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It was dark that night, it always is
When this sort of thing goes down
At nine that night the plane took flight
Up way above the ground
No charter plane or commercial flight
Was the great bird on this eve
A private craft, from fore to aft
That all were soon to grieve
On that plane the masters flew
The great jazz men of their time
Each one renowned in their own right
For their famous tunes and rhymes
there was Donny Lincoln, Titan of the Sax
from Atlanta that swingin' burg
Mel Bordeaux, the Queen of Soul
They heard her sing round the world
There was spider fingered Leo
Last name Peallea
From windy old Chicago
Where his piano he would play
There was japan's Yuki Hideoshi
The best oboist in years
They say when she played Tokyo
She had the Emperor in tears
Delroy Carter was present too
No one topped his guitar so smooth
A singer too, of not just blues,
But Gospel, for souls he soothed
youngest of all was Maxine Carter
A new voice from Brooklyn town
She could hit 'bout any note
High or low, up or down
There was one more man taking the flight
One of them none had met
Wearing pin-striped suit and dark black shades
Quietly in his seat he sat
The people talked, except for him
he simply watched the clouds
Till at last he rose and they all froze
And he said, not so loud
"Now we've never any of us met
And for that you should all be glad
but we've met indirectly
through acquaintances you've had
When he was a boy I met Donny's parents
As for Mel I met her man
Leo I've already met you're bro,
Delroy, when I met yours he ran."
All looked aghast at the man's list
Of old family's and friends
All of whom were long dead
And had already met their eneds
"Yuki I met your uncle
But Maxine here ain't the same
No close friend or family
Have I pulled from this domain.
I think that y'all have guessed by now
Just as to whom I am
To make it clear I'm Death himself
And I assure you this is no sham.
Unfortunately this very plane
We're riding on right now
is going going down into the ground
In an hour's time to go."
They looked at each other in silent shock
Having death proscribed so sudden
Oddly enough all were relaxed
Except Maxine who was sullen
After a while Donny Lincoln stood
And reached up for his bags
With a somber faced expression
He pulled down his sax
"Well gents I don't really know you folk
But if I'm about to go
The one thing I think I'd most regret
Is if I didn't give this horn here one more blow."
At this Death smiled a friendly grin
And sat back down in his chair
"Sir that's an attitude I'd like to see
Whenever I appear.
people always go crying,
Screaming 'Why God, why?'
It's always nice to meet a man
Who's unafraid to die.
Donny laughed at Death's remark
Then said back to him
"Mister, it's not that I'm not afraid
It's just my dying whim."
Hearing this the others stood,
Except Maxine, still shocked by the news
And pulling out their instruments
Readied to play their blues
Soon all of them were strumming,
And Mel began to belt away
Her voice so loud, the instrument's sound
Made their troubles melt away
They played through one song and another
Mel singing all the while,
Of deepest love long past and gone
And Death began to smile
When she finished Death clapped his hands
And said tenderly to Mel
"You wrote that after James died
To help you not to dwell."
"That's right sir," she said to him
"I wrote after my husband died
It sure didn't help me not to dwell,
Thinking of how much I cried.
And soon now I'll see him again
Far too long it has been."
Said Death no longer smiling,
"I'm sorry I had to bring him in."
"You took my parents too Death,'
Said Donny to the ghost
"And in all the world, and all people,
I loved those two the most.
I hated you, you know,
But now that I'm gonna die
It's such an odd thing to be sayin'
But you ain't so bad a guy."
They resumed their playing,
Except now Delroy took the lead
He sang and played on his guitar
Mel gave backup when there was need
Then sang his soul to his Saviour
Oh God he sang out to thee
His heart did sing of the day he'd bring
Of the joys that there would be
Then Yuki got into a groove
They let her play all alone
She plucked her strings and made 'em sing
And brightly Death grin's shone
"Miss I know it's your uncle who taught youAnd I hope it will please you if I say
That when we finish with this business
He'd love to hear you play."
And so they kept on strummin'
And steadily time passed
Maxine kept on crying
Till at last Leo asked
"Honey why don't come and sing
Come on now dry your tears
It'll do you a whole otta good
If you'd just come over here."
She scowled at them, and then she hissed
"Why I sing you ask?
We're all about to die now
What should I do with these minutes, my last?
I can't talk to my family,
Not my mother or my dad
I can't even call my boyfriend
And tell him what a great time we've had.
All because this damn phone won't work
I can't talk to anyone I love
I'm only twenty-five years
Though I doubt that death ere will be moved."
Death looked at her calmly and he spoke
"Miss what you say is true,
But wouldn't it be nice right now
To give one last song before you do?"
She whimpered for a moment,
Then at long last she stood
"Fine Death, one last song then,
I guess I'd better make it good."
And so she sang with her voice so sweet
Of love, sweet love, most grand
And her voice so sad and lovey
Brought tears to Death and the band
They played a little longer
But soon they were forced to stops
As the planes engines finally failed
And the craft began to drop.
No one knew what happened
On the plane the night it fell
If they had all would have said
That a tragedy had never sounded so well.