Genius Child: A Cycle of 10 Songs

Song Cycle by Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956)

Word count: 451

1. Winter moon [sung text checked 1 time]

How thin and sharp is the moon tonight!
How thin and sharp and ghostly white
Is the slim curved crook of the moon tonight!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Genius child [sung text checked 1 time]

This is a song for the genius child.
Sing it softly, for the song is wild.
Sing it softly as ever you can --
Lest the song get out of hand.

Nobody loves a genius child.

Can you love an eagle,
Tame or wild?

Wild or tame,
Can you love a monster
Of frightening name?

Nobody loves a genius child.

Kill him -- and let his soul run wild!

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3. Kid in the park [sung text checked 1 time]

Lonely little question mark
on a bench in the park:

See the people passing by?
See the airplanes in the sky?
See the birds
flying home
before
dark?

Home's just around
the corner
there --
but not really
anywhere.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. To be somebody [sung text checked 1 time]

Little girl
Dreaming of a baby grand piano
(Not knowing there's a Steinway bigger, bigger)
Dreaming of a baby grand to play
That stretches paddle-tailed across the floor,
Not standing upright
Like a bad boy in the corner,
But sending music
Up the stairs and down the stairs
And out the door
To confound even Hazel Scott
Who might be passing!

Oh!

Little boy
Dreaming of the boxing gloves
Joe Louis wore,
The gloves that sent
Two dozen men to the floor.
Knockout!
Bam! Bop! Mop!

There's always room,
They say,
At the top.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Troubled woman [sung text checked 1 time]

She stands
In the quiet darkness,
This troubled woman
Bowed by
Weariness and pain
Like an
Autumn flower
In the frozen rain,
Like a
Wind-blown autumn flower
That never lifts its head
Again.

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6. Strange hurt [sung text checked 1 time]

In times of stormy weather
She felt queer pain
That said,
"You'll find rain better
Than shelter from the rain."

Days filled with fiery sunshine
Strange hurt she knew
That made
Her seek the burning sunlight
Rather than the shade

In months of snowy winter
When cozy houses hold,
She'd break down doors
To wander naked
In the cold.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Prayer [sung text checked 1 time]

I ask you this:
Which way to go?
I ask you this:
Which sin to bear?
Which crown to put 
Upon my hair?
I do not know, 
Lord God, 
I do not know.

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8. Border line [sung text checked 1 time]

I used to wonder
About living and dying --
I think the difference lies
Between tears and crying.

I used to wonder
About here and there --
I think the distance
Is nowhere.

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9. My people [sung text checked 1 time]

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

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10. Joy [sung text checked 1 time]

I went to look for Joy,
Slim, dancing Joy,
Gay, laughing Joy,
Bright-eyed Joy --
And I found her
Driving the butcher's cart
In the arms of the butcher boy!
Such company, such company,
As keeps this young nymph, Joy!

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