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The Dancer

From the Album  The Workhouse Child

Look at the dancer, alone at the bar
Her toes to the floor and her eyes to the stars
A prodigy moves with such beauty and grace
And the world stands back to admire

Since she could remember, dance was her life
All else was forsaken, she would never be a wife
Moving her body to the limits of pain
That’s what her perfection requires

Dance with me till the end
Dance with me my friend
This night will soon be over
Dance with me my friend

The lights of the stage leave the wisest eyes blind
The child becomes a star and leaves the woman behind
No time to be happy no time to be ill
No time for love or for life

But deep down inside, a woman’s heart aches
While perfection demands more than her body can take
Caught up in a whirlpool of public demand
Not knowing the price she must pay

The years have slipped by now, as fast as her fame
Her body is broken and a child’s heart remains
The child falls in love too much and too late
Now each day must serve as her last

Their love becomes stronger with each day that goes by
Art is your servant when love is let fly
But art is a master so distant and cruel
And it calls now to claim it’s due


During my years as a freelance musician, I backed a lot of cabaret artists. At one show, I got talking to a dancer who said in her youth she was regarded as a very gifted ballet dancer, but she pushed herself too hard. The day came when it was too painful for her to dance ballet, so she made a living dancing in shows. She was never short of work, but the next time I saw her, she told me she had been advised to give up dancing completely or risk ending up in a wheelchair