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Andres Raya

he was raised in an orchard in a California town
where the military ticket was the best deal around
they’ll give you a skill and a pat on the back
maybe even a parade if you make it back

his mother was proud of him and she cried when she said goodbye
his father was proud of him too, there was a tear in his eye
his friends from the camp, they all gathered around
somebody finally made it out of this town

some people have all the chances and some people have none
lay down your burden where the river runs
reason and morality, you can put them aside
flowers for Andres Raya, in the alley where he died

leaving on that day when the world went strange
comin’ back home and something had changed
everybody said there was a stranger in his eyes
and there were nightmares and dreams and a rage that had to rise

he cried to his mother with those tears all down his face
saying “you have no idea what went on in that place
there’s something broken, something lost beyond repair
and I’d rather die before I go back there”

some people have all the chances and some people have none
lay down your burden where the river runs
reason and morality you can put them aside
flowers for Andres Raya, in the alley where he died

no one will ever know who gave that last command
but one day there he was with a rifle in his hand
with a shattered reality crackin’ like a whip on his back
and the streets of his home town lookin’ like the streets of Iraq

look across the field see the enemy closin’ in
it’s just the local police but it don’t look that way to him
take a good position let the firefight begin
200 rounds later, 2 dead, him and one of them

some people have all the chances and some people have none
lay down your burden where the river runs
reason and morality you can put them aside
flowers for Andres Raya, in the alley where he died

he served his last tour of duty in the town that he grew up in
fighting a war that nobody could win
like a marionette on slippery wire
he was killed in the alley by enemy fire

some people only want answers that are easy to take
nothing so hard that the bubble might break
there’s questions to ask and there are answers to decide
and there are flowers in the alley where Andres Raya died

some people have all the chance and some people have none
lay down your burden where the river runs
reason and morality you can put them aside
flowers for Andres Raya, in the alley where he died
in the alley where he died