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A wiser, abler man would have arranged this more tastefully.  My apologies.

The New South


Sitting in the back of my Paw-Paw’s pickup

Riding out of Greer with a bucket full of chicken

Stop at the Pantry with a dollar in my pocket

For Big League Chew and a packet of Snap-Pops


Fifteen miles down State Road 20

Park in the back of the Church of the Plenty

And walk through the woods with a styrofoam cooler

For old-time rewind family renewal


And the New South is creeping like kudza

And the good guys won the War

And nobody ever gets hookworm

And Atticus Finch doesn’t live here anymore


This is where Paw-Paw used to go fishing

They’re calling it the Canebreak Subdivision

Just like string beans, crinolines, and okra

One more thing we’re gonna pave over


We used to see the mermaids down in Weeki Wachi

Used to go to Miami, now it’s Miami

Used to be a Bunny Bread sign at the corner

Used to never hear about South of the Border




We stand by the water when the chicken’s all gone

He says, “Boy, make a wish now, and make it a good one.”
Paw-Paw throws in his lucky penny

And we walk back to the Church of the Plenty


Babies & Monkeys


Do you remember how you used to sign

With innocent amazement?
And how the angels clapped their hands

And hid their puzzled faces?


And I was throwing ice at the walls

Waiting to get sober

Waiting for my chance to lead the Fall

Waiting to jump over


Flipping the angels off, I stumbled at the gate

You followed after me and it was too late


We had a love like Pharaoh and the Jews

I gave a bit, you bartered

And every time you snuck into my heart

It got a little harder

You did me a world of good

When you finally left me

But if I had you in Egypt again

I wouldn’t make it easy


Bring on the locusts, I’m a dedicated man

I’ll be here waiting when you draw back your hand


We blew it all once before

When we were in Eden

But so help me, I’ll knock at your door

And we can get even


Come up to the gates with me

The angel’s been drinking

Sneak into what should be ours

Get back to a good thing

With babies and monkeys swinging naked in the trees

And hide with me underneath those sweet forbidden leaves

I Want A Flava Flav


I want a Flava Flav

To back me up on everything I say

I want to be urged on

I want to be a mastodon

I want my voice to pound

To crack the earth and let dead men out

I want to be the one to save

And I want a Flava Flav


I want a magazine

To pioneer my new regime

I want my picture shown

I want my megaphone

I want to be caught on tape

In a compromising state

She is my Magdalene

I want my magazine


I want an X-ray eye

To crack the code of the by and by

I’ll rise into the air

And chase ascending prayers

Till the horizon bends

Turn them to my own ends 

I'll drink the heavens dry

I want an X-Ray eye

I’m Gonna Fly Right Out Of This World


Nothing to do, watching the wind blow by

Nothing to do, watching the wind blow by

Daddy’s in Memphis, Mama be home by nine

Granny’s asleep, keeping away from the flies


And I’m gonna fly right out of this world

I’m gonna fly right out of this world

I’m gonna fly right out of this world

I’m gonna make it rain a million pearls


People come calling, chase them away with a dog

People come calling, chase them away with a dog

Casseroles and money, flowers and the Twenty-Third Psalm

Don’t need nothing, best be moving on




Call the police, Granny’s about to die

Call the police, Granny’s about to die

Jesus is ready, she’s got a home on high

But she’s hanging on so Mama can say goodbye





Hell if I know how

But I appear to settled down

Got four walls to hold me in

Let Jesus take away my sin

I’m happier than I’ve ever been

If you really want to know


But deeper in my heart

There’s a stream of something cold and dark

Still keeps me awake at night

It makes me jerk, it makes me bite

It holds me like a lover that won’t let go


Now you come around

Creeping back from the other side of town

It only takes one look to see

The sandy fear inside of me

That gets in every corner of my mind

Until the pieces stick and grind

And I’m collapsing in the yard

You say, “Man, you’re not alone.”


We start with just a pint

A little taste of the old times

Then we go out for a ride

And you pull out that .45

I squeeze one off and man I feel alive

It’s like a hundred years went by

And I was sleeping with my wife

You say, “Man, it’s good to see that look in your eye.”


We never see the deer

It’s like it suddenly appears

Tears the fender off the car

I can hear it screaming in the dark

We track it by the sound

You say, “You know we’re gonna have to put him down.”

Head back to the car for a couple of rounds


Shaking in the weeds

A bleeding deer and you and me

I watch him kick and try to breathe

I feel my finger start to squeeze

But I never heard a sound

Till I  shoot off every round

And I can smell the blood on the ground

And on you and me

And you say, “Easy, man! Easy!”



Angelina said to me,

“I can’t get any closer.

I’ve run out of words and ways

To win you over.


I was patient, I was true,

I held you when you fell apart

Waiting for your tired pride

To rest upon my foolish heart


But hold me in your arms

I need a little sympathy

And I’m too weak to hold

Your careful heart away from me.”


