Friday, May 20, 2016

'Has every well I've drilled run dry?' Life made into poetry


I think the most frightening thing about Guy Clark, probably the very greatest of the very fertile Texas songwriter scene who died after a long illness at 74 on Tuesday, is his songs were generally true stories. The real world is not meant to be such pure poetry. This one was about his grandmother's boyfriend named Jack Prigg.
Desperados Waiting For A Train

I'd play the Red River Valley
And he'd sit out in the kitchen and cry
And run his fingers through seventy years of livin'
And wonder, "Lord, has ever' well I've drilled run dry?"
 
We were friends, me and this old man
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train
 
He's a drifter and a driller of oil wells
And an old school man of the world
He let me drive his car
When he's too drunk to

And he'd wink and give me money for the girls
And our lives were like some old western movie
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train
 
From the time that I could walk he'd take me with him
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe
There were old men with beer guts and dominos
Lying 'bout their lives while they'd played
 
And I was just a kid
But they all called him "Sidekick"
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train
 
One day I looked up and he's pushin' eighty
And there's brown tobacco stains all down his chin
To me he's one of the heroes of this country
So why's he all dressed up like them old men
 
Drinkin' beer and playin' Moon and Forty-two
Like a desperado waitin' for a train
Like a desperado waitin' for a train
 
A day before he died, I went to see him
I was grown and he was almost gone
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen
And sang another verse to that old song
"Come on, Jack, that son of a guns are comin' "
 
Like desperados waitin' for a train



'To me, he was one of the heoros of this country...' Johnny, Willie, Waylon and Kris know a classic song when they hear one.

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