Colors of a Man

The Inspiration

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The Songs


Bob Lopez
Vocals, guitars, piano (October Song)
Hammond organ (Walking Home Alone)
electronic keyboard, harmonica, percussion

Paul E. Mitchell
Standup bass (Baby)
fretless bass, Fender bass, electronic keyboard

Tony Corsano
Drums, percussion

Debbie Deane
Piano, Hammond organ
(The Colors of a Man)

Steve Schiller
Six string electric fiddle

Marni Rice

Naomi Zeitlin
Additional background vocals

Recorded, mixed, and mastered at
Tiki Studios
Glen Cove, New York

Guarino Graphics
Jacket Design and Graphics

Julius Spedale Photography

The Lyrics

"The Colors of a Man"

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Description: At some time in our lives we reach a point where we have achieved most of the goals we established when we were younger. When that occurs, it becomes important to find a way to re-define ourselves and create new goals and challenges in other areas, or risk being consumed by boredom and stagnation. The recording of this CD, in many ways, has been part of that process for me.

When I was so much younger, a boy of 23
I saw my life before me, a painting yet to be
The colors of the rainbow
were there at my command
I filled each day with reds and blues,
I had the artist's hand
But I didn't understand the colors of a man

The many things before me,
so many now have passed
The colors that I painted with
were never meant to last
The beauty of my canvas
is fading into gray
The spirit of that younger man
was never meant to stay
But I do the best I can to see behind the plan,
and try to understand the colors of a man

But I won't let it slip away,
I won't let it fade to gray,
I won't let it get away from me
I'll find the palette of that younger man
, it's somewhere here inside
I'll find the passion to create again,
I know it hasn't died
And I'll do the best I can to see behind the plan
And try to understand the colors of a man

Like daisies on the snow line
when winter turns to spring
My colors are awakening,
and peace is what they'll bringv I'll hold on to each moment,
hold on at any cost
And think of all the love I've gained,
and never what I've lost
And I'll do the best I can to see behind the plan
And try to understand the colors of a man


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Description: This song was written two weeks after the birth of my first child. As I held my daughter in my arms and looked down at this amazing creation of life, I found myself singing these words to her, promising to love and protect her, knowing we would be linked together by a bond that would last forever.

Natalie, from the moment that I found you
it was clear to me
that I would build my life around
my little Natalie,
when I put my arms around you,
you're so dear to me
And I promise to surround you
with a lifetime of caring, honesty and sharing,
I'll give you all the love you'll ever need
And every day you're growing,
and every day your smile is showing
That I was meant for you and you for me
Together we will be, my Natalie

Natalie, you are always on my mind
and in my memory
And I'll always be behind my little Natalie,
there will never be a time
when you're not near to me
And the sun is going to shine
on every new day before you,
The flowers will adore you,
the morning birds will sing you melodies
And everyone will show you
how glad they are they got to know you
You will be as happy as can be
Just you wait and see, my Natalie

Natalie, since you've come into my world
there's been a change in me
Now I have a little girl, my little Natalie,
you're my diamond, you're my pearl,
and you're a part of me
And forever we will be, my Natalie

"That Morning in September"

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Description:Where were you on the morning of September 11, 2001? I was in my office in Manhattan when news of the tragedy began to spread like a viral infection throughout the hospital. I will never forget trying to make my way home across bridges clogged with hundreds of stranded people on foot, their faces reflecting confusion, numbness, and disbelief that something like this could happen to our city. The sense of human loss was palpable, as if the air were saturated with the souls of the innocent rising toward a kinder world. Almost three thousand voices were suddenly silenced, their future songs, poems, and prayers forever lost. This song was written to try and express some of the emotions we all felt on that day and continue to feel in the aftermath of this life-changing event.

