Walks Like Tussaud

from by Ian Fitzgerald

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lyrics

In the back of the museum where they used to keep the brooms
For fans of random history, there's a perfect little room
There's an Austrian dictator and a star of radio
And a dozen other people that nobody seems to know
Like President Buchanan, unpopular as in his day,
Who is facing Mary Pickford, less than seven feet away
"My heart would bleed like Kansas if they'd shaped one out of wax
If only I could reach you, I would teach you to relax
You could be my best girl, all my secrets I could tell
'Cause I know that you don't say much but the silence suits you well
I want the rings on your hands to leave corresponding marks
In the valleys of my fingers from holding on too long and hard
All the coquettes' kisses carved in stone like monuments
Could last half a lifetime for a dozen other gents
But I'm no face in a frieze in the space above a door
I may not make a motion, but I deserve a little more."
By then he thought his thoughts were clouding and his train had jumped the tracks
But it was smoke in the room rising as if straight from the stack
He would have turned his gaze to Mary if it wasn't fixed that way
And he looked for something calming but with urgency to say
Instead he started leaning though he never had before
As the heat was quickly rising, radiating from the floor
Just as rapidly, he realized with his right arm fully stretched
That he might finally touch his love: a touch that no good man forgets
When he noticed the gap closing faster than he could have planned,
He realized she was reaching, too, with softly folded hands
"Mary, though you might as well have been another world away,
I knew that you were thinking of me; you just couldn't say."
Then as if he needed one more thing he'd never seen before
The curls of Mary's hair began to dive like sparrows to the floor
Her grey eyes started sliding toward the bottom of her face
And instead of moving towards him, she was settling in place
Despite it all, he reached for her with still strong-standing hope
But even his own sliding eyes could recognize the scope
"Oh Mary, I'm afraid the sun is sinking on us both
But you have never looked so lovely; you have never looked so close."
He felt his reach grow shorter as he lost his fingertips
And he prayed a flood would come to end death by a thousand drips
He fixed his gaze on her until his eyes could no more swim
Though her face had puddled on the floor, he swore she winked at him
"Oh Mary, Mary
Icarus ain't got nothin' on me
Mary, Mary
Icarus ain't got nothin' on me."

They managed to save Elvis; nearly half of JFK;
And Marilyn Monroe, though it looked like her dying day;
A headless Hiawatha; Babe Ruth without his bat;
And the past claimed Cleopatra but the present spared her cats
The back room was a massacre though it went untouched by flames
They couldn't ID any body by their empty frames
There wasn't any crime scene, just an overloaded fuse
And a race at least to save materials to be reused
'Cause from wax we are created and to wax we shall return
The president and Mary into barrels were interred
Until new life is breathed into their fleshless metal ribs
He felt what once was Mary's hand on the wax that once was his
Oh Mary, Mary
Icarus ain't got nothin' on me
Mary, Mary
Icarus ain't got nothin' on me

credits

from No Time To Be Tender, released February 26, 2013

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Ian Fitzgerald Providence, Rhode Island

Though perhaps technically a singer-songwriter, Ian Fitzgerald prefers the term 'folk singer,' as it more accurately describes the tradition in which his music is rooted. From early twentieth century field recordings through Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, and hundreds of artists in between, Ian has been influenced by one of the sturdiest strains of American music. ... more

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