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Neal K

October Lyric Contest

The October Lyric writing contest is now open for entries. In the spirit of Halloween, the theme of this month's contest is "something scary." That doesn't mean your lyric has to be about witches, deamons, and monsters (but it can be if you want). You might be scared of being alone, or scared of starting a new relationship or you might be afraid of heights, or you might be afraid of the water. Doesn't matter. Just as long as it's something scary.

Same rules as always (you can read them in full here) but in short they are:

- Send your lyric to me by Private Message before the end of October 17.

- You must have 25 posts to be able to enter

- Lyrics must not have been posted on the Muse before or in the same month's song contests

- MAKE SURE YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR LYRIC BEFORE YOU SEND IT AND THAT YOU ARE SENDING ME THE CORRECT VERSION. I will no longer post revisions or corrections once your initial entry has been posted.

How & when to provide scores:

NEW: Scoring begins on Monday, October 18 @ 9:00 Pacific Standard Time. That gives me a chance to post any last minute entries on Monday morning before scoring.

- When the contest closes, I will provide a list of the songs and instructions on how to submit scores

- If you enter, you must provide a score

- Vote for all lyrics except your own on a scale of 1 to 10

- Your scores must be whole numbers. No half numbers.

- Your lyric gets the average score you gave the others

- Scores must be in by the end of October 21

- Winners will be announced the following day

Neal

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A Ghost Of Me

A hollow heart

An empty chest

A vessel unfilled

And my once strong and steady pulse

Now sits silent and stilled

I'm not the boy I was

I'm not the man I ought to be

I'm a Shadow of my former self

I'm a Ghost... of me

As lips quiver

Tongue stays still

Words mumbled at best

The bravado of this young man

Has become a nervous mess

I'm not the boy I was

I'm not the man I ought to be

I'm a Shadow of my former self

I'm a Ghost... of me

It's a sin to kill a mockingbird

But it's worse to break a heart

No-one will ever sing again

Once their world's been torn apart

A vacant mind

And solemn look

Now Vegetation remains

Happy thoughts from years ago

Now memories and stains

I'm not the boy I was

I'm not the man I ought to be

I'm a Shadow of my former self

I'm a Ghost... of me.

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Monsters

End of the day, I get home late

Feed the dog, fix a plate

Watch some TV, brush my teeth and go to bed

I don’t fall straight off to sleep

Something here just seems to keep

My eyes wide open and a stirring in my head

(chorus)

Monsters under my bed, they’re all in my head

I remind myself that they’re not really real

But tell that to the monsters

I think they’d beg to differ

Because the bottom line

I feel the way I feel

Mailman laughing, delivering bills

Psycho neighbor promising to kill

My dog if he comes back on his perfect lawn

Dentist coming at me with a drill

Not even telling me to sit still

The appointment set for the break of dawn

(chorus)

Taxman’s claws ‘cross my closet door

Boss man slithering across the floor

Scheming ex-wife’s image in the mirror

I’m not sure if I’m paying for sins

And I’m not sure how they all got in

But I know my monsters, and all of them are here

(chorus)

I thought that I’d be past all this

After living 40 years

But truth is in perception

And relativity of fears

Shadows moving across my wall

Time has slowed down to a death crawl

And I’m not getting on with what I’m here to do

I’m left with nothing but time to think

Of crazy things that only make me sink

Further down into a deeper shade of blue

(chorus)

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Our Heads Were Smashed

Verse 1

Halloween night thunder and lightning

Full moon rising over the hill

Goblins are out it is going to be frightening

Got my heart set for a thrill

Verse 2

Wind and rain, elements biting,

Night air filled with a chill

Hackles up, my neck hairs are fighting,

Everything seems surreal

Chorus

The Mad Hatter summoned spirits

A magnum bottle of sour mash

We sat around bouncing quarters

Drinking shots until our heads were smashed

Verse 3

When we walked outside we saw a zombie

Gnawing on a bone like a hungry man

No eyes in his head but he was looking at me

Mumbling words I didn’t understand

Verse 4

He pointed to a witch on the sidewalk

Knocked out by a lightning strike

He tried to explain but he couldn’t talk

We finally got the story right

Chorus

The Mad Hatter summoned spirits

A magnum bottle of sour mash

We sat around bouncing quarters

Drinking shots until our heads were smashed

Bridge

When the sun came up I was all alone

Laying in the grass on a cemetery lawn

Smell of mash whiskey on my breath

At my head a newly etched gravestone

Chorus

The Mad Hatter summoned spirits

A magnum bottle of sour mash

We sat around bouncing quarters

Drinking shots until our heads were smashed

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Southern Ghost

V1

Once upon a time there was an over told story,

about a southern ghost

Haunts my heart, haunts my soul, and the ones I love,

It haunts my mama the most.

