What’s In The Words: “One Time, One Night” By Los Lobos

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Cesar Rojas

Los Lobos' Cesar Rojas (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Gibson)

“A wise man was telling stories to me
About the places he had been to
And the things that he had seen

A quiet voice is singing something to me
An age old song about the home of the brave
In this land here of the free
One time one night in America.”

— “One Time, One Night” by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Los Lobos[/lastfm]

The 1988 song “One Time, One Night” by Los Lobos is without a doubt one of the best songs this band from East L.A. has ever done. And it’s the song’s lyrics that help it stand out.

Once the band introduces us to the source of the story — the “wise man,” the “quiet voice” — they proceed to share beautiful vignettes of American lives, each a small snapshot within a bigger picture.

A lady dressed in white with the man she loved.

The guy that lived next door in #305.

And four small boys playing ball in a parking lot, all traveling down a different road, fueled by little more than a toss of a coin in a wishing well.

Brilliant.

If you haven’t heard it, you’re in for a treat.

 

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