Angelina took my hand

And traced a circle on her skin

“Tell me one of your sweet lies

The kind I love believing


Comb my hair and sing to me

Then pour us both another drink

Get me out my favorite jeans

And take me to the roller rink


Then spin me once around

And leave before the slow song ends

I’ll light the mirror ball

And ride between its fingerprints.”

What You Gonna Do?


What you gonna do when the good Lord comes

Like a thief in the night when the day is done?


What you gonna do?

What you gonna do?
What you gonna do?


When it comes time for the great roll call

I’m gonna head right over to the shopping mall

Gonna watch that fire and brimstone fall

Gonna play my tape of And Justice For All…


Gonna get me a Whopper and two Big Macs

Stratocaster and a Marshall stack

Turn the knobs all up to ten

Play Freebird again and again




Then I’m gonna get me a rocking chair

Gonna sit there rocking in my underwear

Gonna wait for the train to the Kingdom Come

Gonna walk right over and stick out my thumb


Gonna talk to Jesus in the baggage car

Sitting there puffing on a big cigar

Singing old Billy Joe Shaver songs

In the New Jerusalem all night long



I’m an Escort man with a pickup dream

Being executed on a drum machine

I come back here to settle a score

But it’ll never be like it was before


I lost my heard in Arkansas

Lost a friend in Chickasaw
Ask me why, I can’t recall

I left my troubles in a rock and roll bar


All I need is your blue jeans

Then I get all goofy and I act thirteen

You got lips and I got some too

I might be rubber but I’m stuck on you




I learned this song from Buzzy the Pimp

He was testifying with an Eight Ball limp

He told me, “Son, you better learn to sing

You got jelly feathers and a broken wing




The Penny Song


If I had one wish
I’d ask for a thousand tongues

And a thousand more songs

And I’d sing them to you all at once


A couple of songs about loneliness

A couple of songs about fear

A couple of songs about wanting to leave

And the rest about staying right here


If you got a haircut

The worst one that I’d ever seen

I’d say you were perfect

And everyone else is just mean


They’re jealous, they’re bitter, they’re full of regret

And they just put you down to feel big

If they only saw you the way you see me

We wouldn’t have problems like these


If I had one dollar

I would show neither caution nor care

I’d change it for pennies

And I’d throw them all up in the air


If they land on the heads then I love you so true

If they land on the tails you love me

If they land in the river and never are found

The robins will take to their wings

And we’ll just have to see what we see

Rhinestone in the rough

Well I drank up every ear of corn in town

And I found that barn and I burned it to the ground

And I threw my bottle down

I was eight years old when they took me to the barn

Where they held me down by the ankles and the arms

And they left me in the dark


When the sky grew dim

And the moon was hanging low

There was ever light enough

For I shine within

With a cool and empty glow

Like a rhinestone in the rough


The next three years was dust and empty cars

Where I sang my song to a plastic toy guitar

And the judgment of the stars


Till they ran me down at the Ooltewah Hotel

Where they tore my clothes and they left me in a cell

And I damned them all to hell


Twenty days and fifteen hundred dollars gone

She was waiting there with her golden slippers on

Telling me to raise the dawn




She made our home in an empty prison tower

And I stayed with her till my sympathy went sour

In a cold December hour


There were friends abandoned to their own supply

There were hearts laid bare to the coldness of my eye

There were graces left to die


From my mother's breast to the children of the Fall

I have made myself unwelcome to them all

When I heard that hollow call




I have laid my head in the bosom of the Lamb

I have wandered lost in the circles of the damned

I have stood at their command


For Elijah called me to the saints in light

But I caught his car and I dragged it from the sky

And I rode it through the night

The Second Coming


Harvey was an evil adolescent

Turning good girls into mothers

And the mothers into whores


It’s every good little boy’s dream

To have his own little dream team

A silent army to watch him dreaming


Audrey took a two by four across her

Pretty face before she left him

With a knife inside his arm


She got the heck out of Phoenix

She met a radical genius

And bought an acre of Indiana corn


Carly met her match in Ponte Vedra

Lost her maidenhead at blackjack

And a grand on jai alai


She had to cover the losses

She made aluminum crosses

Out of beer cans and Jägermeister labels


Maxy kissed him one too many babies

Had to move into the shelter

Took a job delousing dogs


And the girl from the News Team

With the incredible boobies

Kept the vigil with Greg from Channel 7


And I sleep in a tree in West Virginia

I am silent in the darkness

I have bourbon and a knife


I walk out on the branches

I see a coming disaster

I’ll have a seat for the Second Coming any day

Lift me up

If you find me in the field 

Worn down by a driving wheel

Would you lift me up

Lift me up

If I fall beneath the load

Broke down on a dead-end road

Would you lift me up

Lift me up

Would you lift me up

Lift me up

Would you lift me up

Some morning

Lift me up

When I fall from te wisdom tree 

And the birds circle over me 

Would you lift me up

Lift me up

When the voice of thunder rolls

Take pity on a weary soul

And lift me up

Lift me up


When I lay in the cold ground

Tear the old red curtain down

And lift me up

Lift me up