Based a little on fact and a little more on fiction

my tall tale, oh no ,it ain’t no different.

<chorus>

You ol’ Southern ghost, southern ghost

Soul skippin through the wind, like summers night breeze

wondering like hell ,when your coming back for me

southern ghost

<>

V2

You were a decent man’s man ,knew right from wrong,

and your intentions were good

A silent rebel spirit spoiled your heart and mind

which kept you misunderstood

In and out of prison you left a hand full of lies

And a pocket full of ghost stories to make me do right

<chorus>

You ol’ Southern ghost, southern ghost

Soul skippin through the wind, like summers night breeze

wondering like hell ,when your coming back for me

southern ghost

<Bridge>

You ol’ Southern ghost, southern ghost

Left a toddler ,your son,

out the door on the run

Back when I was nine,

to disappear in the night

southern ghost

<chorus>

You ol’ Southern ghost, southern ghost

Soul skippin through the wind, like summers night breeze

wondering like hell ,when your coming back for me

southern ghost

oh , you ol southern ghost

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Ghost Lover

Woke up in the night, the hour was witchin'

Dogs were howling, the curtains started twitchin'

Floating through the air came a lady in white

Saying "hey, be my lover tonight"

Chorus

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ooo, she addled my brains

Ooo, she rattled my chains

Ghost lover

All the hairs were standing along my nape

Moonlight shining, showing all her shapes

Said she was born in seventeen eighty

Well I've a thing for the older lady

Chorus

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ooo, she addled my brains

Ooo, she rattled my chains

Ghost lover

Bridge

She took me to the other side of passion

With every touch of her ectoplasm

In the morning I was cold as stone

I called her name but I was alone

Now my hair's turned white and my thoughts are black

Cause I'm so scared she won't come back

Chorus

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ooo, she addled my brains

Ooo, she rattled my chains

Ghost lover

Out

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

Ghost lover, whooo oo oo

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Circa 1975 Again

I was apprehensive

It sounded like a sin

A virgin to the experience

Until my boyfriend clued me in

Drove uptown to Sunset

It was all Hallow’s Eve

On the street, lines of freaks and groupies

With their bags of spells, tricks and treats

When the curtain opened

The audience went wild

Confetti was flying everywhere

Rocky was dancing in the aisles

Chorus

We did the Time Warp (Time Warp)

again and again

Somehow it didn’t (No, it didn’t)

feel like a sin

Riff Raff, Columbia and Magenta joined in

We were circa 1975 again,

Circa 1975 Again!

Sweet Transvestite was cool

Eddie lost half his mind

While the Hot Patooties were shaking

to the rock beat of Frankenstein

Damn it, Janet was hot

Brad was eager to please

Dr. Scott leered, Janet began to sing

Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch me

Chorus

We did the Time Warp (Time Warp)

again and again

Somehow it didn’t (No, it didn’t)

feel like a sin

Riff Raff, Columbia and Magenta joined in

We were circa 1975 again,

Circa 1975 Again!

Bridge

What a show

What a horror

Great Scott, Rocky

Can we come again tomorrow?

Chorus 2

Let’s do the Time Warp (Time Warp)

again and again

Somehow it doesn’t (No, it doesn’t)

feel like a sin

Riff Raff, Columbia and Magenta join in!

We are circa 1975 again,

Circa 1975 Again!

Outtro

Yeah, we are circa (circa)

1975 again!

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Hold Your Breath

Me and Todd took Carly Jones

And her friend Sarah Drake

Up the steep and wooded cliffs

Surrounding Miller’s Lake

On that mild September day

Me, Todd and Carly dove

Off a high and rocky ledge

Ringed by autumn gold

Hold your breath

Close your eyes

Pretty soon

You will rise

Maybe it was fifty feet

Maybe it was more

It was clear she’d never been

That high above before

With the daylight fading fast

Somebody pushed too hard

Todd claims it was Carly (but)

My money’s still on Todd

Hold your breath

Close your eyes

Pretty soon

You will rise

Todd’s dressed up like Genghis Khan

Carly’s some dead queen

I’m a shadow of my former self

This haunted Halloween

It doesn’t matter what we do

The truth will all come out

Soon they’ll come to ask us

What we know about

Sarah’s drowning

Sarah’s drowning

Sarah’s drowning

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Mirror

V1

I sneak past several times a day

While you hang on your wall

You're shattered that I stay away

But frankly I'm appalled!

