All the rowboats

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All the rowboats
In the paintings
They keep trying to row away

And the captains’ worried faces
Stay contorted and staring at the waves
They’ll keep hanging
In their gold frames
For forever
Forever and a day


All the rowboats
In the oil paintings
They keep trying to
Row away, row away…

Hear them whispering
French and German, Dutch, Italian and Latin
When no one’s looking
I touch a sculpture
Marble, cold and soft as satin

But the most special
Are the most lonely
God I pity the violins
In glass coffins
They keep coughing
They’ve forgotten
Forgotten how to sing
How to sing

First there’s lights out
Then there’s lock up
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault
For being timeless
There’s a price to pay
And a consequence
All the galleries
The museums
“Here’s your ticket
Welcome to the tombs”
They’re just public mausoleums
The living dead fill every room

But the most special
Are the most lonely
God I pity the violins
In glass coffins they keep coughing
They’ve forgotten
Forgotten how to sing
They will stay there
In their gold frames
For forever, forever and a day
All the rowboats
In the oil paintings
They keep trying to
Row away, row away….

First there’s lights out
Then there’s lock up
Master pieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault
For being timeless
There’s a price to pay
And a consequence
All the galleries
The museums
They will stay there
Forever and a day

All the rowboats
In the oil paintings
They keep trying to
Row away, row away…

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Regina Spektor
*

image by David Spyker

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