Magnificent – Lyrics without a Melody

I enjoy writing lyrics. I started this when I was in Ireland, and I finished it up (at least for now) just this evening.  Who’s going to put it to music? What’s it about? Picture a boy who walks through the jungle two hours one way to attend a small village schoolhouse. Certainly, it’s a true story.

Magnificent
lyrics by Mark W Sasse
1
Calloused hands of only twelve,
Dining on scraps and banana rows
Too many mouths, and not enough time,
but he smiles and laughs through his daily throes
Magnificent.
2
Tire tread sandals, half torn to shreds
from the rugged path he’s learned by heart,
three days a week if time to spare
he walks the mountain path to learn his part
Magnificent.
chorus
And the modern world nods its head
at the glitz and glamour and vapid threads,
That saturate our well-lived lives while he walks the jungle trail
magnificent
3
He’s late of course, ‘n has no books,
But eyes peer round at the blackboard lesson
language and numbers elude his grasp
he’ll fail his exams with or without this session
cause he’s one day closer and two hours farther from …
magnificent
chorus
And the modern world nods its head
at the glitz and glamour and vapid threads,
That saturate our well-lived lives while he walks the jungle trail
magnificent
bridge
The distance is not the problem cause he has the strength,
and time is not the issue cause he has all day
it’s not the humble school house without materials
it’s not government promises which always feel betrayed
it’s not the the blanket statement from ignorant city folks
Or his uncle who thinks it’s silly he gets nothing for his walks
It’s not the village children who have a head start
or nature which pounds his every inch when monsoon season stalks
The problem issue lies much deeper
Hidden in the human condition,
a failure to recognize that which truly is …
magnificent
4
The jungle trail welcomes the math
two trees multiplied by twelve ants,
a glorious quorum of learning begins
a history re-imagined by a small boy’s pant,
reborn each day by two hours of walking towards …
magnificent
chorus
And the modern world nods its head

at the glitz and glamour and vapid threads,
That saturate our well-lived lives while he walks the jungle trail
magnificent
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I Wrote This Last Night

I wrote this last night. No particular reason, and I’m not even sure what it means. But I kind of like it. I’m thinking folk-rock.

Vagabonds of Mercy   by  Mark W. Sasse

Ghostly kin collared high and smart, rolling out till we hit the dawn,

Pardoned souls with sing-song hearts, Hit the road until they reach the dawn

And the shadows cover field and vale, where it spreads it’s really hard to tell

As we brace for impact from the eastern gale, remember truth is the hardest sell

 

A girl in jeans and a ragged smile, waves a knife at the quarter mile

I duck my head from her pensive sight, but the battered soul gives up the fight

Proffered dreams, deferred hearts, testing limits with spare parts,

But the mileage wanes around the bend, when you’re headed home and then back again

 

Chorus:

And the vagabonds always know where they’re going,

Cause the road welcomes everyone who floats on the wings of the sun

And the vagabonds always know who they’re traveling with

Cause they understand more than most the feeling of Judas’ kiss

 

 

Part of the reason I joined this quest, was to get something off my chest.

I understand your hesitation, but I really need your participation.

Mercy ends in the empty void when shattered dreams lay half-destroyed

But walking men and talking girls, know the dance of the underworld

 

And those who dare to reach inside, might find release on the other side

But those who laugh at the high employed …

 

May find the lost key

May say a quick prayer

May join the party

Of the unaware

 

Chorus:

And the vagabonds always know where they’re going,

Cause the road welcomes everyone who floats on the wings of the sun

And the vagabonds always know who they’re traveling with

Cause they understand more than most the feeling of Judas’ kiss

 

Don’t let the night take you.

Don’t let the light break you.

Don’t let the fight leave you.

Don’t let the might beat you.

 

Chorus:

And the vagabonds always know where they’re going,

Cause the road welcomes everyone who floats on the wings of the sun

And the vagabonds always know who they’re traveling with

Cause they understand more than most the feeling of Judas’ kiss.

“A Woman at War” Musical Lyrics

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned how my musical “A Woman at War” is being performed this week in Kuala Lumpur Wed-Sat as part of the Short & Sweet Musical Festival. I’ll be heading down tomorrow to take part in the festivities. But in the meantime, I thought I’d post the lyrics. “Dedicated to all the women who fought for the love on the home front.”

“A Woman in War: A Musical”

Lyrics by Mark W. Sasse

Music by Mark W. Sasse & Laura Danneker

Dedicated to all the women who fought for their love on the home front.

ACT I: The Wedding

                            SARA

I knew by the look

and the awkward shy way that you took my hand,

from that moment on,

Love could survive cross the ocean’s span

                            JOHNNY

When I hold you, the war disappears

                            SARA

When you hold me, I walk without fear

                            DUET

You are life to me, you’re all I can see

You are life to me, you help me believe

that All of my, all of my, all of my dreams are wrapped up in you

oooo-oooo-oooo

All of my, all of my, all of my hopes are wrapped up in you

oooo-oooo-oooo

                            SARA

I do (they are standing like they are getting married.)

            (They walk arm in arm after the wedding, he is waving to the crowds but she is singing in a series   and contemplative manner.)

My friends warned me what I’d become

A numberless widow by an enemy’s gun

but I feel as strong as I do

Cause I’m just a woman in war over you

I’m just a woman in war over you.

