Lyle Lovett and My Neighborhood Friends

I went to the funeral of the father of a great friend recently. Among the many people who came to pay their respects were about 10 guys from the neighborhood who had grown up together within a couple of years of each other. Most, like me, did not have to travel far in distance to attend, even the funeral home [on the ubiquitous SW 8th Street] was located within a 2 mile radius of where we had met, grown up, gone to high school and ‘started’ our lives. The main transporting that occurred was of our state of minds. Speaking for myself, I went blithely, as opposed to willingly, since there was no conscious thought about the process.

An evening which began with our focus on the pain of one of our own, ended with … well for me it actually ended with an Elena Ruz sandwich at Versailles, just further down 8th Street. But before I ended the sandwich, I had spent the evening with friends who knew me before I was what I now identify myself as to others, i.e. education, jobs, beliefs. The feeling was familiar and welcome to all. The all for the one that evening, the family of the friend whose loss had reunited us, worked as it should and was intended:

In Catholic funerals, the church seeks to provide spiritual support for the deceased and honor their bodies, as well as try to provide a measure of hope for the family and friends of the deceased.

What is easy to see now, looking back, is also hard to explain. See, while we were just random neighbors on the surface — tossed together by geopolitical events and the socio-economic struggles of our immigrant parents [like the Dad we were laying to rest] — we ended up forging lifetime friendships. Perhaps we were able to do so because we did not realize that we could have done otherwise. I blame the fun we were always having.

See I’m sure that’s an exaggeration, nothing is ever ‘always,’ especially fun. But man, it came close. The other stuff? My brain must have hit a dump button a while back [I know, I know, other stuff must have been lost too .. important stuff]. One thing I consciously did that night was to step back and appreciate what God had wrought among my friends. Then, a Lyle Lovett song popped into my head as I stood on SW 8th Street and my thoughts wafted, circa 1973.

I went to a funeral
Lord it made me happy
Seeing all those people
I ain’t seen
Since the last time
Somebody died

Everybody talking
They were telling funny stories
Saying all those things
They ain’t said
Since the last time
Somebody died

RIP, Ramon Garcia

See a YouTube video of Lyle Lovett’s, ‘Since The Last Time’ click here

The complete lyrics to ‘Since The Last Time’ are copied in full at end of post.

—————————————————————————-
Artist: Lyle Lovett
Song: Since The Last Time
Album: Joshua Judges Ruth [1992]

I went to a funeral
Lord it made me happy
Seeing all those people
I ain’t seen
Since the last time
Somebody died

Everybody talking
They were telling funny stories
Saying all those things
They ain’t said
Since the last time
Somebody died

But you take a look around you
Don’t it seem like something’s missing
I said something that weren’t missing
Lord the last time
Somebody died

You took him from the last time
To that hallowed ground
I’m praying take me to the next time Lord
So I can hang around

Then the people start to looking
And some of them start crying
And all the little children
Lord they’re scared
Because they ain’t never seen
A dead man before

You took him from the last time
To that hallowed ground
I’m praying take me to the next time Lord
So I can hang around

He’s swimming through that Jordan
Going to the other side
But if it’s all the same to you Lord
I think I’ll stay dry

Now it’s church on Sunday
It’s a bar on Friday night
It’s work on Monday
The preacher Lord you know he might sing

Hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah

He’s got church on Sunday
And he got drunk the night before
And he got his good gal when he got home
The preacher said he wants some more of that

Hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah

Now if you want to get to heaven
Let me tell you what to do
You better grease your foot up buddy
With that mutton stew
And when the devil comes after you
With them greasy hands
You just slide on over to the promised land

Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah

Now there was two little imps
And they was black as tar
And they was trying to get to heaven
In an electric car
And that car wheel slipped
On down the hill
Instead of going to heaven
They went to Jacksonville

Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah

Thank you, you’ve been so nice
All my friends they came
Now close the lid down tightly
And quit crying
Because when they close them
They all look the same

And grab hold of the handle
It won’t be too heavy
And take me to the graveyard

I went to a funeral
And Lord it made me happy
Seeing all those people
I ain’t seen
Since the last time
Somebody…
———————————————————————

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
This entry was posted in RIP and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lyle Lovett and My Neighborhood Friends

  1. Eric Toms says:

    Great post and a wonderful song. A similarly themed and also wonderful Lovett song is “Family Reserve”.

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