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John Corigliano

Publisher: G. Schirmer

End of the Line (2008)
Publisher
G Schirmer Inc
Category
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
2008
Duration
3 Minutes
Soloist
Mezzo Soprano
Orchestration
Availability
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Programme Note
John Corigliano End of the Line (2008)
End of the Line
Lyrics by MARK ADAMO


It first was a record store: corner of Main;
Seventy-eights, to hi-fi.
Music, and music, and music!
In a cluttered, an overstocked aisle.
When the owner was busy, you’d wait:
With the fan of Chopin,
With the Ellington man,
With the show-queen who knew all the tunes from Can-Can,
With your neighbors and friends
In line.

***

It then added video: crowds were insane.
Horror, and porn, and sci-fi.
Movies, TV—but, still, music!
In an aisle the length of a mile.
When the cashiers were busy, you’d wait:
With the guy on his phone
Justifying Stallone,
With the punk on her Walkman, in some private zone,
And the rest of the mob
In line.

***
Somehow, improbably, on it went
Stubbornly persevered;
But prices kept rocketing: and so did the rent.
And little by little the neighbors,
And the need,
Disappeared.

***

So now it’s a coffee bar: part of a chain.
Soymilk, green tea, free Wi-Fi.
To download a cosmos of music,
You need only to click on a file.
When the server is busy, you wait:
Only you and your screen,
Solitary, serene
All those other consumers unheard and unseen…
A pseudonymous guest of your faraway hosts:
You sip and you wait,
with the rest of the ghosts…

Online.

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