End of the Line




Solo voice and up to 8 players



Solo voice and up to 8 players


Mezzo Soprano


3 min 30 s

commissioned by


Program Note

End of the Line
Lyrics by MARK ADAMO

It first was a record store: corner of Main;
Seventy-eights, to hi-fi.
Music, and music, and music!
In a cluttered, an overstocked aisle.
When the owner was busy, you’d wait:
With the fan of Chopin,
With the Ellington man,
With the show-queen who knew all the tunes from Can-Can,
With your neighbors and friends
In line.


It then added video: crowds were insane.
Horror, and porn, and sci-fi.
Movies, TV—but, still, music!
In an aisle the length of a mile.
When the cashiers were busy, you’d wait:
With the guy on his phone
Justifying Stallone,
With the punk on her Walkman, in some private zone,
And the rest of the mob
In line.


Somehow, improbably, on it went
Stubbornly persevered;
But prices kept rocketing: and so did the rent.
And little by little the neighbors,
And the need,


So now it’s a coffee bar: part of a chain.
Soymilk, green tea, free Wi-Fi.
To download a cosmos of music,
You need only to click on a file.
When the server is busy, you wait:
Only you and your screen,
Solitary, serene
All those other consumers unheard and unseen…
A pseudonymous guest of your faraway hosts:
You sip and you wait,
with the rest of the ghosts…


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