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Ogen, old man

by Matt Holubowski

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“In time I'll try to be
all things to all around me”,
he said.

I replied:
“Old men with weary souls
reached far beyond their goals,
old men with youthful skin
are wrinkled from within,
will die before they live,
and take far more
than they will ever give.”


released July 26, 2014

Words, and music: Matt Holubowski
Artistic direction: Matt Holubowski, and Cassian Bopp

Producer, and mixer: Connor Seidel/Evermoor Audio
Mastered: Marc-Olivier Bouchard/Le Lab Mastering Montreal

Art: Lydia Marier/Illustrations LM

Matt Holubowski: Vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, ukulele
Connor Seidel: bass drum/holding on to home, slide guitar/all my loved ones
Chris Lamarche: Drums/Mango Tree No. 17
Aidan Mitchell: Cello/Mango Tree No. 17
Felix Leblanc: Piano/Sweet Surreal


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Matt Holubowski Montreal, Québec

Matt Holubowski's first album 'Ogen, Old Man' was written and recorded in the spirit of simplicity, embracing of imperfection, and the search for truth and meaning. The raw, lo-fi album meant to bring the focus back to story telling, as was originally the tradition of folk music.

Holubowski's second opus is set to appear in the fall, with more arrangements and colours, but the same candour.
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Track Name: Old Man
Old man,
what are you holding on to?
The remnants of
an expired youth?
We all age with no say on change,
so be graceful man,
but do it your own way.

Old man,
what is it that frightens you?
Is it all the things
you never got to do?
Don’t expect the things you love
to stay the same.
Just remember that,
You’ll simply live
a different day.
Track Name: Mango Tree
Are you surprised of the direction
you have taken your life in?
Is it not just how you imagined it,
exactly how you dreamed of it,
and longed for it?

Well, I have known for long
that kindred spirits, we have grown
into our own,
and into one another’s roots;
we’ve become each other’s irrevocable,
and everlasting truths.

Just like the ocean, you have
sprayed my thirsty heart,
and like the mango tree, you’ll never
let me go hungry.

It wasn’t by mistake that
intertwined were our fates,
our roads now destined to become
embroidered like a chain mail
that will never fail
to shield our hearts that weigh
so, so many tons.

And many suns will have to be
ignited and extinguished,
way before the flames between us
finish flickering in the wind.
Even in the winter I am warm
when I am lying in your arms.

And you may go away
as far as Spain, but
no extended interval of time,
or distance visible
will ever me far for long.
Honey, you’re my paragon.
Track Name: No Name no. 1
words won’t do,
you just have to
let the music speak
for you.
Track Name: Recycled Soul
Find wolves gnawing
on your bones,
doves flying by your tomb,
where the grass is growing
through your nose,
and the gravekeeper sprays you
with a garden hose.

All those things you swore to do
in the short years that you knew
are carved upon a stone,
with a dozen words at most.

When the time came to exist,
and your life’s catalyst
was borne unto your youth,
I hope you choose to live it
Through, and through;

for when you rot under the ground,
and all of those around you
hope that you are cozy
in heaven’s fantasy.

And all that you will know
at rest will be the mold
that you become,
and all that you will know
at rest will be the mold
of your recycled soul.

Find peace in whatever creed
you’re born into,
and breathe
the fiction that it holds,
if it makes this life more whole,
and bearable,

but don’t hold back
from living here,
it’s all that’s guaranteed:
the marvel of your being.
Salvation comes from epic eulogies.

One more thing,
my dying friend,
in case this is the end,
I’ve loved you even though
your faith it was a hoax
all along.

Love me,
even if to you
my soul forever looms
in hell’s immortal vault.
Don’t you know
it’s not my fault?
Track Name: Face to Face
I said, I wish I had a camera
to save what I have seen,
to pile em’ up in boxes, and
preserve the memories.

If only I could capture
what I felt that fateful day,
but the pictures
just don't recreate emotions

I said, if only I had evidence,
then I'd always tell the truth;
for the moments shot through lenses
will forever cling to you.

