On the West Side
William J. Hall - September, 1978

  1 Staring at the sidewalk on Central Park West
  2 I'm trying to do what some say I do best
  3 'Mid the basements ant the rooftops
  4 And the long runs and the short stops
  5 In this teaming island city of contrast
  6 A woman of the New World
  7 With the harbor at her breast
  8 I've taken about all that I can digest
  9 Of the isolation mid the conclave
  10 Of the old school and the new wave
  11 Where the future holds the shadows of the past
  12 Like a pallid ghost of milling crowds
  13 When the moon is riding in the clouds
  14 The world is draped in smoky shrouds
  15 It's midnight
  16 At high tide
  17 As the darkness
  18 Slowly settles
  19 On the West Side
 
  20 Surely Monday Morning would see it like this:
  21 Riverside Church poised across the abyss
  22 Mid the time-space and the prescient
  23 And appeal to the omnipotent
  24 While the pilgrim in the street is fading fast
  25 Paradisial hells oppose eternal bliss
  26 Subway station clamor in the name of Jesus
  27 It's a whisper wrapped in gold leaf
  28 It's a watchdog and a horse-thief
  29 Where the future holds the shadows of the past
  30 Like a poltergeist with thorny crown
  31 When the silver light is pouring down
  32 The world is dressed in greys and brown
  33 It's midnight
  34 At high tide
  35 As the angel
  36 Of the darkness
  37 Slowly settles
  38 On the West Side
 
  39 Rose petal softness and pieces of glass
  40 So many looking for pieces of ass
  41 Searching for the big tickle
  42 Somewhere in the granite apple
  43 She's a tease
  44 Steal your heart and give you fleas
 
  45 Down beneath the highway it's a scene of war
  46 Pirates, saints, and prophets that work the long-shore
  47 Mid the roses and the garbage
  48 And the freedom and the bondage
  49 To the game that pits the first with drowning last
  50 Spray-paint words and faces scrawl the living folk lore
  51 Traffic echos mutter, "Baby, what you come here for?
  52 "Why you dressing up so pretty?
  53 "Why you walking in the city
  54 "Where the future holds the shadows of the past?"
  55 Like a spectral image of the time
  56 When the sirens scream and church bells chime
  57 The world is made of steel and grime
  58 It's midnight
  59 At high tide
  60 As the shadow
  61 Of the angel
  62 Of the darkness
  63 Slowly settles
  64 On the West Side
 


William J. Hall 1978 all rights reserved ASCAP


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