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Bedlam

Bedlam:

I've got this phosphorescent portrait
of gentle Jesus meek and mild
I've got this harlot that I'm stuck with
carrying another man's child
The solitary star announcing vacancy
burnt out as we arrived
They'd throw us back across the border
if they knew that we survived
And they were surprised to see us
So they greeted us with palms
They asked for ammunition,
acts of contrition and small alms

I might recite a small prayer
If I ever said them
I lay down on an iron frame
Found myself in bedlam
I wish that I could take something
for drowning out the noise
Wailing echoes down the corridors

I've got this imaginary radio, and
I'm punching up the dial
I've got the A.C. trained on the T.V.
so it won't blow up in my eye
And everything that I thought fanciful
and mocked as too extreme
Must be family entertainment here
in the strange land of my dreams
Now I'm practicing my likeness of
St. Francis of Assisi
For if I hold my hand outstretched
A little bird comes to me

I might recite a small prayer
If I ever said them
I lay down on an iron frame
Found myself in bedlam
Escaping from the fingers that were
stretching through the bars
Wailing echoes down the corridors

The player piano picks out Life Goes On
The ringtone rang out Jerusalem
Into the pit of sadness
Where the wretched plunge
We've buried all the innocents
We must bury revenge

They've got this scared and decorated girl
strapped to the steel trunk of a mustang
And then they drove her down a cypress grove
where traitors hang and stars still spangle
They dangled flags and other rags along a
coloured thread of twine
And then they dragged that bruised and purple
heart along the road to Palestine

Someone went off muttering,
he mentioned thirty pieces
Easter saw a slaughtering, each
wrapped in bloodstained fleeces
Then my thoughts returned to vengeance,
but I put up no resistance
Though I seemed a long way from my home
It really was no distance

And I might recite a small prayer
If I ever said them
I lay down on an iron frame
Found myself in bedlam
Bowing like an actor acknowledging applause
Playing the Crusader who was conquering the Moors
And he knew the consequences,
but he won't accept the cause
Wailing echoes down the corridors
Close

Bedlam

Released
September 2004
Label
Lost Highway

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