Violinist, singer-songwriter

Shay Gestal


I left my hat on some old park bench 

In broad daylight in Birmingham

I left my boots on the porch at Sam's ranch

And I left my heart in Louisian


I left my dog back home in Houston

Left my card with a music man

I left my truck door wide open

And I left my heart in Louisian

Yeah I left my heart where the fiddles roar

And the cajun beat rattles old dance floors

Where the one I love takes me by the hand

Yeah I left my heart in Louisian

I left my pride in Oklahoma

When I learned that I wasn't all that grand 

I left my wallet - dangit - in North Dakota

And I left my heart in Louisian

Well you know that I have lost most things

A time or two but my wedding band

'Cause when you're far away I have those rings

Lord take me back to Louisian

Sinkhole Waltz

The snow melts away like a glacial parade

And the wool on your bed peels open the day

And the eyes of the dove they watch as you play

With the mud and the dirt and the frogs in the clay

You sense the rain from miles away

And you still hear the crickets' low hum the next day

And you know there is toil that gallops your way

In the knock of your heart and the grass as it sways

Oh what is lonely and where is this land 

Of sinkholes and stallions, stirrups and sand?

Oh what is grey and where is this land

Of sinkholes and stallions, stirrups and sand?

Oh of stirrups and sand

The sad dove he cries, then flaps into dust

For Samantha he's bound, to win back her trust

And doesn't he know she's burning with lust

As he's carried away to her with a gust

And you look at your knees all muddy with earth

Poets speak plainly about their own worth

And infants cry to mourn their own birth

And crickets call out their thirst

The Co-Pilot Song

Well I left my home for Tennessee

Got stuck somewhere near Abilene

And watched the geese running from July

Then I hopped a train for Santa Fe

They kicked me out in Chateguay

And every night I watched it rolling by

And the sun shines high over clear and cloudy sky

And it warms everybody's porch at just the right time

And I guess that it don't matter much where you go

As long as you've got four wheels and a good companion to get you down the road

Well you took my hand and said to me

C'mon let's see where this leads

And we got lost every time

But we felt the wind every day

And helped a young girl find her way

You told her she was loved and it would be just fine

And from the tent next to me 

You talk about the lives we lead

And grace that captured your whole heart

And it dawns on me that it may be

That train, that truck and everything

It knew I needed you right from the start 

The Miles Between Us

When you see a fiery bed of leaves

Do you wonder why they fell?

If that was you would you leave the tree too

Or stay lonely for the view?

And when you touch the coals and they turn to dust

Do you want to cry?

'Cause they blow alone to no particular home

And flicker 'til they die

So hold on dear

Hold on my dear

Hold on until you hear

The miles between us disappear

Does a bite of blueberry pie

Make you turn your head?

And does it taste the same sweet way

As it would if it were shared with a friend?


