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Come Waltzing Out

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  • Come Waltzing Out

    It was clear from the start,
    He had dancing at heart.
    As a babe, how he swayed when the radio played.
    Later on, as a child,
    He was labelled “too wild,”
    And his dancing days were waylaid.

    So his heart said, "I'll hide your dancer away
    Until that safe day when he can come out to stay."
    'Til he turned forty two, neither heart nor head knew all the years
    It would take for that day to come true.
    It was clear from the start,
    He had dancing at heart.

    There are four times that he can remember dancing as a child,
    Though the fourth he barely recalls.

    One evening in the summer
    Before he started first grade,
    He was home alone with his father.
    And his dad got out the old guitar and started playing
    The Tennessee Waltz.
    And the son danced on the piano bench
    In his mother's best Sunday high heels.
    And his father just smiled
    And kept playing.

    Then in third grade
    His class danced the Irish jig
    For the annual midwinter musicale.

    When he was in fifth grade,
    His mother went back to college.
    And for a folk music class,
    She requested he practice with her.
    And he fell in love
    With the waltz step.

    On T.V. he saw Ginger and Fred.
    When they waltzed,
    He went out of his head
    And into his body.
    He admired Ginger's sequins,
    But his thoughts, with great frequency,
    Pictured his own waltz...
    With Fred.

    And the spotlight would follow them 'round
    As their feet swept them over the ground.
    And the dance floor would clear as they twirled far and near in the bliss
    Of this new love they'd found.

    And the fourth time that he danced,
    The last time:
    Well, that one he's kept so secret,
    Not even he can quite remember it.
    He was thirteen,
    Almost thirty years ago...

    Now at last, with some grace, he looks back on it all.
    And his dancer, still nimble bounds over the wall.
    He changes his shirt, combs his hair
    And walks tall to the local gay country and western dance hall.
    And what to his wondering eyes appears then, but women
    Dancing with women,
    And men, actual men who are dancing with men.
    Thank the universe!

    So - he's danced for another,
    Father, teacher and mother,
    While his own feelings sat out of reach on a shelf.
    But tonight for the first time,
    In a wild, unrehearsed time,
    This dancer is going to dance for himself.

    See him there in the shadows with his arms folded tight?
    Don't he look like some statue, pale
    And rigid with fright.
    But then a waltz tune, it beckons
    To where the lights aren't so dim.
    And he turns to another shy soul
    And asks him to dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.

    Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.
    To make a change often means taking a stance.
    So when you come out,
    You might as well come waltzing out
    With a dance.

    Now they've stepped to the dance floor.
    See them dipping,
    Them turning,
    Though the floor doesn't clear,
    And there is no spotlight.
    But this is what his heart pants for,
    And his spirit, it's burning.
    And he hopes for that first waltz to go on
    All night.

    Now his thoughts span the decades:
    He's dancing on the piano bench to The Tennessee Waltz.
    He remembers so well.
    Then he recalls his lost secret,
    Danced alone and discreetly,
    With a Fred Astaire broomstick,
    And the orchestral overture
    To Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

    Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.
    Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.
    There's no turning back once you've taken the chance.
    So when you come out,
    You might as well come waltzing out
    With a dance,
    With a dance.

    Now, like all things human,
    This waltz has its ending.
    And he parts from his partner with a nod of his head.
    Finds his voice to say "Thank you.
    By the way, my name's David."
    And he smiles to hear back, "Thank you, too. My name's Fred."

    Oh, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks!
    Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks!
    There's always more steps ahead
    Once you break from the ranks.
    So when you come out,
    You might as well come waltzing out
    Giving thanks for the dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.
    Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.
    This life is too short to be closed to romance.
    So when you come out,
    Though you're in some doubt,
    Each and every time you're further out,
    And you might as well come waltzing out
    With a dance.
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