The Ballad of Tod Browning

from by The Bone Pounder

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lyrics

He was a living corpse at the Borneo Circus
Buried alive at every stop on the circuits
An image of the past but that's the biz we call show
He was just sixteen when he chose this life you know

Vaudeville days,
Not much scratch but it's OK,
Browning kept it real reading books, writing plays
But he was cut down- back in 1915
And it delayed his entry to the silver screen,

It was a crash- he was crushed, they were the unholy three
Browning, Booth and George all in the front seat.
Booth lost his life and George lost his mind
Browning crushed his leg, and was kept from the grind

And if you believe the rumors he lost more than time
Let's say he'd never feel a love so sublime
IT was two years spent before he hit that first role
And went on to living death, burning hand and The Unknown

From the circus to the screen, silent as stars
From the grave to the limelight, and smashed up cars
Don't walk the streets of London when it's after midnight
Or stand up against Joan Crawford in an amputee knife fight
One of us, one of them
Obsessed with amputation
One of us, one of them
Lon Cheney every day, son!

"To be dead... to be really dead...."

1927! London After Midnight.
Silent vampires walk beneath the street lights
In the pictures Lon Cheny Turned it to 11
But the last print was destroyed in 67!

Remade in '35, but not quite as live
As the Mark of the Vampire- Yes this print Survived.
But we've moved ahead- with these tales of the undead
Let's go back six years,
In this story of fear,
To when the first words in a Browning film were said!

1929! Legosi showed on time,
In the 13th Chair, with a talent rare
in just 2 years, he would give us all fears,
In '31, the dead was done,
And Hollywood was changed for years and yearrs

DRACULA! That's what you came to hear
But rumor is hated that tale of fear
That he was rarely on set- that his skills were inept
But it doesn't matter because talkie horror was beget

From the circus to the screen, silent as stars
From the grave to the limelight, and smashed up cars
Don't walk the streets of London when it's after midnight
Or stand up against Joan Crawford in an amputee knife fight
One of us, one of them
Obsessed with amputation
One of us, one of them
Lon Cheney every day, son!

Oh- Then Came Frankenstein
Oh- Then Came The Code In Time
Oh- Then Abbot And Costello Reigned
Oh- And nothing was the same

"one of us one of us..."

From the circus to the screen, silent as stars
From the grave to the limelight, and smashed up cars
Don't walk the streets of London when it's after midnight
Or stand up against Joan Crawford in an amputee knife fight
One of us, one of them
Obsessed with amputation
One of us, one of them
Lon Cheney every day, son!

"one of us one of us..."

credits

from Songs from the Crypt, released July 15, 2016

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