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Daily Lyric: FALL 1995, ASBURY PARK (DANI)


There ain’t no lights shining on this town at all

Just darkness wrapping all those homeless bodies

sleeping outside this cold fall

Down in town the circuit’s been blockaded by someone’s broken cross-eyed dream

While Kingbird plays up Main Street way but there’s no one to listen to him scream

And the boys from down the street are still dancing

but it’s more like a funeral procession these days

Mourning for all their lovers lost to the plagues

Dani, the sun has gone down in our faces

The lights faded out and there’s no real sign of the morning

Sing for me tonight till better times come dawning

Hey Dani girl, my my baby.

Now the greasers

Nobody’s gonna bust ‘em ‘cause they beat the fastest way out of town

And those boys in their leather miniskirts

Aw, Dani—you ought to see them when they’re promenading around

And me, I just got tired of walking this boardwalk alone

Listening to the sound of my own voice

Chasing all the ghosts and shadows of what used to be here

and trying to resurrect some of that long-dead noise

And you know that tilt-a-whirl ain’t even there anymore

Just some drug gang’s territorial piss

And my head keeps on spinning, wondering

How did it come down to this?

Oh Dani, the sun has gone down in our faces

A deep darkness has descended over the ocean

This is how we get paid back for our years of devotion

It ain’t fair, Dani girl!


This music scene has just lost its fire for me I spoke to the guys last night and they agreed when I said it just don’t inspire me anymore We just slave away all summer and bang our heads on the wall for fifty bucks and empty rooms

And our nights are wasted competing with other bands

and reeking of stale beer and tobacco fumes

Didya hear Madam Marie, she’s been finally set free,

and she’ll still tell you you’ll be rich and famous, for a fee

I haven’t given up on this town, Dani

But it seems like she’s given up on me

Dani, the sun has gone down in our faces

We’ve been plunged into night and we wonder who’ll bring the morning

Sing for me tonight and we’ll sing better days into dawning

Just sing it, Dani girl. Just sing it.

©2023 The Hesh Inc.
Madam Marie's fortunetelling booth, Asbury Park, NJ. Original photo by The Hesh Inc.
She told my fortune, too.

It's easy to see where the inspiration for this song came from. The whole idea was to take the song that originally inspired it and update it to tell the story of what was going on there in the year in the title.

Interestingly enough, I didn't actually write it in Asbury Park. I wrote it when I went on one of my many songwriting weekends by myself in Wildwood, which is 90% dormant in the off season and a tremendous creative incubator for me. I thought originally that I would make it the penultimate song in the penultimate Soul In Exile album in the projected series, but I decided against it ... for obvious reasons. "Dani" is a real person, by the way. She is a good friend, though I haven't seen her for some years now. I wouldn't call this a love song to her, per se, though ... just that I imagined her listening to me as I fretted and fumed about the state of affairs in the beloved city. She is probably going to see this for the first time once I post it.

"Kingbird" is also a real person, a singer-songwriter who for a short while had the entire Asbury Park music scene kissing his ... well, eating out of his hand. Record deal, gigs, press, the works. But he was too much of a perfectionist, and he threw it all away. I never quite forgave him for that.

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