I looked up into the smoke-filled sky
to see what wasn't there
And I felt the souls of all who perished
rising through the air
The day began like many more,
so crisp and full of life
As children waved to say goodbye
and husbands kissed their wives

On a morning like no other since
the devil played his hand
And he left behind a jagged wound,
a scar upon the land
It seemed as if our innocence
came crashing to the ground
And amid the steel and concrete dust
it never will be found

And I can hear the sound of songs unsung
and the words of poems unspoken
And of bedtime stories never read
and promises left broken
As we live our lives from this day on,
there's one thing we'll remember
That a piece of us was lost that day,
that morning in September

I wear the tear stains on my face
as badges of defiance
And from the ashes will emerge
new strength and self-reliance
I know my life has changed somehow,
so deep and to the core
And I know the world will never be
the way it was before

And I can hear the sound of songs unsung
and the words of poems unspoken
And of bedtime stories never read,
and promises left broken
As we live our lives from this day on,
there's one thing we'll remember
That a piece of us was lost that day,
that morning in September
A piece of us was lost that day,
that morning in September

"Forever & Today"

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Description: The words of the first verse of this song came from a poem I wrote to my wife several months before we were married. It speaks of the knowing promise into which two people enter when they vow to spend a life with each other, looking forward to sharing the next few minutes together as well as the multitude of human events that lie further ahead.

I look forward to the next few minutes together
I look forward to the hours of today
I look forward to tonight,
when the stars are shining bright
And the morning kiss to welcome in the day
I can see us holding hands along the seashore
I can feel the chill the autumn winds will bring
I can see us by a fire
as the winter storms surround us
And I can smell the sweet perfume
that comes with spring

I look forward to the times
we'll explore each other's minds
I look forward to the things you'll have to say
I look forward to a life with you here as my wife
I look forward to forever and today

I can see the children that we'll raise together
We will try to give them all that we can give
We will teach them all the lessons
that will make them better people
And the joy that comes from having love to give

And that day will come
when they will leave us crying
As they seek out their direction in this life
And through all the many years,
through the laughter and the tears
You will be my friend, my lover, and my wife

I look forward to the day
when we're both old and gray
And we'll laugh about the memories we've shared
I look forward to a life with you here as my wife
I look forward to forever and today

I look forward to a life with you here as my wife
I look forward to forever and today

"Picking Music"

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Description: As a teenager, I would lock myself in my room and spend hours sitting on my bed playing my guitar, as I struggled through the confusion and isolation of high school and a broken home. During those times, my guitar was my only true friend, someone who gave without question, providing only comfort and peace. I wanted this song to sound like a group of friends sitting around on a porch, singing songs and playing their guitars, as I often did with my friends Dave, Hank, and John.

Music dancing everywhere,
seems to float right through the air
Just a simple melody, fingers moving fast and free
Tap a toe to keep in time,
sing along with words that rhyme
And pretty soon you can't help feeling good

To hell with thinking about my sorrow,
I'll think about it all tomorrow
Right now I'm just sitting, playing,
hearing what my spirit's saying
Happiness I know is staying,
'long as my guitar is picking music

Rhythm, rhyme, and melody
seem to cast a spell on me
Coming through to set me free
from all the chains that bind me
Time means nothing when I play,
tomorrow's just another day
And all that's in the past is left behind me

So when I'm lost and feel like crying,
When the world around me's dying
I just play a simple song
and pretty soon my troubles gone
Everything just keeps on ticking,
'long as my guitar is picking music

So when the strings are sweetly singing,
Open up to what they're bringing
Happiness, and hope, and caring,
pretty soon a smile you're wearing
Life is just a melody,
'long as my guitar is picking music
I can set my spirit free,
'long as my guitar is picking music
And I'm where I want to be,
'long as my guitar is picking music


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Description: Much of my music is influenced by the country-rock popularized by the Eagles in the 1970's. This song reflects that influence more than any of the others in this collection. At the time this song was written, I did not know anyone named Rosemarie, nor was it inspired by anyone in my life.

Dry your eyes, Rosemarie
Don't try to fight our destiny
I've waited so long to hold you in my arms
And kiss you once again, Rosemarie

I know we had our problems seeing clear
I thought I did the right thing when I left herev But if I had a dollar for every tear that I've cried
You know I'd be a rich man, Rosemarie

Traveling on the road, Lord it gets so lonesome and cold
You know you need, you need someone to hold
And darling, you know I sure wish it would have been you

If you ask me to leave, I'll understand
Honey, I know your heart might be given to some other man
But when you smile that smile, and you kiss me like you do
I know you feel like I do, Rosemarie

"Colors of a Man-Instrumental"

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Description: FIDDLE VARIATIONS BY STEVE SCHILLER - After recording three separate fiddle takes to be used for " The Colors of a Man ", we re-played them simultaneously to decide which to use in the song. The result was this surprisingly beautiful and haunting piece of music.

