The Best of​.​.​.​.​.​.​.​World Music

by Walter Ehresman



2017 marks 30 years of recording his songs for release out into the world and, to celebrate this milestone, Walter Ehresman is releasing a series of "Best of......" compilations throughout the year, organized by style and mood. They draw from the over 200 songs he has written and released, across 16 solo and four band albums, between 1987 and 2017. No song will be repeated across any of the collections.

As those of you familiar with his prodigious output know, Ehresman tends to jump genres on pretty much every song on any given release. As he said in February of 2017, "....This is because I take the musical inspiration as it comes, and also have just never wanted to release an entire album of songs all in the same genre, with the exception of 2007’s experimental dark ambient album “The A.D.G. Project” (, written for use with a large art installation at Burning Man that year).......Like many musicians, I rarely think of genre at all when I write and record.....I just pursue the idea wherever it leads, and in the end it 'is what it is,' as they say.

"I never have a good answer when asked by people: 'Oh, you’re a songwriter…..what kind of songs do you write?'...... Some songs are in recognizable styles, and some I frankly don’t what genre you’d put them in. But given all that, I think all my songs can be sorted out into a few general categories that have as much to do with mood as with a recognizable genre."

Nine compilations are planned, and this second one covers the world music pieces, showing influences from reggae, ska, dancehall, Africa (north and sub-Saharan), Central Asia, China, Japan, Indonesia, India, Ireland, and the Middle East. As with most of his tracks, Ehresman largely handles all the vocals and instruments himself, but some very talented Austin, Texas players and singers appear from time to time to sweeten the pot.

Album compiled and produced by Walter Ehresman.

Snipe Bog Records
All recordings p. 2017 Walter Ehresman
All rights reserved. © as indicated at each work.


released March 1, 2017

--solo albums: "Honor in the Swine?" ('89); "In the Path of the Cat Chasers" ('90); "Split Brain Theory" ('91); "The Blue Shoat Special" ('96); the spoken-word "The Rants" ('97); "Handwedge from the Trap" ('99); “Le Cafard“ (’01); "The Feral Rugby Team Must GO!" ('03); "No Unifying Theme" ('04); "March, Scream or Cry" ('07); "The ADG Project" ('07); "Monkey Paw Situation" ('09); “Well…..Let‘s Look at Your Track Record, Shall We?” (’10); “Life Outside the Tent“ (’12); “Blue-Eyed Devils” (’14); “Pinches Topes” (’16); "The Best of.......Singer/Songwriter" ('17); and "The Best of........World Music" ('17).

--with Snipe Hunt: "We'll Be Right Back!" ('99); "Dirty Ditties and Cover Tunes" ('00); and "I Saw the Future (But the Damn Train Hit Me Just the Same)" ('02).

--with Los Platos: “Oh, No” EP (’08).

--with Delphi Rising: “For Granted” (‘10)

--compilations (various artists):
(with Swine Patrol) “The Austin Cassette Compendium” (‘86)
(solo) "Monkey Boy Sampler" ('01, '05); and "Several Famous Orchestras" ('03).



all rights reserved


Walter Ehresman San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Called "the quintessential Austin DIY artist" by famed local disc jockey Charlie Martin , Walter Ehresman was an eccentric presence in the Austin music scene from the '80s until his 2015 move to Mexico. A prolific songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist...and a restless musical spirit, always looking for something new, expressed with fearlessly honest lyric-writing. ... more

contact / help

Contact Walter Ehresman

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Too Rude to Rule
Too Rude To Rule
(© 2016 Walter Ehresman)

I see you spewin’ on the TV—
a full borosie with a harbour shark style;
Throwin’ gas onto the fire;
Spread your hate beneath a big smile;
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.

You diggin’ poison from a deep well--
you celebrate it like it doesn’t have smell;
You put a lie into the mirror;
You make a little man swell, aye?
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.
Too rude to rule, now; too rude to rule.

[break—dancehall toasting]
With your white hood meetings, you’re a real upsetter, man;
The baldheads getting’ giddy with your Brownshirt rhetoric;
The shockwaves you creatin’ never move that weave, man,
and everything you say is just a whim and not a plan;
And you tap into that river of American intolerance
(and everyone of color surely seen that Southern dance);
And you look into the mirror, say “who is that cool dude?”;
You think you’re too bad but you’re just too rude.

You actin’ fassy with a big mob;
You light the torches as they march to my town.
You got them huntin’ for the dark kids;
Machine guns at the feet of a clown.
But I’ve been hearin’ something risin’—
a better sound from the positive souls;
A hurricane is a’brewin’—
a pressure drop for your bankroll.
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.
Too rude to rule, now; too rude too rude.

*Jamaican slang: “borosie”=a jerk; “harbour shark”=someone who is greedy; “fassy”=like an asshole; “rude”=criminal. This song was my response to the vile and divisive Trump campaign.
Track Name: Too Many Dudes
Too Many Dudes
(© 2004 Walter Ehresman)

I was in the water, just languid in the water–no reason to hold my stomach in;
And then a band of angels sang, the church bells in the square all rang–
an ecstasy of curves and perfect skin;
She was poetry in motion as she stroked her tanning lotion, and looked about for someone to apply;
But as I screwed my courage down, the apeman dragged his knuckles ‘round and slapped his hair paw upon her thigh.

