Kabuki Theatre

from by Cameron Blake

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Kabuki Theatre is a phrase with a double meaning. On one hand, it’s a brand of Japanese dance drama where the performers wear stylized make-up and on the other, it’s a term used to call out political posturing. This song begins with a couple of “good old boy” characters chatting about their frat days before one of them began a power hungry career in politics. There’s a lot of chaos under the surface and you can’t figure out what’s up and what’s down but you know that things are spinning out of control.

lyrics

I remember who you are
From standing in the dance hall light
I’ve remembered you for 30 years
God, it’s been 30 years or better since we met that night

We were just boys not men then
I remember when you still believed
That friends make better enemies
Then you clicked your heels
Turned and walked away from me

Meet Jane, she’s the girl I was talkin’ about
She’s vain and young enough
To cover up your birthday like a powder puff
You’ve changed but the years remain
Are you still living on your parent’s dime?
Ah, you’re chained to the naked eye
Off the record after closing time

I remember who you are
From standing in the dance hall light
I’ve remembered you for 30 years
God, it’s been 30 years or better since we met that night

We were just boys not men then
I remember when you still believed
That friends make better enemies
Then you clicked your heels
And disappeared right next me

Now you’re standing in front of the country
On a podium you didn’t build
Swinging your charm in the spotlight
Wearing shoes you can’t possibly fill

And the wheels of the culture are burning
The wheels of the culture are burning
The wheels of the culture are burning, burning
From the fire raging up on the hill

They’ve perfected man out in California
Because everyone looks like James Dean
But I’m out here reading Charles Bukowski
And thinking about democracy

When Hollywood secedes from the union
And commissions a king and her queen
And the pawns and the bishops
Read the Bible like textbooks
To try and figure out what it all means

And Ferdinand’s still smelling roses
As the matador’s down on his knees
Begging for peace in the valley
From the stingers and roar of the bees

Now you’re standing in front of the country
In a theatre that you didn’t fill
Watching your bodyguards searching
All the purses and book bags and belts

And the wheels of the culture are burning
The wheels of the culture are burning
The wheels of the culture are burning, burning
From the fire raging up on the hill

credits

from Alone On The World Stage, released March 16, 2015

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Cameron Blake Grand Rapids, Michigan

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