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radio writing: magic carpet ride

The Flying Carpet by Viktor Vasnetsov (1880). ...

Why don’t you come with me, little girl, on a magic carpet ride? Tripping. Of course. Sex and/or drugs—the basic subjects of rock’n’roll.

Close your eyes, girl, the singer croons; look inside, girl. And then I realize this is just as much a song about writing as it is about sex or drugs.

Look around you, he implores. And I think, yes, you have to look around, observe what’s going on, from the minutest flicker of grasshopper wings to the cataclysms of birth and death, war and the striving for peace.

Let the sound take you away…the sound of the world around you, the sound of your own inner voice, and especially the sound of the words on the page. If the sounds don’t take you away, then maybe you have nothing to say.

You don’t know what we can find. You don’t know what we can see. Writing is always a voyage of discovery. You can’t be sure when you set out where you will end up. That’s part of the mystery and the magic of the writing process, the thrill of the “ride.”

Fantasy will set you free. There’s as much truth in fiction as there is in reality, and the truth in fantasy will set you free, but only if you really look and really listen. Then your story will have the power to take its readers on a magic carpet ride.

Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf)

I like to dream, yes, yes
Right between the sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near
To the stars away from here

Well, you don’t know what
We can find
Why don’t you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride

Well, you don’t know what
We can see
Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free

[Chorus]
Close your eyes now
Look inside now
Let the sound
Take you away

Last night I hold Aladdin’s lamp
So I wished that I could stay
Before the thing could answer me
Well, someone came and took the lamp away

I looked
Around
A lousy candle’s all I found

Well, you don’t know what
We can find
Why don’t you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride

Well, you don’t know what
We can see
Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free

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5 thoughts on “radio writing: magic carpet ride

  1. What a brilliantly fun interpretation!! Love! 🌻

  2. Rich Jones on said:

    I’m fairly certain Pop knew Steppenwolf front man John Kay and an earlier incarnation of the band (then known as Sparrow) when Pop and his band Liquid were active in San Francisco. (John Kay’s early life as recounted in Wikipedia makes for interesting reading; like that he was born in East Prussia.)

    • Another tidbit I wasn’t aware of. Sometimes I think that guy actually went through more than one life this last go-around. 🙂

      • Rich Jones on said:

        Yeah, just off the top of my head, I can list that Pop was a beat poet, musical comedy writer and arranger, newspaper copywriter, technical draftsman, be-bop pianist, rock organist, battery works truck driver (he wore jeans with holes in them [from the battery acid] before such were fashionable,) mail carrier, California Visionary School painter, I Ching scholar, Sci-fi author, and amateur horticulturalist. (I’m sure I forgot a few things.)

        I’d dare to say that’s several lives by most standards.

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