Feeling Mortal / 2012

Feeling Mortal - Kris Kristofferson
Release Date: March 18, 2018
Available now on:

Track Listing

  1. Feeling Mortal
  2. Mama Stewart
  3. Bread for the Body (And Song for the Soul)
  4. You Don’t Tell Me What to Do
  5. Stairway to the Bottom
  6. Just Suppose
  7. Castaway
  8. My Heart Was the Last One to Know
  9. The One You Chose
  10. Rambling Jack

About the Record

Kris Kristofferson remembers immortality. “Nothing could kill me,” he says, recalling his 1960s days in Nashville, when he roared for years on end, somehow finding time amidst the chaos to change the language of country music. “I was rolling cars and wrecking motorcycles, drinking and doing everything I could to die early. But it didn’t work.” Didn’t work at all. Kristofferson is 76 now and on his 28th album, the aptly titled Feeling Mortal.

Available Lyrics

Feeling Mortal

Wide awake and feeling mortal
At this moment in the dream
That old man there in the mirror
And my shaky self-esteem

Here today and gone tomorrow
That’s the way it’s got to be
With an empty blue horizon
For as far as I can see

God Almighty here I am
Am I where I ought to be
I’ve begun to soon descend
Like the sun into the sea
And I thank my lucky stars
From here to eternity
For the artist that you are
And the man you made of me

Pretty speeches still unspoken
Perfect circles in the sand
Rules and promises I’ve broken
That I still don’t understand

Soon or later I’ll be leaving
I’m a winner either way
For the laughter and the loving
That I’m living with today

***Repeat Chorus

Wide awake and feeling mortal

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

Mama Stewart

It was kinda hard believing
Mama Stewart couldn’t see me then
Or even that her age was ninety four
‘Cause the years that took her sight away
Had given her the right to say
What she believed, and she did, praise the Lord

And the things she said reminded me
Of things I’d grown too blind to see
And feelings that I’d hidden deep inside
And when she said goodbye and kissed me
I was thankful she couldn’t see
The sudden tears I couldn’t hide

Everything is beautiful in Mama Stewart’s eyes
Another shining reason to believe
Everything is new and full of wonder and surprise
Inside the world that Mama Stewart sees

She rode the covered wagons west
When she was only seven
But she came to California on a plane
She said at ninety four she thought for sure
She’d got too close to heaven
And like as not was going all the way

But the miracle of medicine
And good old time religion
Removed the veil of darkness from her eyes
They said she praised the Lord
And thanked the doctor
And didn’t even seem at all surprised

** Repeat Chorus

Tag: Lord, let me see what Mama Stewart sees

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

Bread for the Body (and food for the soul)

I built my own chains in the land of the free
A slave to a job that meant nothing to me
With three shiny new cars and a split level home
To furnish the tomb I was dying to own

Then one day I wakened with fear in my eye
Aware of a world that was passing me by
And I knew that my savings of silver and gold
Would mean not a thing when my body was cold

Because life is a song for the dying to sing
And it’s got to have feeling to mean anything
And a man can get by without silver or gold
With bread for the body and song for the soul

I’m living my life by the lesson I’ve learned
And not looking back at the bridges I’ve burned
Cause the time that we travel from cradle to grave
Was meant to be spent and not meant to be saved

And I know there are some who will say I’m a fool
But I don’t give a damn for the people that do
Cause if down in a dungeon is where they belong
Well, that’s their misfortune and none of my own

**Repeat Chorus

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

You Don't Tell Me What to Do

So the highway is where I believe I belong
Losing myself in the soul of a song
And the fight for the right to be righteously wrong
It’s a story that’s sad but it’s true

So I sing my own songs
And I drink when I’m thirsty
And I will go on
Making music, and whiskey,
and love for as long
As the spirit inside me
Says you don’t tell me what to do

Gone are the reasons for changing my mind
Gone like the future that I left behind
If you want to I warn you
You’re wasting your time
You don’t tell me what to do

Recite/laughter- You Don’t tell me what to do

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

Stairway to the Bottom

Well, you’ve started again
With the wife of a friend
O another night you hope you won’t recall
And the wine that you’re drinking
Doesn’t keep you from thinking
Of the bitter taste that lingers in your soul

And as you listen to your lies
Once again you realize
That she doesn’t mean a thing to you at all
And I watch you climb that stairway to the bottom
Every evening in that mirror on the wall

