Monday, August 8, 2011


(Knechtel/Cerney/Royer). This song grew out of an improv that Todd and Larry and I did in whatever you’d call the post-Toast configuration after Jimmy left (Crumbs, I guess). I wrote the lyric as kind of a tribute to the generous spirit of my wife Madeleine. I imagined a story about a guy who is down on his luck, has taken a tremendous fall, possibly homeless, and is now obsessing on a girl he occasionally sees, who seems to embody everything that is positive and hopeful for him.

The record is unfinished; we never got the guitars on. We have Todd’s vocal and Mandolin, my keyboard and Larry’s bass part but I had a really specific idea what the track should sound like and I guess I drove everybody nuts. I wanted a certain on-the-upbeat bass part that was completely foreign to Larry, but to his credit he hung in there and got it for me. But by the time we did, Todd was burnt, needed a break and we never got back to it. I would have probably finished it on my own but Todd had a completely unique way of recording that was part 8-track tape, part sequencer and part VCR audio. Simply untransferrable. There are a number of other Toast songs that only exist in this system and, now that he is no longer with us, may be permanently lost. We always thought we’d do it someday but, by the time we realized there was no someday, Todd was already very sick and had to concentrate on other things. At least with Magdalena we got a critical mass. For some reason, on this one, I’m going to include the Lyric.

Magdalena, will you be by tonight?
Cause when I see your angel’s face
This is my one redeeming grace
For a stranger, new to this circumstance
Here on the mean streets of this town
Where everything just pulls you down
But when you come around…

There’s a heaven that I see in your eyes
And there’s halo ‘round the street lights so bright
And I feel like it’s gonna be all right

Magdalena, girl how I need you now
If one like you can really be
Then maybe there’s a prayer for me
Please be there for me

Cause there’s a heaven that I see in your eyes
And there’s halo ‘round the street lights so bright
And I feel like it’s gonna be all right

And I could walk on the water
I’d have mind over matter
If you’d shed your grace on me
Magda darlin’ will I see you tonight?
Be there for me

Oh Magdalena


  1. What a beautiful song this is, Robb. I love Todd's vocals, and especially the mandolin (I'm a sucker for a mandolin - I guess that's why I loved Seals and Crofts' music as much as I did).

    There's such a sweetness as well as a sadness in Todd's singing. I swear I could almost hear James doing harmonies - that would have been the icing on an already beautiful treat such as this one is.

    It's heartbreaking to realise that, as with bread, so many talented people, like Larry, like Todd, and of course, like James, are no longer with us. It makes listening to this track all the more special, all the more precious that it's been preserved and that you've shared it with us. I'm hoping so much that the other Toast tracks can be retrieved, somehow.

    Thanks for this, Robb. I'm going to be listening to this one again and again.

  2. Love this song Robb. Thanks for sharing these gems with us. Hope to hear many many more of these hidden treasures.

  3. Thanks wb and Dusty. I've had so many talented people to write with. Will be touching a lot a bases in the future

  4. This has always been my favorite TOAST-related song (although the earlier collaboration on "Kyrie" comes a close second). Todd's wonderful talents will be greatly missed and I'll treasure the CD's he sent me (and kindly signed).
    Thanks Robb ... looking forward to hearing much much more !

  5. Jimmy sang this at his Bluebird Cafe show back in 2004. That was the only time I ever heard it.It's a very pretty song, I'm so glad you included the lyrics here Robb, thank you!

  6. I'd have loved to have heard Jimmy sing this. What an amazing gig that must have been. June