V2

Your presence darkens me with dread

You took my world and shook it

I thank God I'm not yet dead

But I'm starting to look it

Chorus

I'm afraid of my mirror

It shows me shocking things

I'm afraid of my mirror

The bad news that it brings

V3

My fragile ego's frightened

Your shiny truth reminds me

The clothes of youth have tightened

My days of grace behind me

Chorus

I'm afraid of my mirror

It shows me shocking things

I'm afraid of my mirror

The bad news that it brings

Bridge

Mirror, mirror lie to me

Reflect on what I used to be

Mirror, mirror make amends

Or we cannot be friends

Chorus

I'm afraid of my mirror

It shows me shocking things

I'm afraid of my mirror

And the bad news that it brings.

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Busted Flat

Verse 1:

Been rumours here of layoffs, and the rumour’s coming true

They tell you it won’t happen to a good old boy like you

But I can see the writing on the wall

And I don’t like the look of things at all

A man inspires confidence and I can play the part

I need to show my wife and kids that I am in good heart

But, late at night, I feel my mouth go dry

I’m scared, and I don’t want to be that guy

Chorus:

The bankers get their bonuses

The trouble trickles down

The bottom of the barrel’s where I’m at

An average guy, an average home, an average, little town

An average guy who’s terrified that he’ll get busted flat

Verse 2:

My eldest plans on college and I promised her some cash

I never was a saver, but I have a little stashed

I always kept my promises before

Maybe I can’t do that any more

My wife can see I’m troubled, so I smile at her and wink

But she knows me well enough to know the way I think

I can’t protect her, like a husband should

I’m failing her, and swore I never would

Chorus:

The bankers get their bonuses

The trouble trickles down

The bottom of the barrel’s where I’m at

An average guy, an average home, an average, little town

An average guy who’s terrified that he’ll get busted flat

Bridge:

Anger is no answer, but I’m angry

If there’s a God, then show me that He cares

The kids are looking out for me

That’s not how it’s supposed to be

I don’t recall a time I ever saw my Daddy scared

Chorus:

The bankers get their bonuses

The trouble trickles down

The bottom of the barrel’s where I’m at

An average guy, an average home, an average, little town

An average guy who’s terrified that he’ll get busted flat

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The Dark, Dark Side of Me

V1

A midnight stroll

Alone and cold

Afraid of who I'll be

I'm drudging down

A conclusive path

To embrace reality

V2

Afraid to go

I need to know

Are my nightmares real?

Recurring dreams

Of killing men

Buried by the hickory elm

Chorus 1

Every night I stir and fight

My dreams won't set me free

Wide awake, I prepare to meet

The dark, dark side of me

V3

Dead silence crackles

I spot a jackal

He turns in fear to run

Am I a man?

Perhaps a beast

What have I become?

V4

It's too surreal

This whole ordeal

I am the devils slave

Tokens adorn

The bloody alter

Marking the shallow grave

Chorus 2

Every night I stir and fight

My dreams won't set me free

Wide awake, I finally meet

The dark, dark side of me

Outro

Can you recall your dreams?

Do you know what they mean?

Are you prepared to see?

The monster you may be?

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Circles in the Corn

Vs

I was skinning that old buck

When the sky became on fire

I remember feeling queasy

A sharp pain behind my eyes

Then I was floating or suspended

Warm sensation and a glow

Heard some strange and distant talking

In a language I don't know

Chs

You'd never guess they'd been here

but for the circles in the corn

the scars behind our ears

and that cool electric storm

Vs

I saw a thousand colored L.E.D.'s

Although my eyes were closed

Felt awake and quite alert

But more likely comatose

Heard echoes of a spinning noise

Like a demented dentist's drill

Body swimming 'round in jello

Before everything became still

Br

I really hope you keep my scary secret

Just needed someone to tell

Now I know what its like to go to heaven

if we told them they'd make my life hell

Chs

You'd never guess they'd been here

but for the circles in the corn

The scars behind our ears

and that cool electric storm

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Crawling Out of The Darkness

Crawling out of the darkness

Searching for your dreams

Call me out baby

I will listen for your screams

Looking like an angel at a bloody massacre

Hoping for a saint who will offer up a cure

Crawling out of the darkness

Seeking out some light

Wrestle with your demons

You just might win this fight

If you keep your promise

As you utter out your vow

You will find that this life will give you

All you need right now

Crawling out of the darkness

Dreaming

Crawling out of the darkness

Screaming

Crawling out of the darkness

Light it

Crawling out of the darkness

Fight it

Crawling out of the darkness

Crawling out of the darkness

Crawling out of the darkness

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This contest is now closed for entries. Let the scoring begin.

