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Lyric of the Week: PARAMOUNT THEATRE (THIS IS NO DREAM)


There she stands

Like a castle made of sand

Rising from the strip of land down by the sea

Like an ancient marine

Palace of a dowager queen

Straight out of a fairy tale or dream

She calls out to me

The city’s been restored to its rightful place

After decades being kept down

Now people come from far and wide to see her beaming face

And pay homage to the jewel in her crown

The days are past

When her nobility was downcast

But she endured and outlasted the adversity

And now she shines

Gleaming and polished up so fine

With a countenance so divine for all eternity

Pilgrims come from the ends of the earth

To hear the music played in her halls

To bear witness to the magnificent rebirth

To see majesty standing tall

CHORUS

This is no dream

All you have to do is will it

This is no dream

It is up to you to fulfill it.

Sit inside

You’re overwhelmed with pride

The visionaries haven’t lied or merely said sooth

The seats are full

Thanks to new prestige and pull

Thanks to the Most Bountiful, and that’s the truth

The famous faces have returned

And so have the sold-out crowds

It is so good to see how the tide has turned

And to hear her praises sung aloud

To hear her name mentioned once more

In the same breath with the best

She radiates her glory onto the whole shore

And like her, may we all be blessed

CHORUS

This is no dream

All you have to do is will it

This is no dream

It is up to you to fulfill it

This is no dream

It is a part of your very soul

This is no dream

To see your days renewed, as of old.

©2007 The Hesh Inc.

There she stands, like a castle made of sand, rising from the strip of land down by the sea ...

The Paramount Theatre is the inland component of the Paramount/Convention Hall complex on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, and just as the Paramount adjoins Convention Hall on the ocean side, this song is a companion piece to the song "Convention Hall" that appears on Soul In Exile 1 and 3.

"Convention Hall," the song, was about a marriage falling into decay, told metaphorically as the magnificent old building as it falls into decrepitude. However, this song, "Paramount Theatre," is the flip side of that: imagining the city, as well as all the hopes, dreams, and desires embodied in it, being renewed and once again vital.

I wrote the song when the city was poised on one of its many verges-of-comebacks in the late 1990s. I was not ashamed to appropriate Biblical and Zionist imagery to depict Asbury risen from its hell years. Mind you, this was well before its current ballyhooed renaissance, which remains incomplete even though it is encouraging. I'd like to say I foresaw these better days and take some credit, but many others deserve it before I can claim it.

It was recorded in 2002 for the Soul In Exile 2: Jersey Shore Baby sessions, and was released officially five years later.

(A bit of historical trivia: my second wedding took place in the theater's mezzanine in November 1996, two days after The Boss performed there.)

#SoulInExile #AsburyPark #ConventionHall #ParamountTheatre #originallyrics

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