The Gothic Cowboy (aka Melvin Litton)

*All songs by Melvin Litton Copyright 2020


Chance (disc one)

 1  Lullaby of Faris Jordan – 3:28 

 2  Victrola Blues – 3:17 

 3  Nothin’ Ain’t Tryin’ – 5:35 

 4  Jack o’ Diamonds – 3:23 

 5  Momma’s Song – 2:00 

 6  Ten Years Ago – 3:08 

 7  That Ol’ Night Train – 3:35 

 8  Frankie, Me ‘n Johnny – 4:05 

 9  Dagger ‘n the Rose (Bimbo) – 3:19 

10  My Good Little Lady – 3:09 

11  Epilogue of a Pioneer – 3:14 

12  Dry County Yodel – 4:51 

13  Jaloeb Corley – 3:47 

14  Whistle Bird – 1:49 


Folly (disc two) 

 1  Minstrel Man – 4:11 

 2  Marijuana Fields – 2:49 

 3  Forsake Me Not – 4:02 

 4  White Moon – 5:08 

 5  Starvin’ For a Song – 2:53 

 6  Ol’ Bull Sade – 4:31 

 7  Where Do You Go – 3:45 

 8  Shoeless Joe Rag – 4:20 

 9  Prairie Ballad – 3:33 

10  Zoo Blues – 3:22 

11  Lily Mae & Harvest King – 3:06 

12  Down the River – 2:00 

13  Wounded Knee – 5:56 

14  Orion (for Barbara) – 3:48 


Desire (disc three)

 1  Pantomime – 4:01 

 2  Ol’ Trouble – 2:42 

 3  Red Rose Blues – 3:47 

 4  My Lady Been Gone – 3:21 

 5  Dakota Wind – 5:06 

 6  Any Ol’ Time – 2:54 

 7  Louisiana Nights – 3:57 

 8  When I’s In Denver – 3:53 

 9  Chicago Morgue – 5:41 

10  Taco ‘n Wine – 3:45 

11  Spanish Guns/Aztec Gold – 5:16 

12  Quitin’ You – 3:43 

13  Padlock Rock – 3:17 

14  Beast of the Jungle – 1:40 


Dream (disc four) 

 1  Gypsy Fire – 3:34 

 2  Ashes ‘n Dust – 4:23 

 3  Ode to Red Rover – 4:32 

 4  No Diamonds – 3:30 

 5  Long Way From Beulah Land – 4:25 

 6  Belladonna – 3:23 

 7  What Rough Beast – 4:00 

 8  I Come To You – 2:30 

 9  Blue Sky ‘n Roses – 3:25 

10  Mad Dog Blues – 3:52 

11  For a Nickel or a Dime – 1:53 

12  Don’t Wanna Die in Arkansas – 3:06 

13  Old Men & Old Hymns – 3:18 

14  Moonlight on the Prairie – 2:08 



Chance (disc one) 


      1)  Lullaby of Faris Jordan  

I knew an old man, he lived by the clock 

He never spent a dime or gave a damn 

In twenty-four days he saw the sun set once 

Cuz his clock only had on big hand 

Now I ain’t so clever, ain’t had much school 

But I know the man he was a damn fool 

   Chorus:  Let’s take a holiday beneath the moon 

Let’s give a new friend some old wine 

You know the rules, you’ve got ‘em down 

Either you’re dead or you’re alive 

So let the rivers rise, pick your melons ripe 

And paint your steamboats white 

   I drink a hundred-proof in memory 

Of the night I’s married down in Tennessee 

And Farris Jordan of Kentucky 

Wed brown-eyed Alice of Missouri 

And my Alice said just the other day 

Better knock on wood when you pray 


   Last night I dreamed of my gran-daddy’s mules 

It’s been years since I thought of that pair 

So I’m takin’ my family to the Smokey Hills 

Though there ain’t much money down there 

But come the spring we’re gonna hit the road 

North to Maine or west to Idaho… 

   I’ve always been in love, my friend 

I like old wine, oh yes I do 

Though it’s crossed my mind that my lullaby 

Might be another man’s blues 

But I’ve taken a look down that long ol’ track 

And I don’t see any goin’ back 



      2)  Victrola Blues 

Chorus:  Cat’s got my tongue, dog’s got me treed 

Been so damn lonely thought I’d bleed 

A’rollin’ down the highway like a needle in a groove 

Put my teeth to the wind, gonna sing Victrola blues 

   My world goes around like a lazy Susan 

Home today, tomorrow I’ll move on 

Come in a’crawlin’, exit twirlin’ a can 

Don’t ever think of winnin’, just in ‘n out of every game 

   I been kickin’ cans ‘n spittin’ nails 

Bendin’ steel ‘;n ridin’ the rails 

Been ballin’ the jack ‘n slippin’ nearly every noose 

Been cuttin’ ‘er wide, shootin’-the-moon on a deuce 


   There’s a picture on the wall, in my mind a riddle 

Whiskey in the bottle with a dog on the label 

An old phonograph bringin’ memories alive 

Pieces of the puzzle come awake most every night 

   I been layin’ up in an ol’ motel 

Drinkin’ coffee tryin’ to break the spell 

The curtain’s off the window, my door’s unhinged 

The little spider on the ceilin’ is callin’ my allee-oots in 



       3)  Nothin’ Aint Tryin’ 

Well bless my soul it’s a rodeo, let’s get a horse ‘n go ridin’ 

Ain’t no sense in duckin’ down, ain’t a bit of use in hidin’ 

Pheasants fly and the hounds give chase, bawling thru the milo 

Edith is her ma’s disgrace, she don’t wear no halo 

I got a bullwhip, Danny got a gun, Johnny got a brand new saddle 

And if you paint that Kansas sky, best use a brush made of sable 

   Chorus:  Whoo-pee!  Kansas City! 

Got a haircut ‘n got a boot shine 

I’m goin’ out dancin’ with a red-light queen 

Gonna get a little loaded on the wine 

Some get nothin’ but nothin’ ain’t tryhin’ 

   I’s raised up in a Kansas town, buried my daddy in the Kansas ground 

Me ‘n my friends are hard-luck boys, spin our gold when the moon gets round 

We whacked weed in ’76, our long knives sang all summer 

Dried them leaves ‘n stacked them bricks, our wolves really howled that winter 

Now you get a gunny sack, I’ll take a drive, big Bill sharpen all them knives 

We gonna have us a harvest night, gotta make the money to do ‘n die 


   Some they like their fresh popcorn, me I love them crisp ol’ maids 

Wash my body in a thunderstorm, drink my whiskey in the summer shade 

I’m gonna die just cus I’s born, ya can’t outrun that shadow 

Chase your tail ‘n curse the moon, drown like a fly in a bottle 

When that ol’ road cries out “Dead end!” most go to sleep in the evenin’ 

But I’ll live by the sword, gonna lose my blood 

Lord, I’m goin’ out white-lightnin’ 


   Believe I’ll go on down to Georgia 

Learn to make that ol’ moonshine 

Gonna make whoopee with Gloria 

Gonna pick a little fruit off the vine 

Some get nothin’ but notin’ ain’t tryin’ 

   My grandpa came from Tennessee 

Here, spend a nickel, spend a dime 

And I’m a shoot off the Rebel tree 

Spend a nickel, spend a dime 

Some get nothin’ but nothing ain’t tryin’


      4)  Jack o’ Diamonds 

Chorus:  Jack o’ Diamonds, the skeleton clown 

He cries so loud, “I need one more card! 

“I need the joker wild!” 

   Half the night he’s stayed his hand 

Sober at the dealing 

Sober like the shadows webbed 

To the closet and the ceiling 

   Jack o’ Diamonds, the anguished smile 

His eyes are taut and deceiving 

He’ll spin more copper of your gold 

More doubt from your believing 


   His silk-top hat’s moth-eaten now 

As he leads you half a dollar 

For the winter moon he’d give his life 

His hand for your lovely daughter 

   Jack o’ diamonds has missed his aim 

His dice spin off the table 

For the sacred seven he counts to twelve 

But his tears are mere fable 


   A bolted door shuts out the night 

There’s a full-house in the ante 

Asleep the children dream no dreams 

For the father spoke no history 

   Jack o’ Diamonds is screaming now 

“Here you bastard call me! 

“I’ll have your heart, your love, your life 

“I’ll have all that’s holy!” 

   But the trump was heart in this gambled hand 

And as the good queen stole across his face 

The clown had lost to the man 

   Jack o’ Diamonds is leaving now 

But he says, “Tomorrow’s another day 

“Watch it you don’t lose your life 

“When the Queen of Spades comes to play” 



      5)  Momma’s Song 

I’ve been a’fightin’ it, ain’t denyin’ it 

Makin’ waves where seas are calm 

I’m the kinda guy that makes his mamma cry 

Everything I do is wrong 

So Momma why do you even try to help me carry on 

   Chorus:  Take my picture off the mantel 

Throw it in the fire 

Get my suitcase out from behind the couch 

And send your love by wire 

   Swear I wasn’t born to plant no corn 

Nor mow the meadow hay 

And I’ll never plow no matter how 

Much the landlord pays 

He beat my father down into the ground 

Into a dirty tenant grave 


   I’m headed straight down the interstate 

I’ll take the highway to the sea 

Gonna ride them rails until I sail 

Through that drifter’s dream 

And if I fail, Momma, don’t ever tell ‘em 

No, that you cried for me 


      6)  Ten Years Ago Today 

Ten years ago today we walked along the shore 

Not knowing as we shared our dreams 

What life would have in store 

As the dark clouds gathered round, blocking out the sun 

You took my hand in yours, girl 

You said, “We’ll walk as one…” 

   Chorus:  We must abide the seasons, 

To each day bid adieu 

And the time will come when we will reach 

A path that’ll lead us through… 

And ten years aren’t near enough 

A hundred would not do 

But as long as we’re a’livin’ 

I’ll want ten more years with you 

   And I would be the kind of man 

Who’d give the world his all 

For ten long years you’ve watched me climb 

And now you’ve seen me fall 

That fortune wheel can spin you up 

And it can take you down 

But as l long as it’s a’spinnin’, babe 

Good fortune may be found 



      7)  That Ol’ Night Train 

Down ‘n out one moonlit night, a’runnin’ from a gun 

I crossed the county on the chance I’d catch a night train run 

Swam the muddy river, waded the slough 

Up beyond the willows where the water hemlock grew 

   That ol’ Night Train thundered from the sky 

The ol’ Night Train wore the moon’s disguise 

The engineer was named Mister Nibbs 

And as his devil whistle wailed 

He said, “You can ride if you sign your soul to hell” 

