Stranded at a standstill on the edge of blue and sky
The Sojourner, my spirit, whispered “fly”
Beyond this Desolation where Eternal voices cry
Down the highway where the dreamers go to die

My vagrant’s desperation for a higher place to be
Set its course to trust the dream and drive in me
I got the hell out young, alive, still holding 17
A vintage suitcase held a poor boy’s pedigree

It was on a Thursday morning, ever grateful for that day
At 5 o’clock I wrote my heart and soul away
My hope was now a ticket on a never ending train
A brand new guitar held some songs about the rain

Richard Manuel’s mother sat beside me for awhile
“You in a band”? she asked, I said, “no ma’am I’m not”
“I’m just going to Toronto where I hope they’ll dig my style”
My sense of purpose caused her face to smile a lot

“My son is in a band” she said, “you may have heard of them”
“What’s their name”?  I asked of her, she said, “they’re called The Band”
“The Band…you must be kidding me…your son is in THE BAND..?..”
“That’s right”, she said “he’s in The Band” and so her tale began

I can’t remember where we stopped, what station she called home
It must have been in Stratford, might as well have been in Rome
I only knew, as rounders do, a long and lonesome time
Would pass until I’d find her in my verses and in rhyme

This train’s a conflagration now, aflame and burning free
My restless soul on fire bears the life and death of me
So listen, hear my wheels race beyond this dreary grey
Of shadows, long dead habits and the dust of yesterday

These tracks are harder, tougher now, much colder than the clay
I’ll ride them on until the dawn when sleep might come my way
Stealthy devils, dead-end proud, all hungry for the grave
Invite me to be hungry too, but further on, I pray

Nothing lives that doesn’t die in suffering and pain
All my bitter torments were just shackles on my brain
Yet any true compassion still requires it a need
To say at last I suffered well because I had to bleed

Suffering and blood just means that nothing will remain
That hasn’t been transformed upon this sky bound mystery train
We’re closer now, the station up ahead is bathed in Light
The Band is playing  “The Shape I’m In” and everything’s just right

© 2018 Frank Trainor Music Inc.


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