Wolff Bowden

Wolff Bowden

BandFolkAcoustic

With lyrics like Chagall paintings and a voice like a whippoorwill, The Masked Fantastic is an Artist of Song. Listening to him is like dancing on a glacier at the beginning of the world. Every step takes you closer to the edge. Every breath makes you a sliver more certain that wings await your fall

Biography

The Masked Fantastic

When his Grandfather in Georgia died, The Masked Fantastic arrived late to the wake. Relatives from as far away as Texas had already laid claim to most of his Grandfather’s estate, including his horses, rifles and saddles. Even his hats. The Masked Fantastic didn’t want any inheritance. He was only seventeen. But, his Great Aunt Charlotte begged him to take his Grandfather’s dog.
“Her name’s Hobo,” Aunt Charlotte said. “But Grandpa called her ‘Bo’ and she likes to sit and listen to a little bit of guitar.”
“But I don’t play the guitar. I don’t even have a guitar.”
“Well, the guitar comes with her.”
“You mean if I take the dog, I also get Grandpa’s guitar?”
“Yes.”
He took the pair. A few weeks later, The Masked Fantastic learned that Bo could sing. Her high-howling, as he calls it, inspired some of his own. And by the time Bo died, The Masked Fantastic could play a little bit of guitar.

Under the alias Wolff, The Masked Fantastic was named ARTEXPO ARTIST OF THE MILLENNIUM in Miami for his mixed-media paintings. His signature paintings are created using mineral pigments and high-gloss, preservative acrylic. Wolff has sold hundreds of paintings to collectors, worldwide, and is represented in galleries from Miami to Oregon. His famous collectors include baseball legend Andre Dawson, poet Billy Collins and Angela’s Ashes author Frank McCourt. His poetry has appeared in 27 Literary Magazines, including West Wind Review, The Madison Review and Folio. His poetry collections ORPHANAGE OF IMAGINATION (2002) and HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE NIGHT (2008) were published by Redwood River Press. To learn more, please visit:

WWW.WOLFFANTASTIC.COM

The Masked Fantastic is a secretive performer who nevertheless makes regular appearances with The Orphan Trains, a duo featuring the song artist and violin-wielding pixie, Dakota Rose. The Masked Fantastic has performed live on WJBW radio in Stuart, FL and WTTB radio in Vero Beach. His last appearance, with The Orphan Trains, was as the Headliner at a Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Training Conference sponsored by the Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence (ISSV) at the Chinsegut Hill Retreat Center in Brooksville, FL. He played to a large audience of Psychologists and Psychiatrists.

Lyrics

On The Night You Were Born

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

Your father ran out
through the hospital doors
and he started to shout,
"I’ve got me a boy!"
Your mother lay vanquished
and smiling and sore.
You were too young to thank her
on the night you were born.

Through night blooming Cactus your grandmother came
and said that the angels
put your soul in a frame.
And while logs in the fire
crackled and roared
the world thought of lions
on the night you were born.

Deep in the ocean
two whales sang a song.
Some say that you heard them, that you hummed along.
You opened your eyes
and you stared at the door
but you were tired of swimming
on the night you were born.

Your grandpa in Georgia
saddled his horse
and rode to Valdosta
where whiskey was poured.
Snow fell like secrets that had never been told
and you learned to keep them
on the night you were born.

The windows were open
in your nursery.
The treefrogs were singing
while you fell asleep.
The people were sleeping
but the animals roamed
and you dreamt
you were with them
on the night you were born.

Your parents went down
to the lake late that night.
The water was silver,
the wind was alive.
It lifted their voices
and turned them to song
and the stars were all smiling
on the night you were born.

Lauren’s Forest

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

We went down to
Lauren’s Forest
just the other afternoon.
She was buried in those cedars
seven years ago last June.

I can’t remember how she smiled,
I dug a hundred pictures out
and threw them all into the fire
and nearly burned our new house down.

