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Sterling Price-McKinney: Music & Lyrics

The Ballerina Song

(Karen Kuykendall)
Words and Music by Sterling Price-McKinney
From the musical "First Act Texas, Second Act New York".
Did you ever wake up one morning and find out that the joke was on you? That for whatever reason or lack of reasons, overnight your world had fallen completely apart. Oh come on, you can't be serious. So maybe you don't get to be a fireman when you up, so what? Maybe you fall flat on your face everytime you try to take a step, and you never master anything more involved than turning a key in a lock. So what? I'll tell you what. Nobody gets to be a fireman when they grow up. It's no crime in being just whoever you are. Believe me, you wouldn't be the first little boy who had to stomach the difference between fantasy and reality. You wouldn't the first... and neither would I.

I always wanted to be a ballerina,
of toe shoes and pas de deux,
that took my breath away.
I always wanted to float before the footlights,
but life had a dance of it's own.

I always wanted to be a prima donna,
cause roaring ovations
and bring them to their feet.
Recititivo and classic situations,
but life had a song of it's own.

So I dance to the music
that life has given me.
Full and with force,
and that style of my own.
Yes I dance to the music of life,
and I never look back.

Well sometimes I look back. And as life went on, it wasn't just the fantasies of a child that didn't come true. It was the everyday hopes and wishes that somehow always got left behind.

I always wanted a cottage on a hillside.
White pickets and flowers,
and children of my own.
I always wanted
to take a turn at laughter,
but life took a turn of it's own.

I never saw that cottage, never even got close. We lived in a tiny corner apartment, with a view of the alley on one side, and a dirty brick wall on the other. I had those flowers though. Windowboxes stuffed with every blooming thing I could find. And children, well there weren't any that's all. There just weren't any.

I always wanted to keep the man who loved me.
To share a dream with someone.
To never live alone.
I always wanted,
but he walked away and left me.
I see now, he had a dream of his own.

So I dance to the music that life keeps giving me.
Full, and with force, and that style of my own.
Yes I dance to the music of life,
and I never look back.
And I sing to the music that life keeps giving me.
With conviction and strength,
and with pieces of my soul.
Yes I sing to the music of life,
with a few rare regrets.

Somehow, it's all worked out.
Though it's never been quite what I imagined,
it hasn't been a total nightmare either.
Somewhere along the way,
I learned to walk, if not to dance,
and to run away if all else failed.
And it's better now.
Surer, balanced, at times rewarding.
No, reality isn't so bad,
nor is life.
Life isn't bad at all.

I'll always dream of a prima ballerina,
of pickets and flowers,
and children of my own.
Of stagelights and countrysides,
while pausing to remember,
that life charts a course of it's own.

So I dance to the music that life has given me,
Full and with force,
and that style of my own.
Yes I dance to the music of life,
and I never look back.
While I live with the music of harshest realities,
Though at times I know I'll weep,
or just laugh,
while the tears come and go.
I will thrive on the music of life,
with a few rare regrets.

I always wanted to be a ballerina...
With a few rare regrets.