   He carried the evil freight of our dreadful times 

Many a soul I had known 

I saw my father manning the tender car 

And as he fed that fire with bones 

He said, “Son, don’t ride 

“You must heed these words I moan… 

   Chorus:  “That ol’ Night Train, hear it’s engine roar 

“That ol’ Night Train, calling all aboard 

“Those who ride this train are cursed forever 

“And will burn…” 

   Heard the bloodhounds on my trail ‘n terror filled my soul 

The question flashed into my mind to answer yes or no 

“Get behind me Satan!”  I fell to my knees 

And prayed to God in heaven, “Have mercy one me…” 

   That ol’ Night Train rides the rail of sin 

That ol’ Night Train, its journey never ends 

Ol’ Mister Nibbs, he just laughed ‘n said 

“Well if you ever change your mind 

“Just remember, boy, I make this run each night” 

   The morning sun warmed my pale and weary arms 

As they cuffed my hands in chains 

Deep in my heart I knew I was free at last 

When that black Maria came 

For back down to hell went the Devil’s ol’ Night Train 



      8)  Frankie, Me ‘n Johnny 

Waitin’ for a train one day, I bought an old man a beer 

He said, “Thank ya son, cause I’m been dry near a week 

Been travelin’ up from Mexico, ain’t been home in years 

But I’ve got along and I’ve seen enough to last me 

And I know it don’t show, but there was once a time 

When Frankie, me ‘n Johnny stopped 

The Germans on the Rhine 

   Chorus: And Frankie was lucky at the horses 

Johnny was lucky with the cards 

And I’s lucky with the women 

But our luck only ran so far 

We had seafood every morning 

Live shrimp in our beer 

Wouldn’t have traded the world for a pinup girl 

We’d rather given a whore our ear 

   On a chain gang down in Texas 

We killed the boss who wore silver spurs 

We kept the silver ‘n buried him ‘neath the thistles 

Served our time out on the road 

Runnin’ from them hounds like birds 

When we wanted a pretty woman we’d just whistle 

Well churchmen talk of good ‘n evil 

To me it was always gray 

You can walk the ditch or take the road 

Both lead to the same ol’ grave 


You get the red light on the street 

The green light at their door 

The candle light when their man’s away 

The caution light when he’s home 

   Moonlight on the river, riverboats in my dreams 

The odds on hearts are thirty-six to one 

I loved a woman from St. Louie 

She drove a long black limousine 

Love was roulette played on her green carpet lawn 

And she always drank Red Label 

She had the voice of a saxophone 

But when she fell for that pretty man from New Orleans 

The next morning I was gone 


I’s a sailor for the banker’s daughter 

I gambled for the grocer’s wife 

They didn’t rope me down, I’s a Gypsy clown 

I didn’t peel potatoes all my life 

   Bootleggin’ in the ‘30s, runnin’ them back country roads 

Crossin’ the Canada border one late winter night 

When the shot ‘n smoke had cleared 

Frankie ‘n Johnny lay cold 

And I’s down the river swimmin’ ‘neath the ice 

Now those days are just a song 

And they can’t be played for a nickel 

Death is my dancin’ partne, my life’s a vicious ol’ fiddle 


With a Jack ‘n a Queen bid two 

With an Ace ‘n a Deuce bid three 

But if ya shoot the moon you’re all alone 

And you just might need a priest 


      9)  Dagger ‘n the Rose (Bimbo) 

Chorus:  Once you’ve gone so far you can’t return 

Oh Bimbo, Bimbo, where ya gonna go 

Now that all your bridges have been burned 

   I’m on the street outside these walls, been spendin’ time 

I won it gamblin’ off a very old man 

I bluffed him once, you might say I bluffed him 9 times 

Just before he died he raised his head and he cried 

“Stand by the window with your gun…” 

But that was all, a cat had caught his tongue 

And beside the dagger I laid the rose 

   The grass is green where I will go, but it ain’t summer 

The ice has locked me behind a scared door 

Beneath the bridge and across the tracks 

I’m gonna soon be a’runnin’ 

Lookin’ for that one fence that might hold me 

I’ve come ‘n gone so many times 

Lord, they don’t believe me 

I’m colored by so many shades of gray these days 

And beside the dagger I see the rose 


   Its wine ‘n beer, the sun ‘n moon, that I been drinkin’ 

All these blue nights that I’ve been thinkin’ 

And what I’ve learned remains unnamed 

It just can’t be spoken 

Cuz the pain I’ve known ain’t come clear through 

Ah no no, it’s stayed buried deep somewhere within 

Like an arrow in an old tree 

Is it a wound or just another limb, I don’t know 

Beside the dagger I see the rose 

   I’m on the street outside these walls, been spendin’ time 

I won it gamblin’ off a very old man 

I bluffed him once, you might say I bluffed him 9 times 

And beside the dagger I laid the rose 


      10)  My Good Little Lady 

I’m rollin’ down an eastern mountain highway 

Can’t see the stars for all the clouds 

From the forest I can hear the devil callin’ me 

My past is comin’ down like a screamin’ owl 

Tonight the deer are runnin’ free out in Kansas 

And my good little lady, my sweet-time baby 

She’s sleepin’ beneath the moon 

   I get a little tired of rollin’ with the double nickel 

Roll on, roll ‘er up to the lucky seven 

Now I pray but I still can’ quote the Bible 

Yet I swear there’s a bear on every man’s road to heaven 

I’ve been comin’ from the wrong side of winnin’ 

And my good little lady, my sweet-time baby 

She’ll even up the score 

   Now I ain’t never been locked up in no prison 

But I’ve spent a lot of years locked out in the cold 

And every day ‘n every night has been a lesson 

There ain’t no better place than your home to go 

Cuz there’s a chorus of thieves that live along the highway 

And my good little lady, my sweet-time baby 

She’ll help to pull me through 

   I’m rollin’ down across the muddy Ohio 

Clouds part to the gleam of the midnight gold 

My headlights catch the eyes of a little coyote 

He’s runnin’ down the ditches howin’ hungry for his home 

And I’m dreamin’ of candle lights ‘n good whiskey 

And my good little lady, my sweet-time baby 

She’s sleepin’ beneath the moon 


      11)  Epilogue of a Pioneer

I’s born in Ireland in 18 ‘n 33, sailed for America in 18 ‘n 60 

Marched with Sherman south outa Tennessee 

That was a sorry time 

The captured Rebs lay there a’bleedin’ 

About their fires with banjoes singin’ 

They sounded like a pack of a’grievin’ some old old rhyme 

   Chorus:  O’er our trail the leaves are fallin’ 

The wolf ‘n the winter are howlin’ our names 

O’er our trail both cold ‘n hungry 

The night waits to swallow the wounded and slain 

   I rode on west when the war was thru 

In northern Kansas ol’ Jed threw a shoe 

So I homesteaded beside the Big Blue 

That seemed the thing 

I sold the bones of the buffalo 

Built my home with sod then stone 

That first winter as the blizzards rose I began to sing 


   I learned to farm by many teachers 

The sun, the moon ‘n the four ol’ seasons 

Though I swear it was never easy 

You can get along 

Her name was Sara and we raised two sons 

I watched her age from a pretty fawn 

She died in 18 ‘n 91, that was in the fall 

   The century turns with gold in the mountains 

People pour forth like water from a fountain 

And way up north where the great snows fall 

My young sons roam 

As I look back on my memory 

To those Rebel lads singin’ that evenin’ 

God, I wonder why I’m livin’ to be so old 



      12)  Dry County Yodel

Well I’s singin’ in a barroom out on them western plains 

Up stepped a little lady, her eyes was full of pain 

She said “Tonight my heart feels like a dead dog on the road 

“So please, don’t play slow, cuz I only wants to jostle-bostle 

“Step ‘n fetch a bottle, flash my eyes at some big fellow 

“I’m tired of feelin’ so damn low 

“I only wants to wiggle, spin it on a nickel 

“Swing my hips like a musical cello 

“I’m gonna dance tonight even if I dance alone” 

So I yodel-yodel-yodeled…yodeled for the sad lady 

   There came on a blue norther, you could hear howlin wind 

The door fell open, a big cowboy waltzed in 

He whoopeed “It’s Friday, I’m fresh in from the ranch 

“So mister, don’t play sad, cuz I only wants to jostle-bostle 

“Step ‘n fetch a bottle, skip to my lou, forget about the cattle 

“I’m here to lose them cowboy blues 

“Been sleepin’ on my cot alone a lot 

“And I’m hot to unzip a thought 

“Gonna dance with every lady in this lowdown saloon” 

So I yodel-yodel-yodeled…yodeled for the cowboy too 

   Now I’s set to go by midnight, thought my gig was done 

When this good ol’ boy come grabbed my arm ‘n said 

“Howdy-do there, son…say there’s a great big show 

“Down at my ol’ red barn where you can play till dawn 

“Cuz we only wants to jostle-bostle, step ‘n fetch a bottle 

“Don’t wanna lay our heads on a pillow 

“This town’s been dry 30 years till this afternoon 

“I’ll play my fiddle while you spin your riddles 

“Come on down now, be a good fellow 

“Whole damn county’s there tonight catchin’ up on booze” 

So I yodel-yodel-yodeled…yodeled on down to the show 

   They was swingin’ from the rafters ‘n wrestlin’ in the hay 

There was more umm-umm goin’ on than I’d care to say 

Finally down in my throat little frog jumped on the horse 

And I pleaded “I can’t sing no more, don’t wanna jostle-bostle 

“Or step ‘n fetch a bottle, just wanna ease off on the throttle 

“My fingers are blistered, my tongue can’t even spit” 

Then this ol’ geezer jumped up, fed me whiskey from his cup 

Called his pretty daughter to help me getty-up 

She whispered the sweetest words that can a virgin’s lips 

I yodel-yodel-yodeled…the little bird was chirpin’ half past 3 

   Well I kept a’singin’ dreamin’ about that pretty miss 

But as things turned out I never even got a kiss 

That big cowboy cut ‘er out just like a brown-eyed calf 

He led her to the loft for a little laugh 

They jostled ‘n they bostled in the shadows 

That young gal didn’t even battle 

Next I saw was a big two-barrel in the hands of her ol’ man 

He said “See my thumb on the gun, chum, don’t be dumb ‘n run 

“Cuz you’re gonna be my son-in-law ‘n I’m gonna be your dad” 

And I yodel-yodel-yodeled…yodeled at the cowboy’s wedding 


      13)  Jaloeb Corley 

Jaloeb Corley was his name, he weren’t on of fame 

I knew him back when I’s a lad of 10 ‘n he was 40 

He rode from the distance as he came to our town 

All the people stood back from him 

And even the ol’ hounds they did howl 

For y’all see, Corely was the hangman 

Jaloeb his first name and he was a hangman 

   It was in my day when a man could hang 

For takin’ swim ‘n playin’ Huck Finn with a local rich dame 

His name was Jimmy Sage and they charged him with rape 

Of ol’ man Slate’s black-eyed daughter of fifteen years 

They stood Jimmy up in a barroom trial 

They stood Jimmy up ‘n he walked the last mile 

   The day of the hangin’ was clear ‘n cold with the rope 

Set to strike poor Jimmy’s young neck like a long dull knife 

When they set Jimmy swingin’, the crowd sang shrill 

The sky fell black ‘n down the street came a blowin’ chill 

For Jimmy was not brave, he screamed to his grave 

No, Jimmy was not brave, he screamed to his grave 

  When the deed was done the chikdren went runnin’ 

And the old men cursed Mr. Corley’s purse of 50 dollar gold 

But Mr. Corley just sneered, he could smell their fear 

As he stared back ‘n said “Now he’s dead, what’s it matter you so?” 

And he drank his brandy all alone from his hotel window 

Yes, he drank his brandy all alone from his hotel window 

   Now the gibbous moon shone ‘n the prairie wolves cried 

The winter clouds came, buried each shadow ‘n the night fell blind 

That next lone morning as it started to snow 

I walked out back, found a man dressed with his neck stretched long 

Hanged from our tree, I found Jaloeb Corley 

Hanged from our tree, I found Jaloeb Corley 


      14)  Whistle Bird 

I’m goin’ down the road again 

If I return then I’m your friend 

And babe, that’s all you need to know 

Cuz I’ve heard the whistle bird 

A’singin’ songs without no words 

Like a dry rain fallin’ o’er the snow 

   Chorus: Strike a note of thunder if you’re bored 

Shake a bolt of lightning at the Lord 

Now he just might damn your mortal soul, well burn! 

Cuz don’cha know the devil’s dust is just as good as gold 

   Have you heard about Puss ‘n Boots 

He ain’t got no gun to shoot 

The women drank his whiskey, the Feds burned all his pay 

Light the light for Felix the cat, give me back my cowboy hat 

Give the witch a broom ‘n give the night to the day 


   (Extra verse) I always wanted to fly a kite 

And I always wanted to win one fight 

Yet here I sit just as bloody as the day I’s born 

But the sun knows the sky is blue 

Like I know that I love you 

Like the wheat loves the barley ‘n the barley loves the corn 



Folly (disc two) 


      1)  Minstrel Man

Chorus: I’m a minstrel man and I travel thru this land 

And I’ve never done my brother any wrong 

I will sing for the sun, sing for anyone 

For the devil if he wants to hear my song 

   Through the deepest woods I will ride alone 

Where the bandits hide by the narrow road 

And I who have no gold have a song to make them laugh 

They’ll call me “Friend” and let me pass 

   On the battlefields behind their halberds and their shields 

Stand the hearts that are longing to be home 

I’ll compose a rhyme for the ones they left behind 

Of the region they nevermore may roam 

   Along a castle wall, through the city gate 

I will ride to the square with my song to trade 

For the lion-hearted king I will sing a spritely air 

He’s a prisoner of the lion’s lair 


   And my only peace in this gypsy world 

Are the nights I’ve stayed with some dancing girl 

But love bears a saddle girthed about the heart 

And I never let her ride me very far 

   On the bitter plain where the peasants harvest grain 

As the grim-reaper stalks about their door 

I will sing a hymn that their misery may end 

When the Lord comes to gather in the poor 

   Through the summer rain and the winter snow 

I will seek the song that may bring me home 

But each soul wears a crown of thorn’s 

Each must live the fate to which he’s born 



      2)  Marijuana Fields 

When I was a little bitty lad 

I used to run down the cattle path 

Through the marijuana fields back home 

Down near where the old creek ran dry 

The wild hemp grew over 12 feet high 

In those marijuana fields back home 

   Then came years of boom ‘n bust 

The days were low ‘n mean ‘n rough 

In those marijuana fields back home 

When the roads weren’t too damn muddy 

We drove out, me ‘n my buddies 

To those marijuana fields back home 

   Chorus: Oh when that female hemp put on her seed 

You could pick a lot of weed 

In those marijuana fields back home 

It was down below Nebraska 

You can tell ‘em that, son, if they ask ya 

Those marijuana fields back home 

   Well we took some out to Californ 

People said, “Why’d ya bring it here for 

We can get higher off the air we breathe…” 

I’m sure…and them pretty girls out in Californ 

Had to find themselves a matador 

Cause they brought out the longhorn bull in me 


   Now once or twice I’s nearly caught 

And several times nearly shot 

In them marijuana fields back home 

But I got away so I guess I’m lucky 

Though I never made very much money 

In those marijuana fields back home 

So next time you go cut the weed 

I’ll just sit here ‘n sing 

Of those marijuana fields back home… 


      3)  Forsake Me Not 

It was in the November cold when I left our home 

I’s goin’ to the city to trade my poems for gold 

I thought to keep your love I needed knowledge of 

More things than any one man would ever know 

So I went seekin’ fame ‘n fortune, blue days ‘n nights 

But I only found sad women and empty streets of ice 

And all I heard were melodies of things a heart can’t bear 

The lyrics were of loneliness, the rhythms were despair 

   Chorus: Forsake me not, forget me not 

Don’t leave me alone now that I feel so cold 

Just love me now, forgive me now 

And I’ll sing for you the music from a long time ago 

   The day I got your letter it was raining 

And that bitter winter pain was eatin’ at my heart 

It’d been some weeks since I’d gotten any word from ya 

Still I hadn’t counted on you throwin’ in all your cards 

So when I read the line that you’d suffered so many times 

I felt like a wounded fighter down on the count of nine 

Yes, my road can get weary, babe, but it’s the only one I know 

As I wondered where I’s from and wondered where I’d go 

   Yeah, I drove one thousand miles in a single day ‘n night 

I only stopped for coffee, gas, ‘n some moments to cry 

And all I heard were melodies of things a heart can’t bear 

The lyrics were of loneliness, the rhythms were despair 


   I packed my suitcase and headed down that western pike 

Where I drove ‘n drove for many an hour 

Far from the Atlantic waters through the prairie winter 

And I wasn’t cryin’ for you, Lord, no, I’s cryin’ for my gal 

“Just tell her you need her, boy, the door will open wide 

Cause your love is still a need in her 

If that woman’s still your bride…” 

I listened to my good friend’s words 

As we drank throughout the night 

His beer and my tears began to make things right 


       4)  White Moon 

White Moon was a Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma Indian 

From the red dust ‘n cactus he had grown 

With an army bag, a guitar case 

He left his home on a Greyhound Stage 

Singing, “Our lives will meet on the rim…” 

From the Washita to Wichita 

Down every city street he saw a dead-end 

   White Moon went out to Kanorado, Kansas 

To play the harvest dances 

Where he strayed into a white daughter’s bed 

They ran him out in the spring 

When the ponies shed and the prairies sings 

  White Moon soon had so many reasons 

But he never told Jesus 

He had a devil on his tail 

He played it hard, burned his bridge 

And blazed his trail to the very edge 

Out in Denver, up to Cheyenne, back in Omaha 

From town to town he picked guitar 

And traveled by the Northern Star like an outlaw 

   White Moon served time down in Texas 

He never would believe the west was won 

In Dallas when he took the stand 

He said to the judge, “You stole my land…” 

White Moon wore a tattoo on his right forearm 

Of a scorpion dancing in a flame 

Beneath the tavern’s whiskey lights 

He sang of Ira Hayes’ frozen life 

And those desert-sand-snake ‘n wailin’ wind songs 

For the lonely ‘n deeply scarred 

So their bitter angry hearts could beat along 

   White Moon got a long-knife wound 

In a Santa Fe saloon 

He’d lay his life down on every play 

“It’s the high mountain dream 

And a low valley grave for the song I sing…” 

   White Moon sang on all the borders 

Every red-light quarter 

He’d step down at midnight from the crowds 

Then lay awake with a whiskey glass 

In a boarding house as the trains roared past 

As the diesel smoke curled up to the neon 

And the winos ‘n café whores 

Came like music through his door into his songs 

   White Moon shared his last bottle 

Out in Rifle, Colorado 

With a Badland Dakota and a Sioux 

Then he pulled a knife, heard the drum 

And ran into a bluecoat gun 

Singing, “Out lives will meet on the rim…” 

And the red clouds put their bloody stain 

Above the white winter plains just for him


      5)  Starvin’ For a Song 

I’ve got songs of heartache, hard times ‘n bitterness 

Of a good woman’s love ‘n a child’s sweet tenderness 

But through each door I’ve entered they’ve turned me away 

Now I’m starvin’ for a song the radio will play 

   You need a hook ‘n a bridge ‘n a pop melody 

Some lines about whiskey and women who cheat 

Cause clean livin’ ‘n family aren’t sellin’ these days 

And you’ll starve for a song the radio will play 

   Chorus: And I’m starvin’ for a song the radio will play 

In my heart don’t I know things may never change 

So won’t heaven send ol’ Hank to help me sing the blues away 

Cause I’m starvin’ for a song the radio will play 

   Bridge: I’ve got two little children ‘n a darlin’ sweet wife 

Through many a lean winter their needs I’ve denied 

Now the road seems so hard ‘n the journey so long 

But they’ve stayed for the sake of my songs 

   The man said, “Son, your only legacy will be 

The words you’ve written on the pages you leave 

Most likely they’ll wither once you’re in your grave 

You’ll die starvin’ for a song the radio will play 



      6)  Ol’ Bull Sade 

I’s 50 miles I’ll say with a smile from San Anton 

Had a shirt on my back ‘n a bag in my hand so I weren’t alone 

She’s a princess, an heiress of Spain ‘n I’s a bum 

But I walked pretty fine, least I kept a straight line ‘n she said I’s fun 

Ah but ‘toodity-toot-toot toodity-toot-toot’ along came a car 

It was long as a train ‘n driven by a famous baseball star 

He said, “I’m your champion, Apple Pie...hey,who’s the lame?” 

She jumped in ‘n said, “He’s just a fan, let’s get to the game!” 

   Chorus:  Oh my dear ladies, I gotta have you know 

If it’s all the same, I’ll stay to the road 

But because you’re beautiful, I’ll have ya know my name 

I’m ol’ Bull Sade of the Mission Parade 

   In 1917 outside Pairee I got my stripes 

The Army taught me well how to dodge a shell ‘n stand up right 

“Keep your one eye open ‘n your one eye closed to aim your gun 

And watch it there, boy, cause the powder is pain, ya might lose a thumb!” 

We went into battle with our fangs ‘n our rattles at a belly-crawl 

It got pretty rough, the Kaiser said, “Enough, let’s hang it all...” 

But the Army taught me nothin’ about the German custom 

With the women ‘n the booze 

And to this very day all the wounds I carry are from those two 


   From Waterville, Maine through the western plains south to Brownsville 

From the Peace River Valley to my Dixie Sally in the Smokey Hills 

I’ve been called a clown, marched uptown, put on parole 

Tossed off a train ‘n hollered with a cane at an ol’ sideshow 

But there ain’t no feelin’ like Oh-in’ ‘n a’singin’ on an open freight 

Them Pullman cars ‘n new cigars ain’t for ol’ Sade 

Now you can lay low or you can jump high they won’t pay you no mind 

But you best watch your nose if you ride in the cold on them northern lines 


   At my death won’t ya put me to rest with Rip Van Winkle 

I want the taste of ale ‘n another full barrel a’waitin’ to sample 

With my trumpet ‘n my gun won’t ya beat on my drum 

And gather them around 

Say, “There’s to let ol’ Bull’sd flat above the bar uptown…” 

Then pick up the litter round the poor ol’ critters in the city zoo 

Give my Bible to a drunk ‘n my libel debt to the neighborhood Jew 

Give my credit to the bank ‘n please won’t ya thank the WPA 

For buildin’ them bridges, them parks ‘n ditches for me to lay 


   (Extra verse): Now I never should’ve oughter  

But I lived off the daughter of City Hall  

No, we’s never wed but I’s often fed by her father in the law  

And just for the record never called no reverend to pawn my soul  

I crossed my t’s, dotted my I’s, ‘n opened my O’s  

Ah but what the hell I’m just an ol’ nail been hit too hard  

I been buckled at the knees ‘n busted my teeth  

Tryin’ to work a damn farm  

Now I once believed in the moon’s green cheese ‘n a second try  

But without no wings I’m prone to think it was the damnest lie 


      7)  Where Do You Go 

Where do you go, Romeo, when your Juliet no longer speaks 

She stares out the window all night at life in the streets 

When the moment is over, you look in her eyes 

And your hearts no longer sing 

And the unrhymed verses your write her are passionless things 

   Where do you go when the world you’ve known 

Colors her sweet flesh with paint 

And you no longer care for what she is but fear for what she ain’t 

   Chorus: Do you tear your flesh to the bone 

Scratching ‘n clawing at the stone 

Chipping at the mortar in the wall like the Count of Montecristo 

While the keeper of the keys sleeps soundly in the hall 

I’ll escape, someday I’ll escape from it all 

   Where do you go when the morning awakens 

On a mirror reflecting the past 

And you measure each day the same from the first to the last 

When you want to surrender, lay your soul down 

And kiss the ground in defeat 

But the invincible foe merely chides you back on your feet 



      8)  Shoeless Joe Rag 

Back before “Big-Chief Buffalo Nickel” and 

“Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime…?” 

A dime was hard to find in the hills of Caroline 

Born around Greenville, he worked in a cotton mill 

From the tender age of six 

Now famous for the 19 ‘n 19 baseball fix 

He battled Ty Cobb for the title while Babe Ruth stole his swing 

“Give ‘em ‘Black Betsy’, Joey…!” the crowd would sing 

Cause the boy could hit that thing 

He slammed them ‘Blue-Darters’, those ‘Saturday Specials’ 

While the crowd filled his little brothers’ hats 

With Liberty dimes and Indian nickels 

   Chorus: “Hey Joe, say it ain’t so…” 

“Sorry kid, I swear that it’s true…” 

   Shoeless Joe Jackson swung a mighty bat, son 

In that World Series play 

There in 19 ’n 19 he had twelve hits to his name 

But ol’ Judge “Kenneshaw Mountain” Landis 

Thought Joey was a ‘slacker’ sure 

So he banned him from baseball forevermore 

Now a stitch-in-time might save nine, I guess 

But why did the White Sox Black Sox boy confess 

Well I’ll take all bets that if you’re waitin’ 

For justice to flow down from the rich 

You could thread a camel through the eye of a needle 

Before this ol’ world’s gonna mend one stitch 


   Bridge: They laid down the law, let them gamblers testify 

Why, ol’ Chicago Charles Cominsky, who never spared a dime 

While Shoeless Joe ‘n the unlucky seven all caught hell 

Charlie went to heaven 


   Now there ain’t no Buffalo nickels, boys, 

And there ain’t no Liberty dimes 

And those black clouds ain’t silver, they’re uranium lined 

But the law was  a mutant bastard, boys 

Long before the atom split 

I’d wager Sholess Joe would swear to it 

So now we’re White Sox Black Sox veterans all 

From the top of a ladder ain’t no good place to fall 

Hell no, I’d rather crawl 

But just like Shoeless Joe we’re a Cinderella story 

Once you get your glass slippers on 

You’re walkin’ on broken glass, so sorry 



      9)  Prairie Ballad 

When I was yet a little boy I asked my daddy one day 

“Oh say what are those old wallows 

In the pasture where the water stays?” 

“Come near, my son, you’ll not believe 

The sad history of these plains 

For the buffalo roamed a million fold 

In one decade all were slain 

The hunters came in iron horses with big 50s ‘n skinnin’ knives 

Sold the furs in eastern cities ‘n left the bones to dry 

But listen, son, the wind carries their song 

It’s a short time they’ve been gone 

To the living earth all is memory 

She’s a greater beast than we…” 

   The seasons passed though I weren’t much older 

When one morning we found him dead 

I cried to my mother, “Oh why did he die?” 

She held me close ‘n said 

“His heart was afire and violent storms 

Were tossing through his mind 

He lost his soul to the bandit ghost in the ruins of the night 

Our land was poor and we hadn’t much hope 

One day you’ll understand 

How the great bear dies when he leaves his home 

And so easily dies a man 

But listen, son, the wind carries his song 

It’s a short time he’s been gone 

To the living earth all is memory 

She’s a greater beast than we…” 

   From what I’ve seen I must own it seems we live by words 

Though we only speak what we’ve been told 

Like puppets made of wood 

On the browning page of some old day 

We all promised to be brave 

But we were the sons of the totem then 

Now we rod our father’s grave 

As history blows a wind of grief, her nonbelieving rhyme 

“There ain’t much truth, there ain’t much glory 

It’s enough you live and die” 

And I listen now as the wind carries my song 

In a short time I’ll be gone 

To the living earth all is memory 

She’s a greater beast than we…


      10)  Zoo Blues 

Did you ever see a monkey in his cage 

He stares right through you then turns away 

There’s a little bitty tear in the corner of his eyes 

Which say he wants to be in the jungle tonight 

He’s got the zoo blues, he only wants a little wagon room 

He hangs his head and eats a banana 

And dreams of his home in the Tropicana 

   The penguin sits alone on a rock 

He don’t dance cause it’s too damn hot 

And he don’t ask cause he’s so polite 

Why the great good Lord never taught him to fly 

He’s got the zoo blues, all dressed up in his favorite suit 

He wishes he could flap his little wings ‘n go 

Back to his friends at the Southern Pole 

   The ostrich buries its head in the sand 

While the giraffe hides his in the leaves where he stands 

They both agree with the hippopotamus 

Who stays underwater so he can’t see us 

They got the zoo blues, wouldn’t be their if they could choose 

They’d rather roam the plains of Africa 

With the elephant and the striped zebra 

   The little boy sits in school all day 

Just lookin’ out the window, wantin’ to play 

But he must memorize his ABCs 

So he can write his name when he grows real big 

He’s got the zoo blues, wonders whose been foolin’ who 

When takes out a loan for college ‘n signs 

His name right there on the ol’ dotted line 

   Now you go to work and you buy a house 

You go to church and you wed a spouse 

Then one cold day you’ll realize 

Your behind on the bills ‘n she’s tellin’ ya lies 

You got the zoo blues, tired of doin’ the things you do 

The grass is always greener over the fence 

You planned for the future now ya wonder where it went 

   Ever see a monkey in his cage…


      11)  Lily Mae & Harvest King 

Almost July, hot as hell, the moment I stepped outside 

My face felt like an egg bein’ fried 

I picked up the paper ‘n saw that the dog 

Had somehow broke his chain 

I hollered once, as usual he never came 

I heard ‘em say on the radio as I turned to go inside 

“Humid today, a high of 95…” 

   Then I read about the murder of Lily Mae Rhodes 

And a man called Harvest King 

They can’t find a motive, a clue, or anything 

He was 52, she was 53, on the table lay a deck of cards 

Their throats were slit in a Kansas City salvage yard 

The owner Bob Henry had let ‘em stay in a rundown red brick shack 

Through a broken pane they kept an eye on his junk out back 

   It was June 24th when Sally Rider ‘n the shuttle crew touched down 

The very same Friday the victim’s bodies were found 

Page 1 had a photo of the shuttle landing on the hot dry desert floor 

You could read about the murder in section B, page 4 

A neighbor said, “They kept to themselves, never had much to say 

Ain’t it a shame how we found ‘em this a’ way…” 

   After readin’ about the murder of Lily Mae Rhodes 

And a man called Harvest King 

I didn’t feel like eatin’ or doin’ much anything 

I laid down the paper, sipped on my coffee 

Stared out the window ‘n said, “If we don’t keep 

The ol’ dog chained he’s gonna be dead…” 

As I saw the coal truck round the curve 

And heard its engine scream 

I thought again of Lily Mae Rhodes 

And a man called Harvest King 


      12)  Down the River 

I been down the river floatin’, smokin’ dope ‘n hopin’ 

There’s plenty more just like it waitin’ round the bend 

I got a line to rhyme so fine, Jesus/God can’t be no crime 

To smile like a broken mirror 

When you’re smilin’ at your friends 

   Chorus: My old bottles are on parade in the park 

I like to fill my pipe with ol’ cigars 

While the Sunday funnies cover me 

I don’t need no sympathy 

I’ll fly a bottle rocket all the way out to the stars 

   Got my lady roped down, hogtied ‘n hold down 

Can’t tell her that I love her if I let her run around 

Goin’ dancin’ prancin’, chance can’t be too handsome 

When you chase the ladies’ pleasures 

It’s like the rabbits chasin’ the hound 


   (Extra verse): Had some gold in my pocket but dropped it 

Now Davey Jones has got it 

Swallered by the ocean like my teardrops in the sand 

Ah pipe up your organ, Gordon 

We’ll be portin’ o’er the Jordan 

There’s a rumble in the desert 

They say some rummy’s in command 


      13)  Wounded Knee 

There’s ice across the river on this cold Dakota night 

The eyes of each soldier burns from the wind as they ride 

Through the air they hear a ghostly chant 

As they follow the trail of hoof-prints through the sand 

In the morning a Cheyenne scout comes riding down a butte 

He says that just ahead they’ll find Big Foot and his Sioux 

The Chief rides ill upon a pony drag 

His people are starving, they carry the white flag 

   Chorus: Soon the buffalo will roam upon the plains   

The elk and the deer will play   

The bluestem will flood across the sod   

When our warriors return from beyond 

   “We’ll put the captured band in camp at Wounded Knee 

Put the big guns upon that rise just west of the creek 

I want the ranks to form on all sides 

Give the Sioux plenty of food and firewood for the night 

You soldiers skin your saddles, each rank put out its guard 

And keep a steady hand at dawn when we take their arms” 

Then the Colonel goes to parley with the Sioux 

“Tell your warriors, Chief, we want peace like you”


   The white buffalo moon rises in the sky 

And runs upon the sweating flank of the black deep night 

In their ‘Ghost Shirts’ the Sioux warriors dance 

About the flaming hell where they have all been damned 

The Northern Spirit speaks, his lights are red for war 

The sun bleeds through the ice as the day is born 

A stallion neighs, a woman screams 

For both can scent the danger which men can only dream 


   The famous commander of the 7th Calvary 

Was the Wolf of Washita who died with gnashing teeth 

There are some from the old command among the men 

And they would pay the devil dearly to have revenge 

Colonel James Forsyth marches to the camp 

Says, “The weapons of each warrior must pass into our hands” 

Their sabers rattle as they search through each tent 

The Sioux are growing restless as a fire in a changing wind 


   Their medicine man Yellow Bird urges them to fight 

“Remember Wovoka said the soldier dogs must die!” 

Black Fox pulls a rifle from his robe 

One soldier dies then the whole damn camp explodes 

The Hotchkiss guns laugh as they knives are unsheathed 

The women and the children fall down a dry ravine 

Over 300 Sioux die that day 

They lived as one now they sleep in one mass grave 

The warrior with the wolf and the bear has died 

A blizzard roars down from the sky 

Above the wounded the sabers fall 

And the eagle has flown to God 


      14)  Orion (for Barbara, my sister, 1941-2014) 

Above the rhythms of the rivers, the roads, and the rails 

Over the rollin’ plains through the western horizon 

Above our fathers’ graves the larks are flyin’ 

Unto the hymns of our homes, our hearts, and these hills 

Into the ruined soil we are descending 

Into that mournful song where the gods are awaitin’ 

   Chorus:  Then lead me to the land where there are no winters 

Where the soft moon shines to eyes 

Asleep in the breast of Orion, then I’ll be gone 

In the cool light of dawn I will surrender 

Who is the soul of the silence, the sea, and the sky 

Who bore the memory of all the ages 

Who bore the misery of every race 

Through the will of our women, our wounded, and our weary 

Oh will the marble’s face ever shed a tear for us 

And will the waters of the sun ever part for us 




Desire (disc three) 


      1)  Pantomime 

Sippin’ mint julep beneath the moon, dancin’ by candlelight 

A butterfly his cocoon, I never wanna leave your side 

The wind goes puff on a dandelion, the birds ‘n bees just hum 

A pair of wings in paradise when two hearts beat as one 

   Chorus: Pantomime, love don’t need no words 

Each night our bodies rhyme another verse 

Let the little flame improvise the fire 

You will always kindle my desire 

   You make it steam like a jungle inside this artic igloo 

You got me jumpin’ right up out of my skin 

With your banana voodoo 

If they’re out of helium ‘n there’re big balloon won’t rise 

Just put us lovebirds in the nest, by golly girl she’ll fly 


   Shelley, Keats ‘n Lord Byron wrote some fine refrains 

But when we start in coupleting, we put them all to shame 

You got that rhythm I like to rhyme ‘n all them adjectives 

Let’s scratch another verse into the sand 

And let it wash on out to sea 



      2)  Ol’ Trouble 

Now there are men who never run from ol’ trouble 

And I was one until I ran from you 

And now my life becomes a mirror 

Reflecting that thing I can never undo 

She brought ol’ trouble, I saw ‘em comin’ 

That night I held her instead of you 

And I know I should have refused the moment 

Ah but the moments in life seem so few 

   Chorus:  Now ol’ trouble, trouble is surrounding me 

Standing every which way I turn 

I’m a man who never ran from trouble, babe 

Now I’ve got to say, this time I learned 

   And I could give you a dozen red roses 

I could sing you some rhymes 

But I could never stand and face you just now 

Nor look you in the eye 


   And as I look on down this ol’ highway tonight 

My headlights cut deep into the rain 

Now I’m a man who never ran from trouble 

Ah but I hung my head and ran from you in shame


      3)  Red Rose Blues 

Chorus: I got a red rose today, I got a jailhouse sorrow 

I got a red rose today, I got a jailhouse sorrow 

Ain’t  a good man’s noose just the Evil One’s halo 

   The birds won’t sing long as you carry a gun 

And the wind will never blind you 

If you never race a horse that can run 

And your rose will never grow to wither, girl 

If you never ever let it see the sun 

   That fire on the moon, babe, ya know it’s there ‘n it’s not 

You may have visions in your mind 

But the fusions all glow from the heart 

I swear a woman can’t love a man 

Unless she thinks he’s a devil or he’s a god 


   Leonardo loved a lady, she wore a long black veil 

Some say she knew his secret 

Though she kept it hidden so very well 

Oh Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, did he come 

From heaven or did he crawl up from hell? 



      4) My Lady Been Gone 

Chorus: Lately my lady been gone 

Lord, lately my good gal been gone 

She only left last Tuesday mornin’ 

Still it seems it’s been so goddamn long 

   Last Saturday it rained ‘n rained 

Lord, Saturday it rained ‘n it rained 

The sky felt gray ‘n cold 

Just like the iron on an ‘ol freight train 

   Oh listen to it blow 

Lord, listen to that ol’ north wind blow 

It makes me sad ‘n lonely 

Wish my lady’d come runnin’ on back home 


Lord, I sin and lie ‘n lie 

Good Lord, I sin and I lie 

And if that devil ever catch me 

He’s gonna burn me alive 

So I drinks that whiskey for my sleep 

Yes, I drinks whiskey for my sleep 

Now that my life is an empty dream 

All I do is lay awake at night ‘n weep 



      5)  Dakota Wind 

It was years ago out in Denver town 

I was half a soldier and half a clown 

In an alley shadowed by the Larimer lights 

With a whiskey bottle I went to hide 

I walked the pavement and came to dare 

A painted lady with painted hair 

She laughed ‘n cried ‘n moaned a curse 

Flashed a thigh beneath her skirt 

I followed her down till the dust ‘n smoke was slumberin’ 

I moved from that edge with my blood and senses thinned 

   Chorus: And that ol’ Dakota wind was hounding me 

I’m bound to meet my end out on the winter plain 

When your morning light comes on 

You’ll find that I’m gone 

   At first you think your home’s too small 

But once you leave you’re only half so tall 

From every side the road looks gray 

The ol’ road leads back from where ya came 

That homegrown gal with the kitten eyes 

Vowed to love me her whole life 

But when I came home one bitter morn 

Muddy boots had crossed our floor 

The shadows of my pain fell like our child’s dominoes 

My blood came to boil, then my heart just froze 


   Now the ax of guilt waits to fall 

But the serpent speaks a double law 

We’ve tipped the scales, what’s done is done 

I drink my whiskey, she has her fun 

We tear at the flesh ‘n think we’re wolves 

We swear our passions fit like gloves 

Our devils dance all night with gods 

But the morning shows us dull as dogs 

And the moon just ripens us for the grave to harvest 

With our one ‘n every deed we pay that pound of flesh 


   I drive out past the ol’ rail line 

Where the weeds have grown thru the broken ties 

I park my truck high on a hill 

To view this land of frozen fields 

The winter sun is slanting south 

The sky hangs in one gray cloud 

And I’ve heard those say fate forces it to end this way 

Cause life is just a picture of something we wish was real 

Hidden in a dark room, just an image on a film 



      6)  Any Ol’ Time 

Chorus: Any ol’ time will suit me, any ol’ time at all 

I’m gonna come a’runnin’, babe, when I hear ya call 

I’m gonna saddle up my big white horse 

I’m gonna jump aboard a boat 

I’m gonna hop upon an ol’ freight train 

And shovel ‘er full of coal 

There ain’t no mountain high enough 

Ain’t no storm too cruel 

There ain’t no river so wide can keep me from my girl 


   A’workin’ in that city, a’huntin’ out on them plains 

Any ol’ time I’m away from her, feel like I’m in pain 

She can throw away my pistols, pour my whiskey in the sand 

Even ride with me on my big white horse if I can be her man 


Now heaven may not have me, hell knows I don’t care 

The green earth’s good enough for me 

When I’ve got my lady fair 

And when it comes my time for dyin’ 

Don’t drown me in that sea 

Let me fall by my lady, Lord, so she can bury me 



      7)  Louisiana Nights 

These Louisiana nights seem so cold 

All these Southern gals are pretty but I’m so shy 

Can’t they tell by the way I look at them 

That I don’t wanna be lonely tonight 

Please don’t leave me lonely tonight 

   Outside the traffic rolls on like a river 

The streetlamp glows just like a moon 

The rain starts to fall and I shiver 

As her eyes say Hello, how are you 

Ain’t got much to say, suppose I’ll say How d’ya do 

   Chorus: This lover in my heart like the shadows on the wall 

Are gonna call for you 

I’ll whisper like the breeze ‘n hope you might see 

My eyes following you 

Oh Louisiana nights, what a long, long way to roam 

Louisiana nights, she so far away ‘n I feel just like a ghost 

   Now the rain it runs beneath the door 

The window is broken by the wind 

The music must play till the player has gone 

And the actors mustl speak their lines again 

Like an actor I’ll play it to the end 

   Yes, it’s plain that many men have hurt you 

Did you try too hard to please? 

I can see where you’ve been ‘n you’re a giver 

Now won’t you give your warm lovin’ to me 

I won’t break your heart, I won’t steal your dreams 



      8) When I’s In Denver 

When I’s in Denver I packed a .38 

Drove a little Ford coup painted gunpowder gray 

And every Saturday, I’d take a drive 

Runnin’ south down Broadway I’d pass them Chevrolets 

Cuttin’ her east off ol’ Colfax I outran a Stutz-Bearcat 

Turned up my radio, stuck my head out the side window 

Then stopped at Gypsy Jane’s 

She’d say, “Tonight you’re gonna meet a dame…” 

Boys, in the evening I’d take a trolley down Curtis Street 

Once I met a blonde Lombard, her sister’s name was Carol 

She said, “Now won’t you drive my Pierce Arrow?” 

   When I’s in Denver I had pearly white teeth 

I had curly hair and my pants had pleats 

I wore flowers in the spring, the ladies called, “Hey fella!” 

If ya wanna talk about love affairs, boy, I had a few 

Red, black, long blonde hair ‘n ooh-la that brunette lady 

Olivia de Havilland she was the only one 

Who could steal my breath away 

Did you ever see a picture of her in her day? 

And oh Lordy God, boys, should’ve met my lil’ Sady 

She wore fishnet stocking now, moved like a barracuda 

She danced at the bar Abdulla…just for me 

   When I’s in Denver I’d never lose 

I had money in my pockets ‘n Florsheim shoes 

I didn’t pay no dues, I saw every movie made 

One night I took a lil’ gal named Fay 

To the Green Lantern Café 

She made me feel like Errol Flynn 

And I swear she looked like Olivia de Havilland 

Well I reached down ‘n touched her hand 

As we listened to the marionette band 

We jitterbugged the winter through 

Yeah, we did the big apple too 

And it was out by Lakeside 

The night I asked her to be my bride 

We danced as the big band started to play 

“When the Deep Purple Fa-alls” 

That night we drove to city hall 

   Well we moved from Denver to Omaha 

I went to workin’ for her pa 

I obeyed every law, and now I feel tired 

I sell real-estate, boys, ‘n I keep a poker face 

When Fay asks, “What’s on your mind?” 

I say, “Nothin’…” but it’s those Denver nights 

Now lately I’ve been countin’ 

It’s 20 some years since I’ve seen those mountains 

And that Colorado air… 

Seems my whole life happened out there 

And oh Lordy God, boys, should’ve seen my lil’ Sady 

She wore fishnet stocking now, moved like a barracuda 

She danced at the bar Abdulla…just for me 


      9)  Chicago Morgue 

On a night so cold I was breathin’ frost 

On a Pullman window and feelin’ lost 

The winter drizzle had turned to snow 

As the midnight train wound down into Chicago 

The streetlight wore a halo outside the morgue of St. Jude 

Where I’d come for my dead brother, he was only 22 

All my memories were scattered ‘n torn 

Like the autumn leaves in a winter storm 

   From that deep dark valley of stone ‘n steel 

I recalled our summers out on Cedar Hill 

Where we’d played ‘n dreamed for hours 

And wrestled beneath the boughs 

How the walls of our childhood kingdom 

Have so quickly fallen down 

   Chorus: From the east Montana prairie to that cold Chicago morgue 

His face so pale as the linen shroud which draped down to the floor 

   I watched the smoke from the factories fade 

As we crossed the rivers onto the frozen plains 

One thousand miles o’er the iron rails 

At each road crossing the whistle wailed 

Oh Lord, where is the reason, what was he runnin’ from 

When the poison left the needle ‘n raced into his blood? 


   From the cemetery I took the road 

That led out to our childhood home 

A devil’s claw snatched at my heel 

A black crow flew away across the field 

The north wind blew through the open door 

All the walls were weather-stained 

As I watched the sun set behind the hills 

Through a broken window pain 



      10)  Taco ‘n Wine 

Chorus: I went down to Maria’s for a taco ‘n wine 

But when I left Maria’s I’s crawlin’ on my knees a’cryin’ 

   All the men who see her follow hot ‘n heavin’ 

But if you walk with Maria 

She’ll lead ya down some street ‘n leave ya bleedin’ 

She’s a no-good Lizy, a cheap two-timin’ Gypsy 

She’ll find another man on down the road 

Then leave you all cuckold ‘n tipsy 


   I got silver dollar scars, they line my brow 

And blood in my right eye 

A hard brass ring once broke my nose 

But a low mean woman ruined my life 

It was a big man out in Denver 

The one who laid me cold 

But it was a lone Memphis woman 

That took ‘n broke my mortal soul 


   She always said she would love me 

Through my darkest hour 

But when I cried “I need you, babe…” 

She just laughed so loud ‘n called me a coward 

She’s a demon lady, her flesh is made of iron 

She makes her bed on a spider web 

I’d had a lot better luck at lovin’ a lion 

   I went down to Maria’s for a taco ‘n wine 

But when I left Maria’s I’s crawlin’ on my knees a’cryin’ 

Cause I shot her with a big gun ‘n left her dyin’ 

It was a long barreled gun ‘n I left her dyin’ 


      11)  Spanish Guns/Aztec Gold

He rode out of Sonora, boys, like an outlaw of old 

Singing vaquero songs for the ladies 

Tales of Zapata and Poncho…Villa rides! 

He quit the red banks of the Rio Yaqui 

The adobe hut where he was born 

To rustle cattle from the rich haciendas 

From descendants of Castilian lords…Villa rides! 

High in the sierras, above the chaparral 

He butchered the cattle in an Indian corral 

He rode to Durango, sold the hides to an Anglo 

For Spanish guns and Aztec gold 

And he played his guitar with a force that turned all eyes 

   She was the midnight’s bronze-skinned maiden 

Colored by the moon 

An evening flower for the prince of music 

His fair lady of Guadalupe...Marina! 

Hernando felt her beauty cut through him 

As the wine warmed the veins of his arms 

Late that night on the upstairs veranda 

He cradled her like his Spanish guitar…Marina! 

Have you never felt the breath of the desert night air 

Nor tasted the fruit which sharp cactus bear 

Sweet as new music, a women ripe beauty 

Like Spanish guns and Aztec gold 

She’ll flood the sands of your soul with fire 

   He taught Marina the art and the language 

Of bandits and thieves and life on the run 

He made their rings from a bullets brass casing 

At the altar they knelt like a priest and a nun…Hernando! 

Soon they were hunted through all of Chihuahua 

So they planned their way up to San Joaquin 

Hernando sold a man his guitar and his pistols 

To smuggle them both to the land of their dreams…California! 

At the border the bracero king led Marina away 

Told her it was time she paid for her ride 

Hernando grabbed this coyote by the shoulder 

With a long stiletto he took his life…in California! 

