Steel Reserve

from by Magilla Shuwall

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Wrote the front end in 2007, the back end in 2011. Old and new.


Got a steel reserve and a quarter-pound dog
And a fat stack of papers on my backlog
But I can’t, no I can’t be your dancing clown no more
Gotta set my broken clavicle against the wheel
Take a deep breath & let my burdens feel
The right type of wind that my big brass lungs go for

Bump yourself up a notcher, stoop to conquer
Roll yr choices round yr tongue
If you should falter, pray at the altar
Of the love you draw your livin’ from, oh God
I gotta suit that’s old, but the buttons new
I got an old pair of shoes I took the kiwi to
But I can’t and I won’t dance for you no more

If I roll to the right I get a bump on my toe
I roll to the left I get a freak show
So I’ll sit here with you in the middle of somethin’ good

You know them high-steppin strutters gonna roll that log
Droppin’ waves on an unsuspecting tree frog
It’s two roads diverged in a swampy southern wood

There’s no indication of the frustration
You’ll face when you first sign on
So keep it upright
And tip your cup right
Off the curb till the liquor’s gone

Dance for everybody in the whole reserve
The tall black tango looks a bit unnerving
Stumblin’ around the green years

Make my love better, grow it every day
I drink the hard steel, still my skin’s okay,
Keep touchin me touchin me, smooth like the river on a Sunday
Warm like the willow cryin’ everyday
Tradin’ golden hours for some shit pay

But once in a great great while you see
A light shining through the rain
That makes you wanna alchemize
Your Steel Reserve into champagne
And every time my family asks about that light
They say Hey Magilla, what’s her name
And though It’s held several over many years
It always leaves me feelin’ the same
It always leaves me singin’ the same


from A Place In The Hills, released August 20, 2011
Magilla on voice, guitars, drums, bass, percussion. Front end recorded at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.



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Magilla Shuwall Mount Vernon, Illinois

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