Serafina Magdalena

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

A Robert Hunter song that dates back to 1999, although it was only unveiled in concert until 2002. In his Road Journal for 16 June 1999, Hunter wrote "... developing half a dozen new songs (Serafina Magdalena, Ebenezer, Bolt from the Blue, Sack of Babylon, Back to the Somme, St. Agnes' Day) and working them up for performance" - of these, only Serafina Magdalena seems to have yet been played at a concert.

These are the lyrics as posted in his road journal:

Serafina Magdalena
Throw the potter's clay upon the wheel
Sit back, light up a cigarette
Gaze through the kitchen window
Down along the lane and far away
Sunlight falls over backyard walls (note 1)
Footsteps ring in the long empty hall

Trail of ancient footprints to your doorstep
Path way strewn with broken colored glass (note 2)
Sometimes you slip back into the past
To resurrect a daydream
You have dreamed so many times before
If you can get through one more night
The rest of it should be alright

Serafina Magdalena
Hide behind a cloudbank while the moon
Rises late then disappears too soon
To ever get to know you
All your colors fade to gray
Run run run daybreak comes
With a rush of wings and the sound of drums

I will give you love for love
Life by life, and one thing even more
I also meant to tell you
I left that set of footprints by your door
Turn turn turn while the ashes burn
We live and love but we never learn

Don't ask how long I'll love you
Could be forever and a day
Or just until the mid late afternoon
Rolls over like a raincloud (note 3)
Casting shadow bands across the bay
Time, time, time after time time time
We leave the loves of our lives behind

Serafina Magdalena
Play a tune upon your cheap guitar
Hum along, don't worry 'bout the song
The words don't really matter
It don't even need to be in tune
Play play play till it feels okay
There's some things that you just cannot say

But I will give you love for love
Life by life, and one thing even more
I also meant to tell you
I left that set of footprints by your door
Turn turn turn while the ashes burn
We live and love but we never learn

Serafina Magdalena
Serafina Magdalena
Notes
(1) in the recording I have, Hunter sings "Sunlight falls over garden walls"
(2) again, Hunter sings "Pathway made of broken glass"
(3) Hunter sings these two lines as "Rolls over like a rain storm/Chasing shadows bands across the sky"


Robert Hunter Concert Recordings

 


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