Breathing in,
I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I’m breathing out.
Feel the sunlight on my skin,
Feel my feet upon the ground

Now…Oh Nooooooow
Now…Oh Nooooooow

Just three weeks
before our wedding
she went swimming in the lake.
I found her body pale and floating
like a boat in outer space.

I couldn’t stop my eyes from crying
my voice from calling her name out.
On the day we
planned our wedding
I put my shotgun in my mouth.

Breathing in,
I’m breathing in...

I was sitting in the closet
when her sister Clara came
and reached into my
deepest darkness
and pulled that shotgun
from my face.

I didn’t mean to hold her so close,
I didn’t mean to touch her skin
but ever since she saved my life
Clara’s been my one, true friend.

Breathing in,
I’m breathing in...

Some nights I hear
Lauren whisper,
"Will you come to see me soon?
I know you married
my younger sister,
I love you both, you know I do."

On a cold and foggy morning
Clara gave birth to a girl
and now you have a little angel
to carry your name
around the world.

Breathing in,
I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I’m breathing out.
Feel the sunlight on my skin,
Feel my feet upon the ground

Now…Oh Nooooooow
Now…Oh Nooooooow

Glad Man

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

I can hear my neighbor’s windchimes they are chimin’
in the night
and you won’t be here tomorrow though you were here tonight.

And I’m a sad, sad man, saddest man I ever been.

I can see you in your nightclothes
I can feel you next to me.
When it’s time for you to go I curl up in the sheets.

And I’m a sad, sad man, saddest man there’s ever been.

I listen to the whippoorwills
in the woods outside my house.
I don’t want you someday, baby
I want you right now.

And I’m a sad, sad man, saddest man I ever been.

You’ll be back again love
when your hard work is done
until then I close my eyes
I cannot stand the sun.

And I’m a sad, sad man, saddest man there’s ever been.

And though it’s only Thursday night I know it won’t be long
‘till you’re right-here-with-me
in this room
till you’re right here in my arms.

And I’m a glad, glad man, gladdest man I ever been.

I can hear my neighbor’s windchimes they are chimin’
in the night
and you’ll be here tomorrow though you were not here tonight.

And I’m a glad, glad man, gladdest man there’s ever been.

If I Was Away

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

Maybe next winter
I’ll send you a ring
to wear on your finger
to help you to sing
a song for a man who is
too far away
who sits in the distance
with nothing to say.

If I was a radio,
I’d tune this song for you
about the things I might have been in worlds we never knew.

If I was a record I would
spin and spin and spin
‘cause time is just a needle
on this skin I’m living in.

If I was some speakers I would roar to outer space
and if I was awaaaaaay, I’d come back to you someday
and if I was awaaaaaay, I’d come back to you someday.

This is the distance
between you and me.
How many footsteps more
do I need?
How many fires
until we find wood?
How many nights
don’t we sleep when we should?

If I was a river I would
flow right through your life
and wash away the darkness
like day erases night.

If I was a house
I would hold back heavy snow
and keep your books and blankets warm each time you go.

If I was a dancer
I would cross this open stage
and if I was awaaaaaay, I’d come back to you someday
and if I was awaaaaaay, I’d come back to you someday.

Maybe next summer
or I don’t know when
I’ll drive across Kansas
and find you again.
In your yellow dress
with those tears still on your face
I’ll lift you and kiss you
and take you away.

If I was a breath
I would fill your empty chest
with all wind that I could fit
inside my fishing net.

If I was a fire
I would burn right through this wind
and let you know the kind of smoke
and ash I’m living in.

If I was a poet
I would know just what to say
and if I was awaaaaaay, I’d come back to you someday
and if I was awaaaaaay, I’d come back to you someday.

World to Change

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

I woke up this morning
with this song in my hands.
The dreams of our fathers
were turning to glass.
I saw the Statue of Liberty
shaking her head.
I threw on my boots
and I leapt out of bed.

We won’t wait
for the world to change.
We won’t wait
for the sleepers to wake.
We’ll step out into these
streets and be brave.
We won’t wait
for the world, world to change.

