“A Traveler’s Sketches” (2011) lyrics

FEDE BOLSÓN

A weathered hippy in the Patagonia mountains made his humble house a home for any struggling heart that rambled through his town. At Fede’s place we found a common ground.

He drove a taxi down those dusty gravel roads, and with the winds of El Bolsón, he’d pick you up, and then he’d help you travel on. Yeah, Fede catered to the ones who roam.

Oh, ai. Oh, oh. Oh, ai. Oh, oh.

His room a tent pitched on the wood floor of his attic, and all the floor space that remained was for folks like us who’d found a place to stay. His open arms gave shelter from the rain.

The only real rooms in his house were for his mother and his daughter of 15, he cared for them if only with a meager means. In certain ways he let ’em live like queens.

Oh, ai. Oh, oh. Oh, ai. Oh, oh.

I give thanks to folks like Fede, to those who’ve got a story to tell. And even thought their lives aren’t perfect, Lord, at least they live ’em well.

His sanctuary was a refuge in the mountains, el Refugio Retamal. Be it spring or be it fall, he’d make that haul. He listened to the mountain when it called.

That’s where he woke up on the day before he died. It was the last place that he went, he hiked back down, and then he bid the world goodbye. And he left a many friend back here to cry. Well, I’m glad to say he was a friend of mine.

I give thanks to folks like Fede, to those who’ve got a story to tell. And even though their lives aren’t perfect, Lord, at least they live ’em well.

 

HEAVY ON YOUR MIND

Sometimes livin’ weighs heavy on your mind,
when pain and sorrow are all you seem to find.
Head out livin’, wrap livin’ ’round your head.
Might wind up thinkin’ that you’d better off be dead.

Lauril, you got even. You shot a bullet through your heart.
And from this cold world you decided you would part.
But had your friends known, we would have tried to heal your wounds.
And maybe then, child, you wouldn’t have had to go so soon.

Ruben, querido, why did you have to die so young?
In that book we were writing, it was only chapter one.
And when I got the news, child, I said it fully broke my heart,
and left me weeping and stumbling through the dark.

Livin’, dyin’, it’s all a breath within the end,
And when you’ve only started, you have already reached the end.
Now you can cling so tightly, but fingers slip and then you fly.
And then there’s no more living to weigh so heavy on your mind.

 

VOLÁ

Algo mas allá, vos con tanta seriedad veías desde me terraza.
Aurora invernal, y te quería consolar.
Pará, pero no hice nada.

Volá, volá.

Yo ni siquiera me di cuenta, hasta que te fuiste de la vida, amigo, ay.
Iluminaste mi camino.
Esta solemne tristeza, de un alma herida, amigo, ay.
Porque te has ido?

Volá, volá.

 

HOW YOU PASS THE TIME

Don’t forget to live while you are young.
Stay out late, and sleep on in, have a little fun.
Hold the one you love real tight, until you’ve seen the sun.
Yeah, don’t forget to live while you are young.

Don’t forget to stay strong as you age.
As the years keep rolling by, and as you’re growing grey.
If where you’re at has no appeal, just turn another page.
Yeah, don’t forget to stay strong as you age.

Don’t forget to smile when you are old.
For 17 or 86, your life is going on.
And even if you’ve dug your grave, well you can fill that hole.
Yeah, don’t forget to smile when you are old.

I’m only trying to easy my worried mind.
What exactly was my purpose here? Could you tell me one more time?
Well, the rhythm is eternal son, but you’ve got to write the rhyme.
And that’s exactly how you pass the time.

 

POR CAER

Esta vez, digo que esta vez, no me muero yo.

Ay de mi. Por Caer.

Esta vez, digo que esta vez, no me muero yo.

 

TELL ME WHY

1997’s when I had the rude awakening that I would be a gay man all my life.
Conservative tobacco town; the snickering and scornful frowns consumed my mind. I felt I’d rather die.

Tell me why I didn’t have to right to grow up like you other folks. I led my life in fright.
Tell me why. I’d really like to know. I guess that’s just the way the story goes.

1998 I found that music brought me harmony inside. The five string banjo set me free.
But born and bred of southern stock, I quickly saw a paradox: respect and yet intolerance for me.

Tell me why it’s better not to tell, to hide my true identity and live a secret Hell.
Tell me why. I’d really like to know. I guess that’s just the way the story goes.

As the years go by, I find forgiveness for the ignorance that locked me in a prison of self-loathe.
And after time in foreign lands and cultural discovery, I’ve let go of that grudge against my home.

But still there is this question in me, scratching at my heart and gnawing at my bones. It just won’t let me be. I said it just won’t let me be. No it won’t leave me alone.

Tell me why so many chose to fight to strip us of our dignity and simply out of spite. Tell me why. I’d really like to know. I guess that’s just the way the story goes.

 

FAREWELL MY FRIEND

How are you tonight, my friend?
Is it cool beneath the ground?
Although your heart’s stopped beating,
I can hear its echoes sound.

No grey hair will grace your head,
Nor a wrinkle shall you find.
Forever young you must remain,
Never aging in my mind.

Stumbling home down midnight streets,
and my thoughts drift back to you.
Those winter nights so long ago
in my dim-lit, third-story room.

Bitter tears, the hands of fate
cut a life off in full bloom.
Can barely stand this heart-ache,
loosing such a friend as you.