the museum of americana

a literary review

Manhattan is the Island of Misfit Toys and Wolf Girl — Music by Cornelius Eady

The Cornelius Eady Trio has been such a vital part of the museum’s music section that it only seems right that for this, our 25th issue, we are featuring two brand new tracks from what I consider to be the best contemporary folk act in the United States. Any time Eady writes new songs, it’s an occasion for serious songwriters and poets to listen up. Eady’s songs are fearless and timely, and when you add the brilliant accompaniment of musicians like Charlie Rauh and Lisa Liu, you have an indelible sonic experience. This band is so prolific, and the spirit of friendship, the absolute kick these musicians get out of playing together, is evident as we listen. I hope fans of the museum enjoy this new music as much as I have.

— John Freeman, Music Editor

 

Manhattan is the Island of Misfit Toys

Words and Music: Cornelius Eady

 

Called you fat, called you queer,
The town around you grew up severe,
Called you nuts, called you crip,
Had to pack up fore you loose your grip

Manhattan is the Island of Misfit Toys
The streets are waiting, the slate is blank
Here come the wounded girls and boys
Jumped from the ship before they sank.
In their scruffy new robes of freedom.

Called you dud, slapped your hand
You packed a bag, and away you ran
You grabbed a bus, hopped a plane
Land where everything is not the same

Manhattan is the Island of Misfit Toys
Shy girl found her ruby red shoes
Same-same is bound to lose
Rise from the ashes as you enjoy
Your scruffy new robes of freedom.

You don’t have to take it anymore.
(I lift my lamp beside the Golden door).

Here come the class fool—bound to lose
But New York City ain’t heard the news
Here’s Ms. Bumble-Fumble from Nowhere
Brushing that small town outta her hair

Manhattan is the Island of Misfit Toys
Can a pebble ever learn how to swim?
Can you name the movie you’re
Living in?
Rise up from what they can’t destroy
In your scruffy new robes of freedom

You don’t have to take it anymore.
(I lift my lamp beside the Golden door).

CE: Vocals, Lisa Liu: Guitar; Charlie Rauh: Guitar & Bass. Arranged by Rauh & Liu. Mixed by Charlie Rauh.

Listen on Soundcloud

 

Wolf Girl

Words and Music: Cornelius Eady

 

We didn’t have much time together,
But when we met, I was such a lamb.
Caught in the high beams, friendly prey,
Ready, willing and able to be led astray.

Wolf Girl, Wolf Girl,
Smoke and powders, bottles and pills.
Wolf Girl, Wolf Girl,
Howling together was such a thrill.
Didn’t know I had that in me,
But you did.

It’s the quiet ones, with the shortest fuse.
It’s the quiet ones, lord, they fall so hard.
Itching for a Roman holiday,
Ready, willing and able to be led astray.

Wolf Girl, Wolf Girl,
Breath on breath,
Skin to skin.
Wolf Girl, Wolf Girl,
Romping and Stomping with your
Wild kin.
Didn’t know I had that in me,
But you did.

We didn’t have much time together,
But when we met, we met eye to eye.
Such untamed beauty—drag your heart away.
Ready, willing and able to be led astray.

Wolf Girl, Wolf Girl,
Blind dance on the edge of the ledge.
Wolf Girl, Wolf Girl,
All addictions must be fed.
Didn’t know I had that in me,
But you did.

CE: Vocals; Charlie Rauh: Guitar; Lisa Liu; Guitar. Arranged by Rauh & Liu. Mixed by Charlie Rauh.

Listen on Soundcloud

Written for my first, wild girlfriend, who grew up to become a Children’s Librarian. Soon after we broke up, she married a man named Wolf.

~~~

CorneliusEady_NewBioImage_1Cornelius Eady is the author of eight books of poetry, including Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems (Putnam, April 2008). His second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1985; in 2001 Brutal Imagination was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work in theater includes the libretto for an opera, “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. His play, “Brutal Imagination,” won Newsday’s Oppenheimer award in 2002.

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