The Same Old Song: a ballade

Each night we play, you come to catch the show;
to see and be seen seeing, more to fact:
to smile like you alone are in the know
regarding “hidden treasures” like our act .
Let’s hope the grand veneer won’t start to crack,
and everyone will want to sing along
when next week, at the same time, we’ll be back
to play, almost by heart, the same old song.

Your faces melt in constant ebb and flow.
Sometimes, there’s no one there; sometimes, it’s packed.
The seasons change as students come and go,
but we remain to strum right through the slack.
Some nights, we’re less on stage than out in back,
yet no one says a word or thinks it’s wrong.
You only wonder just when we’ll get back
to play, almost by heart, the same old song.

It’s a grand institution, we all know:
a music that will always take you back
to when you felt alive and free to grow,
before you learned the social art of tact,
to multiply in silence, and subtract
each year when it arrives, and shuffle on,
another faceless card dealt from the stack
to play, almost by heart, the same old song.

Another night: we’re on, and you’ve come back;
the rhythm, like a river, moves us on
and on again, along life’s winding track,
to play, almost by heart, the same old song.

11 NOV 2010

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