Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lyrics of the Day

Tom Russell is one of my favorite lyrical storytellers. "Tonight We Ride" leads off his Indians Cowboys Horses Dogs album. Russell tells of riding with John "Black Jack" Pershing in pursuit of Pancho Villa along the Mexican border (after Villa's raid on Columbus, NM in 1916). The narrator steals Pershing's stallion, but he gets caught and thrown in prison.
When I'm too damn old to sit a horse, I'll steal the warden's car
Break my ass out of this prison, leave my teeth there in a jar
You don't need no teeth for kissin' gals or smokin' cheap cigars
I'll sleep with one eye open, 'neath God's celestial stars

Tonight we rock, tonight we roll
We'll rob the Juarez liquor store for the Reposado Gold
And if we drink ourselves to death, ain't that the cowboy way to go?
Tonight we ride, tonight we ride
I'd rather not think of the sort of gals who'd want to kiss an old guy with no teeth, but I love the bravado of these lyrics. I've been listening to a lot of Russell lately, so he'll probably turn up in Lyrics of the Day again soon.

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