You take pride in deceiving
One who tried hard believing in you
Even after all the lies you told
And the lies that you’ve spoken
And each vow that you’ve broken
Was a new nail in the coffin of your soul

And if you think someone’s crying
For the love that is dying
With the trust that you betray each time you fall
Look around you on that stairway to the bottom
No one’s watching but that mirror on the wall

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

Just Suppose

You’re going back now and I guess you think she’s waiting
‘Cause she’s waited there so many times before
I suppose that you suppose that she’s still crying
Like the way she was when you walked out that door

And I imagine you intend to say you’re sorry
For the sorry things you always seem to do
Yes I guess you feel ashamed and I can’t really say I blame you
I suppose I’d feel the same if I were you

You took your time to get your mind together
And gave her time to find somebody else
But if she’s not true, Lord, who are you to blame her
You know you’ve been untrue a time or two yourself

And I expect you to expect me to feel guilty
For not giving back the love you threw away
But just suppose you really love her now like I do
What do you suppose you’d do if you were me

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved


One day as I was sailing on the Caribbean Sea
I spied a little fishing vessel drifting aimlessly
Her sails were torn and tattered
And her wheel was spinning free
I told myself that little boat sure looks a lot like me

‘Cause like a ship without a rudder
I’m just drifting with the tide
And each day I’m drawing closer to the brink
Just a speck upon the waters
Of an ocean deep and wide
I won’t even make a ripple when I sink

As I pulled along beside her and I climbed upon her deck
In the silence I could feel the hair a rising on my neck
I thought as I walked through the empty quarters down below
That lost abandoned vessel was the sister of my soul

In the emptiness my footsteps were like echoes in a cave
That seemed to say there ain’t no way to leave this floating grave
And when I scrambled to the deck my ship had vanished like a dream
Leaving nothing but the lonely waves to hear my silent scream

**Repeat Chorus

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

My Heart was the Last One to Know

Taking time you got by these defenses of mine
Though I tried not to let you slip through
And when you worked your way to the back of my mind
It was too late to stop loving you

For my eyes grew accustomed to looking at you
And my arms found a body they hungered to hold
And the rest of my senses surrendered to you
But my heart was the last one to know

Then my eyes saw the warnings they couldn’t believe
And my lips felt your kiss growing cold
And my ears heard the stories but kept them from me
So my heart was the last one to know

Now my eyes finally learned to stop looking for you
And my arms slowly turned to another to hold
They could sense you were something too good to be true
But my heart was the last one to know
Yes, the heart is last one to know

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

The One You Chose

Give a man a yeller and he’ll be your friend forever
Give a man a speckled bird and he’ll never leave your side
And darling, truly making love will take you higher than the mountains
And you take you what it takes you boy to make your spirit rise

Me and you are moving to a truly new dimension
Full of new surprises on this river that we’re riding
Darling, up ahead is crazy with the freedom and it’s wilder
Welcome to the one you chose to run there by your side

Maybe what you see is what you got and what you wanted
Take me at my word that it’s the best that I can be
I will go down trying hard to teach you how to trust me
And I’ll love you ‘til it happens darling or eternity

Holding on to something that keeps holding us together
Stronger than the circumstances tearing us apart
I’ve just got a feeling, if I’m wrong you can correct me
I believe I just sang my way back in your heart

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved

Ramblin' Jack

I got a friend named Ramblin’ Jack

He’s got a face like a tumbled down shack
That’s been lived in too long to be torn down
He’s high on life and low on luck
And big on driving diesel trucks
And knows the boys that built them by the sound

Most of his lifetime he’s been wasted
On the wine of life he’s tasted
And I guess the rest, Lord, he was stoned
And he’s known to lay his weary head
In some funky, unfamiliar beds
But he was only looking for a home

**Chorus And I know he ain’t afraid of where he’s going
And I’m sure he ain’t ashamed of where he’s been
He has paid a little piece of his soul
For every seed that he’s been sowing
And he made his own mistakes, and love, and friends
Ain’t that what matters in the end

Soulful songs and sailing ships
Put a smile upon his lips
Easy as the laughter in his eyes
And if he knew how good he’d done
Every song he ever sung
I believe he’d truly be surprised

Looking back he’s come so far
Looking at his lucky star
Somewhere, out there, rocking on the road
Risky nights and wasted days
Wild and righteous, wicked ways
Mixing up the music in his soul

*** Repeat Chorus ………….I got a friend named Ramblin’ Jack

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved