(album artwork by Joe Bill Schirtzinger)

 

(c)2005 - This is an original album of songs written while I watched my dad die of cancer over the course of several months.  While the subject matter is somewhat dark, I found the process of writing and recording this album to be very therapeutic.  My father struggled with alcoholism throughout his life, and I had many conflicting feelings as I wrote these songs.  As you listen, you will find that this level of suffering produces a great level of inspiration as well.  "All the Way Home" is available online both as a physical CD and in digital downloads.

This album has been professionally packaged, and the price includes shipping & handling.

 

$12.00 - I will mail you a professionally packaged cd

 

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Download songs from “All the Way Home” on iTunes  or on Bandcamp.

 

Below you can listen to clips of all the songs on the album, as well as see lyrics and stories behind the songs.

This is the title track from my new album "All the Way Home." This was the first song written for the album. It was written just after I drove to Nashville with my dad and found out he had terminal cancer. It represents what perhaps was going through his mind during the drive back from the hospital.

 

All the Way Home

©2002 Ben Travis

 

All the way home I thought to myself
"Where did I go wrong? Why couldn't this be someone else?"
All the way home I fought back the tears
So many lost years So many lost hopes and dreams
that I thought would come true
But I guess they weren't meant to be

So all the way home I tried to believe
that something like this couldn't happen to me

All the way home I thought of the way
I spent every moment finding ways to drown my pain
And all the way home I cursed at the sky
and wondered how I ever got here at all
It all started so well
But I guess I just played too long

So all the way home I tried to admit
that this was my life and I made a mess of it

All the way home I thought about life
how we pay our money and we roll the dice
Around and around and around it goes
and where it stops nobody knows

and all the way home I cried and I cried
at how quickly I've come to the end of the line

All the way home I never believed
that something like this could happen to me
I never thought it would end this way
with so much at stake and so much thrown away

And all the way home
I thought to myself
"If this is the end
why couldn't it happen to
somebody else?"

I remember writing this song not long before Dad passed away. He had to go into a nursing home at the very end, and he eventually got to the point where he was just lying there, sort of staring into space. I remember sitting beside his bed and writing the lyrics for this song.

Looking at you lying there

I face my own mortality

Looking out the window now

I see the wind blow through the trees

And I wonder... what it's like behind your eyes

And I wonder... if part of you already died

 

Thinking back to times we had

It seems impossible to me

That you could be the way you are

A stranger to reality

And I wonder... what it's like behind your eyes

And I wonder... if part of you already died

 

Looking at you lying there

I face my own mortality

Looking out the window now

I see the wind blow through the trees

And I wonder... what it's like behind your eyes

And I wonder... if this is all there is to life

And I wonder... what lies on the other side

And I wonder... if part of you already died

(c)2002 Ben Travis

 

(chorus)

Enigma… did anyone really know you?

Enigma… did anyone understand you?

Enigma… did anyone really see you?

Enigma… did anyone really hear you?

And did you feel the love of the hearts around you?

 

Did you try to hide your demons

So no one could ever see them

Did you try to hide the pain that kept you up at night?

Did you want to change the world

Then find out it was too broken?

Did you try to find true love, but could not get it right?

[to chorus]

 

Did you find it hard to trust?

Did you think someone might cheat you?

Were you ever satisfied with anyone at all?

Did you ever have a dream

That turned out to be too elusive?

Did you think you’d have more time to really set things right? [to chorus]

 

Enigma… did anyone see the real you?

Enigma… did anyone know what to do?

Enigma… did anyone really know you?

Enigma… did anyone understand you?

Did you feel the love of the hearts around you?

© 2002 Ben Travis

 

So many things I thought I'd have the time to say

But it's over now, and I did not find a way

So many years I sat and watched you rot away

But I never had the time to stop the pain

No, I never had the time to stop the pain

 

(chorus)

But it's over now

Yes it's over now

And I guess if you asked me

I'd say it's a hell of a price to pay

to get your name in the paper for free

and I guess if you asked me I wish you'd stay

 

I couldn't see at the time why you wanted me to come

To sit with you seemed pointless when you were so drunk

Now I see the lonely man you were back then

And I wish I could do it all over again

Yes, I wish I could do it all over again

[to chorus]

 

I guess I never put myself in your shoes

I guess I never tried to see through your eyes

I might have been surprised

[to chorus]

© 2002 Ben Travis

 

(verse 1)

Well, I look in the mirror

and I see a hollow shell

of the fun loving guy I used to be

Well, I look at my life

and I see it’s gone to hell

No one’s really sure what happened to me

 

(chorus)

But I’ve never been lonely

I’ve never been lonely

No, not a single day

No, I’ve never been lonely

even though sometimes my only friend

is the bottle in my hand

 

(verse 2)
Well, I turn on the tv

and I try to watch the news

Not much going on that interests me

Well, I look in the sink

and I see it’s full of booze

Must have tried to quit again last night at three

[to chorus]

 

(coda)

Sometimes I think I would have

enjoyed the American dream, but

I just couldn’t make it

work out right

This song was actually written by my dad, Gerald Travis. I'm not sure when he wrote it, but it's a pretty poignant song when you realize that he was never really able to say "it's the end" to alcohol, and this probably had a lot to do with his dying at age 56. I redid the song with a different rhythm and a much higher quality, but I put his original song in at the end, so it segues from me singing his song to him singing his song.

