written with Matt Tedder
It’s an old road get off when you get on it / Time just blow on by like a whistle in the breeze / And there’s a real thin line between / What ya need and what you want / And it can burn you down / And it can set you free / And the undertaker is gonna make his money / But it don’t have to be today. // The mountains high and the valleys low / The rich is rich and the poor is poor / Your train rolls by strawberry pickers / And a beggar at the station / Reaches out his hand / A preacher offers up his sermon for salvation / While the Devil takes what he can. // It's an old road / It's an old road // The leaves they turn green to gold / And the weather goes from hot to cool / The whole damn thing is just circles and cycles / Maybe nothing’s new / But there’s a lot to see / And moss don’t gather on a rolling stone / And the fruit’ll tell ya ‘bout the tree. // The mountains high and the valleys low / The rich is rich and the poor is poor / Your train rolls by strawberry pickers / And a beggar at the station / Reaches out his hand / A preacher offers up his sermon for salvation / While the Devil takes what he can.
Agnes in her long white robe / A girl with a sword to her throat / Kneels in defiance, in silence, as her last tears flow /
And with her final breath / she prepares for the blow. // Agnes with a mind of her own / Refuses the wrong father's son / And in defiance she cries out, I will not be controlled. / My hand is mine to give, my choices mine alone. / Oh Lord please help this sad and broken world. // Agnes only 12 years old / An enemy of the gods in Rome / Stands in defiance as tyrants strip her of her clothes / But one by one they turn away as her dark hair grows / Save for one, who she'll pray be restored. // Agnes bound with ropes / Shrouded in flames and smoke / Breathes in defiance of their violence as the fire goes cold / But her accusers still accuse her. Death is all they know. / Still, Agnes prays, "Forgive them. They know not what they do." // What pure thing ever remains / That lust and greed / That pride and vanity / Once they've seen / Don't seek to kill or destroy? // Agnes in her long white robe / A child with a sword to her throat / Kneels in defiance, in silence, as her last tears flow / And with her final breath, she prepares for the blow.
Boom Or Bust
Up from the mines / Out to the market / Dig it up / Uncle Sam want it / "We can detonate a bomb / With the ore ripped from the ground." // And it's boom or bust // Two world wars / Good for business / Young men die / Old men get rich / Same old song, same old dance / One's good fortune is another's collapse. // And it's boom or bust / Boom or bust. // A German boy / Dead in France / A Mexican miner / Breaks his back / Mines and wars a dime a dozen / When one shuts down another one opens. // And it's boom or bust / Boom or bust / Boom or bust / Same old song, same old dance.
Then You'll Know
written with Jack Barksdale
“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” ― Native American Proverb
When the last tree is cut down low / And the last field lay barren and forlorn / Then you'll know / Then you'll know / You can't eat money. // When the last fish is nothing but bones / Once the seven seas can't feed a soul / Then you'll know / Then you'll know / You can't eat money. // Our earth, a paradise / Forsaken for silver and gold / By those who heed no wisdom / And fear no price / But the price is our home. // When the last stream is poisoned and choked / And the time has come to reap what's been sewn. / Then you'll know / Then you'll know / You can't eat money. / Our earth, a paradise / Forsaken for silver and gold / By those who heed no wisdom / And fear no price / But the price is our home.
Talking Site Unseen Blues
Big Tech has been good to me. / I've made a fortune and figure what I need / Is for more of my money to start makin' more money...for me. // They all say it: diversify! / So I fill my cups // With varied streams of passive income. // I'm in cryptos and condos and Coachella cabanas / I got money in the markets and moose in Montana / I got a yurt on some land just south of Dallas / Where the wealthy and hip go glamping...for a fee. // A considerable fee. / Ok, it's a grand a night, but what a grand night! / And you ought to see the lights. // I got about a quarter mile of the prettiest twinkling lights you've ever seen / Stretched and strung out in the trees. / And you can bet there's an espresso machine. / You can even get Uber eats to deliver right to your yurt flap. / Anyhow, you get the idea. // Now I'm sitting in a cafe in the Seattle rain / And it's pissing and pouring and it's making me grey / So I start exploring some sort of escape on that vast information highway. // Gonna kill two birds with one stone. / And find myself a seventh home. / And when I can't be there, well I'll just rent it out to strangers. // Ah there it sits away down south / Overlooking a west texas ghost town. / Some land with a view my money can buy / Siren songing me from the internet. // Buy it sight unseen. / I'm gonna build the home of my latest dreams. / And you can bet it all be green. / Right down to the biodiesel fueling the bulldozers. // It took twice as long and cost twice as much. / Had to account for the desert and mountains and such. / But I've built me a home on theside of my cliff / And now it's about ready to rent. Not a universally happy event as it turns out. // I told a little white lie to my neighbor next door / Who shares the dirt road up to my place and her's. / I told her she could most certainly rest assured / There'd be no AirBnB-ing from me. // And her place is just a little stone hovel / She built stone by stone before smart phones or Google. / And the woman herself is as unkept and wild / As the terrain, or a Tasmanian devil. // And she don't wave no more. / I take it she's a little sore / At all the traffic leading to my door / That I said there wouldn't be. // And when I suggested we bring up a dumpster / She threw back her head and she laughed like the thunder. / Said, "What kind of dump truck you think could get up here / On our road that you've destroyed." // Yeah our road it is in bad shape. / But it's nothing a little money and asphalt can't save. / And I'm willing to pitch in for having it paved. / For all of us. / Eh more trouble just bubbles up // I hit a small snag in my rain water collection. / It seems for the desert it ain't the best sort of system. / So as I work out some sort of solution / The jacuzzi tub sits dry. // I got my septic hanging from the side of my cliff / Cleverly hidden and holding our shit / Sitting on what the Devil called a wash / But it works fine. // And it's kind of tricky getting most supplies. / The nearest Walmart is not nearby. / Hell even a proper grocer is over an hour drive. / And don't even get me started on the absence of a Starbucks. // But I am here at the very ground floor / Of an exciting new destination location. / And you can bet by the time we're booming / I'll own a little more. // Yeah, life just gets better and better. / I hear they're putting in a Dollar General. / And that ain't too bad a start.
