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The Ballad of Peter Bevis

by Jon Pontrello

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about

3/18/1953 - 7/12/2022

lyrics

Peter Bevis was no stranger to the sound of his own drum
rustling some feathers was just part of the fun
a few of his plans may have gone against the grain
some dreams are just too big to fit inside the frame

and everyone who knew him, had a story to tell
even if that story didn't always end well
but a story nonetheless, that you could not forget
there's no turning back once the fuse is lit

so pour out the last drop
light the street on fire
watch the sun come up
say hello to your neighbor
cause if you cannot dream it
you cannot have it
so fill your glass with visions and take a sip

with a jackhammer in his hands, making way for the foundation
of the Fremont foundry, a crucible of bronze sculpture creation
a place for artists to live, work and congregate
soon a community began to percolate

Fremont's only coffee spot, leave a coin and pour your own
on the lonely path plant daffodils, give your neighbors dog a bone
from the center of the universe came thee solstice parade
and the troll underneath the bridge whose toll must be paid

Peter's iron fist raised up the Lenin statue
come hell or high water, Peters vision saw it through
with animals killed on the the road or in an oil spill
lived on, cast in bronze because of his will

so pour out the last drop
light the street on fire
watch the sun come up
say hello to your neighbor
cause if you cannot dream it
you cannot have it
so fill your glass with visions
and take a sip

the Kalakala was a rust bucket, stuck in the Alaska mud
a vessel that once carried the Seattle spirit
with a history soo rich, of music and laughter
some could imagine, but Peter he could hear it
the Seattle spirit
and it wouldn't leave him alone
haunting his dreams
cause he believed
that she belonged at home

so Peter started patching and painting, over the rust
found a crew who'd work hungry to do what they must
and that hearty crew, they must get paid
so Peter drove his credit card line into the grave

and that boat cost a dollar, but they wouldn't let him pay
you'll need every last dime if you want to sail away
you'll need more then money, you'll need more then gold
you'll need an anchor line long and strong enough to hook a shooting star, and have it hold

from the estuary of Kodiak, till the tide carried her away
pulled through the inside passage, down to Elliot bay
arriving in a safe harbor, they were left to roam
through the locks of Ballard to Lake Union
where they found a stopgap home

their return was celebrated
of stalwart captain and his crew
but they needed more then confetti
to make their dreams come true

to restore the silver slug to glory
instead of languish on the dock
Peter petitioned to the powers that be
but they were running out the clock

Peter had to sell the foundry
to pay of his debt
by the time the Kalakala was scrapped it was piled high with regret
Peter could not save her, but not because he didn't do his part
Seattle didn't love the Kalakala as much as him and that broke his heart

so now a souvenir in a gift shop, or a tattoo on a hipsters arm
Peter Bevis lived it, it almost killed him, in the end he had to sell the farm

so pour out the last drop
light the street on fire
watch the sun come up
say hello to your neighbor
cause if you cannot dream it
you cannot have it
so fill your glass with visions
and take a sip

credits

released March 16, 2023
Lyrics / Music: Jon Pontrello
Commissioned by Pamela Belyea
Recorded at the Barndoor (Seattle, WA)
barndoorseattle@gmail.com
Mastered by Matt Stegner
Artwork by Kim Berkley
Kalakala Photo: nesneJkraM via iStock

Ribbon2Reel Recording
jonpontrello.com/ribbon-2-reel-recording/

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Jon Pontrello Seattle, Washington

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