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LYRICS FOR THE ROAD WEST

 

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FAMINE

The glue that holds us here has come undone
The thread once tightly woven has come unspun
The land that once was rich has gone to blight
We struggled many years, but lost the fight

The gaunt grey face before me used to be my wife
Starvation stole her vigor, soon will take her life
Just like it stole our daughter, tries to take our son
We have to leave this place, the famine?s finally won

We traded all we had for passage from this place
Seems half the countryside has joined the race
To find another life where hunger is stayed
The children pack their things, their mother is afraid

Tell me why must we sail so far away
Row, row, put your backs in and row

Tell me why must we sail so far from home
Row, row, put your backs in and row

It?s time to leave the ship, take the boat ashore
We carry hopes and dreams, and little more
The mast has disappeared behind the waves
The people left behind are in their graves

Tell me God, what?s our plan, so far from home
Row, row, put your backs in and row
Row, row, put your backs in and row


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BRAZOS DE DIOS

Rolls nine hundred miles from her head to her mouth
From the Llano Estacado to the Freeport south
Winds along

As you peer in her waters, what you think is mud
Something deeper than that, it?s the salt and the blood
From back home

Brazos de Dios, the arms of God
Reach up to take me
Carries me over ten thousand years
Under the prairie

The tribe of Comanche rode her shores in the past
They were building reputations that were bound to last
Years long

When the white men came, The People swept from the West
Took whatever they desired and they burned the rest
To the ground

Chorus

As time moved on, the white men conquered her soil
The People disappeared amid the battle and toil
For their home

A century passed, a group of Army Engineers
Tried to dam up her waters, tried to hold back the tears
Of times gone

Chorus X 2


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THIS IS WHERE THE RIVER BROUGHT ME

Trouble follows me ? like a river to the sea

Hopped on a train outbound for Toyah
Just to see what lies out west
Bought the ticket, damn near broke me
What I?ll do there?s anyone?s guess

Watched the tress turn into sage brush
Then watched it all burn to grey
The rails flowed into a flat horizon
Like a river lost its way

Where the hell is my companion
Salvation she didn?t bring me home
This is where the river brought me
Out here all alone

Spent my last dollar in the cactus coach
Threw back a couple of drinks
The scenery was growing tiresome
Perhaps it?s made to let me think

The car was filling with the upper crust
It made me feel like I might choke
I stepped outside between the boxcars
Tried to roll myself a smoke

Suddenly we snapped a corner
Lost my balance as we jumped the track
I found myself going over
Then everything went black

I woke to something warm and friendly
A gentle stroke across my head
It might have been consoling angels
Kindly telling me I?m dead

But it was just Trouble bringing me back
A dirty stray without a home
He wagged his tail as I brushed myself off
Suppose I?m no longer alone

I guess I found my companion
Hardship delivered him to me
This is where the river brought him
To walk forever with me


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MUTT

In the heat of the day
Not even a cat should be treated this way
I?ve got no pedigree
Just driftin? along

And the rails roll on forever
And somewhere at the end of forever
Is a home
It?s my home

When I find a shade from the heat
I?ll rest my weary feet
Till I feel good, feel good like a dog again,
Feel like a dog again

I follow the steps of a man
A drifter out wandering the sand
He?s got no place
To call his own

But he treats me pretty special
Gives me half of everything
That he has
Half what he has

When it?s time to jump that train
I?ll throw caution to the wind
And I?ll run fast, jump
Into his arms again

As we ride along the track
I roll over on to my back
And this bumpy ride
Beats walkin? in the heat

And my closest friend
Gives me a pat on the head
And I?m loyal to a fault
We?re loyal to a fault

When God calls me to my end
I?ll lift my weary feet again
Till I feel good, feel good, feel like a dog again,
Feel like a dog again


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TELEPHONE ROAD

A thousand feet below the ground
Our elusive quarry sleeps
Still as a shiny snake that hides
And slithers beneath our feet

We pound steel into the earth
To set the serpent free
If we get it done in time my friends
The drinks will be on me

A church to the east, a bar to the west
Each provides a comfort on the day of rest
A preacher on the right, a bondsman on the left
Both in the business of saving the bereft
One prays for forgiveness, the other pays bail
Don?t take them for granted, they are destined to fail
If you get caught on the wrong side of telephone road

A hundred feet above the ground
The planning committee meets
They make designs to rape the land
While a chef prepares their feast

The chairman talks of what they?ve gained
Of treasures not yet found
Let?s plant another hundred wells
To drill into the ground

A brothel on the left, a social on the right
Each provides action on a Saturday night
A wife to the east, a hooker to the west
One likes to party, one feathers her nest
One?s paid to be a lover for just one night
The other collects it for the rest of her life
Don?t let them catch you on the wrong side of telephone road

