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Still Upright – Bobby & Leslie Sahlen

About this album

With emotionally stirring vocals, Bobby & Leslie Sahlen takes us on a magical singer-songwriter journey, accompanied by Martin Young's great acoustical instrumentation. Also featuring guest artists the fabulous Walter Rios Quintet on 3 Bonus Tracks!

Lyrics

Still Upright (feat. Walter Rios & Martin Young)

(chorus)
Too many beers, thru wretched years, falling upside down
The swizzle sticks, the endless kicks, too far from homeward bound
I can't believe I still can see the axis of full light
The bridges burned, the friendships churned, yet I'm still upright

A life, too fast paced to waste, a pauper on his knees
A papal plow, a beast afoul...More oxygen, if you please
It's us or them, it's never "when?", It's time to party now
A little blow, some seeds to sow...C'mere, I'll show you how

(chorus)
Too many beers, thru wretched years, falling upside down
The swizzle sticks, the endless kicks, too far from homeward bound
I can't believe I still can see the axis of full light
The bridges burned, the friendships churned, yet I'm still upright

(break)

Bridge....
With a bang, southern slang, a masterful surprise
A sudden jerk, a midlife quirk, a souffle filled with lies

Instrumental break

This breath to hold my conscious spirit disembowled
The sly, shy smile, the brain purged file, the groaning ginsberg howl
The mother weeps while children sleep, she blasts now out of here
Friend and foe, deceit slow mo, a life stuck in fast gear

(chorus)
Too many beers, thru wretched years, falling upside down
The swizzle sticks, the endless kicks, too far from homeward bound
I can't believe I still can see the axis of full light
The bridges burned, the friendships churned, yet I'm still upright

Shadow (feat. Martin Young)

Riddle me this Señorita Bliss
Take me on your magic carpet ride
Hurtling back before the fact
When time was surely on my side
(chorus)
Just a shadow on the wall
A brief facsimile
Before the battles came to call
Transforming what you see
Just as real as ocean waves
Come crashing on the shore
So quickly now they fade away
A shadow evermore
Is it you again Señora’s friend?
Take me down to the seaside
I feel the wind is back again
Has ego lost its pride?
(chorus)
Just a shadow on the wall
A brief facsimile
Before the battles came to call
Transforming what you see
Just as real as ocean waves
Come crashing on the shore
So quickly now they fade away
A shadow evermore
(bridge)
To worship at the shrine of youthful pantomime
Fixated in my gaze, re-living earlier days
(chorus)
Just a shadow on the wall
A brief facsimile
Before the battles came to call
Transforming what you see
Just as real as ocean waves
Come crashing on the shore
So quickly now they fade away
A shadow evermore

Magic Hugs (feat. Martin Young)

Unfreeze my heart, ignite my soul, transport me into grace
Its you and me, its all we see, I’m spinning here in place
If birds can fly on angels’ wings and kisses taste like wine
I'm seventeen forever (more space) traveling through time

(chorus)

Inside your hugs, your magic hugs, I finally catch my breath
I’m flying now, I’m healed somehow, life’s secrets at full rest
The wonder and the majesty the sacred and profound
Inside your hugs, your magic hugs, I’m glowing, safe and sound
Loving is a parable, a treasure chest of gifts
A memory building festival soaring over cliffs
Like baking bread while coffee brews, the laughter we employ
Like all the best we find in life, like morning Christmas joy

(instrumental break)

(bridge)

Hold me now and stroke my hair
Bring comfort from the cold
A living breathing tapestry
Inside mosaic gold
(chorus)

Inside your hugs, your magic hugs, I finally catch my breath
I’m flying now, I’m healed somehow, life’s secrets at full rest
The wonder and the majesty the sacred and profound
Inside your hugs, your magic hugs, I’m glowing, safe and sound

Epitaph (feat. Martin Young)

Upon his grave the devil danced the demon chewed his cud
The monster of the everglades could not wash off the mud
Though he tried to hide his resume one thing was clear within
Embarrassment of underbelly evil born of sin

(chorus)
The monster was a fiddler and for that he paid the price
Perceived as hate incarnate with a penchant that aint right
They’ll be no room in heaven where disgust can’t be allowed
The monster was a fiddler who has taken his final bow

(instrumental interlude)

A cold gray slab now marks his grave
No mourners hang around
A carefully worded epitaph
Is written on the ground

(chorus)
The monster was a fiddler and for that he paid the price
Perceived as hate incarnate with a penchant that aint right
They’ll be no room in heaven where disgust can’t be allowed
The monster was a fiddler who has taken his final bow

