Wednesday, September 01, 2010

TICKING | Bernie Taupin 1974

An extremely quiet child
they called you in your school reports

He's always taken interest
in the subjects that he's taught

So what was it that brought the squad car screaming up your drive

To notify your parents of the manner in which you died

At St. Patricks every Sunday,
Father Fletcher heard your sins.

Oh, he's unconcerned with competition
he never cares to win.

But blood stained a young hand
that never held a gun

And his parents never thought of him
as their troubled son

Now you'll never get to Heaven
Mama said

Remember Mama said

Ticking, ticking

Grow up straight and true blue
Run along to bed

Hear it, hear it
ticking, ticking

They had you holed up in a downtown bar
screaming for a priest

Some gook said "His brain's just snapped"
then someone called the police

You'd knifed a Negro waiter who had tried to
calm you down

Oh you'd pulled a gun and told them all to lay still
on the ground

Promising to hurt no one,
providing they were still

A young man tried to make a break,
with tear-filled eyes you killed.

That gun butt felt so smooth and warm cradled in your palm Oh your childhood cried out in your head "they mean to do you harm"

Don't ever ride on the devil's knee
Mama said
Remember mama said
Ticking, ticking

Pay your penence well, my child
Fear where angels tread
Hear it, hear it,
ticking, ticking

Within an hour the news had reached
the media machine

A male caucasian with a gun
had gone berserk in Queens

The area had been sealed off,
the kids sent home from school

Fourteen people lying dead in a bar they called
"The Kicking Mule"

Oh they pleaded to your sanity
for the sake of those inside

Throw out your gun, walk out slow
just keep your hands held high

But they pumped you full of rifle shells
as you stepped out the door

Oh you danced in death like a marionette
on the vengeance of the law

You've slept too long in silence

Mama said

Remember Mama said
Ticking, ticking

Crazy boy,
you'll only wind up with strange notions in your head

Hear it, hear it,
ticking,
ticking.

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