In the high Yankee Temple the melting pot stews 

And the Mexican cornucopia has abundant fruit 

Her sons and daughter spill across the deserts and the hills 

And Spanish guns and Aztec gold lay buried 

In arroyos for the day when la Raza will rise


       12)  Quitin’ You 

All the lies, lazy rhymes ‘n tales you ever told me 

Couldn’t break the spell, oh no 

Your magic still could hold me 

But love’s the kinda game where ya have to play along 

Now I broke a rule or two myself, girl 

But you went ‘n broke ‘em all 

   Chorus: I’m quittin’ ya, babe 

I’m already through 

Girl, hear me when I say, I’m quittin’ you 

   I could be out ridin’ shotgun, acting out the role 

But each bandit along the highway 

Knows the cargo has been stole 

I swear I’ve been mendin’ fences till my hands are cut ‘n torn 

Now my hands will heal, so help me 

But my heart won’t take no more 

   Bridge: Of your lies ‘n lazy rhymes 

And all the tales you have told 

Girl, ya know, I believed you then 

But that was so long, long ago 

Once I stood just like an oak, now I am willow 

But come what may, I vow to hold my own 

I realize quitters never win 

But your cheatin’ game will never end 

Now you must learn to sink or swim alone 


   In your heart your know I’m gone 

But your pride will swear I’m dead 

Well I’m tired of playin’ possum, girl 

I’ll play the wolf instead 

Cause there’s plenty of deer in the valley 

And plenty of fish in the pond 

And plenty of plums ‘n berries 

For this ol’ wolf to feast upon 



      13)  Padlock Rock 

My old padlock would take most any man’s key 

She hung from a door along a dim-lit street 

She was always too loose, you could pick her easily 

My new lil’ lock, she’s the top of her line 

Got a lot of brass ‘n man she really shines 

Stays real well-oiled mornin’ noon ‘n night 

And she only takes a key if it’s the one I hold 

You can offer her another, she’s only answer no 

She’s a tit for tat, one man’s sweet treasure trove 

   Chorus: Pick a peck of peaches, pick my pocket too 

Y’all two-bit forbidden fruit picker you 

You can pick a guitar in San Antone 

Moved to Santa Fe ‘n pick an old banjo 

Pick any lock, boy, but you cannot steal my gal 

   I’m an ol’ locksmith and I know a keyhole well 

And there ain’t no theif this side of heaven or hell 

That can pick her lock, many have tried ‘n they all failed 

So when I die I don’t care where I go 

Just put my new lil’ lock on the tomb which holds my bones 

And if the devil can pick it then he can have my soul 



      14)  Beast of the Jungle 

Beast of the jungle he knows my name 

Now I hunt every night and sleep every day… 

My little mistress Mary, she slipped he spirit in my tea 

Now as I close my eyes, what’s this on the ceiling 

A lady in green 

Is it her ballerina thighs or merely the dream of her 

That I find so appealing, that I now find so revealing 

That I will lie here and despise her till she’s mine 

But when that sweet moment comes 

I’ll hear heaven’s own chimes and lift up my arms 

Like leaves raised in the wind and fly to her 

   Beast of the jungle he don’t like chains 

All the ladies try to but he won’t be tamed… 

   (Extra verses): Oh my dear Mother Mary 

Take them and go away from me 

You say live peacefully but that is more than I can give 

Go tell the world your prayers were too late for me 

I do not seek to be blessed, give me a savage priestess 

Wild like the night wind singin’ and dancin’ o’er the ocean 

An ancient blood with long Medusa curls 

With rich moist lips – when I find her I’ll hurl her 

Deep through the passion of my memory 

   Beast of the jungle he ain’t afraid 

Of the pagan’s red fire or Calypso’s cave… 

Her hair would be braided ‘n black 

And flow down her dark muscled back 

And her ballerina thighs would have the strength 

To make men cry a glorious pain 

Could this be the magic of beautiful Magdalene 

Oh just to speak her name nearly drive me insane 

If I could but find her grave 

There’re be another sinner laid beside her 

Even if she lies over the ocean 

I’d rather drown than stay here and die here 

Never to have known nor called to her 



Dream (disc four) 


      1)  Gypsy Fire 

When the sun goes down ‘n the moon comes up 

Come gather ye around my flame 

I’m the Gypsy fire, a poor man’s home 

I can tell ya some tales, I can ease your pain 

Of ancient wars and troubadours 

Of women, gods and slaves 

Of falling men and foaming tides 

Of endless hymns and vintage age 

So get your fiddle there young man 

And let the bow scream wild 

And get the wine to wet your lips 

For wine is a brother to the child 

   If you’ve ridden in the saddle all day 

And long for your sorrow to sing 

Come listen to the sad fiddle play 

It was born of the heart of a dying queen 

We’ll sing cruel sins in harmony 

Our prayers and our grief 

We’ll sing the wine barrel to emptiness 

And ballad widows to their sleep 

So rest your leather in the evening 

And lead your beast to water 

Unclothe your day to the woman dream 

To the night, to the naked father 

   And if you need fermented drink 

To warm your shadowed nights 

Yes, if your days have brought you low 

You can laugh again if you drink the wine 

And we’ll dream of women in Egypt, oh 

And through their dark veiled hair 

We’ll scent the jewels of their flesh 

You can dream of heaven even if you dare 

So get your fiddle there young man 

And let the bow scream wild 

And get the wine to wet your lips 

For wine is a brother to the child 

   Cry no more my pretty one 

We’ll soon enough be gone 

Warm your flesh here next to mine 

We’ll join our hearts in song…


      2) Ashes ‘n Dust 

So you’ve heard all about them barroom battles 

Fought with blades ‘n guns 

Over some black-eyed Gypsy beauty 

Raped by a rambler’s love 

Well I know the ash ‘n dust of life won’t change just because 

Some roadhouse poet sings a song of lust ‘n blood 

But through the rights of passage he would travel 

Once he came of age 

And to many a lonely queen of hearts 

He played his black-jack ace 

He kept his dagger hidden by the smile on his face 

He soon forgot his father’s words 

And the promise he had made 

“Son, don’t get caught in the trap the harlot in black sets for you 

“Death she will bait us if we let her, saying, “Let us be true…’ 

“You’ll not escape her, don’t embrace her 

“Promise never to make the first move 

“We’ll each possess her one day forever all too soon 

   Chorus: “Now you may think life is a river that never runs dry 

“And passion is a fire reaching the sky 

“But through the mist of the water 

“And through the smoke of the flame 

“Ashes ‘n dust and old memories of are all that remain…” 

   As it came to pass he found the rose he’d pictured in his mind 

Their love was like a dream that happened once upon a time 

They laid beside the river beneath the moonlit night 

Not caring for a moment that she was another’s bride 

But then the hand of vengeance cast his shadow 

Across the path they walked 

The only warning given was a hammer being cocked 

The bullets blazed burning deep into their flesh 

Their bodies embraced in the agony of death 

And though the nigh grows still the wind never will 

Reveal one word from their dream 

The lovers lie buried on the bank by the river 

Together forever they sleep 

   “Now you may think life is a river that never runs dry 

“And passion is a fire reaching the sky 

“But through the mist of the water 

“And through the smoke of the flame 

“Ashes ‘n dust and old memories of are all that remain…”


      3)  Ode to Red Rover 

Bring my bow ‘n bring my fiddle 

It’s goin’ to snow tonight 

But that won’t stop me from enjoying 

You sharing some my wine 

Remember when we were young 

Evil was sluggish ‘n couldn’t even run 

Into that mirror we would laugh 

It seemed the good times would never pass 

And God lived way up in them clouds 

We jumped at the gun, off at a run 

Chasing our own shadows danglin’ from the sun 

A pretty girl with braids lived up the lane 

I hollered “Red Rover!” then sang out her name 

And she ran into my arms 

We stole the music down from the stars 

   Waltzin’ thru a mountain meadow with a sweet milk-maid 

From the village who says she’d really like to 

But she’s so afraid 

Dancing girl of the street 

I wouldn’t trade you for a queen 

Don Quixote lives in my heart 

Fighting windmills, collecting scares 

You’ll lose one then you’ll lose another 

Open up that old attic trunk 

Full of pirate treasure ‘n all sorts of junk 

When I’m dead count to ten, this story ain’t no sin 

And call for Red Rover, he’ll send you a friend 

I feel like runnin’ blind, cuttin’ fences ‘n shootin’ signs 

  “Jesse James ‘n Robin Hood were better than most kings” 

So my father told me as he held me and said 

“Don’t forget your dreams…” 

I wonder why we killed the Indian 

Seems like he’d have made a pretty good friend 

We chased the buffalo from the plains 

Just so we could ride the damn trains 

Now Hollywood tells the story with brand-new clothes 

All aboard, kick down the door, cough up you money 

And spit it on the floor 

Up against the wall, make yourselves tall 

Cause I’m ol’ Red Rover, I’m a bad outlaw 

And I come from way out west 

In Spanish spurs and a gambler’s vest 

   See that moon ridin’ so high, 

There’s a bandit in the saddle 

It’s the morning star, he’s about to charge 

And meet the ol’ sun in a battle 

   (Extra verse): If you walk in the giant’s shadow 

He cannot see you, cause it’s the essence 

Of his great presence that’ll always block his view 

Hungry birds in the snow make me feel like a broken bowl 

I watch the smoke through the chimney rise 

Carrying memories through the night 

On a journey to the Milky Way 

It’s drifted the roads, the barrooms are closed 

But springtime is gonna enter ‘neath an arching rainbow 

Let’s dry up our tears, uncork the years 

And listen for Red Rover to echo in our ears 

“You’ll get a new skin every seven 

“And by that fraction you’ll go to heaven…”


      4)  No Diamonds 

Chorus: I don’t send no diamonds, I don’t send no gold 

I don’t send no diamons ‘n I don’t send no gold 

And I’ll never buy a fur coat to keep you from the cold 

Ah but babe, I love you, I’ll come runnin’ on back home 

   There are those who compare your beauty to a queen 

They see you as a distant one as in some misty dream 

And they can never hold you, they’ll never bar the door 

When you see my ship return, babe 

When you feel my surf beatin’ on your shore 


   There are those who worry of what tomorrow may bring 

But I don’t ever hurry, I just sit here ‘n sing 

Since we went into that gypsy wood 

Where your flesh was so naked and  so good 

You touched  my heart ‘n said to me 

“There ain’t no further mystery…” 


   Now I could never whisper as through a garden wall 

For when I get too near to you I wanna howl ‘n call 

Like a warrior or a wolf man 

Babe, I’m the storm upon your land 

Let’s crawl into that river’s moon 

And draw its silk about our hot cocoon 


      5)  Long Way From Beulah Land 

I like to skim it off the top 

But the bottom of the deck is just fine with me 

I’ll take a throw on the dice 

And let the roulette wheel spin up another dream 

If I stay surprised I’ll have more wrinkles 

Above my brow than under my eyes 

Takes a friend’s advice, drink your firewater cool 

And cross the desert at night 

   I’ve been hangin’ from a noose in F ‘n G 

And C ‘n D too 

Waitin’ for my lady to come cut me down 

So I can sing away my blues 

I need a harder edge, some wagon room 

A Stetson hat ‘n alligator shoes 

A brand-new suit ‘n big bowtie 

Now I might not improve but sure gonna try 

   Chorus: I live a long way from Beulah Land 

And Lord, I’m doin’ about the best I can 

I might live this life a little too fast, friend 

But, ya know, I’ll never ever get a chance again 

   My candle burns at both its ends 

And it make my mamma cry 

But ya never know just what the hell 

I might need that much more light 

If night is a tunnel into the day 

Then life is a funnel into the grave 

And there’s damn little light 

Where that box you’re in descends 

   So I’m wild in the manger, out in the pasture 

Wild as a coon in the corn 

I’m wild with laughter gonna love ya ever after 

In the back seat of my Ford 

Got wild as a bandit from Tuesday to Saturday 

Scattered my wild oats, spilled my brandy 

Life is a wild ‘n perilous act 

Don’t you ever look back. don’t ever think twice 


   Now I’ll confess I’m a little deranged 

But I swear I ain’t no dunce 

I can write my name, divide by seven 

And I know when it’s time to punt 

Now you may think that the sun shines more 

Upon you face than mine 

Well if it’s true you’ve never lately left a clue 

   I love Lilly de Loup, she lives down in the valley 

And her breath smells of thyme 

She’s five foot dandy, free ‘n handy 

And greatly on my mind 

She has a ponytail of long corn silk 

And comes to me when I whip-o-will 

Her fiddle-lee-dee ‘n animal charm 

Can’t do me no harm ‘n it ain’t no crime 


   That snappy ol’ turtle told the bad habit rabbit 

Ya better lay off the booze 

You’ll never get even with the whiskey ‘n the women 

It’s a race you’re born to lose 

Well I suppose that damned ol’ hair 

Is gonna linger by the roadside but I’ll declare 

There’s a hurtle for the turtle 

He’ll stew when the race is through 

   And the itty-bitty ant is steady on the job 

Yes, he builds a mighty hill 

He’s the insect Sisyphus cursed to the endless 

Toil of a weary tale 

While the grasshopper yearns to dance ‘n sing 

He’s a deuce, he’s wild, he’s a joker, he’s a king 

Does the two-step, four-step, jitterbug, waltz 

And a little boogie called “Gonna fiddle till I die!” 



