Capitol Inspiration

September 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

Over Labor Day weekend, my family and I traveled to Washington, DC so our son could be recognized at the Kennedy Center as one of the eight winners of the 2015 VSA Playwright Discovery competition. As part of that honor, our son had a condensation of his winning screenplay read from one of the stages at the Kennedy Center. He also took part in rehearsals and panel discussions, and he got to meet the other seven winners.

Our hotel was close enough to the Kennedy Center that we were able to walk there and back for the various functions. Each day’s walk took us past the Watergate Complex, site of the infamous 1972 break-in that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

While standing at an intersection looking at the hotel, I had a “vision” of seeing the ghost of one of the Watergate conspirators. After writing, discarding, and revising a number of verses, I came up with the following lyrics, which may yet be subject to revision.

The Ghost of Jeb Magruder

I saw the ghost of Jeb Magruder
Last night outside the Watergate Hotel
In on a break-in that went badly
The night the nation nearly fell

I asked him, “Do you have regrets?”
He said, “Only that we were caught.
We did what we thought needed to be done
But people never understood the plot.”

One lie compounded by another
A house of cards that could not stand
A web of subterfuge and treachery
Not what the Founding Fathers planned
Across the rolling hills of Arlington
Heroes lie resting in the ground
Beneath the marbled halls of Washington
Hidden truths still waiting to be found

He said he did not mind the prison stretch
And said it was the least that he could do
“All of us were loyal soldiers
Who swore an oath to see it through”

“Most people see us all as criminals
If they think of us at all
But there were things that we were fighting for
We were proud to answer Nixon’s call.”

One lie compounded by another
A house of cards that could not stand
A web of subterfuge and treachery
Not what the Founding Fathers planned
Across the rolling hills of Arlington
Heroes lie resting in the ground
Beneath the marbled halls of Washington
Hidden truths still waiting to be found

He said, “I only have a moment more
Till I return from whence I came.”
Suggested I look in the mirror
Next time I look to place the blame

There at the edge of Foggy Bottom
He turned and said he had to go
I said that I still had more questions
He said, “It’s best that some things you don’t know.”

One lie compounded by another
A house of cards that could not stand
A web of subterfuge and treachery
Not what the Founding Fathers planned
Across the rolling hills of Arlington
Heroes lie resting in the ground
Beneath the marbled halls of Washington
Hidden truths still waiting to be found

Though time has put this all behind us
Listen close, and you might hear the sound
Whispering through the halls of Washington
Of hidden truths still waiting to be found

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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