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lyrics

First Rodeo, Last Ride

A friend who has worked with everyone from Commander Cody and Buddy Guy to Aaron Copeland and Tina Turner is teaching me some slide.

I recorded 6 choruses of a 12-bar blues in a D tuning on my acoustic. Shuffled things around a bit after I came up with the ‘first rodeo/last ride’ idea, then whipped together some lyrics and there ya go.

it’s hard to find the words
to say how it hurts
bet it all on that bull and I lost my shirt
thought I could take him
but didn’t have enough inside
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

didn’t see eye to eye
that bull and I
and I was laying there looking at the great big sky
it was mutual
we each wanted some of the other one’s hide
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

when you hit the gate
better do your eight
I had more than I could handle on a bull sized plate
partly my fault
a fact I’ve never denied
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

I make a mess of things
and it really stings
outrageous fortune and all its slings
get knocked down
but I try to take it all in stride
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

performance notes
open D
12 – 5 – 7

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lyrics

Back Side of the Ridge

There’s a place I hate go
On the back side of the ridge
And as a result it can suffer some neglect
But now and then I remind myself
It’s better to make the ride
Than to wait until the whole thing’s wrecked

I saddle up right early
’cause I pack the night before
Couple ham sandwiches and carrots and apples to share
El Aguila picks his way
Through the starless Bible black
And the sun will be rising by the time we’re there

A man’s gotta know
Where his boundaries are
If he don’t, it’ll end in crying
That side’s yours
And this side’s not
Once in a while we all cross the line

El Aguila hates this ride
Almost as much as me
But he knows when there’s a job, you gotta get it done
His temperament is different
Every time we climb this hill
He knows his usual tricks won’t help him none

A man’s gotta know
Where his boundaries are
If he don’t, it’ll end in crying
That side’s yours
And this side’s not
Once in a while we all cross the line
Bridge:
I’ll be working on this ridge ‘til sunset
Thinking about just what this thing is for
Who does it keep out?
What does it keep in?
And why does it have to be such a miserable chore?

Two strands of barbed
Let the little stuff pass
Just keeps the bigger critters getting through
Some little kid
Wants to fish down in my stream
I’m pretty sure I’ll never miss a fish or two

A man’s gotta know
Where his boundaries are
If he don’t, it’ll end in crying
That side’s yours
And this side’s not
Once in a while we all cross the line

There’s a place I hate go
On the back side of the ridge
And as a result it can suffer some neglect

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lyrics

Poppies

Only piece of bad advice my father ever gave me was that I couldn’t make a living playing with computers. “They call it work for a reason,” he said.

I find it interesting that the world is slowly realizing that you can do something you love and still pay the bills.

he took a job at the mill and worked all his life
because he had to take care of his kids and his wife
he never told ’em about the dreams he didn’t pursue
put in fifty years in a place that he hated
he never complained of the time that he’d waited
to finish the things that he’d always wanted to do

he took a factory job and worked all his days
it pays the bills all right but at night he prays
for a better life for the son who doesn’t fit in
he wanted to travel and see the whole world
but he stays at the job for his boy and his girl
and a wife who just wishes that he knew how to begin

some folks will never care what you do
but then it’s not their job to believe in you
you’ve got to do what you do
for the joy of getting it done
they say the tall poppy gets cut down to size
you’ll never get far believing those lies
it takes a tall poppy
to show the short poppies the sun

“we worked all our lives, and you’ll do the same
they call it work for a reason, it isn’t a game”
that’s what his father said the day his grandfather died
but he couldn’t fit into the box that they’d made
he wanted more than they’d earned for the dues that they’d paid
and he just couldn’t imagine a life where he never tried

some folks will never like what you do
but then it’s not their job to believe in you
you’ve got to do what you do
for the joy of getting it done
they say the tall poppy gets cut down to size
I lived my whole life believing those lies
it takes a tall poppy
to show the short poppies the sun

Categories
lyrics

Good Pair of Jeans

I was stuck on the lyrics of another song and decided, about 45 minutes ago, to switch to this idea.

Sometimes a song just needs its own space.

my fav’rite hat is crushed and flat, it’s ragged at the brim
my fav’rite boots are scuffed and scraped and looking mighty grim
my overcoat of black cashmere no longer looks as slim
but nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
just take a look at these and you’ll see what I mean
blue is best but I’d even wear ’em aquamarine
nothing beats a good pair of jeans

my sweetheart has a couple pairs with legs as long as hers
they seem to fit her well enough and follow her straight legs
follow ’em right to the ground, right where she wears her spurs
no, nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
turn around and check the mirror, you’ll see what I mean
I’m thinking maybe she should get a pair in tangerine
nothing beats a good pair of jeans

I put all the holes in these; they ain’t no acid wash
I got some from Levi and some others from Oshkosh
wear ’em when I sit and read, wear ’em when I nosh,
’cause nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
look down at your own and you’ll see what I mean
blue is best but I’d even wear ’em aquamarine
I’m thinking maybe she should get a pair in tangerine
if you know Captain Kangaroo you can even wear ’em green
nothing beats a good pair of jeans
no nothing beats a good pair of jeans