The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

Living In A Blind Man’s Zoo

Posted by revelkc on Tuesday, May 23, 2006

[By Steve – a/k/a/ Revel]

A few years ago (ok, 17 to be exact), I bought the 10,000 Maniacs album, “Blind Man’s Zoo”. I believe it was one of my first CDs (and I finally replaced it’s broken jewel case last night. Hey, all things in due course…) I bought it because I was deeply in love with the song, “Trouble Me”. For me, it was the beginning of an on again/off again love affair with alternative music. The album, IMO, is outstanding–a picturesque tour of stories and views.

A standout cut is “The Lion’s Share”. Given the album’s copyright (1989), I am figuring the song was written in the mid to late 1980s, and I always took it to be a scathing endictment of Ronald Reagan. Funny how things can renew their relevance, huh?

Here are the lyrics:
Can I be unhappy? Look at what I see: a beast in furs and crowned in luxury. He’s a wealthy man in the poorest land, a self-appointed king, and there’s no complaining while he’s reigning. The lambs are bare of fleece and cold; the lion has stolen that, I’m told. There must be some creature mighty as you are. The lambs go hungry (not fair), the biggest portion is the lion’s share. There must be some creature mighty as you are.

Can I be unhappy? Listen and agree, no words can shame him or tame him. The lambs are bare of fleece and cold; the lion has stolen that, I’m told. There must be some creature mighty as you are. The lambs go hungry (not fair), the biggest portion is the lion’s share. There must be some creature mighty as you are, as you are.

Razor claws in velvet paws, you dunce in your guarded home, ’til a stronger beast will call on you and pounce upon your throne.

Do we pay? Dearly, for the lion takes so greedily and he knows that what he’s taken, it is ours. That’s how the wealth’s divided among the lambs and king of the beasts, it is so one-sided. Until the lamb is king of the beasts we live so one-sided.

“You dunce in your guarded home….” We really are living in a Blind Man’s Zoo-with a lot of scary monsters.

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