Oh, what things you miss in hiding
behind five, or six inches.
Have you captured moments, or
have they imprisoned you?

Well, I see faces through a forest
of handheld electronics,
like an island for your isolation,
but you're not lost –
you want it.

I see eyes glued to the brightness.
They move, but seem so lifeless, and
when I call them they pretend
to not have heard me say
how are you?

Would you like to have a conversation?
Face to face,
without any distractions?
Talk about the world, and
all of the people in it.
And we will say what we will mean,
there’s nothing else to it.
Track Name: All my Loved Ones
I got ran out of town.
They threw me out of city hall.
I got ran out of town
because of alcohol.

I couldn’t even walk,
less even run to exile.
I couldn’t even talk,
explain myself to
all my loved ones.

It started with a friend,
and we did it again.
It was so innocent
back then.

I see with clarity
the blur in front of me.
I see my wrecked reflection.
How could I be this way for

all my loved ones.

At night, I am alive,
but by the morning light
I shiver, sweat, and cry;
for I’ve forgotten

all my loved ones.

I’d give it up for you…
…hmm yes, but then again
it’s all because of you
that I will lose

all my loved ones.
Track Name: Eugene
I see you looking,
looking at me
with those forlorn eyes,
that tired dejection, and

Well, maybe, I said,
maybe you can toss
this dreadful life, and flee, but
your heart’s gone cold, as cold as
your ears, and hands, and feet.

All through the eyes of a blind man.
How many more have we stunted like this?
Oh, we are not to be faulted, we said,
for we are the ones with the fortunate ends.

you were a broker, and
a seller of goods, but
you’ve lost it all, and you’d
sell your soul to stand
where you once stood.

Once wed,
you felt love of a kind
that I have never had.
Heaven knows her better now,
and for her
it’s not so bad.

you see the passers,
passing you by.
They deny you change,
abuse you,
reproach you
of getting high.

But it’s been
many a year since you have
first been clean.
You are sober now, but
your mind’s still bursting
at the seams.

You said,
told me you were sent down
here to earth to be
an angel for all
of our friends in need,
and I
may have walked you by
a thousand times before
on a floor of stone,
coarse and cold,
all alone,
frighteningly hollow,
and somehow filled with
life, joy, tears, and smiles,
and love,
and hope.
Track Name: Holding on to Home
Endearing though to me,
many a man has tried to flee
the sordid corners of
this putrid penitentiary,
oh, are you here with me?

Are you here with me, or
am I dreaming of your shackles
loudly dragging through
the hallways of my reverie,
oh, are you here with me?

Farther than a lunar axis,
as far as I know outer space is.
Innovation never takes us
as far as we can be.
What is left for me?

Dimmer than a summer solstice,
north of any blooming roses,
melted water, open faces,
below the winter freeze
the cold paralyzes me.

I’m holding on to home.

Thumbs up for the next ride in,
I’ll go where fuel carries it.
I hope it’s reaching Gulu town.
I’ll meet my friends sometime
around the bend.

The kitchen smells of memories,
and there beside the quarterlies
are photos of my family, but
some of them are missing me, and
I am missing them right back.

I’m holding on to home.

There is nothing captivating
on this road that we are roaming.
I know every step to take,
I know every creak the stairs will make.

Holding on to home
like it’s as real as a stone, and
if I told you: “you imagined it”.
Would it matter anymore, if
you’re with me?
As long as you’re with me.

I’m holding on to home.
Track Name: Caroline's Song
Death Knells are sounding all around,
as you drive your life into the ground.
Did you hear us calling you?
Can’t you see that we love you?

I know you’ve seen your share of pain,
and I know you want it all to go away.
You know, I’ve seen it too,
I’ve been right there with you.

If our eyes were covered in a hue,
you’d think it’d be a shade of blue,
but our eyes they are green,
if only you could see

the potential you have inside,
from which you always seem to hide.
It’s not just me who can,
I am Sam, Sam I am.

Yeah, you’ve done ok,
you’ve done alright,
but it’s never been enough,
has it?
Yeah, you’ve done ok,
you’ve done alright,
and if it’s good enough for you,
it’s fine.