The oddest thing of all that’s true the worst of all mankind
The monocle worn on his head was just sins of the mind
But still the same he bore the shame as if the deed were done
The days of proven innocence ignore his trial of one

(chorus)
The monster was a fiddler and for that he paid the price
Perceived as hate incarnate with a penchant that aint right
They’ll be no room in heaven where disgust can’t be allowed
The monster was a fiddler who has taken his final bow

Let's Pretend (feat. Martin Young)

Let's pretend reality is not a way of life
Screaming through the ebbs and flows imagined in the night
Gravitating promises, mitigating smiles
Let's pretend insanity lingers just a while

Let’s pretend the undertow of life is but a dream
Lurking in the shadows far outside mainstream
Crossing moats of safety nets to castles of the mind
Let’s pretend the universe is all we’ve left behind

(chorus)
Can you hear the plaintive groans as they testify?
Can you smell the sweet salt air just before you die?

(instrumental break)

(chorus)
Can you hear the plaintive groans as they testify?
Can you smell the sweet salt air just before you die?

Let’s pretend the sun shines bright where monsters dare to go
Lighting special secrets buried deeply down below
Illuminating our true selves when we’ve gone too far
Let’s pretend we’re not defined by who we really are
Let’s pretend we’re not defined by who we really are

Sir Barks a Lot (feat. Martin Young)

I met him one night by the old railroad tracks
I gave him a wink but I never looked back
How could I have known he’d have followed me home?
In search of some friendship and maybe a bone
(Pre-Chorus)
My good buddy, you moved in with me
My sweet pal, its true love I see
(Chorus)
And now all my days are filled with fine walks?
Beside me at night it’s as if you could talk
We romp and we play and I brush your coarse hair
Oh how my life’s changed now that you’re here
Sir Barks A-lot the mutt of my dreams
Sir Barks A-lot the mutt of my dreams

My old cardboard box is just large enough
To give us the shelter we treasure so much
A hobo’s best friend, our time is our own
My daring protector, I’ll find you a bone

(Pre-Chorus)
(Chorus)

(Bridge)
May this never end, our friendship’s so rare
Homeless we may be, but we don’t care
You give me a bark licks my face playfully
Holding each other in sweet harmony

(Chorus)

Trapped (feat. Martin Young)

Exit left
I’m good as gone
I must accept
I can't go on this way
I feel bereft
I’ve had enough
My mind's made up
There's nothing else to say

Been quite a ride
I lost my pride
and I know
it’s all downhill from here
But locked inside
Reality
I'm too trapped
to disappear
(Chorus)
Trapped in my reality, no way to be free
There’s a pain inside of me that no one else can see
Wish I could go, there’s somewhere else I’d rather be
But I’m trapped in my own reality

Wish I could say
one thing to you
I'd be delighted
with a different point of view
To aim my toes
at clouds on high
than muddle
on forever clutching to a lie
I could leave
without goodbyes
but never find
forgiveness in your eyes
I know it's true
I can't let go
trapped inside
my own horror show
(repeat chorus)

(instrumental break)
(repeat Chorus)

The Sinner (feat. Martin Young)

The sinner went to heaven
Looking for a holy cure
Archangels came to greet him
Offering to make him pure
But the Blessed Virgin Mary
Said we’re all born with free will
A tiny taste of freedom
And a thirst we cannot fill

Don’t take away the sinner
He’s the only me I know
Scratching nails across the washboard
Trapping dreams I can’t let go
Gasping upstream for a paddle
Stretching promises too thin
Don’t you take away the sinner
He’s the only me I’ve been

Don’t you dare ‘cuse me of sainthood
Or I’ll stab you in the back
‘got (or “cause”) this rep I’m fond of stroking
Finds the street cred that I lack
Nominated by the devil
Praising Lucifer’s good will
Don’t you even think to call me
A close friend who’d never kill

Don’t take away the sinner
He’s the only me I know
Scratching nails across the washboard
Trapping dreams I can’t let go
Gasping upstream for a paddle
Stretching promises too thin
Don’t you take away the sinner
He’s the only me I’ve been

Don’t take away the sinner
He’s the only me I know
Scratching nails across the washboard
Trapping dreams I can’t let go
Gasping upstream for a paddle
Stretching promises too thin
Don’t you take away the sinner
He’s the only me I’ve been

Sister Senorita (feat. Martin Young)

Way back in time, what’s yours is mine, the ferris wheel moves on
Contain the wind, bring youth again, anachronistic dawn
I’m seventeen when knowledge gleans the mysteries of the soul
Way back again when time begins to teach me how to know

