Once I Was
Cover of Tim Buckley
Once I was a soldier
and I fought on foreign sands for you
Once I was a hunter
and I brought home fresh meat for you
Once I was a lover
and I searched behind your eyes for you
And soon there'll be another
to tell you I was just a lie

And sometimes I wonder
just for a while
will you remember me

And though you have forgotten
all of our rubbish dreams
I find myself searching
through the ashes of our ruins
for the days when we smiled
and the hours that ran wild
with the magic of our eyes
and the silence of our words

And sometimes I wonder
just for a while
will you remember me
Originally performed by Jeffs father, Tim Buckley, in 'Goodbye and Hello' (1967). Jeff performed it live in his exhibition for Greetings From Tim Buckley, a tribute concert organized by Hal Willner that took place at St.Ann's Church, New York, on April 26 1991. As Jeff often bluntly refused to perform his fathers songs in his shows, it is suprising to find that the St Annes show was not the only appearance of a Tim Buckley song. (Jeff played 'Once I Was' by request, on 1995-05-10, Bluebird Theatre, Denver)

'It was the first song my mother ever played me by Tim,' he explains. 'After she left my stepfather, I guess she wanted to get me into who my father was and she played me 'Once I Was.' So I learned it. It was hard to learn it. I couldn't do a really full version of it at home without crying. I almost cried onstage. I broke a string onstage at the end of that song. They were brand new strings. I was really pissed. I felt embarrassed about the whole thing. I just felt really open and vulnerable. There's such a ravenous cult around Tim and you know how people are. I mean, if people learned they could recreate Jim Morrison from his ancient bone marrow they'd fucking do it.' -- Jeff Buckley ('The Arrival of Jeff Buckley: A Talented Young Musician Learns to Navigate the Record Business While Protecting His Music', Bill Flanagan, Musician, February 1994, p97-101)
Known Performance:
91-04-26 St. Annes Church, Brooklyn Heights, New York, New York, America
95-05-10 Bluebird Theater, Denver, Colorado, America