We have a demon in our heads,
he does our thinking in our stead.
He may try to steal your heart,
don’t let him get that far.

Those who don’t know what it is like,
who always had the perfect life,
will make you feel like shit, but
they’re fucking ignorant.

Who said anything about
condemning what you do?
I could never really
stay that mad at you.
It’s not normal to be
throwing stones at you,
then turn around,
and talk about
how much we love you.

Just listen to my cheerful words,
I’ve gone and conquered Satan first.
It is worth all the pain,
but you have to stay the same.

I wish that you would come back home.
Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been alone.
I have lost my best friend,
who I’m made to defend.

If it’s good enough for you,
it’s fine by me.
Track Name: Mon Cher Monsieur
Mon cher monsieur,
comme elle est chouette
cette belle guitare que tu caresse,
avec tes doigts usés de temps.

Tu as le don de dompter l'âme
de rendre sourire au plus macabres.
Puis quelques sous te sont laissés,
pour réparer les humeurs si blasées.

Les gens autour de toi
ont ri de mauvaise foi,
lorsque tu leur a dit
que tu as fait ta vie
avec tes jolies melodies.

Ah, la misère!
Misère à ceux qui osent vivre
ce que les autres considèrent
un simple rêve.

Mon cher monsieur,
que disent tes yeux pensés?
Ta peau maintenant ridée
d'une vie assez remplie, merci?

Qu'a t il de mieux pour enchanter
les masses de gens cherchant
à oublier?

Mon cher monsieur,
tes sifflements me font penser
à une ère simplifiée,
sans guerre, sans vie politisée.

Tu es un ancien musicien,
gardien d'un art qui nous rend
plus humains.

Prête-moi, monsieur tes grands souliers,
que tu prenne ton repos
bien mérité.
Track Name: On Trains
Nimbus clouds surround the mountains now.
Can’t tell who resides this wooden town.
There’s a makeshift mystery that’s going down.

The plains below me here now live in peace,
where farmer grows his rice and Chinese tea.
Never has a man seemed so damn free to me.

So damn free to me.

Darkness comes now as it please,
then light comes back to me so suddenly,
as we tunnel through to further majesty.

The sight of smoke, and sound of ringing bells,
the ones we’ve come to love, and know so well
calms our qualms, and makes us feel so swell.

Makes us feel so swell.

Well honey, maybe you don’t know this,
but life’s a train ride and we are all on it.

Pretty homes all made of marble stone
line up one by one to say hello,
They are beautiful, and they don’t even know.

They don’t even know,
they are beautiful.

When I am on trains,
I feel safe.

The city lights are now coming in sight.
They shine on me with all their pretty might,
but I can’t tell, because I’m sleeping oh so tight

Conductor calls us all to come on out,
we’ve reached the platform,
now it’s time for solid ground,
and remember where it is that we are bound.

Where it is we’re bound.
Track Name: Undercover Mode
Here goes my undercover mode,
hiding from all of world.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll remain safe
from all of this burdensome rain.

So-so is how I’ve been of late,
trying to cover my many faces.
My moments always come and go,
but it’s when I wait for a blow
that it hurts the most.

Oh my darling, stoic as a stone.
You’ve got my hurt in your bones.
I warned you, the leaves would never
cease to fall.
My doldrums have sunken
a bottomless hole.

My heart is ready to explode,
so I cemented it in like a tomb.
I’m faithlessly praying to the
great unknown.
I’ll believe anyone that can
save my soul.
Track Name: Sweet Surreal
I’m holding on a rope,
holding on to hope
that apathy will
leave my mind alone.

Oh, and all the winding roads
that I’ll never know
are calling me to
try to get to know them.

Say it isn’t so,
I will go wherever I want to.

One single ticket there,
I don’t care, anywhere,
and I only want
to buy a one-way fare.

Look at me one last time,
don’t know if I’ll survive,
and I won’t return
as long as I’m alive.

Say it isn’t so
I will go wherever I want to

my sweet surreal.

All the measures of a man
that no one else can stand,
and I am he, will you
remember me
if I forever leave you?

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