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  1. Yak Butter Blues

From the recording TIBET Land of My Tears

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