Strawmen lyrics CD3

 

RIVER TREE

There is a river tree, it’s withstood the trials of time, not bending to the wind, a driving will to survive

Lodged into a jagged river bank, rocks around it are piled high, its roots run deep and it is holding on, as the mighty river runs by

River tree, river tree, living on the banks of the Big Muddy, river tree, river tree, the water flows past to the sea, oh the stories you could tell me, river tree

Your branches shade the river road, and your leaves fall and travel free, you’ve been alive for a hundred years or more, through flood and bitter cold

You’ve seen a dugout Indian canoe, and a barge and sternwheeler, the seasons fall behind you, as you whisper in the wind

River tree, river tree, living on the banks of the Big Muddy, river tree, river tree, the water flows past to the sea, oh the stories you could tell me, river tree

THE SINGING SYCAMORE TREE

There’s a breeze off the river by the big paddle wheeler, and people talking quietly, at the old picnic tables, the sun is setting, everything is as it should be, standing on a stage under the singing sycamore tree

Catfish are jumping by the boats on the landing, BBQ and Thai food, people out standing on the river banks, with a fishing pole, sunlight dance under the singing sycamore tree

These days are precious, under blue skies, sitting by the river and watching the time go by

A dragonfly is resting on a leaf, you can hear the guitars picking underneath, everyone is singing and the voices carry, people making music by the singing sycamore tree

Thank you, Mr. Cooper, for the picnic tables, under the singing sycamore tree, picnic tables by the singing sycamore tree

SLOW TRAIN

A slow train used to come by on the tracks at the edge of town, a beat-up shack where the boys used to drink ’em down, an old woman with a bent over back limping along, only the dust is left from where we once belonged

The sun shines high on the tracks on the line, the whippoorwill is calling from the shade of the pines, everything born must someday die, sometimes we just run out of time

Coyotes in the hills where the kudzu vines grow, a truck with no wheels, silence echoes below a thriving rail town but now it’s gone bust, dreams turned to memory and the streets turned into dust

There once were jobs but they ain’t coming back, dead like the coal along the railroad tracks, busted up buildings and rusty old tin roofs, there is history and time has told the truth

LONE SOCK BLUES

There is a lone single sock with two stripes at the top, extra stitching around the heel, it lies silent as a pin in the middle of a room

It has no brothers or sisters, it’s lacking next of kin, worn a day, and cast away into a washing machine spin  (spin it, Mark!)

There is a lone single sock with two stripes at the top, folded over and tossed aside, left over from some sweaty boot’s inside, just taken for a ride

It has no brothers or sisters, it’s lacking next of kin, worn a day, and cast away into a washing machine spin

There is a lone single sock with two stripes at the top, extra stitching around the heel, it lies silent as a pin in the middle of a room

Poor lonesome single sock, no match nor mate for you, you will soon be a sock puppet, and there ain’t a thing that you can do about it

THE FLIES OF JULY

There’s a hot sun beating down in the town I’m living in, the heat and humidity offer no forgiveness, every now and then there’s a faint cool breeze, and the flies of July are biting

The dog days of summer drag on through the weeks, sleepless hot nights beyond belief, wishing for some way to get some relief, and the flies of July are biting

Some hide inside, some go north, I’m right here just sitting on my porch, we’ve some bad days but I wouldn’t trade, and the flies of July are biting

THE FOLKSINGER

There was a folksinger, she played a guitar, she sang of sorrow and lost love, to a roomful of empty chairs

She drinks cheap beer, plays all the songs on her list, words she wrote from her sweet tender heart flow from her lips

You can feel in her songs, the memories flow on, and the folksinger, she’ll remain

She brushes off the men who think she can be bought, with one kind word and a handful of change, her life is littered with things from the past best forgot

You can feel in her songs, the memories flow on, and the folksinger, she’ll remain

She counts out the change from a jar by the door, and its closing time in this Midwestern bar, where they roll up the sidewalks at night

You can feel in her songs, the memories flow on, and the folksinger, she’ll remain

THE STREETSWEEPER

An old man with shaky hands, his old broom it sweeps the streets, he has a roof above his head, but he doesn’t have much to eat

His broom and dustpan like a sword and shield, he fights his dragons every day, his noble cause it goes unseen, and someday he’ll just fade away

He lives in a box in the center of town, every day he’s almost driven down, but he stays on task and doesn’t mess around, he picks up the trash lying on the ground

In the back of an ugly alley, with the pigeons and the crumbling brick, the old man’s whistling a tune, and pretty soon he’s singing a song. The cars drive by with honking horns, but in the street he will stand, it is this place where he belongs, until he’s called to the promised land

He lives in a box in the center of town, every day he’s almost driven down, but he stays on task and doesn’t mess around, he picks up the trash lying on the ground