© Gerald Travis

 

(verse 1)

You told me that I was so smart

You told me that I was so strong

I didn’t think I’d ever leave you

But you’ve been around me too long

 

(chorus)

You put up a good fight I know

But I’m telling you it’s the end

Even though you’re still out there for me

John Barleycorn you’re not a good friend   [instrumental after 2nd chorus w/chorus chords]

 

(verse 2)

When it was time to celebrate

You were right there with me each day

But you were taking all my time

Driving some good friends away

 

(slow down… not included in my version)

But we met other friends of yours

As we would go from bar to bar

Three of them just got out of jail

And one nut who lived in a car

 

(verse 3)

Sometimes I still miss you, you know

We went out again and again

But now it’s fun just to wake up

And remember where I have been

 

End:  John Barleycorn you’re not a good friend

I wrote this song while sitting in the nursing home with my dad watching his condition deteriorate. He only had to go into the nursing home at the very end, and he was pretty bad by then. He spent a lot of the last days unconscious. I learned more about the night life of nursing homes than I ever wanted to, and it inspired me to write this song.

©2002 Ben Travis

 

A woman pushes her husband down the hall

Outside the door

You won’t see any carpet here

They’ve got concrete floors

 

You can hear other people’s televisions

And an old man screaming just down the hall

And the funeral home made up a calendar

And now it’s hanging there on the wall

 

(chorus)

We all want to hold on to life

And hold our own

But shoot me in the head before you

Put me in a nursing home

 

Fluorescent lights come on at night

And make our faces pale

And if they had better locks on the doors

You could call it a jail

 

There’s a cord with a button on the end

But it might be a while till anyone comes

And the man sleeping in the next bed

Wakes up in the middle of the night and hums

 

(bridge)

Yeah yeah, I can smell the food from here

Yeah yeah, we could be here for years

I actually wrote this before I found out my dad had cancer. I wrote it in the spring of 2001. I saw him struggling more and more with alcoholism, and I had the idea for a song using the "demon" as a metaphor for the alcohol that he found himself so addicted to.

© 2000 Ben Travis

 

The taste of wine still lingers in my mouth

as I wake up

and I guess I must have passed out

when I finally had enough

 

And the world is spinning all around

as I stumble down the hall

and I can't remember why I ever

started this at all...

 

(chorus)

Why can't I put this demon down

why can't I throw it to the ground

why can't I put this demon down?

 

I look back on my life and I could say

I tried my best

But if I get a grade for this

I guess I failed the test

 

Now... I put on my coat

and wander out the door

And take a swig so I don't

think about this anymore

My grandmother, Irene Weesner, passed away in October of 2005. I actually wrote this song for her, but I thought it was a nice fit for this album, considering the subject matter. So although this album is dedicated to my father, this song was written a few days after Grandmama died. We miss you, Grandmama.

©2005 Ben Travis   [for Grandmama]

 

How do I let you go

How do I let you know

That you have changed my life

Just by loving me the same… every day

 

How do I close my eyes

How do I say goodbye

To part of who I am

Part of every note I play

 

And I guess I’ve always known

That this day would come

But it always seemed far away

And even though I can admit

That it’s part of life

Why does it have to be today?

 

How do I find a way

To say what I should say

So everyone will see

What you really mean to me?

 

How can I disguise

When they try to sympathize

And I can’t stand to smile

And pretend that I’m okay

Today

© 2002 Ben Travis

 

Today I think about how strange

it is to hold you in my arms one moment

then give you away

to a darkness that I cannot see through

Perhaps tomorrow I will understand it better than I do

 

Today the weather seems so cold

and even though the Sun is shining

there’s a blanket on my soul

and I try to tell myself it’s for the best

but you should know that you will always be with me

and I confess

 

I must have taken you for granted oh, so many times

I must have told you that I loved you

without looking in your eyes, and now

 

Today everything’s so clear

and as I hear you take your final breath

I can’t find the tears

but I think of all the moments we have shared

and I know all of my tomorrows will be better ‘cause you cared for me

 

Today