Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We Picked a Fine Time to Leave El Nopalito

Tonight we say goodnight to an amazing establishment in Silver Spring, El Nopalito Grill -- home to the Wednesday night Songwriters Association of Washington open mic night for more than 100 shows. 

I had to say goodbye the way that a singer/songwriter does - with a new song for the occasion (with apologies to Luceille and her author). It's been a busy time in the world of medical imformatimusicology and informatics too, so I haven't been going very often over the last few months and I've felt it. It's therapy for me -- some people go bowling, some do yoga -- I play open mics. I listen too. And tonight was a great evening of music from across the spectrum. We had over 20 performers, so it was just two songs or 10 minutes. And it was great, just great. 

El Nopalito lost its lease or something like that, so next week we will be starting at a new venue. But tonight we celebrate El Nopalito and their amazing staff and chefs. You will be missed. Here is a song dedicated to them and to the fine songwriters I've had the privilege of hearing and playing for. 

We Picked a Fine Time to Leave El Nopalito


At a Tennessee truck stop about three a.m.

I was feelin’ real down and alone

When in walked a lady who looked so familiar

Just like a young woman I’d known

I said, “Howdy-do” and she sang, “Same t’you

Her melody turned on a light

I said, “Years ago, did you go out to El Nopalito

For that open mic on Wednesday nights?”


I asked her to sit and I gave her a hit

From my bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black

We talked of a time that was many years gone

The memories sure took us back

Back to the stage and a fine bygone age

When songs were performed by our gang

We toasted that crew and the tunes that they knew

And these are the words that we sang



We picked a fine time to leave El Nopalito

I sure loved their chiles and combo burritos

We heard some good songs

And we heard some bad songs

Then we sang, “Adios, muy amigos”

We picked a fine time to leave El Nopalito


Reminicin’ ’til dawn over coffee and yawns

We sang songs until we went hoarse

We swapped juicy stories of yesteryear glories

Who hooked up and who got divorced

We recounted past scenes like when George and Arlene

Used to belt rockabilly full blast

Those nights were the peak of the workaday week

I guess it was too good to last




Dell sold the shop and he took to bar hoppin

Tradin’ a song for a beer

Chris went on a mission to blend drums and fishin

Larry’s been missin for years

Buck Stone and Murray made it big in a hurry

Jeff’s now a YouTube phenom

And Scott and his honey run a posh nudist col’ny

For senile hippies on Guam



Our heads were both hurtin’ and we both knew for certain

It was high time to call it a wrap

My spirit revived, I felt strangely alive

But more likely I’d go home to nap

I gave her a hug and I felt that old tug

To go find me some new open mics

Sure, it’ll be great, but it won’t compensate

For the magic we shared Wednesday nights




For El Nopalito Grill on the occasion of their last open mic, January 8th, 2014

Thanks for taking such good care of us!

Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA

© 2014 ACMImimi

No comments:

Post a Comment