a musical journey – hello only ends in goodbye

national geographic

You know how every once in a long, long while you hear a really moving song – maybe for the first time really listening to the lyrics. Maybe for the first time really hearing the song. Or maybe hearing the song for the first time. You’re not feeling down but somehow the emotion catches in your throat … and you conjure up a sad, sad scenario in your head … and the tears start rolling down your cheeks and plop down onto the pillow you’re hugging. And your throat gets sore … and then you play it again. Over and over. That’s what happened to me the first time I heard Sandrevan Lullaby – Lifestyles. Few songs I’ve heard have ever moved me as much as this one continues to.

I remember the first time I listened to the Rodriguez’s Cold Fact in the late 90s … I Wonder was a high school anthem I loved but never really took seriously. A few years later the cassette somehow ended up in my res room in varsity and I fell in love with Rodriguez’s voice. While listening to the album, Coming to Reality /After the Fact I created a sad hypothetical story in my head about his life, a stranger’s life, an imagined life, his violent death … it haunted me for years until I found out he was alive.

Anyway, I’m writing this post while I’m finally watching Searching for Sugarman. Finally. A sad and twisted but poetic tale. Just a few weeks ago I was at his amazing concert at GrandWest Casino. It was like a religious experience. And now it feels like a musical journey has come to an end. Though I will always have the music.

This song definitely goes into my greatest songs of all time – that post is still in progress, by the way. And the photo above (national geographic 1969) – I came across it by accident. And for me, it captures the essence – and mood – of this song.


The generals hate holidays
Others shoot up to chase the sun blues away
Another store front church is open
Sea of neon lights, a boxer his shadow fights
Soldier tired and sailor broken
Winter’s asleep at my window
Cold wind waits at my door
She asks me up to her place
But I won’t be down anymore

Judges with metermaid hearts
Order super market justice starts
Frozen children inner city
Walkers in the paper rain
Waiting for those knights that never came
The hi-jacked trying so hard to be pretty

Night rains tap at my window
Winds of my thoughts passing by
She laughed when I tried to tell her
Hello only ends in goodbye

America gains another pound
Only time will bring some people around
Idols and flags are slowly melting
Another shower of rice
To pair it for some will suffice
The mouthful asks for second helpings

Moonshine pours through my window
The night puts it’s laughter away
Clouds that pierce the illusion
That tomorrow would be as yesterday…


One thought on “a musical journey – hello only ends in goodbye

  1. my hubby and I watched the movie here in Boston – he went to see Rodriguez in concert last year, I’m bummed I missed it – and it made me cry! Ha! All that nostalgia, and I suppose how the South African experience is wound up in that music was too much for this African girl, far from home. I totally understand what you’re saying.

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