You said the wood holds the art​

You said it's good for the heart

You said that it's all in the blade 

And you said the grain will show you the way

So I carve and whittle smooth

The bark on my heart from losing you

And the knots are tough and it takes time, so much time

But your knife's sharp

​Oh and now it's mine

You said it's a scoop, not a chop

You said it's a glide off the top

You said some things that I didn't hear

Like the woods are alive and know no fear

Birds Still Fly

It's a rainy month in old Colorado

Folks grumble with the sky

Uncle Jim wears it on his skin

And sighs

It's a rainy month on this side of the porch

My flowers died

And these songs won't pay the bills but I

Can make 'em cry

My hat's wet but my eyes are dry

As light flashes 'cross that bruised and endless sky

The grass is green and the birds still fly

The birds still fly

It's a rainy month and you're still on my mind

Like cherry wine

You drizzle cold and soft and low like what

I left behind

It's a rainy month in old Colorado

But the birds still fly

It's a rainy month in old Colorado

But the birds still fly

The birds still fly

The Prayer

One lost canoe, one broken oar

By grace and dumb luck makes it to shore

'Cause Mama Ship is searching out there

I am that baby boat, you are the prayer

One ugly gash riddles its shell

But the helpless seed finds roots somehow

'Cause somebody's sweetheart needed it there

I am that broken seed, you are the prayer

I am the step into the sea

You are the lighthouse that makes me believe

I am the kite, you are the air

I am the wandering soul, you are the prayer

I am the sheep born to roam

You're Teresa, Pio and Joe

You are the hand when nobody cares

I am that wide-eyed lamb, you are the prayer

Paint Your Toes

You're outta here

That New England winter's bitter and it's tougher than you are

This time of year

You trade two weeks notice for a one-way ticket to the clear

So paint your toes, get cozy in that crowded window seat

Remember everything you didn't pack

And as you take off, look down and you'll see me

Loving you until you get back

I hope you find

Greater joy than you'd dared to hope for 

In your mind

Well-deserved by somebody so beautiful and kind

And as you fly to that sunny, sunny sky

Remember there's not a thing you lack

Yes as you fly to that sunny, sunny sky

Know there's nothing that you lack

The Limp

He bustles in as fast as his bad leg allows

Struggles through the door and he turns himself around

I watch him as he fills two Dixie cups with water

That spill as he makes his way back out to that cold, cold winter

To that cold, to that cold

And in that red leather seat with my favorite cup of tea

The barista smiles 'cause he knows how happy it makes me

And the fire warms my soul with each fragrant sip

And my heart, oh my heart, oh my heart aches for that limp

Nobody reaches out as he stumbles on by

I look around, sad that they don't help, but neither do I

'Cause nobody wants to look into the face of the homeless

And nobody wants to be the one to mop up the mess

To mop the mess, to mop the mess

His face is blank and calloused as he soaks the heavy door

He's used to awkward glances, he just doesn't care anymore

Helplessly paralyzed I watch him leave

With no idea how lonely helplessness can be


Done is the day

Lay down your sweet head

Feel your troubles melt away

Come rest in your bed

You are cherished always

Held in love and grace 

And I know you feel afraid

But you've never been more safe

Beans 'N' Blues

Flowers and piles of dirt

Mud on your face, grass on my skirt

You'd strum that old guitar all day

You weren't that good anyway

Remember when the briers crept in 

We banded together to win

United, but what can I say?