Stoned and Broken Hearted
She said, "You look broken hearted, / And too stoned to play this game." / I said, "The world's gone crazy. / How can we live like nothing's changed?" / She said, "Just lay your head down. / You don't have to do a thing. / Or we can just talk about it. / It all costs the same." // Stoned and broken hearted at the end of all days. // He looked up, said, "Why you crying Momma? / Your eyes are sad and red." / She said, "The world's gone crazy, / And I got to raise you here." / "But don't we have all we need, Momma? / Don't you make sure of that?" / She said, "Of course, my baby. / Now let's get you off to bed." // Stoned and broken hearted at the end of all days. / A crowd gathered round them / As he wrote in the sand. / They all wanted blood, / But didn't want it on their hands. / And as they all departed, / He was heard to say, / "The world's gone crazy, sister. / To not be broken would be insane." // Stoned and broken hearted at the end of all days.
In the far west of Texas / In the springtime of '73 / Five shots broke the calm / And a sheriff collapsed to his knees / And his killer was caught / And his killer would no more be free / And then the deputy sheriff / Of Presidio County / Became the sheriff in whom / People believed. // In the eyes of the world, Lord, / He's Walking Tall / And down on the border / He is the law. // In his boots and his jeans / And his big Stetson hat / He stood a proud six feet and four / With his gun on his hip / And a star on his chest / A hero à la Louis L'Amour. / But south of the border / The whispers were starting to grow / That this gringo vaquero / Was far from a hero / En verdad he was the door. // Lo llaman La Puerta / Los que lo saben / Pero en la frontera / Él es la ley. / In the eyes of the world, Lord, / He's Walking Tall / And down on the border / He is the law. // The grass and the cocaine / Poured over the border / And the sheriff made many arrests / Of drifters and hippies / And line cooks and burnouts / As he righteously posed for the press / But the whispers grew louder / As 'ol Robert Chambers / And the drug lords of Old Mexico / Like El Zorro de Ojinaga / Y El Señor de Los Cielos / Moved product / Without being slowed. // Lo llaman La Puerta / Los que lo saben / Pero en la frontera / Él es la ley. / In the eyes of the world, Lord, / He's Walking Tall / And down on the border / He is the law. // On the outskirts of Marfa / At the old county fairgrounds / On a cold night December nine one / The sheriff's horse trailer / Sat loaded with cocaine / That weighed well over a ton / And Sam the Informant / Disgruntled with Robert / Told agents what / They there would find / And Robert was busted / And the sheriff, disgusted, / Gave the world a piece of his mind: // He said the cops and the crooks / They're the same kinds of people / This you must understand / The only real difference / Between a cop and a crook / Is that the cop is wearing a badge. / Got two lives in jail for his deeds. // Lo llaman La Puerta / Los que lo saben / Y en la frontera / Él era la ley. / But in the eyes of the world, Lord, / He's Walking Tall / And down on the border / He was the law.
Man in the Ground
written with Jack Barksdale
Chisel and stone, blood and bone, / When I leave gonna know I'm gone. / I don't wanna be just a man in the ground. // Steal the Sea of Galilee / Keep it where no eye can see / Take it with you to the grave. / Rip it from the picture's frame / Go down laughing with the blade. // I don't wanna be just a man in the ground. // Be it fame or infamy / The whole wide world gonna know my name / Sweat and toil, give or take, / The mark I leave is gonna make it plain / These words I sing ain't never gonna fade // I don't wanna be just a man in the ground. // There was a man who chose to go / In such a way the world would know / Regret now fills the bullethole / But that poor man ain't me. // I don't wanna be just a man in the ground.