The Missing Parade
by John Forster & Tom Chapin
© 1992 Limousine Music Co. & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)

In the parking lot of the A&P
The parade was set to go.
VFW Voice: “Where’s the Drum Major?”
No one seemed to know.
Voices: “It’s after ten on July the Fourth!” “Maybe he’s taken ill!”
“But he knew the route!” “Who can lead us?”
Bruno on the bass drum said,
Bruno: “I will!
Let’s see… Uuh, this way.”

The parade started moving
But we headed north
Just when we should have headed south.
We all knew it was wrong but you go along
When a tuba is sticking in your mouth.
Bruno: “Uh oh… detour!”
Well the road turned to gravel
Then it turned to dirt,
Soon we were marching through a field.
Took that barn in our stride,
Came out the other side
And then into a chicken coop we wheeled.

Back in town, crowds were milling around,
Voices: “Where are they?”
“What’s gone wrong?” “What a bummer!”
But the town couldn’t see
How much fun it could be
To march to a different drummer.
Bruno: “Uuh, this way… I think.”

Then we came to the railroad
And we took a left.
Proudly we tramped along the track.
Into the old B&O railroad tunnel we did go
And we stopped short
When everything went black.
Bruno: “Listen… this sounds great!
Let’s hear the tubas! Cornets. Glockenspiel.
What’s that?”
Everyone: “TRAIN!”
Bruno: “Uh Uh... About face! Double Time!
Whew! That was close!”

Well there’s lots I could tell you
’Bout that afternoon,
The quicksand and the pileup in the quarry.
But the sun had gone down
When we got home to an empty town.
And Bruno looked around and said,
Bruno: “I’m sorry.”

In the parking lot of the A&P
We began to say goodbye.
(Voices: “Bye bye. So long. See ya.”)
Then we heard a (BOOM)
And then a (BABOOM)
And we looked up in the sky…
Bruno: “Ooh! Fireworks. Just in time!”
So we marched to the river
Playing loud and strong
We found all the county waiting there.
And our brave little band
Never sounded so grand
As the fireworks and cheering filled the air.

You will hear comments made
’Bout the missing parade,
But for me the best day of the summer
Was the magical Fourth
When Bruno turned north
And we marched to a different drummer.

This song appears on Tom Chapin's Billy The Squid CD.

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