, receding tide
Past the shoots and rushes to a shadowland unknown
Far from tears and pain of yet another foster home

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
Though it sounds like madness, somewhere in the sadness
Hides the secret of magic

Tommy saw a slow train on the trestle up ahead
And the cars were painted crazy green and blue and red
One car was a hay filled cage with elephants inside
Tom slipped through the bars and caught a faster, drier ride
As the train rolled into Georgia at the break of day
Vagabond the Clown found Tommy sleepin’ in the hay

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
Though it sounds like madness, somewhere in the sadness
Hides the secret of magic

Well, they stopped a mile outside of Macon,
And the clown fed Tommy eggs n bacon
While the carnies pounded stakes and set up colored tents
When the hungry boy relayed his lonesome story,
Vagabond could feel the hand of glory
And how life was bound together by coincidence

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
Though it sounds like madness, somewhere in the sadness
Hides the secret of magic

Vagabond was versed in all traditions of a clown
With two purple teardrops just above his painted frown
He performed his first coin trick when he was four
And once juggled knives for tips outside a liquor store
O his youth was littered with regrets and midnight sin
And his cards and coins suspected where his kiss had been

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
And the hardest lessons, are the soul and essence
And the secret of magic

Tommy loved the hoopers, mimes and hawkers,
Midgets, acrobats and tightrope walkers
So Vagabond received permission for the boy to stay
And he taught the child a sense of purpose,
That the curse and blessing of a circus
Was in how performers’ roots could wander day to day

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
Though it sounds like madness, somewhere in the sadness
Hides the secret of magic

He’d show Tom a few tricks while they shoveled out the cage
Pleased and proud that Tom learned quickly for a kid his age
He’d say sleight of hand just means distracting men
From the clear reality that’s right in front of them
As the clown revealed the seeds of ancient circus arts
He divined perception in young Tommy’s heart

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
Though it sounds like madness, somewhere in the sadness
Hides the secret of magic

Well, they found poor Vagabond one mournful day
Trampled by the elephants and dyin’ in the hay
All the freaks and outcasts gathered ‘round that lonely boy
And they told him life was Fate’s to conjure or destroy
They said don’t let sudden death distract your view
When your whole life yet remains in front of you

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
And the hardest lessons, are the soul and essence
And the secret of magic

Tommy begged the hoopers, mimes and hawkers,
Midgets, acrobats and tightrope walkers
For two favors that might ease his anger at the stars
Now his father’s resting by the river,
Learning real illusion from forever
And there are teardrops painted on the sides of circus cars

Life’s a twilight bridge between the brilliant and tragic
Though it sounds like madness, somewhere in the sadness
Hides the secret of magic


Last edited by couchgrouch; 12/28/17 10:24 PM.

Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1134065 - 12/28/17 11:25 AM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,561
beechnut79 Offline
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beechnut79  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,561
Villa Park IL
As I read this I was trying to figure out which side the boy's bread was really buttered on. The vagabond seemed to have a lonely life, and Tommy was lucky that the clown he encountered wasn't a serial killer. One of our most notorious serial killers also performed as a clown. In fact there is a book titled "Killer Clown" on that subject. As for the circus, it is now having to reinvent itself since the public has now turned against the practice of using animals for entertainment. It will have to do so if it wants to avoid going the way of the rotary telephone.

#1134082 - 12/28/17 03:12 PM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 118
Earl Offline
Serious Contributor
Earl  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 118
Rhode Island
This is a fantastic story and the details within it are great. I liked the way the verses and bridges flow within the story too. I just have a couple of things that maybe you could clear up for me that seemed to pop out at me. Of course without hearing it, it does seem a bit long with all of the refrains after every verse and bridge. Do you think the listener will get tired of hearing the refrain 8 times or would it be better to parse them out between a double up verse or verse-bridge combination? It may shorten the song a little and lend more meaning and impact to the refrain if it is not stated so many times. It is interesting that you used a "pouring" comparison with moonlight, especially with the "mother's milk" reference as well. I usually associate Mother's Milk pouring as a sign of comfort and security and not as a description of light shining on something. Why did you choose that particular one? Last thing is the last line of the refrain, ". . . . the secret of magic" Does magic have a secret or is there "secret magic" or "the secret in magic". I may have missed something in that line with a meaning you're trying to convey. Thanks for this write I really enjoyed it.

#1134136 - 12/30/17 11:02 AM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,656
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,656
First off...thanks beechnut. That was one of the awesomest critiques I've ever received. Truly unforgettable. smile


Earl, thanks for the kind words. "Mother's milk" in that line is more a reference to the parenting of fortune and magic to the fostered Tommy. He also meets his real father that night thanks to the river.

I suspect some of those choruses would get dropped if this were ever recorded. I just have an addiction to symmetry on the page, haha.

"Magic" in the lyric refers to both sleight of hand and coincidence in the universe. I think there are secrets to both. smile


Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1134139 - 12/30/17 01:11 PM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,909
Neil Cotton Offline
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Neil Cotton  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,909
Georgetown, ON,CANADA
Couch,
Serious question ...why are you changing rhyme schemes? I'm sure you have a reason.
Variety?

Last edited by Neil Cotton; 12/30/17 01:12 PM.
#1134147 - 12/30/17 06:16 PM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,656
couchgrouch Online content
Top 30 Poster
couchgrouch  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,656
hi Neil...yes, variety and to keep writing interesting and challenging after all these years, haha. smile


Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1134216 - 12/31/17 06:00 PM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,909
Neil Cotton Offline
Top 50 Poster
Neil Cotton  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,909
Georgetown, ON,CANADA
Originally Posted by couchgrouch
hi Neil...yes, variety and to keep writing interesting and challenging after all these years, haha. smile


That's a good idea.
Happy 2018.

#1134316 - 01/02/18 06:19 PM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 608
Moosesong Offline
Top 500 Poster
Moosesong  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 608
Roseville, CA, USA
I really enjoyed this. Normally I would agree that the chorus is repeated too much. but the chorus is awesome, and it think it works.


David the (rather not be so very) Elder
Music page
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=707030

#1137389 - 02/18/18 03:57 PM Re: Magic [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 134
Alanjack Offline
Serious Contributor
Alanjack  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 134
This is a wonderful story well told.


Just a writer of words

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