Too many dudes–in my neighborhood;
Too many dudes–in my town.
Our wallets would grow fat
selling backwards baseball caps;
Procreation could make do with less around
(less around).

I was sitting in the restaurant, just playing with my dreadlocks, and waiting for some kind of deep-fried thing.
And as the sun fled from the day, a jazz band softly starts to play–she glides onto the stage and starts to sing.
She was mystery in high heels, a Siren for the genteel, with a backside that would cause your flag to fly;
But when the set was through, she launched herself in hot pursuit as the Illustrated Man went slouching by.

Track Name: Unimpressive Specimens
Unimpressive Specimens
(© 2010 Walter Ehresman)

The truest must be the loudest, and the whitest must be the rightest;
It’s a Teabagger Party!–now a black man’s in charge, we use substituted words like “socialist”;
And we will vote against our own pocketbook; and we’ll vote for the fellas who picked it;
And we’ll shoot ourselves right square in the foot, and not even realize that we done it;
And not even realize that we done it, and not even realize why it hurts.

We view every issue like it’s religious, and we live in a post-factual wilderness;
If you have to use your eyes, then you are lacking in faith; if you use reason, then you don’t love Jesus;
And they wonder if it ever seems iffy, and they wonder if we ever feel guilty.
As they study the limits of cognitive dissonance, we cleanse our schools of science and history;
And we cleanse our lives of any uncertainty; and we cleanse our minds of any lucidity.

Unimpressive specimens;
Testosterone poisoning;
Arrogant mediocrity–
kiss the whip, enjoy your tea.

A life lived like Coors advertisement–celebration with no accomplishment;
We seek fame just to say we are famous, just because our life is placed on some film;
And we wonder why we’re not feelin’ happy, and we wonder why our future looks crappy;
And the TV says it must be the dark ones–so we scream it, like we learned from our pappy,
like he screamed it like he learned from his pappy; like he screamed it like he learned from his pappy.

--Written the morning after the Teabaggers blew out the mid-term elections, November 2010.
Track Name: The King of Paperclips (a petty tyrant sings the blues)
The King of Paperclips
(© 2000: lyrics--Walter Ehresman; music--Ehresman/Ramirez)

Since I steppin’ onto the ground, I and I know
myself wasn’t cuttin’ it;
Gotta walk about 10 feet tall--only way I know
that everybody seein’ it.
Don’t be lookin’ at my dominion--quiver in your boots all
ye who will enter here;
I’m the master of my domain (except, if you must know, in the
night where no one can hear).

All hail the king of paperclips,
the ruler of one small thing;
All good people must pass through here
and endure the pain he brings.

I can’t go behind your closed doors--I’ll never see the
things that go on in there;
Never let me into your circles--just because I suck don’t
mean that this deal is fair.
Every time I see my reflection, there’s a moment where
I know just what I see.
Then the feeling fades into anger, and I spit on
everything that comes near to me.


[break--dancehall toasting]
I hear him comin’ in a rub-a-dub style,
with the heart of a chicken and the tone of a child;
And he walks upon the Earth like a gerbil gone wild,
and he climbs up on his high-chair as the people passin’ by;
And he makes a big ripple in the puddle in the spoon,
while the players on the gameboard sing a more important tune,
and he’s only got a moment for to piss on your shoe,
and the highlight of his kingdom ain’t a thing to me and you.
Oh, no.
Track Name: Rwandan Blues
Rwandan Blues
(© 1997 lyrics--W. Ehresman; music--Scott Brannock/W. Ehresman)

Pass me the palm wine, the pombe, I need to get stoned;
The soldiers are coming to drive me away from my home.
The crops in the field aren't as high as they once were before;
But having a little is better than having none at all.

My friend left last week, I don't think that I'll see him again--
your cameras can't be everywhere in this country I live in.
When they take me off the path through the jungle where no one will see,
where we do to each other what once only you did to me.

Tagati, I see your television;
Tagati, I see your special shoes;
Tagati, you've moved on to the next country;
Left me here singin' my Rwandan blues.

I die where I fall in that clearing so far from my home;
My neighbors die with me, but can't help from feelin' alone;
There's rumors of conspiracy while animals pick at our bones;
But even with a close-up, would you feel it was one of your own?

* “tagati” is Swahili for “black magic”
Track Name: In My Master's House
In My Master’s House
(© 2000 Walter Ehresman)

In my master’s house, they don’t think I see it;
In my master’s house, they don’t think I can understand;
In the night, I hear it--laughter leaks from under the door;
Economic entity--my master is not a living man.

In my master’s house, they wallow in prosperity;
In my master’s house, what they have they took from me;
When I was a young man, there were things not said out loud;
Now they strut and give no lip-service to equality.

