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Traveler Suite
Lyrics:
Music:

Part I - Intro

[Instrumental]

Part II - Setting Sun

She is all I ever wanted
She could make me lie
I don't think she's dead or anything, but I still feel haunted
Something in the way she said goodbye
This time
Not like before
It could be me but it seemed like I needn't return
That's right Little Johnny gets to go and fight his war
And as he rides off in the sunset he feels the last rays burn
And shine

My setting sun
No we ain't done
My setting sun
No we ain't done
The only one
Who makes me run
The setting sun
No we ain't done

What the hell'd she mean
When she turned away and said don't you ever forget me
And why the sad routine
The tear in her eye, and my glib reply when I said "You'd never let me"
Oh no not she

I found a letter
I found it in a pocket that she must have slipped it in
It basically told me to forget her
Now I ain't no genius, but I think I could begin
To see

My setting sun
No we ain't done
My setting sun
No we ain't done
The only one
Who makes me run
The setting sun
No we ain't done

With the sun obscured from view
And none but the night left to keep me warm
It's me my darling with nothing left to do
But surrender to the coming storm
And I am born

Part III - Color Me Gone

With nothing to lose, and freedom to gain
I rode west at nightfall through freezing rain
Relying on luck, and the wit of my brain
Visions of plunder and endless campaign
Numb the pain

There is comfort in the saddle and the earth is good and soft
Build a sail to catch the wind set my chariot aloft
I'm rounding on the parapet and another city burns
Harvest all creation for its ominous returns
And then well before dawn you can color me gone

Moving on to the next after killing my prey
Growing steadily easier each one I'd slay
By blood and by battle, making my way
Unto the breach and into the fray
When I play

There is comfort in the saddle and the earth is good and soft
Build a sail to catch the wind set my chariot aloft
I'm rounding on the parapet and another city burns
Harvest all creation for its ominous returns
And then well before dawn you can color me gone

Come hell come high water come into me
Storm bring your flood waters turn desert to sea
Destroy all my obstacles whatever they be
Extinguish all light and fell every tree
Set me free!

Part IV - Low Branch

A low branch touching the water
Feels the currents' take
A mighty river bends her
But oh, oh, oh
She won't break
Ain't gonna break anytime soon

A candle's flame she dances
When sudden a tempest blows
She dwindles and dims against the cold, cold winds
And oh, oh, oh
Then she grows

Somehow I gotta come and see
Someway it's familiar to me
Gently she'll try and try and try
It amazes me and I gotta find out why

Part V - Pancho

[Instrumental]

Part VI - Low Branch (Reprise)

Somehow I gotta come and see
Some way she's familiar to me
Gently she'll try and try and try
It amazes me and I gotta find out why

I may never understand her
Her secret is not to know
Nothing for me to do with or for or to
But oh, oh, oh
I just love to watch her go

Part VII - Color Me Gone (Reprise)

I am the river that bends the branch
I am the tempest that dwindles the flame
No one can stand the avalanche
The beast can be bargained but he can't be tamed
The die cast long ago the Rubicon crossed
No one can hold me or alter my fate
Balance and equilibrium lost
Tribe on the move the momentum won't wait
It's too late...

There is comfort in the saddle and the earth is good and soft
Build a sail to catch the wind set my chariot aloft
I am rounding on the parapet and another city burns
Harvest all creation for its ominous returns
And then well before dawn you can collar me gone

Part VIII - Setting Sun (Reprise)

She was all I ever wanted
Maybe now I'm wanting something more
So we start away in the new day undaunted
Maybe that is what the morning's for
But you can't be sure


First release: Decisions of the Sky: A Traveler's Tale of Sun And Storm
Released: 10/30/2000
Earliest time played: 07/03/1996
Last time played: 07/04/2006
Playing frequency:
  37 plays (see all shows)
  1.99% of shows in the database
  3.09% of shows since debut
  Detailed statistics
Song information:
  This song was destined to be the centerpiece for The Sun, The Storm, & The Traveler.
  This song finished second in the 2006 Chant Poll but the band played it anyway on 07/04/2006, for the first time in four years.

Other recordings of "Traveler Suite":
  25, 2012


Little Johnny gets to go and fight his war
The Johnny character also appears in the song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", an 1993 song that was brought back for a single playing in 1997, sparking speculation that it might also be included on the concept album. That song was based on a Civil War march of the same name composed by Patrick S. Gilmore while he served as bandmaster of the U.S. Army, which explains Johnny's appearance here in another war-themed song.
as he rides off in the sunset
Riding off into the sunset was typical of a heroic ending in the old cowboy movies, where the hero would not stay around to enjoy his victory, but instead mount his horse late in the day and ride away.

This also marks another mention of the Sun, a continuation of the Sun/Storm theme. See also "surrender to the coming storm".
set my chariot aloft
A possible reference the Greek sun-god Apollo, who would ride his chariot - the sun - through the sky every day.
color me gone
In this sense, to "color" is to consider or characterize something. In the colloquial sense, when someone says "color me surprised", it means "I'm surprised". This line was originally misspelled as "collar me gone" when John wrote it.
Unto the breach and into the fray
Reminiscent of the famous battle line from Shakespeare's Henry V: "Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead!"
The die cast long ago the Rubicon crossed
The Rubicon is a small river that flows near the Italian city of Ravenna. In and of itself it is quite innocuous, but in the year 49 BC, it formed the northern border of Italy. At the time, Julius Caesar was not yet the dictator of Rome, but he had grown quite powerful and was at the risk of being stripped of his position for fear that he would cause a civil war in the Roman republic. A longstanding law of the Romans was that no general could come in to Italy with an army without risking conflict, and when Caesar did so, it meant war. From Victor Duruv's History of Rome, volume V, comes this history, written by Roman historian Suetonius:
Coming up with his troops on the banks of the Rubicon, which was the frontier of his province, he halted for a while, and revolving in his mind the importance of the step he meditated, he turned to those about him, saying: 'Still we can retreat! But once let us pass this little bridge, - and nothing is left but to fight it out with arms!'

Even as he hesitated this incident occurred. A man of strikingly noble mien and graceful aspect appeared close at hand, and played upon a pipe. To hear him not merely some shepherds, but soldiers too came flocking from their posts, and amongst them some trumpeters. He snatched a trumpet from one of them and ran to the river with it; then sounding the "Advance!" with a piercing blast he crossed to the other side. At this Caesar cried out, 'Let us go where the omens of the Gods and the crimes of our enemies summon us! THE DIE IS NOW CAST!'
The die in this case is the singular form of dice, or gaming cubes. To cast, or throw, a die, meant that an irreversible decision had been made.