The Local Voice

The View From The Balcony: “Without a Song”


(There are at least 106 song titles or lyric snippets in this article. See how many you can find—unless it’s too hot to handle, too cold to hold.)

It was nearly closing time on The Balcony when I saw her standing there. She walked up to me like an Egyptian and said, “I want you to want me, rhinestone cowboy. Light my fire.”
My eyes adored her. “Hello darlin’. Nice to see you.”
“I hear you’re a smooth operator,” she said. “There’s something in the air tonight—maybe stormy weather, but I wanna rock around the clock tonight.”
“Who do you think you are?” I asked.
“Maggie May Layla, and I can’t get you out of my head,” she replied.
“Now you really got me,” I said. “Every breath you take—something’s burnin’.”
“Hallelujah!” she said. “Lately I cain’t get no satisfaction. My heart will go on, but I’m living on a prayer. Save me.”
“I got you, babe. I was supposed to be in Amarillo by morning, then take a midnight train to Georgia—the ‘A Train’. It’s a long train runnin’, but que sera, sera. Stay with me. Lose yourself.”
“We gotta do it my way,” she said. “I want some satin sheets to lie on, then, pour a little sugar on it, honey. Just imagine.”
“Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!” I whispered. “That’s the way, aha, aha, I like it, aha, aha.”
She reached for my drink. “Can’t touch that,” I said. She took a drag from her cigarette and blew it into my glass like smoke on the water.
“I’m a steam roller, baby. I’m gonna roll all over you,” she said.
“Will you be my dancing queen?” I asked.
“Only if you’ll be my sultan of swing,” she said.
“Then let’s get it on! I got the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu!” I said.
“You’re so vain, you ole hound dog you!” she shot.
“Yeah,” I said, “but that’s the way, aha, aha, you like it, aha, aha.”
“And I always thought you were a free bird, a gambler, a knight in white satin—even a desperado,” she said.
“Naw,” I said. “I’m just a Coca Cola cowboy. My heroes have always been cowboys, though. Do you want some American pie before we get outta this place?”
“I’d rather get my thrills on blueberry hill,” she winked.
We descended the stairway to heaven. We were taking it to the streets when we discovered that they’d paved paradise and put up a parking lot. I’d heard rumors, but then all we could hear was the sound of silence.
Before we could get to my car there were thunderbolts and lightning. It was very, very frightening. I said, “A hard rain’s a’ gonna fall.” There was fire and rain—purple rain to be exact. Then I heard laughter in the rain. It was the Joker and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. They’ve always been crazy, but it’s kept them from going insane.
Raindrops were falling on our heads, but Maggie May Layla and I walked on by. Our boots were made for walking. Suddenly I saw the light. In fact, I was blinded by the light—blue lights. We were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The police were making a sting.
I wasn’t about to work on a chain gang. No jailhouse rocks for me. So Maggie May Layla, who was born to run, and I streaked into Fernando’s hideaway. By this time we were running on empty. Still, this green-eyed lady—passion’s lady—got me under her spell.
She put another dime in the jukebox. She was killing me softly with her song. We slipped out the back, Jack, and headed to the Hotel California. There were plenty of rooms at the Hotel California. It was a nice surprise.
“I want to kiss you all over,” I said, “and over again.”
“Hush,” she whispered.
With that she went to the fireplace where something was burning. It was good Norwegian wood and it was burning love.
“Lay, lady, lay.” I said. “Lay upon this big brass bed.” I asked, “If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?”
Maggie May Layla cooed, “Eight days a week, Mister Big Stuff. Eight days a week.”
…and that’s the view from The Balcony.

Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Shamanic Life Coach, an ordained minister, a singer-songwriter, and an actor. Randy may be reached at

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