      6)  Belladonna 

It was sad, ah so sad, when you finally went home 

You had no more dreams, you had no more gold 

There were faces from the pages of long, long ago 

And too much kindness in the words they spoke 

As the grapevine unwinds behind your trail 

Your sense another meaning from those who wish you well 

Through each grape of gossip they sink their teeth 

Then run to spite the seed of your defeat 

   Chorus: Oh where is the outlaw who laughed at the game 

The young gypsy minstrel who broke all his chains 

Who played his soul like dice 

And let the full moon flood his eyes 

He’d act on any dare, ah but lately he’s known fear 

   The laughing madonna’s of his younger days 

Have come to tease him in his dreams of late 

They let you touch them then you awake 

From memories you cannot seem to shake 

You have run the gauntlet, you’ve taken many blows 

Now you’re staring back through familiar windows 

Were it not for your image beyond the glass 

You’d never ever look into the past 


   From the hilltop windmill thru the bay window pane 

Seems even the wind is calling your name 

You knock on the door and wait to be claimed 

Then enter so empty, cold, and changed 

You rush up the stairs, down the hall, room to room 

Searching each closet for some final clue 

Into the viper darkness of her bittersweet lips 

Into her bone-white arms to shed your skin


      7)  What Rough Beast 

See the children dancin’ in the alley dressed like they could kill 

There’s an old man standin’ on the corner wanderin’ if they will 

He’s got nothin’ n they want something so what’s he got to fear 

Well could be he knows somethin’s comin’ 

‘Cause he’s already been there, now it’s comin’ here 

   Cruel like the eye of a viper crawlin’ through a Cajun swamp 

Hidden in the red-brick jungle above the cold asphalt 

Hear the cry of a victim as the neon night turns black 

Hear your silent heartbeat scream 

‘Cause somethin’ turnin’ round, now it’s comin’ back 

   Chorus: Look around, it surrounds you, too late to escape 

What rough beast is comin’, slouching towards 

Howling with rage 

   One wears white, the rest wear black, one dies, the others mourn 

From the eye of the spinning gyre this madness gets reborn 

You may say that battle leaves a bad taste in your mouth 

While in the prison Maze they fast to death 

And the violence hungers to break out 

   There’s the IRA, the KKK, the them’s, the you’s, the me’s 

Gathering, choosing sides, leaving nothing in between 

And if you listen carefully to what’s bein’ said 

If you have not yet been claimed 

They’d be better off if you were dead 


   It came to pass down in New York City on the 27th day of June 

The rough beast found another victim down on ol’ 8th Avenue 

They stripped him naked then ran him down to die on a subway rail 

Those who flee the heart of darkness 

Risk runnin’ right through the gates of Hell 



      8)  I Come To You   

Braver words were never spoken than when I swore I'd make it

Down that road I would go unbroken 

Now I stand before your gate 

And I swear my heart may break 

As I wait for your door to open 

   Chorus: Girl, I come to you in the morning light 

At the dawn of a brand-new day 

Girl, I come to you now that my dream is through 

And this time I swear I’ll stay 

   Bridge: For I’ve sailed an ocean that knows no shore 

Through the eye of an angry dream 

And I never found the pearl of the oyster 

But girl, at last I’ve dreamed my dream 

   Where there’s a will there is a way 

But on the way you must borrow 

From the pain you will gain with each new day 

For to wear the crown of laurel you’ll harvest many sorrows 

And in vain you may dream your life away 



      9)  Blue Sky ‘n Roses 

Blue sky ‘n roses o’er the grave 

Who’ll light the morning, child, who’ll show the way 

Went down by the river, knelt down on my knee 

Prayed to the stars above, “Give me light to see…” 

And I know, Lord, I know I’ve been a fool 

Been a joker at times and often I’ve been cruel 

But I can never stop until I’ve climbed 

And stumbled from the summit of my pride 

   Chorus: While this fire burns in my blood 

That water won’t baptize me 

I’ll go down in the flood, oh Father 

Before I’ll ever break bread with a perfumed priest 

I cannot drink the wine that they horde 

You must sanctify this sinner with your sword 

   Alone in the night, anxious for a word 

Watching as the rays of light from the stars converge 

Flashed upon the retinae, imaged in the mind 

A voice in my heart that says, “You’ve neared your mortal time…” 

And I know, Lord, I’m a prisoner of decay 

I cannot scale these walls, there ain’t no escape 

And I will cry for mercy when I fall 

But what fierce judgement demands that I should crawl 



      10)  Mad Dog Blues 

Chorus: It’s a rough ol’ world, you’re born to surrender 

Though you may run ‘n hide like an old outlaw 

It’s rough ol’ world and none are delivered 

She’ll shoot ya down, my friend, shoot ya down one ‘n all 

   When a dog goes mad they’ll shoot him at sunrise 

And let the barn cat come ‘n lap up his blood 

If he lives so long that he’s old ‘n near blind 

They’ll stake ‘im by the river when it’s starting to flood 

   When I was a child I walked into the pasture 

Found bones bleached white by the sun ‘n the rain 

I recognized my ol’ dog’s brown-black fur 

Now I curse the hour I first felt my soul give way 

   The lilac bloomed in the cemetery breeze 

Mixed her perfume with the stench of death 

Beneath those bones the grass grew green 

The earth feeds each and by each she is fed 


   When a man goes mad he best jump in the river 

If he don’t jump fast they’ll haul him away 

In the give ‘n take some are taken by the giver 

While others put up gold for their burin’ day 

   So tell my sons there’ll be peace in the valley 

Tell my daughters that the lilac blooms 

You can tell ‘em all I’ve gone out huntin’ 

Gonna shoot a mad dog in the afternoon


      11)  For a Nickel or a Dime 

My brother cried when I left home 

He also cried when our daddy died 

But me, I just got sick inside 

Closed my heart and tried to hide… 

Away a man grows from a child 

Away like whitecaps o’er the sea 

Now I can cry most anytime 

I can cry for a nickel, I can cry for a dime 

   My love laughed when the sun went down 

She ran ‘n danced in her brightest gown 

But I wouldn’t smile like a painted clown 

I could only laugh if I wore a crown… 

But I have built a fire on yonder hill 

Yes I have touched the night above the wind 

Now I can laugh most anytime 

I can laugh for a nickel, I can laugh for a dime 

   (Extra verse): I went to the circus with a cold lone heart 

Guarded my eyes and I walked apart 

Clubs and Spades were my favorite cards 

My only love was a tattooed arm… 

But old stones are buried in these walls 

The ones I’ve known I carry in my heart 

Now I can love most anytime 

I can love for a nickel, I can love for a dime


      12)  Don’t Wanna Die in Arkansas 

Chorus: I don’t wanna die in Arkansas 

Don’t wanna die in Spain 

Please let me die, Lord, close to my home 

I don’t wanna long journey to my grave 

   Now whether I die in the morning 

Or whether it’s late at night 

Just wear the veil on your shoulders, my love 

Don’t let my death darken your pretty eyes 

   And don’t bury me on the hillside 

Where all the crosses stand 

But lay me to the side of a great oak tree 

In a valley or some small wood of land 


   Lay a red rose on me 

Don’t wake me with your kiss 

But before you turn to walk so far away 

Use wine to warm my lips 

   And I’ll dance with you no more, my love 

Nor hold you in my arms 

I’ll journey through darkness to silence ‘n peace 

And sleep with the Hunter in the stars 


   They say it’s ash to ash 

They say it’s dust to dust 

There’s nothing to add, nothing I need say 

For the wind said all long before us 



      13)  Old Men & Old Hymns 

Birth ‘n death are the threaded needle 

Mending an old dress 

Life is an ancient riddle spun of the ocean’s brine 

A roaring old rhythm unrhymed 

Warrior horses ranged the earth 

While wolf-women sang their prayers 

And fire-infants played naked in the lairs 

Old men like old hymns all seem to move so slow 

And old sins are like old winds 

They never cease to moan 

   On the millstone grinds the grain 

And on the metals toil 

While the jaded cross of olden man 

Stands lonely there still 

Forgotten like a scarecrow in the field 

Through wool ‘n fur and silks ‘n flesh 

Of the seasons and old centuries 

The wine has ebbed ‘n flowed like truth ‘n misery 

Old women like old roses fade with the years 

They press their youth between the pages 

To hold that season dear 

   The soul is like a raging river 

It has no bones 

And the night is a haunted memory 

Illumined by the moon 

The pirates’ old bounty of ruin 

The demons of our fathers yet linger out the door 

But the devil and his angels are no more 

A young child with new dreams 

Is dancing before my grief 

The old fable for a new heart 

Fruit from the same damn tree 

And old men like old hymns 

All seem to move so slow 

And old sins are like old winds 

They never cease to moan… 


      14)  Moonlight on the Prairie 

Moonlight on the prairie, small town and farms 

Her pastures of plenty asleep beneath the stars 

Seasons may change through childhood and toil 

I’ll leave my dust in her soil 

   So long my prairie, prairie so wide 

From Dallas north to Calgary 

Blue horizons and sky 

The north winds may blow ‘n blanket the plains 

Spring will bring thunder and rain 

Come summer they’ll harvest her grain 

   Moonlight on the prairie, memories I have known 

My headlights shine down an old highway 

By morning I will be home…