Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pass That Stage

We don't Hesitate 
To try and Create
And then Perpetuate
Fictitious impressions.

Courteous words like:
"Thank you, I'm sorry, Please
Would you forgive me?"

Which we once knew --
Have now become 
Forgotten things of the Past.


We Convict and Condemn in our Minds
Our bosom pals without a Trial;
But this Wickedness, Crookedness
Stupid and Malicious guile is out of Style.

Can't people construct and Try to engage
In something to Alleviate this present Shortage?

Control the Urge to Damage
And as A People be less Savage --

In this Day and Age --
Remember We Pass That Stage.

Note:  This Mighty Sparrow song, which I first heard on Van Dyke Parks' great The Clang Of The Yankee Reaper album, has been running through my mind consciously all day and subconciously for at least the past five years.  Van Dyke abbreviated Sparrow's lyrics and I've abbreviated them a bit more and (I hope not too effetely) adjusted the typography and punctuation.  Isn't it a great song?

Youtube unfortunately abridged Sparrow's track to an incomplete 3:46 below, but it's probably the best 3:46 you'll ever hear.  I wish I could enunciate and ellide like Sparrow does and also record my own thoughts so trenchantly. 

Van Dyke's version is integral and wonderful.

Forget the other grand monuments of the past and present and also those that are planned for the future on the Washington D.C. Mall, which have been in the news lately.

It’s the last six lines of Sparrow’s lyrics that really deserve graven publication, don't you think?


We Pass That Stage -- Mighty Sparrow

Pass That Stage -- Van Dyke Parks


  1. This is a GREAT song. I am frequently despair at the disappearance of civility.

  2. It IS a great song and both Sparrow and Van Dyke Parks are great artists. If you've never heard Van Dyke's Clang of the Yankee Reaper record or his immediately preceding album, Discover America, you should. Curtis