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Starlight and Saxophone

Words and Music: © 1989 by Tom Smith
I was one heartsick dude when I wrote this. I'm better now. But, damn, I think it's a good song.

It's three o'clock in the morning, ship time,
Only five more hours to go.
How many miles will pass before us,
How many years will pass below?

The console lights are fairy tales I've
Heard at least a hundred times before,
Lying about the happy endings,
Leaving me desperate for more.

The wall in front of me thinks it's a window,
And the blackness, earthly skies,
The stars are trying their best to tell me
That they're brighter than her eyes.

We're doing point nine C, but there's no
Rush of wind to make me feel that speed,
The only sound is my own heart beating,
And that's not the sound I need.

There ought to be a saxophone, playing softly in the night,
A lonely, gentle melody to make me feel all right,
But I left that all behind me, with the only one who might
Have heard me play,
She's so far away.

We used to sit on the fire escape, so
Close, I didn't really have the room to play,
We'd serenade the stars and each other,
Till morning chased the stars away.

But I've given up my mornings --
You need horizons for a dawn.
And I've given up my evenings -- there's no
Music here, no reason for a song.

Still, there really ought to be a saxophone, right here in my hands,
A warm and friendly sound to take to cold and empty lands,
But I left all that behind me, with the one who understands
The dreams I play,
She's so far away.

We're going too fast to see behind us,
But still we're far too slow to touch the sky,
Outracing sound and time but not the heartache,
In space, no one can ever hear you cry.

It's three o'clock in the morning, ship time,
A console light starts burning blue,
A message says, "Break out the equipment
Kept in Locker Number Two."

But the only thing I find there is a
Hard-shell case they made me leave back home,
Inside, there's just a tear-stained letter,
And my heart in steel and chrome.

And I raise the saxophone to my lips, and I softly start to play,
I serenade the stars and her as the hours drift away,
And when my shift is ended, my broken heart is mended,
At least halfway -- at least for today,
She's less far away.

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