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Reluctant Pilgrim

An album by Stephen Schwartz

Reluctant Pilgrim the album

Reluctant Pilgrim
Midder, 1997.

cover for Reluctant Pilgrim CD BUY Reluctant Pilgrim - Amazon.com
  • Includes: Dreamscape, Crowded Island, So Far, More Than This, Life Goes On, The Hardest Part of Love, Prestidigitation, Ten-Day Heartbreak, Code of Silence, Snapshots, Cactus Flowers (47:37 minutes)
See Stephen Schwartz Songbook for SHEET MUSIC for "Code of Silence," "Crowded Island" "Dreamscape," "Life Goes On," "More than This," "Prestidigitation," and "So Far"

The Song "Code of Silence" recorded by Stephen Schwartz on this album is now part of the musical Snaphots. Lyrics for the song are included below.

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Comments by Carol de Giere

Only one of the 11 songs on this CD is a show tune. The others are lyrically and melodically rich songs composed, sung and accompanied by Schwartz. Reluctant Pilgrim has been praised for its "adult" oriented songs as opposed to typical pop songs often written for or about a young person's perspective. Reluctant Pilgrim lyrics are written by someone who has reviewed his life journey and has a sense of how to keep life in balance. Listeners often say they readily identify with the conflicts and concerns expressed in the songs. As one reviewer said, "They give a space for reflection. It's almost like therapy."

When I bought this CD I was already an avid Schwartz fan and so I have no idea how I would react as a neutral listener. As a fan, there is something precious than hearing Stephen sing his own songs, especially ones that are so heartfelt. I can't remember ever hearing songs anywhere else like "So Far" or like "Code of Silence."

Lyrics "Code of Silence"

"Code of Silence" as recorded on the Reluctant Pilgrim

She talks about the sidewalk sale and what she's planned for supper.
He reads the Times and rails against the news of the day.
And they talk of home improvements and what's playing at the movies.
And the more they talk, the more they hear the things they never say.

She doesn't say, "Why don't you love me like you used to?"
He doesn't ask, "Why can't you be the one I need?"
They stay away from talk of emptiness and longing.
Long ago, it seems they tacitly agreed to a code of silence.

She sits there with her herbal tea and he sips his cup of java,
And they talk of friends and fashion trends and a Seinfeld episode.
And they steer through conversations like soldiers in a minefield,
Knowing one false turn or one true word, the whole thing might explode.

He doesn't say, "When did you turn into my jailer?"
She doesn't ask, "When did you turn into a ghost?"
We all must pay for our security and comfort,
But they wonder if the thing that costs the most is this code of silence.

It's a code of silence
Strict as any mafia omerta
Profect the family secrets and pretend it's unawares.

A code of silence
Strong as any L.A.P.D. station,
Stonewall all investigation
Into internal affairs,
Keep away from those internal affairs.

So she's got her golf and girlfriends, and he's got his depressions,
And there's always lots to talk about, there's always something new.
And she bottles up her anger, and he swallows his confessions,
And again the evening passes and again they've made it through.

She hasn't said, "Why can't you love me like you used to?"
He hasn't asked, "Why is this life a heavy load?"
Turn down the bed for one more night of sep'rate dreaming,
Knowing well they won't discuss it down the road.
For they may break their hearts, but they'll never break their code of silence.

Copyright by Stephen Schwartz