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From my vantage point in the center of town I while my day away

In the front seat of a first prize car I feel like I’m on display

I’m getting paid for this work, so I better not complain

So as I guard the car I watch the endless human train

A hundred and twenty-seven brands of people in the streets

Back and forth in buses in their cars or on their feet

Trying to beat the clock and get to where they’re going on time

Or breezing around calmly in complete peace of mind

Cotton polyester nylon or denim

Satin silk and leather on either her or him

High heels low heels or no heels too

Sandals boots or sneakers every kind of shoe

Hair is spiked or slicked down or just left there to grow

My own hair stands on end when I see

how some of these strangers go

Styles that range from humdrum to ridiculously shocking

From working class to formal to outrageously rocking


Is a total stranger

I hope I see

A familiar face

There has

To be

Someone to keep me company

‘Cause time moves so slow when you’re in one place

In the center of the world there are people of every kind

I sit back and wonder if there’s anything on their minds

Music or literature or art or politics

Or money or just plain work that makes the whole world tick

The world is shaped like a grenade and we’re sitting on the pin

But the locals don’t think twice ‘bout a crazy world they’re in

Most of them will pass on in the blink of an eye

But here I sit watching all humanity go by

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Detail of "Downtown Jerusalem Afternoon" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
Everyone is a total stranger / I hope I see a familiar face.

Jerusalem is an excellent place for the vaunted pastime of people watching. When I wrote this, in May 1988, I had just finished my army service and had gotten a stopgap job guarding a lottery prize, a fancy car, in the middle of downtown, and it afforded me a huge, ever-changing gallery of passersby to entertain me. Of course, me being me, I began to wax philosophical over this, and this song was the result. Musically, I had Big Country's "The Seer" playing in my mind as I wrote these lyrics. (It might be noted that ever since those days, the best people-watching zones have shifted from downtown to the Mahane Yehuda market and the Emek Refaim neighborhood. Downtown has all but dried up as a shopping and social scene.)

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