(chorus)
Sister senorita sings her half scale melody
Promising the wonders of full scale fallacy
Vacation from the commonplace, escaping to the pure
Sister senorita comes a marching with the cure

One for papa, one for mamma one for sally mae
Share the vision overload come the light of day
Fate’s a monstrous undertow, both evil and divine
Getting with the program may not pass the rush through time

(chorus)
Sister senorita sings her half scale melody
Promising the wonders of full scale fallacy
Vacation from the commonplace, escaping to the pure
Sister senorita comes a marching with the cure

(bridge)
Hold me steady on my feet its life that’s rushing by
Never ready elegance a kiss but then goodbye

(chorus)
Sister senorita sings her half scale melody
Promising the wonders of full scale fallacy
Vacation from the commonplace, escaping to the pure
Sister senorita comes a marching with the cure

Abandonment (feat. Martin Young)

What’s it been? A dozen years, time it passes by
No comfort in the solitude (of) questioning the whys
I always thought you’d come back home and take your rightful place
Denial’s now the centerpiece, gone without a trace

(chorus)
When you said goodbye I didn't know it meant forever
A kiss, a hug, a walk away, return for you meant never
Forever’s such a long, long time to not see you again
When you said goodbye and kissed my cheek, I should have known it was the end
(bridge)
Its only pyrrhic victory
But this I won’t admit
My mind’s made up, I mustn’t blink
Acceptance I’ll commit

Abandonment, you’re crushing me, the wound’s so hard to heal
Entanglement of bitterness your power I’ll conceal
The time has come; I’m moving on, I’ve taught myself to breathe
Abandonment, I’m crushing you, it’s a new life I’ll conceive

(chorus)
When you said goodbye I didn't know it meant forever
A kiss, a hug, a walk away, return for you meant never
Forever’s such a long, long time to not see you again
When you said goodbye and kissed my cheek, I should have known it was the end

Lady of the Smokey Club (feat. Martin Young)

It hit me like a ton of bricks as soon as I arrived
I had to sit for balance; with a drink to soothe surprise
Had birds flown in, had cupid died, had mother nature lost?
She tempts with such sweet agony no matter what the cost

The orchestra, with tearfilled eyes, follow every sultry tone
Each string is plucked, each snare is brushed, each sin must be atoned
Riveted with pounding hearts, listeners in her hand
Tonight I enter paradise, self-actualized again

They say she got the color right, she re-invented blues
There never was a stronger match of all her varied hues
A soulful cry, a soaring sigh, a heartelt melody
Her voice wraps secrets in her dreams that we can never see

When she sings the angels stir, the wise men stop and stare
Her voice, itself an instrument beyond what man can bear
What promises, what hidden dreams, bounce 'round inside her notes?
The lady of the smokey club's become my haunting ghost

What promises, what hidden dreams, bounce 'round inside her notes?
The lady of the smokey club's become my haunting ghost
My haunting ghost, my haunting ghost

Playboy (feat. Martin Young)

Got a bright and shiny rolls royce...Got a health spa in my crib
Tasty views across great oceans, getting laughs when I adlib
I'm a rapper, I'm outspoken, livin' way past hand to mouth
I’m a rock star and a poet, lots of fans from north to south

I'm the devil in the bedroom when my angels give it up
Got a lover who's too crazy when I'm not nuts enough
She's an actress and a model, an everlasting teen
I'm a playboy lost in heaven with a misfit for a queen

(chorus)
The bullet left her gun with a force she couldn't stop
She fell upon the floor, spewing spatter from the shot
Just barely 29 with a pain too much to bear
I’m a self deluded playboy living a nightmare

(bridge)
I'm hanging on for dear life as the moon wraps round the sun
A playboy thrown from heaven my nightmare has begun

(chorus)
The bullet left her gun with a force she couldn't stop
She fell upon the floor, spewing spatter from the shot
Just barely 29 with a pain too much to bear
I'm a self deluded playboy living a nightmare

(tag)
I'm hanging on for dear life as the moon wraps round the sun
A playboy thrown from heaven my nightmare has begun

Broken Dream Confessor (feat. Martin Young)

