Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Lama Will Be Late This Year

Possibly because of the Dalai Lama in Washington, DC today, I've been getting a few requests for "The Lama Will Be Late This Year" (Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, 1969), which appeared on our Twice Upon A Rhyme LP in 1972.

So I thought I'd post it and say a little about it here:

The Lama Will Be Late This Year (Levinson & Fox)

First, the lyrics (which you can read while you're listening), then the story ...

written by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, 1969

(a brief question-and-answer period)

(cameo appearance by the Hawaiian Herb Singers)

Children don't you know it's past your bedtime
You've been waiting all day for the sun
Didn't come so now it's eyes-are-red time
He's been holding out on everyone

People all been cold for such a long time
Never seen the likes of this before
He would always come and bring the warm time
Maybe he don't love us anymore

The Lama will be late this year
The Lama will be late this year
I fear he's been delayed
Heaven knows where he's strayed
We're gonna have wait this year
The Lama will be late this year
The Lama will be late this year
I fear we've been repaid
The mistakes we have made
We're gonna have to wait this year

It's time alright and yet it's not the right time
Maybe there's some things we gotta learn
We'll just keep on spinnin' through the nighttime
Till we light the way for his return


the story ...

Ed Fox and I wrote close to a hundred songs in the Fall 1968 - Winter 1969. He usually wrote most of the music and I wrote most of the lyrics, but not always.

One night, in November, I dropped by Ed's brownstone apartment on East 85th Street after dinner. Ed had a copy of some newspaper in his hand, and pointed to a headline - "The Lama Will Be Late This Year" - something about the Dalai Lama's trip to somewhere being delayed.

"Good title for a song...," Ed said, and I agreed.

I wrote the lyric in about 10 minutes, and Ed wrote the music ...

We recorded and mixed it in a variety of studios in New York City from 1969-1971. Ed's singing lead, and I'm doing the harmony (falsetto) with Ed. Pete Rosenthal's playing at least 2-3 guitars, and electric harmonica. I'm playing piano and tablas, and Jay Sackett's on bass.

We put "The Lama" on our 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme ... over the years, it's been lauded in Japan and Sweden (by Patrick the Lama - understandably) ...

In a separate post, maybe, I'll someday tell you the secret of Hawaiian Herb...

More details about Twice Upon A Rhyme are my music page, and my MySpace music page.

And here's more on the Dalai Lama in Washington, DC today
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