I Hear The Call, from Assassins (Day 121)

Jed Harris in I'm A ShowThis song came quite near the end of Assassins, in the build-up of events that led to the attempted assassination. The character singing is called the Rock Singer, modeled on Charles Manson and played with vigor and brio by Jed Harris. The lyric describes a series of omens which indicate that the time for desperate action is at hand.

I was checkin’ out the news on my TV set
When I heard the trumpet blow.
I’ve got a one-shot hotline
To the six-o’clock word of the Lord!
I saw it in the air over Washington Square,
On a neon angel big as a blimp.
It was written in day-glo spray paint
On the side of a BMT train.

You gotta take things into your own hands, it said,
You gotta mobilize the town.
Everything is fucked past fixing,
It’s time to tear the damn thing down!

I was sitting on the toilet when the telephone rang
And the operator said to me,
We’re calling person-to-person,
Are you gonna accept the charge?
I was looking at the paper in a greasy spoon
And it suddenly occurred to me
That the headline in my hands spelled it out in black and white.

You gotta take things into your own hands, it said,
You gotta mobilize the town.
Everything is fucked past fixing,
It’s time to tear the damn thing down!

In the graffiti in my hallway
Are the codes and clues they leave for me.
Their voices are urging me…
The way is clear!
I cannot fail!
I hear the call to kill the king!

[DIALOG. G gets a mysterious phone call.]

Washington’ll rumble
And the Capitol too!
We’re gonna rock the town!
We’re covering the White House
In a blood-red rising tide.
An end to our trouble
Gonna rise from the rubble
And the people gonna hit the streets
And chaos gonna ring like a string on a big guitar!

You gotta take things into your own hands, it said,
You gotta mobilize the town.
Everything is fucked past fixing,
I’m gonna tear the damn thing down!

I stand at the center of the cosmos!
Everything appears to be simple to me!
I have a reason to be!
The way is clear!
I cannot fail!
I hear the call to kill the king!

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