All members are allowed to score the lyrics; all contestants must provide scores or their lyric will be disqualified.

- Vote for all lyrics except your own on a scale of 1 to 10

- No half marks. Your score must be a whole number

- Your lyric gets the average score you gave the others

Please PM me your votes by October 21. The winners will be announced on the 22th.

Here are the lyrics:

A Ghost of Me

Monsters

Our Heads were Smashed

Southern Ghost

Ghost Lover

Circa 1975 Again

Hold your Breath

Mirror

Busted Flat

The Dark, Dark side of me

Circles in the Corn

Crawling out of the Darkness

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We have our winners:

1st Place

Hold Your Breath - Jonie

2nd Place

Ghost Lover - Len

3rd Place

Mirror - Starsinmyeyes

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Here are all the lyrics titles, who wrote them, and their total score:

Hold your, Breath Jonie - 77

Ghost Lover, Len - 76

Mirror, Stars in my eyes - 75

Busted Flat, Alistair - 74

A Ghost of Me, Mr. Fitz - 73

Circa 1975 Again, Kimberlyinnc - 71

The Dark, Dark Side of Me, Dottie - 71

Crawling out of the Darkness, RKG - 69

Circles in the Corn, Marty100 - 68

Southern Ghost, blue_kola - 67

Our Heads were Smashed, Greybeard - 66

Monsters, feegis - 65

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Congratulations Jonie! I thought your lyric was very good even though I didnt have it in 1st place I did rate it highly with an 8.

Congrats to you too len, I had your Ghost Lover in a three way tie for 2nd place with a 9, so I thought highly of it too.

Tracy,I had your Mirror rated a 9 also, I had such a hard time voting this month with so many really good lyrics!

Mr. Fitz, I had you in 1st place with a 10! I loved your Ghost of Me. I thought it was excellent!

Kim, you had the other 9 on my list with Circa 1975 I thought it was very creative and very well written.

Alistair, I like your Busted Flat and RKG, Marty, Blue-kola, Greybeard, and Feegis they were all good, not a bad one in the bunch. If I were to be completely honest mine would be in last spot and still in good company:)

Dottie

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Well done, all who placed!

I had Jonie out ahead by a country mile, so no surprises about the winner :)

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Well Done Jonie!!! Had you down as my favourite lyric as well so many congrats!!

Thanks Dottie for the 10! Quite happy with my first outing in a Muse contest so a ten just makes me :D !!

Well done everyone!

John

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Hi everyone! Congratulations jonie your lyric gave me some serious chills, it was the eeriest one of the lot, and I was absolutely haunted by...

Hold your breath

Close your eyes

Pretty soon

You will rise

:unsure:

Len, I gave yours a 10! I thought it really tapped into the theme of the month and it was heaps of fun to boot!

Marty100, I thought your Circles in the Corn was really well written, and I enjoyed your fresh take on the theme.

Truth is you all rated highly this month, the entries really were hard to separate, and I didn't score anyone lower than a 7! What a great contest. You guys and gals sure know your stuff :D !

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Congratulations Len and Starsinmyeyes.

I had Busted Flat (surprised it didn't do better), Mirror, and Crawling Out of the Darkness in my top three spots, in that order. I scored the rest pretty much equally.

I don't think I've ever seen such close scores in a contest. A helluva battle!

pumpkin-war.jpg

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Congratulations to everyone this month. Every song was nicely written and I was happy to be there with all that talent! The scores didn't mean much they were all winners!

May I suggest to Neal that we set some guidence/criteria on the scoreing? There are so many variables in a song, I scored these on originality, theme (how it met the scary theme), form of lyric (meter, rhyme structure etc), emotion (did it move me) and clarity (easy of understanding the story and point). I know there is a "do I like this" score but that may not reflect the true quality of the song. Just a suggestion.

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Figures - the first time all the scores are posted, mine comes in dead last. :P

I like seeing all the scores, though.

Congratulations to all the winners!

I am always impressed with the writing in these contests, especially when it's done on cue. Very good writing, though the results did not come out necessarily the way I voted. I had Busted Flat as my number one pick.

Nice job, everybody. Fun stuff.

