Ypsilanti © 2018 Don Nelson by Don Nelson 1
Here’s a new one I just wrote and recorded this week. Odd subject matter, but this song is loosely based on a book that came out in the 60’s called “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti” – a non-fiction account of 3 mental patients who all suffered from the same delusion – each one thought that he was Jesus Christ – and (rather cruelly the doctors later admitted) they were housed in the same Psych Unit in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and their reactions to and interactions with each other were studied. I had the phrase “Exiled psycho Messiahs” and sort of extrapolated from there. Once I realized I could rhyme Ypsilanti with “Chianti” it got easy to write the rest of it! A silly and somewhat sad song but I like it and hope you do too!

Ypsilanti © 2018 Don Nelson
All the exiled psycho Messiahs
They never will repent
As they stare down their holy rivals
With pity and contempt
And sometimes they erupt in anger
And sometimes they begin to weep
Sometimes they laugh and grin
And then promptly fall asleep

In those wicker chairs at the psych ward
In Ypsilanti
Where they change their scummy bath water
Into gallons of sweet Chianti
Blessed are the few who understand
That things are not the way they seem
And blessed are those who get left behind
In their cracked and crooked dreams

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They line their pills up in paper cups
They are not allowed to pass over
Or the Pharisee Orderlies will bind them up
And pin them under blankets and covers
Sometimes a stranger visits
Maybe just to get their blessing
But maybe it’s the Devil in disguise
He always keeps them guessing

They lie in their beds while the moon sets over
They pretend to be dead until the staff goes home
It’s their favorite modus operandi
Blessed are the few who understand
That nothing ever is how it seems
And blessed are those who can hide inside
Their cracked and crooked dreams

In the morning they cast their shrouds away
And they roll away the stone
While Mary waits outside in a white frock
But she never takes them home
As they dip their broken burnt toast
Into their Constant Comment Tea
They say “when you do this at home with the Holy Ghost
Remember me”

And the bells are pealing wildly in the streets
Of Ypsilanti
And the Messiahs have all ascended to the rooftop
Trailing clouds of Glory
Blessed are the few who understand
That nothing is the way it seems
And blessed are those who finally rise above
Their cracked and crooked dreams

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