"Walking Home Alone"

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Description:Having grown up in Southern California, I found moving east to Boston to go to medical school was a culture shock, but not as much as my move from Boston to New York. I was struck by many of the negative aspects of the city, such as the pervasive poverty, the homelessness, and the graffiti-laden, burned-out buildings. This song reflects my earlier impressions of city life, but over time I grew to like, and eventually love, New York City, and since September 11, I now consider myself to be a New Yorker.

Walking down the street at night
the street lamps cast an eerie light
And hiding in the shadows might be,
nobody knows
And as I walk back home alone
I look down at the cobblestone
And listen to the night as I'm walking home alone

In the quiet solitude I seek a peaceful interlude
A place where I can let my mood
go where it will go
The rhythm of my footsteps seems
to fade into a distant dream
Echoes in the night, as I'm walking home alone

On this city street, where sorrows never sleep
On this city street, the troubles run in rivers deep
Those empty faces hide the anger that's inside
As they live their desperate lives out
in a city that has died

Then I pass a man without a home,
he's lying on the street alone
He's living in a twilight zone where nobody cares
And sitting on the steps
I see a young boy looking back at me
I look down at my feet
and keep walking home alone

On these city streets the children never play
On these bitter streets
the children live from day to day
Inside their hearts
they dream of things that cannot be
From this prison known as poverty,
they never will be free

Then I pass a building on the right,
another piece of urban blight
And on its walls the vandals write
what nobody knows
And in the broken panes of glass
I see a sad reflection pass
Looks a lot like me as I'm walking home alone
Walking home alone

"The Love Song"

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Description: As with most of my songs, I usually write the music first and then play it over and over until I get a feeling for what I want to say with the words. ( The exception in this collection is " That Morning in September ", which began as a poem .) As soon as I came up with the music for " The Love Song ", I knew what the theme of the song would be.

You ask me if I love you,
well let me think what to say
My love shines like the sunlight,
turning night into day
My love flows like a river,
growing stronger with time
Every second a whisper, every minute a rhyme

You ask me how much I love you,
you ask me how much I care
More than springtime has flowers,
more than mountains fresh air
More than morning has dewdrops,
more than children have smiles
More than canyons have echoes,
more than highways have miles

You ask me how long I'll love you,
that's not easy to say
For the Lord in His wisdom
might still take me today
I can't promise tomorrow,
that's not mine to control
But I'll promise you this now,
from my heart, from my soul
know I will love you 'till the day that I die,
'till the day that I die
'till the day that I die

"October Song"

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Description: This instrumental song was written on a gray, overcast autumn day as the fallen leaves were swirling and the wind chimes were babbling outside my window. It begins with a quiet, almost classical feeling, develops a rock flavor as the bass and drums become more intense, then takes on a gritty, hard edge as the electric guitar takes over. I wanted this song to represent the changing of the seasons, from the cool breezes of October, through the cold rains of November and December, and into the bitter winds of winter.

"Trail of Ants"

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Description: I decided to include this poem on this CD, even though it technically isn't a song. It speaks of the ongoing question in all our minds regarding faith in a higher power and whether the events that happen in our lives are random or part of a " grand design ". This poem reflects my personal philosophy that we have a choice to either believe or not believe, but choosing to believe makes life more bearable since " having life without a soul would take from us too great a toll ".

While walking down the street one day
A trail of ants did cross my way
And as I passed, I turned to see that some had died because of me
Yet while those ants my shoe did soil
The many others pursued their toil
Not knowing that an unseen knife had cut away the gift of life

If I had dawdled moments more while browsing in the corner store
Or if my pace had quickened slightly
Would those life fires still burn brightly?

Or maybe others in the queue
Would take their place beneath my shoe
It seems to me so arbitrary that some may live, and some we bury
What grand design could claim the right
To say who lives to see the night
Or was it merely happenstance that took the lives of those few ants?

And yet, to say there is no plan would nullify the soul of man
The common cord that binds us all, the will to see beyond the wall
The need to feel the love of others
The need to share that with our brothers
We can't deny that special light that sees us through this living night

And so it seems we have a choice to listen to that inner voice
For having life without a soul would take from us too great a toll
So like the ants we live each day, but keep our inner doubts at bay
And do the things that we must do until our date with someone's shoe