Milo’s Tune

I wrote this song for a documentary film celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the children’s classic, The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. The book is the great existentialist novel of the mid-twentieth century, with our protagonist, Milo, traveling through a country divided, searching for meaning. The fourth verse refers to a scene in which Milo conducts an orchestra in creating the sunrise. It’s one of my great joys that Norton Juster’s wife, Jeanne, loves this song. This song is dedicated to Norton and Jeanne for all the joy and meaning they’ve brought to people in their lives.

All the distance I have traveled
All the miles along the road
Every second that is passing
Shows me something I don’t know

Cause there’s a music in what happens
There’s a reason, there’s a rhyme
I just try to pay attention
And keep my eyes open wide

How long had I been drifting?
How long had I’d been asleep?
How long had I’d not noticed
The world in front of me?

There’s a music in what happens
There’s a reason, there’s a rhyme
I just try to pay attention
And keep my eyes open wide
I keep my eyes open wide

There are words and there are numbers
They say don’t get the two confused
It’s either one or the other
You can’t have both, you have to choose

But there’s a music in what happens
There’s a reason, there’s a rhyme
I just try and pay attention
And keep my eyes open wide
Keep my heart open wide

I have stood there in the darkness
At the very edge of night
Raised my hands to call the colors
And made a symphony of light

There’s a music in what happens
There’s a reason, there’s a rhyme
I just try to pay attention
And keep my heart open wide

So don’t let the doubters tell you
Where you’re headed is too far
The best way to get to where you’re going
Is to be right where you are

‘Cause there’s a music in what happens
There’s a reason, there’s a rhyme
I just try to pay attention
And keep my heart open wide
Keep my heart open wide

© Bill Harley, all rights reserved. Reprints with permission only.

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