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I heard the news about some blind gospel singer, Drove a Porsche off a bridge down in New Orleans; A test of faith or a search for a rush that lingers, I saw the rolling waves on the TV screen. And the man at the microphone heard the people applaud, In their silks and their golden bands in the stadium lights; They believed in that like the stone face of some white river god, And the money flowed like rain through the late late night. And I heard the song out of the satellite dish, And I heard the song out of the whispering pines; Cries of birds and words of coins in the mouths of fish, Singing in the wings of a DC-9. And I said Could those lights ahead be Memphis I can't see that far down the line, But it's loud and clear and coming in on the FM Like a dream of mine. In a bar on the waterfront seeing in the new year, All the couples reading tea leaves and the stars; Saying Down the street don't it sound just like Clifton Chenier, Or All I hear are the police cars. And all the children of post-war America, Cradled in the engines and the wind; On the last flight from Lebanon to Syria, Saying Tell me tell me where does the world begin? And the voices in the cables telling how the blind will see, And the lion will lie down with the lamb; You can see it all from inside a long black limosine, You can hear it in the waves upon the sand. And I said Could those lights ahead be Memphis I can't see that far down the line, But it's loud and clear and coming in on the FM Like a dream of mine. Thousand dollars a plate and the line forms in the street, Watch it reach from here to Christmas day; You can take your chance on love or on the lottery, You can hope for food to eat and a place to stay. Chrome-plated pistols and whole families up for pawn, And a land whose heart is out of room; Where's your shame when you see them in the light of dawn And all the cherry orchards are in bloom. Rome fell to the Huns and there were shootouts in the streets, Along the coast all the sirens sang; Politicians' prayers ringing in the century With a handshake and a couple of thieves to hang. And I said Could those lights ahead be Memphis I can't see that far down the line, But it's loud and clear and coming in on the FM Like a dream of mine. One more night and it's right around the bend On that faraway shore, So stop your crying when you know it's just the wind Blowin' through an open door. Jamestown to Jonestown and all the miles between, From Kennedy and on down 66; Where the neon river glows and the diamond city gleams For a Broadway lullaby and an angel's kiss. And the lights of a million cars down a hundred million streets, And a yellow moon rising through the rust; Across the Mississippi and through the cloverleaf, With whispers of cities of turned to dust Where the visionaries sing for the fortunes in the air, And the bells ring on the Wall Street floor; Where the bands are all playing and the people everywhere Are saying I don't hear you anymore. And I said Could those lights ahead be Memphis I can't see that far down the line, But it's loud and clear and coming in on the FM Like a dream of mine.
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Copyright © Thomas Anderson, Angry Young Grad Student Music