It wasn't that great anyway

When you left my heart fell right out of my lonely chest

Somehow it must be for the best

So I'll start anew, with my pride and a bruise

So much for Beans 'n' Blues

I feel your touch in morning dew

When crabapples bloom, I picture you

Making that ridiculous face

You drove me mad anyways

You left your words on my brain

And old barn boots out in the rain

I'll shake you off someday

You're kind of a jerk anyway


All your friends and family gather 'round to see

In a room so full of love I've never felt so lonely

And as the music starts to play and the lights slowly fade

It's the perfect ending to your perfect day

And she sure is beautiful in that white dress in your arms

I'm caught up in your smile and you're caught up in her charms

It's a fairytale come true and I'm so happy for you

I just pray someday I'll move on

I wish that we could all go back in time

But I know that nothing I could change would ever make you mine

And by the look on your face you've got the right girl in lace

​And I'm clinging to what's left of second place

So raise a toast to the bride and groom

And a love so strong and true

My heart hurts but I can't help feeling

Happy for you


You're late again like I have come to expect

You care for me when it's convenient

When push came to shove I was all alone

'Cause your heart and your timeframe are all your own

Oh, yes they're all your own so

Be still my heart, don't you know

No good can come

And your good sense

Won't save you now

One thing I've learned in this uphill fight

Excuses are pointless when it's just not right

'Cause how many times have I put my hope

In a disappointment, oh but I should have known

Oh, yes I should have known so

And I don't mean to come off harsh, I've just gotta convince myself 

That disconnect is ultimately better for my health

It's sad to have to lower expectations for you, oh

But it's what I have to do


You make me write songs about your beauty

You make me dance unashamedly

You make me high, oh high on smiles and sunshine

You make me want to live my life big and free

I tend to walk into my future blindly 

I seem to blend accidentally

But we burn so bright and you just feel so right

That it would be too easy not to leave

And here's to hoping that I don't find love here

Oh Violet you're so far away from everything I know

Oh Violet you're so far away from home

Why'd you have to go and turn my heart

To the hills that never lose their grace

You're the sun-filled sky and the twinkle in my eye

I'd drive forever just to see your face

I think they're right that we belong together

But knowing how that'll look is tough

'Cause I think you're best as a tattoo on my chest

But here's to hoping that'll be enough

Baby Blue Room​

Baby blue room with a bright green floor 

And Natey is pulling my hair

I run inside and I slam the door

To wait with baited breath there

Oh Tom's in the kitchen with Mom making chicken

While Lily plays outside

Running for cover as clouds roll in

She shows up happy and tired

And the rain sounded like home

As it pattered the window panes

Of my baby blue room

He kissed me goodnight for the very first time

And I floated on up to my bed

Thought to myself as I closed my eyes

How can life be this good?

And the rain sounded like joy

As it pattered the window panes

Of my baby blue room

Boxes and bags and dishes in stacks

Pictures I drew on a shelf

Years have gone by since I've been here, now

Packing up for someone else

Oh I grab my last pair of boots with a sigh

And realize this must be the end

The sky starts to cry for an age gone by

And for things that'll never be said

And the rain sang to my soul

In memories pure and sweet

Of my baby blue room

My heart and my home, it's time to go

One last time

From my baby blue room


Banging on the door to find it's painted on the wall

Silence can be deafening when you know you gave your all

Plans fail, seasons change, dreams get brushed away

Leave you empty handed with nothing left to say

But if you knew (if you knew)

What's ahead of you (what's ahead of you)

You would see the purpose of what you're going through

Just cling to the things that you know are true

'Cause just out of sight, up ahead the sky's 

A brilliant blue

Sometimes the joy's in the journey after all

even in all uncertainty

Sometimes the hardest fought battles of your life

Form only poet's tragedy

Not right now, not today

But maybe tomorrow holds something great

​Just hold on, hold on

And keep the faith 

November Sunburn

Like a November sunburn

You crawl right back under my unguarded skin

And like a November sunburn

I can't help but savor, savor the sting

Let me tell you my fool-proof plan

I vow to myself every time

I'll forget the way you make me feel

And without you I'll be just fine

'Cause I am one tough gal

I make up my mind and I stick to my ways

But my hardest thought up, it'll-work-this-time plan

Melts at a glimpse of your face

And I struggle and try and I fight for my life

For some way to lift this curse

But like shaking my fist at the sun pouring down

God I'm only making it worse


I like to run in circles, I run in the street

I run in the dead of night, I run in bare feet

I run in the blazing heat and in the pouring rain

I'm pretty sure dripping sweat flushes all the pain

They say when I run away

I miss the beauty of the day

Isn't that cliche?

And so I'll smile and I'll wave as I'm

Running to the beat of my foot-pounding drum

And when my feet begin to bleed I'll run until they're numb

I'm running everywhere I go, running in my mind

'Cause running is the best way to spend your precious time

With You

She broke your heart on your birthday

Like a cruel joke or a tragic kind of play

And it doesn't make sense but you want her back the same

And you can't think of anyone but yourself to blame

Well life is tough and love is mean

And it hurts like hell when your high hopes don't turn out like they seem

And there's nothing I can say to change the way this is

But I'm glad that I get to walk with you through it

Oh I'm glad to walk, I'll always walk with you through it

Smack dab in that awkward in-between phase

Your self-esteem took a hit, now you can't quite replace

And no one understands the pain you're going through

The mask you wear to keep from tears is taking a toll on you

And now you're in the middle of the scene you always prayed would never

Happen to you

The pain is just too real and only time can heal the sting but until then I'm by your side

And 'til the night is through