Genesis:The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

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“The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”
Artist: Genesis
Albums: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)
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Keep your fingers out of my eye.

While I write I like to glance at the butterflies in glass that are all around the walls. The people in memory are pinned to events I can't recall too well, but I'm putting one down to watch him break up, decompose and feed another sort of life. The one in question is all fully biodegradable material and categorised as 'Rael'. Rael hates me, I like Rael, -- yes, even ostriches have feelings, but our relationship is something both of us are learning to live with. Rael likes a good time, I like a good rhyme, but you won't see me directly anymore -- he hates my being around. So if his story doesn't stand, I might lend a hand, you understand? (ie. the rhyme is planned, dummies).

The flickering needle jumps into red. New York crawls out of its bed. The weary guests are asked to leave the warmth of the all-night theater, having slept on pictures others only dream on. The un-paid extras disturb the Sleeping Broadway. WALK to the left DON'T WALK to the right: on Broadway, directions don't look so bright. Autoghosts keep the pace for the cabman's early mobile race.

Enough of this -- our hero is moving up the subway stairs into daylight. Beneath his leather jacket he holds a spray gun which has left the message R-A-E-L in big letters on the wall leading underground. It may not mean much to you but to Rael it is part of the process going towards 'making a name for yourself.' When you're not even a pure-bred Puerto Rican the going gets tough and the tough gets going.

With casual sideways glances along the wet street, he checks the motion in the steam to look for potential obstruction. Seeing none, he strides along the sidewalk, past the drugstore with iron guard being removed to reveal the smile of the toothpaste girl, past the nightladies and past Patrolman Frank Leonowich (48, married, two kids) who stands in the doorway of the wig-store. Patrolman Leonowich looks at Rael in much the same way that other Patrolmen look at him, and Rael only just hides that he is hiding something. Meanwhile from out of the steam a lamb lies down. This lamb has nothing whatsoever to do with Rael, or any other lamb -- it just lies down on Broadway.


And the lamb lies down on Broadway

Early morning Manhattan
Ocean winds blow on the land
The Movie-Palace is now undone
The all-night watchmen have had their fun
Sleeping cheaply on the midnight show
It's the same old ending-time to go
Get out
It seems they cannot leave their dream
There's something moving in the sidewalk steam
And the lamb lies down on Broadway

Nightime's flyers feel their pains
Drugstore takes down the chains
Metal motion comes in bursts
But the gas station can quench that thirst
Suspension cracked on unmade road
The trucker's eyes read overload
And out on the subway
Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid
Exits into daylight, spraygun hid
And the lamb lies down on Broadway

The lamb seems right out of place
Yet the Broadway street scene finds a focus in its face
Somehow it's lying there
Brings a stillness to the air
Though man-made light, at night is very bright
There's no whitewash victim
As the neons dim, to the coat of white
Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid
Wipes his gun -- he's forgotten what he did
And the lamb lies down on Broadway

Suzanne tired her work all done
Thinks money -- honey -- be on -- neon
Cabman's velvet glove sounds the horn
And the sawdust king spits out his scorn
Wonder women draw your blind
Don't look at me
I'm not your kind
I'm Rael
Something inside me has just begun
Lord knows what I have done
And the lamb lies down on Broadway
On Broadway

They say the lights are always bright on Broadway
They say there's always magic in the air