Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lyrics to Pepper Adams Ballads

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Here are four lyrics, written by the esteemed poet Barry Wallenstein, that he wrote for Pepper's Julian, Urban Dreams, Lovers of Their Time, and Civilization and Its Discontents.  These and three others will be released in September on the Motema Music CD Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams, featuring Pat LaBarbera and Eric Alexander, with arrangements by Jeremy Kahn.

Urban Dreams

Look up above to the giants looming high,  
look up to crystal gods of steel.
They show the signs of our lusting, 
our dreaming and our love, 
with buildings breeding crowds above.

Now casting down shade for our glide in summertime, 
for comforts so slow in the heat.
For as we slide in the summertime, our arms intertwined, 
we cool down in the city's shade.

Fast streets, bright corners, sharp edged and wild, 
take me, oh, take me far. 
From the icy cityscape, we escape 
to the gentle warmth of the Lenox Lounge. 

Look up above to the giants looming large, 
look up to crystal gods of glass.
For as we slide into summertime, arms intertwined, 
promenading in this urban dream.

Lovers of Their Time

Lovers of their time clearly wanting more,
as in a taste beyond the tonic,
the spinning sands along the shore,
the far-off shore.

In movement, red-faced lovers waltz.
Spellbound to their cores gathering bliss, a magic kiss,
gathering bliss, a magic kiss.

Lovers of their time: tremble, smile and weep once more.
Holding off sleep, they hold the view.
They will not change, they dare not move.

Having the time, the blessing.
The rich gift of watching time comes to their hearts, 
settles within the chamber's mind.


Within the beat he drove his sound 
from the cannon out to the stars.
He never knew fangs of fame.
For they played Mercy Mercy under his spell;
they played it well.

Within his heart he struck a match, 
lit the wick, preserving the flame,
and Cannonball became his name.  
Never was the end in sight.  It never came; 
he flew so high he never died.

And the music is now, now burnished bright.  
Note follows note to be reborn.  
The sounds in time do a free fall
into the folds, the folds of time.

Oh, shine on gold and silver horns, 
stay true beyond all remorse.  
Your inner breath beats so true.
Now untamed to the lonely soul, 
too wild to lose, or to live without.

Civilization and Its Discontents

The world is old, the condition too new
to dream away from the weathering kiss
which it warns, and does not savor fear 
of what the wind can or can not do.

The world is old, the condition so new.
We turn away from a brother's sweet kiss
that was fine and did not touch on fear 
of what war does or will never do.

The winds are strong, so very dark around our lives,
into our lives. The vivid past, the loving thriving past,
drops from memory and all else.

The world is old, the condition too new
to dream away from the weathering kiss
which comes close, showing us what is,
what fell away, and what will stay.