We’re just trying
to make some sense of this place.
This country of colors
and hungers and shapes.
There’s a parrot perched on our shoulder who says
that the earth is collapsing
right under our beds.

We won’t wait for the world to change…

It’s not about spinning
the people with the press.
There’s a deal being made between the living
and the dead.
Between the queen of the trees and the ocean’s sweet depth.
Between earning a buck
and taking a breath.

We won’t wait for the world to change…

They say you can only
keep what you give.
Let’s stop building mansions and learn how to live.
And the hurricane’s coming
so give me a kiss
while the moon turns the night
into morning again.

We won’t wait
for the world to change.
We won’t wait
for the sleepers to wake.
We’ll step out into these
streets and be brave.
We won’t wait
for the world, world to change.

Bethlehem

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

The baby Jesus fell asleep
beside a newborn lamb.
When they woke the blood and love and stars were everywhere.

Three young women stood nearby their breasts swollen with milk
waiting to give the orphans something beautiful to drink.

Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Just you and I and the big night against our newborn skin.
Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Sometimes I just walk away
I don’t know what to sing.
O, Bethlehem O, Bethlehem

My handsome father bought
a sawed-off shotgun yesterday
and went to hunt his cancer like a fox out in the rain.
He shot it dead and took its
ragged body to the church
and asked the Lord's forgiveness for undoing his dark work.

Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Just you and I and the big night against our newborn skin.
Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Sometimes I get quiet
'cause there’s nothing left to sing.
O, Bethlehem O, Bethlehem

BRIDGE:
And every one of us:
a walking drum.
And every one of us
knows how to cry and run.
And every one of us
comes home sometime.
And every one of us becomes a ghost by and by.

The hurricanes blow in from somewhere we don’t understand
the little orphan learns guitar because no one thinks he can.
He sits out on the broken bridge and strums his humble strings
he sings about the days to come when strangers take him in.

Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Just you and I and the big night against our newborn skin.
Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Sometimes I just lift my eyes before I start to sing.
O, Bethlehem O, Bethlehem

I saw the baby Jesus
in a seashell on the sand.
He was telling stories to an ancient, naked clam.
I leaned in close so I could know exactly what he said
and heard the sound of ocean waves crashing in his head.

Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Just you and I and the big night against our newborn skin.
Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Sometimes I just close my eyes and open up my wings.
O, Bethlehem O, Bethlehem

Orphan Trains

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

A thousand ragged orphans
board a train on Saturday.
The sun is out there somewhere
though the sky is damp and gray.

Little Alfred sits with his
small cardboard suitcase,
his face pressed to the window New York City falls away.

The Orphan trains
roll west through the rain
and no one knows
these kids are coming
no one knows their names
And all the orphans sit beside their windows, cry and say
Who would ever really
want to love me anyway?
Who would ever really
want to love me anyway?

The Orphan trains,
The Orphan trains,
The Orphan traaaaaaains,
The Orphan trains.

All the children line up
on a broken plywood stage.
Their faces have been washed
and their clothes are clean
and straight.

A farmer fingers Emma’s teeth
just like he would a mule,
but Emma kicks him, screaming
I’m not going home with you!

The Orphan trains…

Emma is adopted
grows up laughing by a pond.
Into Texas, into Kansas
the train moves Alfred along.

When they reach Nebraska
a town merchant takes him in,
sits him on his knee and says
from now on you’re my kin.

The Orphan trains
roll west through the rain
and no one knows
these kids are coming
no one knows their names
And all the orphans sit beside their windows, cry and say
Who would ever really
want to love me anyway?
Who would ever really
want to love me anyway?

The Orphan trains,
The Orphan trains,
The Orphan traaaaaaains,
The Orphan trains.

