Singer and the Lyricist

Tom Holt's alternative lyric to the Pete Atkin / Clive James song 'Shadow And The Widower'

As they walked together from that final gig
And one turned away, with all the rights reverting,
A hollow whisper echoed through the hall;
(We could scarce hear without hurting)
Asked us if we realised that was all;
"Never made it (there was only this much in it,
The passion and the tears and laughs-per-minute);
That was them,
The singer and the lyricist."

"No more of that," I said, "there's so much more,
An hour of light to soothe a world of sorrow;
A speck of gold embedded in the wall,
A reason for tomorrow.
And behind all that, the memory of a dying fall;
A sweeter sound than most, as sweet as honey -
None but a blockhead ever wrote except for money;
Even them,
The singer and the lyricist."

The tech crew came and covered up the drums,
The stage hands moved to wind away the cables.
Said the whisper, "At this point, it becomes
The stuff of cults and fables.
All those memories, that mellow as they perish,
A handful of dust, to dream about and cherish,
Nothing more;
A singer and a lyricist."

   The whisper fades away, here in the light,
   Where the music plays and cannot be denied.
   The shroud lies empty, brilliant and white;
   The stone's rolled back, the grave is open wide,
   And trumpets sounding on the other side -
   As a sapling grows where once the forest died

"Recollection of what used to be," I said,
"The half-remembered shadows of the glory
Can heal the sick and maybe raise the dead;
But that's another story."
For I could hear the melody inside my head;
I had no feeling of a dream dead and decaying,
And so ignored the words the voice was saying.
For I hear the song for ever new
And when I'm doing that, remember you;
The singer and the lyricist

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