Best Regards,

Feegis

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May I suggest to Neal that we set some guidence/criteria on the scoreing? There are so many variables in a song, I scored these on originality, theme (how it met the scary theme), form of lyric (meter, rhyme structure etc), emotion (did it move me) and clarity (easy of understanding the story and point). I know there is a "do I like this" score but that may not reflect the true quality of the song. Just a suggestion.

The thing is, Marty, it's pretty much impossible to legislate for the way people score (because it is, ultimately, a subjective decision). Once you start setting variables to score against, people can become anal about how much weight to give to each variable.

Personally, I keep it simple. Does the lyric say anything, and does it do so well? Does the lyric flow and could it be a song? If there is a theme, does it meet the requirement? In this case, I think every lyric did, so this wasn't a factor in my scoring (though some were more original in their use of the theme than others).

In this particular contest, I suspect that the contestants were the only voters (judging by the overall scores, which would provide Jonie's winning lyric with an average score of 7, and I doubt that it scored lower than that, which it would have to have done if there were more voters). As the scoring came out so close, it only takes a single voter to score a lyric with a low score to move it a few places downward. We can get different results when non-contestant voters join in. As an aside, I sometimes wish we could generate enough voters to make it possible to only have non-contestant voters, but that is, sadly, not possible.

I like the way that the Song Contests provide the list of scores received. That way, you can see whether a "middling" score score was considered by all to generally mediocre or whether some people liked your entry a lot while some didn't like it at all - these two scenarios could end up with the same score, but provide very different feedback, in my view. I've asked Neal to let me know the scores I received because I find this information useful. Maybe you would too?

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Here are all the individual scores. One contestant did not supply scores, but their lyric was not in contention anyway.

Hold your Breath: 8 6 6 6 5 5 8 9 8 6 10 = 77

Ghost Lover: 6 6 7 6 7 4 10 6 9 7 8 = 76

Mirror 8 8 6 5 7 7 8 5 9 6 6 = 75

Busted Flat 7 9 5 7 6 8 7 5 6 7 7 = 74

A Ghost of Me 7 7 8 5 7 4 8 5 10 5 7 = 73

Circa 1975 Again 6 6 6 6 6 5 7 6 9 5 9 = 71

The Dark, Dark side of me7 8 8 5 6 4 7 4 8 7 7 = 71

Crawling out of the Darkness 7 6 8 6 5 6 7 4 7 6 7 = 69

Circles in the Corn 7 5 6 5 8 5 9 4 6 6 7 = 68

Southern Ghost 6 8 7 5 6 4 8 6 7 5 5 = 67

Our Heads were Smashed 6 6 7 5 7 5 7 47 5 7 = 66

Monsters 6 7 6 6 5 4 7 5 7 7 5 = 65

Marty, we've tried many different scoring systems over the years. This one seems to be work the best. It's not perfect but it seems to give everyone the same fair shot.

Neal

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Hey Neal,

Unless it's not something you want to do, I'd kind of like to see all the individual scores like that every month. It's interesting to see how voting comes in.

Best Regards,

Feegis

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Congrats Jonie for adding to your ever growing collection of First Place Marks! :P

And to Len for 2nd place and another high placement for Stars! Congrats!! Len and Stars, I Had both of your lyrics as tied for 2nd place.

My personal fav. was..Marty's

Circles in the Corn- I guess because it was unusual, and sounded scary and was full of fear, scary images. It seemed to flow well to my ears too.

I found all the lyrics to be interesting takes on being scared, from UFO's to losing your livelyhood, to losing love, to being a ghost of oneself, loving a ghost, afraid of aging, a drowning and the way it affected the ones involved, etc... and hopefully my little addition to the brew, my odd take on Rocky Horror Picture show. :blink::rolleyes:

Thanks Dottie for your kind words about Circa 1975 Again. I was not completely sure everyone would understand what it was about, if there are some out there that have never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show, if not, then it would have been very confusing, I am sure.

Congrats again, :) guys and gals. Unlike Alistair, I didn't feel that one lyric in particular was a country mile ahead of the others or was I sure of who would place first. ;) JMHO I felt there were good merits in each lyric. I had quite a few tied with the same scores.

Thanks Neal for running the show again!!!!

And...just for note, since it was mentioned, I like learning my scores, It helps me figure out how it was received, I always ask afterwards.

Kimberly

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Well done Jonie, I've been pipped to the post yet again :)

Busted Flat was my top pick - I couldn;t gues it was yours Alistair but a great piece with a strong chorus. I had four others in 2nd place.

Feegis, there is a scoring guide that a number of people have used in the past. I use it as a guide for my scores. You can find it here: Lyric contest rules. Hope it helps.

And thanks to Neal as always.

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