            (Face to face with each other)

SARA

Stay safe. And come home.

                            JOHNNY

Wait for me.

                            SARA

Always.

            (Johnny turns to leave as she sings, watching him go out of sight)

You are life to me, you’re all I can see

You are life to me, you help me believe

that All of my, all of my, all of my dreams are wrapped up in you

oooo-oooo-oooo

All of my, all of my, all of my hopes are wrapped up in you …

            (Air raid sirens. Johnny on stage left is acting like he is at the war front. Sara, on stage right,    acting like she is hiding in a shelter.)

ACT II: The War

                         JOHNNY

Against the pitch of the dark blood-curling night

each minute we stand on the cusp of life

all barrels wait on the slightest twitch

with our knees are half sunk in a muddy ditch

No family exists in the trench of war

and the stench of death is a common bore

the numbness I feel inside my chest

will not dissipate with relax and rest

I will wait for the fog to lift

I wait for my soul to breathe once again

I will wait for the fog to lift

But I’m afraid I’ll never see you again

            (Johnny continues acting like he is at war while Sara sings and acts out the following.)

                                 SARA

On the home front, women fight the same war

by rationing goods at the local store

and we turned all the mills into fighting machines,

and we pack all our boxes with ripped magazines

Not a patch in the ground isn’t used for a seed,

growing gardens of life, we truly believe,

will be used to feed our boys in the war

each Sunday we pray for peace restored

                  JOHNNY & SARA

and I wait for the fog to lift

and I wait for my soul to breathe once again

and I wait for the fog to lift

but I don’t know if I will see you again,

                 JOHNNY & SARA

And we fight for the glory,

And we fight for our home

and we fight for our children,

at both fronts, alone

and we fight for the crashing around our soul

and we fight for the glory, we fight for it all

 

                      JOHNNY (singing same time with Sara)

And we fight for the glory,

And we fight for our home

and we fight for our children,

at both fronts, alone

and we fight for the crashing around our soul

and we fight for the glory, we fight for it all

SARA

and I wait for the fog to lift

and I wait for my soul to breathe once again

and I wait for the fog to lift

but I don’t know if I will see you again,

         (GUN SHOT –  Johnny falls down, wounded. He crawls off stage as Sara sings the following part)

            SARA

At night when the sun

dips beneath the clouds

I hold your last letter

and I think of how proud

you make me still

How I love you still

after three long years

you’re still on my heart

and I cannot bear that we’re still apart

but I feel as strong as I do

cause I’m still a woman at war over you.

I’m still a woman at war over …

            (Bells ringing)

victory victory victory victory   (production note: this can be pre-recorded or sung by Sara)

SARA

our boys are coming home

our boys are coming home

I’ll no longer be alone

because our boys are coming home

You are life to me, you’re all I can see

You are life to me, you help me believe

that all of my, all of my, all of my dreams are wrapped up in …

            (speaking)

Johnny? Johnny?

ACT III: The Homecoming

            (Sara comes upon Johnny who is sitting in a wheel chair, unresponsive, like he is in eternal shell-             shock. Sara tries to get his attention but to no avail. She becomes irritated and starts the           following song.)

                    SARA

I don’t understand what’s wrong

He doesn’t seem to know me

I don’t understand what happened

It’s like he never knew me

It’s like he can’t talk

he won’t look in my direction

Why won’t he talk

he shows me no affection

the doctor says to love him and treat him like he’s there

but I can’t take the burden of living with such fear

            (She comes back to him with compassion.)

Jonny, talk to me. Johnny.  (she becomes more mellow)

Why does he listen but not respond,

Why does he look but does not see

Why do I have these selfish thoughts?

Why did this have to happen to me?

He’s not the same man that I once loved

But he needs me just the same

There is no one at all to blame

But why do I feel so ashamed

of my feelings

I want to run away.

I want to leave today.

There is no one

no one at all to blame.

            (speaking)

I’m sorry, Johnny. I’m sorry.

            (She starts to walk away in tears when she hears a recorded voice, as if it is echoing in her head.)

            JOHNNY’S VOICE PRE-RECORDED

Will you wait for me?  Will you wait for me?

            (She turns and looks back in his direction, feels sympathy, and duty)

            SARA

Always.

            (She starts coming back to her unresponsive husband.)

            (tenderly)

You are life to me, you’re all I can see

You are life to me, you help me believe

that All of my, all of my, all of my dreams are wrapped up in you

oooo-oooo-oooo

All of my, all of my, all of my hopes are wrapped up in you

oooo-oooo-oooo

            (stronger)

My friends warned me what I’d become

A numberless widow by an enemy’s gun

but I feel as strong as I do

Cause I’m still a woman in war over you

I’m still a woman in war over you.

            (There is some movement from Jonny. He moves his mouth and talks for the first time.)

            JOHNNY

Sara.

            SARA

Johnny.

            (She comes to his side and he reaches for her hand.)

            (Lights fade.)

THE END

 

A Taste of Poetry

Here’s something I don’t post too often. A poem or perhaps lyrics I wrote a while back. Bonus, it even rhymes!

When danger lurks do I run and hide,

or do I fall full-force to the other side.

Does it dance with ease like brilliant light

that glitters the eve at the break of night.

Or does it harness maddening villainous taunts

which feed desires we foolishly flaunt.

Or does all-embrace impart a plan

which molds me to a second man.