Suite Journey

 
 

Audio

Yak Butter Blues

02:55
Suite Journey
2015
Suite Journey

Story

Billie Woods: Piano, Lead Vocals

Deborah Schmidt: Classical Guitar, Harmony Vocals

Michael Austin: Clarinet

Jeffrey Glenn Tveraas: Yak Bells, Drums

Jeff Stocki: Standup Bass

Chris Gage: "Canjo"

Bad weather was rapidly approaching, so we left the base camp of Qomolangma (Everest) in a hurry. We had lunch at  Rongbuk monastery at 4,980 metres (16,340 ft), the highest monastery in the world.

On the road back to Old Tingri we encountered large herds of yaks loaded with supplies being scurried home by their herders to avoid the approaching storm. The different tone of their individual yak bells created a tingly, fairy-like symphony conducted by the wind. We stopped and several of us got out to see and hear this surreal picture. When we returned to the bus, Billie started writing Yak Butter Blues. On return home we both finished the song, which is now one of our favorites!

 

Lyrics

Up in the Himalayas I see yaks roamin’ free

Women churnin’ butter for yak butter tea

It tastes kinda salty and a little bit sweet

Hand painted China and a strange brew indeed

A piece of yak meat jerky and a cup of butter tea

Gifts so warm and quirky presented lovingly

 

I’ve got those yak butter blues for the Land of Snows

Life in Tibet is on top of the world

I’ve got yak butter blues for the Land of Snows

There’s no place else like it on the face of planet earth

 

Tibetans face their problems with peace and harmony

Flags on every rooftop mean the dove ain’t ever free

If you’re on the black list you’re given graphic art

A sword tattooed on your arm piercing your heart

Despite the oppression Tibetans are so kind

When I think I have problems, tea clears my mind

 

I’ve got those yak butter blues for the Land of Snows

Life in Tibet is on top of the world

I’ve got yak butter blues for the Land of Snows

There’s no place else like it on the face of planet earth