Whisky dreams and moonlight schemes i’m living hand to mouth
Third degree is all I see; got nailed in my own house
Been through the mill, it broke my will, don’t speak of this again
Trail of broken promises to get me in the end
(chorus)
Broken dream confessor
Waive my worried woes
Feed me from the tree of life
Keep me on my toes
Anything to ease the sting
And get me through the night
Broken dream confessor
Help me make things right
Harmonica man is what I am, a lifetime full of sorrows
Breathe out and in, life’s just a whim, unfulfilled tomorrows
Reckon yours may open doors from silver spoon on tongue
But man oh man I crash the plan that stifles where I'm from
(chorus)
Broken dream confessor
Waive my worried woes
Feed me from the tree of life
Keep me on my toes
Anything to ease the sting
And get me through the night
Broken dream confessor
Help me make things right

(instrumental break)

(bridge)
Help me to move past broken dreams to bring me inner bliss
Protecting misbegotten schemes, a lifetime gone amiss

(chorus)
Broken dream confessor
Waive my worried woes
Feed me from the tree of life
Keep me on my toes
Anything to ease the sting
And get me through the night
Broken dream confessor
Help me make things right

Nightmare (feat. Martin Young)

Got a bright and shiny rolls royce...Got a health spa in my crib
Tasty views across great oceans, getting laughs when I adlib
I'm a rapper, i’m outspoken, livin' way past hand to mouth
A rock star and a poet, with fans from north to south

I'm a devil in the bedroom when my angels give it up
Got a lover who’s too crazy when i’m not nuts enough
He's an actor and a model, an everlasting teen
My boy toy’s lost in heaven with a misfit for a queen

(chorus)
The bullet left his gun with a force he couldn't stop
He fell upon the floor spewing spatter from the shot
Just barely 29 with a pain too much to bear
My self deluded boy toy, i’m living a nightmare

(bridge)
I'm hanging on for dear life as the moon wraps round the sun
My boy toy's gone to heaven...My nightmare has begun

(chorus)
The bullet left his gun with a force he couldn't stop
He fell upon the floor spewing spatter from the shot
Just barely 29 with a pain too much to bear
My self deluded boy toy, i’m living a nightmare

(tag)
I'm hanging on for dear life as the moon wraps round the sun
My boy toy's gone to heaven...My nightmare has begun

Flowing Mountain Stream (feat. Martin Young)

When its springtime in high country when the sunshine melts the snow
I'll be knee deep in my history in a mountain stream I know
With my rod and reel in hand and a hook upon the line
I'll be fishing for lost memories to come nibbling one last time

(chorus)
May your waters run right though me may your current dry my tears
May I find the truth within you to bring comfort through the years
The memory of a lost love’s like a long forgotten dream
I’ll be searching in the waters of this flowing mountain stream

I remember how your blonde hair fell like satin round your breast
The truth reflected in your eyes, your mood was always best
And the salmon struggled upstream and we thought they’d never cope
We cheered them on with laughter and you filled my heart with hope

(chorus)
May your waters run right though me may your current dry my tears
May I find the truth within you to bring comfort through the years
The memory of a lost love’s like a long forgotten dream
I’ll be searching in the waters of this flowing mountain stream

(instrumental bridge)

(chorus)
May your waters run right though me may your current dry my tears
May I find the truth within you to bring comfort through the years
The memory of a lost love’s like a long forgotten dream
I’ll be searching in the waters of this flowing mountain stream

Some memories need be buried cause the pain is just too much
The good times need recalling like the softness of your touch
The memory of a lost love’s like a long forgotten dream
I’ll be searching in the waters of this flowing mountain stream

(chorus)
May your waters run right though me may your current dry my tears
May I find the truth within you to bring comfort through the years
The memory of a lost love’s like a long forgotten dream
I’ll be searching in the waters of this flowing mountain stream

If I'd Known (feat. Martin Young)

If I'd known how life would turn out
I'd have planned accordingly
Had I'd seen the darkness coming
l'd have got down on my knees
If I'd recognized the omens
Understood what lay in store
If I'd known how life would turn out
I'd have prayed a whole lot more
(chorus)
Had the promise not been broken
And our wisdom warped by lies
Perhaps our treasured freedoms
Might have overcome their cries
Had the prophets and the poets
Reached much deeper in my soul
I’d have fought a whole lot harder
Not let failure take its toll
If I'd seen the trouble coming
Found a different point of view
Drawn a circle round the promise
Been refreshed and born anew
If I'd heeded all the lessons
That I learned back in my youth
Could've lived a different lifetime
With a different kind of truth
(bridge)
As the heavens weave their magic
Basking in the stars so bright
While we mortals suffer tragic
Mis'ry in the breaking light
(repeat chorus)
(instrumental break)
(repeat bridge)
As the heavens weave their magic
Basking in the stars so bright
While we mortals suffer tragic
Mis'ry in the breaking light
(repeat chorus)