You & I

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

When I look in your eyes
I watch the carousel ride
blue horses are spinnin'
with all of the children
who want to fly

You say you want to
change the world
You couldn’t stop it changing
if you tried
Everything’s changing
day after day
except you and I

That’s a life I want to live
a life I want to try
Everything changing
day after day
except you and I

We meet in the trees of the night
and kiss as if setting a fire
somehow I know, wherever we go
we’ll be burning bright

You say you want to
change the world…

So let that old carousel spin
as tigers and unicorns sigh
forgiveness is wind
on all of the things
that we’ve left behind

You say you want to
change the world…

There’s an ocean we have to swim
like swans in the waters of time
but somehow I’m sure
when we reach the shore
you’ll be by my side

You say you want to
change the world
You couldn’t stop it changing
if you tried
Everything’s changing
day after day
except you and I

That’s a life I want to live
a life I want to try
Everything changing
day after day
except you and I

Put Me In A Box With Your Mom

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

Had lunch with my Daddy
the other day,
his jeans were all muddy
and splattered with paint.
He was fixin’ up the house while Mom was away
he said your Mom and I
should settle down some day

but the way we work
and the way we play
our only rest might be
in the cold, dark grave.
So when our
final fiery sunset comes
put me in a box with your mom.

CHORUS:
Put me in a box with your mom
then forever I can hold her
in my arms.
When all our days on earth are spent and gone
put me in a box with your mom.

We met in high school in sixty-eight
ate burgers and French fries
on our first date.
Her Daddy said better not
keep her out late
but I kept her so long she’s still with me today.

In a churchhouse on the Pennsylvania line
I became her husband, she became my wife
‘till death do us part and beyond
put me in a box with your mom

Put me in a box with your mom…

Folks don’t stay together nowadays
they fight and they fly run away
but even though our skies sometimes looked gray
your mom stuck with me
all the way

Raising two wild babies,
we were brave.
The scent of diapers mixed with aftershave.
Now our little ones are
grown and gone
and I’m happy in this house with your mom.

Put me in a box with your mom
then forever I can hold her
in my arms.
When all our days on earth are spent and gone
put me in a box with your mom.

The Sun is Going Down in Nashville

Written By: The Masked Fantastic (© Wolff Bowden 2007 )

It’s been seven years
since the night you just
packed up and went.
We both said goodbye,
not goodnight
and we haven’t spoke since.
I still find the time to
think about you now and again.
I wrote you this song and sang it straight into the wind.

The sun is going down without you
but I can still recall your pretty voice
The sun is going down in Nashville
and I’d be with you if I had a choice
Heeeey, Heeeey, Likeariveritslipsaway, Likeariveritslipsaway…

We dumped the canoe in the river and we lost our keys.
We drowned the camera
with pictures of you and of me.
We stood on the banks of that river so naked and free.
You taught me the words to a song that I just couldn't sing.

The sun is going down without you
but I can still recall your pretty smile
The sun is going down in Nashville
and I wish you were still with me for a while
Heeeey, Heeeey, Likeariveritslipsaway, Likeariveritslipsaway…

I remember the way
that you laughed
and tried everything twice
and I dried the tears that the radio brought to your eyes.
I remember the travels
that made you so sad and so wise.
I remember the man who built wings and fell out of the sky.

The sun is going down without you
and I wish I could
hold your pretty hand
The sun is going down in Nashville
and I wish I was still
your loving man
Heeeey, Heeeey, Likeariveritslipsaway, Likeariveritslipsaway…

So long ago, the cold nights
when we slept like orphans,
wrapped in the blue cocoons
of your grandmother's quilts.
Then the world slipped in,
slipped in for the kill
I haven't seen you since
and I never will.

The sun is going down without you
and I wish you had been
my winter wife
The sun is going down in Nashville
and girl I would have loved you all my life
Heeeey, Heeeey, Likeariveritslipsaway, Likeariveritslipsaway…

Discography

On The Night You Were Born (coming August, 2008)
Orphanage of Imagination (Poetry Book, 2008)
Heavyweight Champion of the Night (Poetry & Song Book, 2008)

Set List

All Originals. Two 45-60 minute sets.