Evil corporation--global;
(we are slaves, we must break free)
Evil corporation--national;
(we are slaves, we must break free)
Evil corporation--the state;
(we are slaves, we must break free)
Evil corporation--local;
(we are slaves, we must break free)

In my master’s house, I see it happen everywhere;
In my master’s house, I will not follow diversion;
I will spend my life pointing to nude emperors;
Man was never meant to be ruled by a legal fiction.

Track Name: Asleep at the Switch of Life
Asleep at the Switch of Life
(© 1998 Walter Ehresman)

Stolen days, and wasted nights--
one day, there will be no more.
People sleepwalking from place to place--
the gift to them is one they do not earn.

We’re the only creature walkin’ ‘round with the power,
so how come you never use your head?
Imagination is bread on the table,
so how come you never break your bread?

[chorus #1]
Asleep at the switch of life (my family),
asleep at the switch of life;
Asleep at the switch of life (my father),
asleep at the switch of life.

I see you every day, driving in the city--
don’t you know you’re going to kill someone?
There is a vision that transcends the space around you--
yet you scream to keep those blinders on.

Strange things are happening just around the corner,
so how come you don’t look past your toes?
Fantastic creatures dance ‘round inside your blindspot--
you just say “That’s just the way things go.”

[chorus #2]
Asleep at the switch of life (my brother),
asleep at the switch of life;
Asleep at the switch of life (my sister),
asleep at the switch of life.

I see you every day, staring down the tunnel--
praying that you don’t see nothing new;
When you are old and your memories circle ‘round you--
sad to say, you’ll find they’re all too few.
Track Name: Sunset in Djenne'
Sunset in Djenne’
(© 2011 Walter Ehresman)

--Djenne’ is a World Heritage Site in Mali, West Africa. It contains the Great Mosque of Djenne’, which is the largest mud brick building in the world.
Track Name: Gjallerhorn Processional
Gjallerhorn Processional
(© 2003 Walter Ehresman)

–instrumental, recorded for the daily processionals across the playa with the camp gjallerhorns, SCARAB Camp, Burning Man 2003. The camp art theme that year was Ragnarok:
Track Name: Silk Road Processional
Silk Road Processional
(© 2007 Walter Ehresman)

--instrumental, recorded for the camp parades across the playa led by the SCARAB Bellies dancers, with harem beverages distributed en route--SCARAB Camp, Burning Man 2007.
Track Name: The Horse, the Flat Rock
The Horse, the Flat Rock
(© 2008 Walter Ehresman)

-- This song is rooted in Central Asia. The song features Ehresman playing his authentic rawap, which was purchased on E-Bay and sent in a crate to Austin all the way from Uzbekistan. “I’ve loved Tuvan throat-singing since I first heard about it on NPR, during a piece about the documentary Genghis Blues,” he recalls. “After I saw the movie, I ordered a CD by Ondar, a legendary Tuvan figure who is considered, by the people of Tuva, to be like a cross between JFK, MLK and Elvis (according to the film).” This led Ehresman to other groups, like Tuvan rock pioneers Yat-Kha, which in turn led to the inclusion of lots of Tuvan music during Ehresman’s DJ sets on Radio Electra, the principle pirate radio station at Burning Man. “I had the pleasure of freaking quite a few people out with this stuff over the years,” he remembers with a smile. “During 2004, my friend Matt and I were doing my annual late night radio program called "The Send Your Mind Over the Edge Show" and, around 3am, we started rounding up people from out in the road in front of the station to come in and fill the studio with Tuvan throat-singing, which we miked and brought up in the mix as a Tuvan CD was faded down….We ended up with about 12 people crammed in the RV, going EEEEEEEOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAA’ and trying their best to make that sound….None of us could do it, of course, but Matt came the closest.” Fast forward four years, to when The Horse, The Flat Rock was recorded. Ehresman continues: “I had the idea in my head for several years to do a Tuvan-style song, with this title, featuring Matt doing his faux-Tuvan throat-singing (aided by some electronic processing)….The title is a play on the time-honored Texas expression about it raining harder than a cow pissing on a flat rock…..The reference was changed here because, as everyone knows, in Tuva it’s all about the equine, not the bovine.” Indeed.
Track Name: Together By Egeria
Together, By Egeria
(© 2003 Walter Ehresman)

–instrumental recorded for the artist Kiki Petit, to be played on her wedding anniversary as her wonderful fire fountain Egeria was once again lit on the playa–Burning Man 2003.
Track Name: BONUS TRACK: The Weighty Apparatus
The Weighty Apparatus
(© 1999 Walter Ehresman)

When I first came to this country from among the lonesome plain,
a weighty apparatus was shackled to my brain;
The purpose of this miller’s stone, as it was told to me,
was to keep my body safe from harm and keep our country free.

The magistrates did loudly crow of how small sacrifice
by every man would lead us to a freemen’s paradise;
But when a rich man’s purse means more than human currency,
there’s bloody little difference from the boot of tyranny.

Now I’ve said the things I had to say, and done the things I’ve done;
And I’ve shed the apparatus, and I showed it to the sun;
And I’m going from this country, for it is no place to be
for any man with half a hope of standing straight and free.