This one came due to a brief obsession with ghost stories & just wondering what would happen if a ghost performed at The Hotel Utah’s open-mic. Kevin North’s guitar work here is some of his best & the added touch of James finding a Theremin app on his smart phone to coincide with Olga Perry’s brilliant organ bits add that much-needed eerie quality the song needed.


The Old Song
by Ryan Voss

It was a name the host could swear
He’d not seen before
As his list was once again perused
Sure enough, it made the page; he took to the stage, and Donnie Deininger was introduced
The scene caters to every like
At The Utah’s open-mic,
And some pale ghoul’s creepy vibe was nothing new
With eyes red and sunken in and a form wasted and rail thin
He said, ‘Here’s an old song’,
And he strummed a verse or two

It was a tune about sorrow;
A vintage feel that went down smooth
Every folkie in the room could relate
He sang about the minstrel life
And friendly eyes that caught the light
Guess he met her in this very place
Bled heart and soul for her serenade
But she didn’t care for what he played
Her mood grew sour as he prattled on
Taken aback by her rejection,
And a boyfriend ready to deck him
Still he kept on singing his old song

Things got heated;
Not the hot and heavy he wanted
The conflict that followed was out of sight
Two men with tempers flared,
Donnie was eighty-sixed from here
He was never seen again until tonight
Well, the audience dug the shtick;
Cheered his melody and lyrics
But applause died down when his eyes grew cold
He said, ‘It’s well of you to make merry,’
‘I’ve been dead for more than a century!’
‘So, no lie when I said my song was old.’

The crowd grew despondent;
Eyes fixed on Mr. Deininger
Lights seemed to flicker at his suggestion
Meanwhile, the host got pissed,
This act carried on for twenty minutes
And he had an open-mic to run

He tried to cut the sound,
But the console’s mind was its own
Or was swayed by an unseen hand
The old song continued play,
Getting louder on the p.a.
Set to bleed every eardrum in the balcony and bandstand

I’m sure that Donnie Deininger
Had reasons for this visit
Aside from putting us off our alcohol
And that long ago Ms. ‘What’s-Her-Name’
Stayed sound asleep in her grave
Never caught his long awaited encore at all
Nobody harmed in the makin’
A few left shaken
Donnie struck his last chord and faded away
Many women were unnerved,
But some guy jotted down the words
With glowing red eyes, he wrote out his song for next Monday


from One of Us Has Got to Go, released July 1, 2017
Ryan Voss



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