5. The Bonehouse Blues

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The Bonehouse Blues
Sari Max

2:00 min

5. The Bonehouse Blues (6:15)

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The Bonehouse Blues

Music and lyrics by Sari Max


When the body dies the spirit keeps on giving

When the body dies the living keep on living

With the questions of “how?”

And the questions of “why?”

The never-ending questions

From our first “hello” to our last “goodbye”




I’ve got the Bonehouse Blues

My man’s body is dead and gone

I’ve got the Bonehouse Blues

My man’s body is dead and gone

No more hugging, no more kissing

I miss the lips I relied upon


Went to the deep dark hole

And cried out his name

He didn’t answer

Only Mister Sadness came

Looked ‘round the house

He was and wasn’t there

Can’t touch his face

In the mirror is my blank stare



Alone in our big bed

Staring into space

I miss his mind and soulfulness

I miss our face to face

Walking in the world

Sometimes, in a daze

I sense his powerful presence

I feel his loving ways



I’m married to a man

He’s soaring now he’s free

I’ve got to keep on going

That’s what he wants for me

Talking to the air

Singing out his praise

Living for his honor

The rest of my long days





I miss the gentleness I relied upon

I miss the caress I relied upon

I miss the wisdom I relied upon

I miss the tenderness I relied upon

I’ve got the Bonehouse Blues

Track 5


Sometimes it is a slow and tedious process in the recording studio and sometimes you get lucky. This song is a first take…I tweaked a little bit of the vocal but most of what you hear is what we did live, first time up at bat that day. I still can’t believe it.  The Bonehouse Blues came from my kishkes – (Yiddish for ‘guts’). It is straight out of my grieving process (for my husband who died May 2, 2009). I tried to write this song several times, from several different angles…I saw the name of a rock group, “Bonehouse”, from Germany, the same day as seeing a write-up of Paula Josa-Jones’ (the great dancer – choreographer – director - activist) body work. It mentioned the book she was in the process of writing called, Cookbook for the Bonehouse…this was too much of a coincidence! Something clicked! The word “Bonehouse”  - as a term to indicate our bodies, inspired me so, I finished the song in record time (no pun intended). As the intro, I incorporated part of a different, earlier attempt at the lyric, which sets up the traditional blues in a unique and touching way. The lyrics are my true experience of what it’s like to be married to a man – right now, as you read this – who is here in every way but in his physical being. Rather than underscore this thought by repeating the lyric here, I will refer you to Lew Soloff’s gut-wrenching solo. During the session, he asked for an additional chorus so as to be able to “tell the story”…I’m so glad that Jeff Harris and I gave him that space. He certainly put forth the frustration, urgency, desperation, longing, and huge, boundless love story that is this song. One could swear that the horn is singing the lyrics – only in a different language! The rest of the band is so tasty in their choices and ability to keep the groove going – it’s no wonder Lew let out a spontaneous shout (audible towards the end)…they were cookin’ and then some!