The kick can be felt miles away through the ground
The suits in the boardroom are aware it?s been found
The roughnecks smile wide when they hit their pay
Through all the commotion they hear the driller say
It?s raining money on the west side of Telephone Road
We?ve hit a gusher on the west side of Telephone Road
It?s raining mud west side of Telephone Road
It?s raining money west side of Telephone Road


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THE COTTON FARMER’S WIFE

The wind pushes earth into the sky
And the cracks round the windows let dust inside
It falls from the sill to a freshly swept floor
And she asks herself why she puts up with it anymore

A rust covered hinge announces he?s home
But she knows all the same she?s still here alone
He?ll quietly eat the meal that she has prepared
And scarcely acknowledge that she?s even there

She?ll endure any hardship he brings through the door
For a Saturday night gliding ?cross the dance floor
To a waltz, while he?s holding her tight
All at once she remembers why
She loves him

The sun falls below horizon flat and bare
She ties back the bow on a ribbon in her hair
Dons a worn cotton dress of checkered whites and reds
Though the patterns have faded, she can still turn some heads

When he takes her out dancing on Saturday night
They glide ?cross the dance floor beneath the spotlights
To a waltz, while he?s holding her tight
All at once she remembers why
She loves him

And they dance the night away?

A rust covered hinge confirms she?s arrived
At the place where her dreams keep her alive
As the sounds of the dancehall fade from her head
The silence overwhelms her as she falls into bed

 

LYRICS FOR PLUS

BROKEN SWITCH

Plans made, plans broken
All beyond our control
Expectations turn to disappointment
There?s just no way to know
In a maze of destinations
Endless places to go
Now we wait in aggravation
Our dark sides begin to show
I?m on a train going nowhere
Frustrated woman just loses control
A broken switch, all of the sudden
Ten-thousand people just can?t get home
Three men in a capsule
Spinning high above the sky
Indicators flash to warn them
Navigation?s gone awry
Signal distress over the airwaves
Concerns are mounting at Ground Control
A broken switch, all of the sudden
Three astral travelers may not come home
I?m sitting back in my recliner
I push the TV remote control
A broken switch, all of the sudden
My entertainment is put on hold


FLAME

One might strike his rock against another rock and make the spark that ignites the?flame
And the fires of the imagination burn most bright when they?re fanned by every
member of the village in sight
And when they take that flame another mile down the river to share with their rivals
as they stumble and shiver
In the dark no more, their smiling faces bathed in the golden light of the fires this night
One then harvests the fire, runs it down a wire that terminates a hundred miles away
To power the lights in the village at night and allow them to press on and pray
Keep me warm, keep me bright
Keep me safe from the danger this night
Lift the flames into the air
The ashes fall I know not where
So they pray for more oil and gas and coal to warm their hearts and deliver their souls
From the evil that lurks in the shadows and dark ? they claw at the Earth and gouge out a mark
Then one releases the fire at the heart of the atom, harness its power to light great
cities of people who scratch and struggle
To find more oil to burn in their quest to acquire, to tame and to conquer their rivals down the river
When at last they hurl their nuclear weapons into the sky to leave their impression in one final fire
That consumes all humanity their faces frozen in perpetual screams a split second
before their shadows are etched into the streets of their city
Forever and ever and ever
Keep me warm, keep me bright
Keep me safe from the danger this night
Lift the flames into the air
The ashes fall I know not where


I CAN’T STAY TOO LONG

Duty calls, itinerary set
Got plans I didn?t make
Things not done yet
Didn?t leave on time
Guess I deserve what I get
I can?t stay too long, got to go
City crawls, it?s order is upset
The builders lost their way
Plans not done yet
They had to leave behind a billion dollar debt
They can?t wait too long, got to go
In a dream I am rising, climbing away from my rage
As I seek my salvation, soaring away from the cage
Past the void, beyond the other side
Still have my sense of humor
That part never died
Look back across the chasm, growing ever wide
I can?t stay too long, got to go
Voices call, a comforting request
Felt hands embrace my soul at last
They carry me up to the door
No need to worry anymore
I shall rise, yes I shall rise


TWENTY YEARS

I bought the house I grew up in
Sits on the corner down from the school
The paint and the carpet are different colors now
Not quite how I remember them
But it feels right
I feel right again
Right at home where I belong
Right as rain, right where I belong
Now I wait in the living room
I peer through the blinds into the front yard
The kids from the school are walking home now
I wish somehow they would stop and play
But it feels right
I feel right again
Right at home where I belong
Right as rain, right where I belong
Right here again


WINDS OF FORTUNE

I put my boat onto the water
Hoist my sail into the air
Carried by the winds of fortune
Far from shore I know not where
I dream in technicolor voices
They sing about the words I cannot say
Their images have such a pungent flavor
I carry in my touch throughout the day
A siren?s song drew me toward her
She climbed aboard my boat to stay
Became my eternal companion
Since then I?ve never lost my way
I dream in technicolor voices
They sing about the words I cannot say
Their images have such a pungent flavor
I carry in my touch throughout the day