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about

I have an urgency to record these songs. I have one vocal chord that functions, and one is paralyzed, from radiation and surgery for cancer treatment. I know very well that life is a game unlike baseball or basketball--where the final buzzer will go off at any moment. So the day I finished writing the lyrics to this song was the day I recorded it, and the first time I played it on dulcimer is the take you hear here. I didn't know if I could do it. Al Hemberger urged me on. "You got it. Keep going."

The hardest thing in the song to sing is the past tense -- I once had a Mamma.

very hard to say this, sing this, verb, verb, verb

The song chronicles my Mother's life and career and devotion.

It is the music that pulls me through. The words could be too much for me, but the rhythm and voice of the dulcimer's 4 strings, carry me through and make it a healing journey.

lyrics

“LILLY O LILLY” 8/13/2016

Music and lyrics copyright 2016 Annie Lanzillotto




I once had a Mamma—

She was known as Sweet Lilly

Prettiest girl in the Bronx

As a kid she was crippled—

cause she fell out a window

but her soul—you know was—strong as the rocks



O! It took some years—for her to learn once again

how to balance on two legs and stand,

O! Lilly loved music—and with rhythm inside her

From that day on—you know—Lilly did dance!



O Lilly O Lilly—Are you near me Sweet Lilly?

Will you come for—me when I go?

Lilly O Lilly—Can you hear me—Sweet Lilly?

Don’tchya know that I love you so?




(She gave) Kind words, and haircuts—

permanents, and manicures,

Lilly held everyones’ hands!

While she spread beauty—she listened to everyone’s ills.



Nothin’ was too hard

as I held Lilly’s—soft—hand in mine!

Through all of life’s hardships—

no matter what—you know—Lilly’s eyes sparkled and shined.




Lilly O Lilly—Are you near me Sweet Lilly?

Will you come—for me when I go?

Lilly O Lilly—Can you hear me Sweet Lilly?

Dontchya know that—I love you so!




In life we can’t save each—other from sufferin’

but we can ease—loneliness and pain

The last time she stood up—she wrapped her arms around me

I stood for her strong as a tree.



On the last day—all there’s to say:

“I love you” and “Thank you my dear.”

I wish I could take away—all of your fear.




O Lilly O Lilly—Are you near me Sweet Lilly?

Will you come for me when I go?

Lilly O Lilly—Can you hear me Sweet Lilly?

Dontchya know that I love you so.




We had a lifetime together

Hours to do with what—we chose

And so fast it happened—we slid into forever

At her grave you know—I tossed in a rose



Lilly left with a smile—as she blew her last breath

and I felt her pulse come into me

(Then we) dressed her in purple—

and covered her in pink roses

for her entrance—to eternity.




Lilly O Lilly—Are you near me Sweet Lilly?

Will you come for me when I go?

O Lilly O Lilly—Can you hear me Sweet Lilly?

Now I look to the sky—for that face I—love so!



With the sun in my eyes—and Lilly in my heart

I heard all—that she came to say

“World Peace” she’d whisper in her demand

every night to God she did pray:



World Peace! World Peace!

World Peace Today!


World Peace! World Peace!

Il Pace per Il Mundo!


World Peace! World Peace!

Give everyone in the world peace—today!”


World Peace! World Peace!

World Peace Today! x2


World Peace! World Peace!

Il Pace per Il Mundo!


World Peace! World Peace!

Give everyone in the world peace—today!”




When I think over—all the things that came to pass,

I’ll always remember—her words of wisdom:

Never argue with a Jackass!



Lilly O Lilly—I can feel ya Sweet Lilly?

Life with you is all I’ve ever known.

Lilly O Lilly—Rest in peace Sweet Lilly

Before you know it, I’ll rejoin your soul.



And we’ll waltz through the heavens—

And we’ll lindy through the skies,

My Sweet Mamma Lilly and me.


Lilly O Lilly

O Lilly O Lilly

O Lilly O Lilly

Fly Free!

credits

from Never Argue With a Jackass, released June 1, 2017

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about

Annie Lanzillotto Yonkers, New York

Annie Lanzillotto is an author, songwriter, performance artist, orator and poet.

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