The First Strange Town

by Polecat Rodeo

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Engineered & Produced at Hope Studios, Houston, TX
All songs © 2013 by Polecat Rodeo

credits

released 15 August 2013

Blake Abbott - lead guitar, vox
Ben Sawicki - rhythm guitar, vox, mandolin
Dan Fields - vox, harmonica, Fagerström pipes

Additional rhythm instrumentation, mixing & mastering by Stan Cutherell

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about

Polecat Rodeo Houston, Texas

Hailing from Houston, Texas, we write and perform original songs in a variety of country, roots, and folk styles, bringing out the finer side of melancholy, ruin, deer camp cooking and Texas weather.

Our thanks to influences like Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Tom Russell, Ian Moore, The Black Crowes, Lyle Lovett, Led Zeppelin, John Fogerty, Madeline Adams, and The Rolling Stones.
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Track Name: Far Beyond
there's a red bird in the valley and it knows the storms by name
in my weary desperation i was bound to know the same
so i rose up with my arrows and i shot clean through its heart
go my love and seek the blackbird and we never more shall part

far beyond darling, far beyond
makes no difference why I've gone
keep my memory, sing my song
i am traveling far beyond

far below those holy mountains at the dawning of the day
all the faithful ones were gathered but their gods had gone away
so they asked me there to lead them but my prophet's gift is gone
i've no wisdom, i've no counsel, i am merely passing on

far beyond darling, far beyond
makes no difference why I've gone
keep my memory, sing my song
i am traveling far beyond

in the market near the harbor where the women trade in time
there is one who speaks the future but she has no words for mine
all my ghosts are gathered round me, what a lonesome company
but my faith will be rewarded when I'm safe across the sea

far beyond darling, far beyond
makes no difference why I've gone
keep my memory, sing my song
i am traveling far beyond

put your sails up, hoist your anchor if you're ready to be free
I'll be ready, i am waiting for a shipmate on the sea
if i'm wrecked or if i'm drowning, if i've made it to the shore
i'll rejoice when you have saved me and i'll leave you never more

far beyond darling, far beyond
makes no difference why I've gone
keep my memory, sing my song
i am traveling far beyond
Track Name: Deacon Jim
(now this here's a true story about a factual man
he drifted down the Pecos like the tall shadow of death
took fifty lives in cold blood but he never took a drink
not on Christmas nor the day his mother died
for he was and ever shall be
a methodist)

by the early rising sun, hear the thunder of your gun
(deacon jim, deacon jim)
a dirt poor child of arkansas, born before the time of law
(deacon jim, deacon jim)

hired gunning's no crusade, just another stock in trade
just as honest, maybe more, than any cattleman or whore

you keep the holy days
nevermind your wicked ways
and you never touch that whiskey
which the devil made to snare you
shame on him
deacon jim

now a double shotgun blast does the job and does it fast
put a price on every man, you'll collect because you can
you're the envy of your kind, deep in spirit clear in mind
and you hide a deadly truth, they don't know you're bulletproof

you keep the holy days
nevermind your wicked ways
and you never touch that whiskey
which the devil made to snare you
shame on him
deacon jim

now blood cries out when the sun begins to burn it
is your price so high to pay for how you earn it?
are you storing it away for the end of earthly days
hey gunslinger, what's your line?

when they run you down at last, they'll be sure to hang you fast
but i hope that on that day, in the final hour you'll pray
for you're certain to be sent where blood money pays the rent
with your riches you could dwell in the finest halls of hell

you kept the holy days
nevermind your wicked ways
and you never needed whiskey
for the devil's hand to snare you
say amen
deacon jim
Track Name: Trail Dust (Brain Damage & Cold Draft Beer)
get on your boots on, we're all going down
on a ride to the old side of town
follow the smell and the ferris wheel lights
you can meet all the best folks at the stockyard tonight
won't the children be cheering, won't the mothers be crying
it's the best show in town since christians and lions
there's something eternal about romance and violence
and who are we darling to say that ain't fine?

it's trail dust, brain damage, and cold draft beer
standing tall with a hat full of fear
god save the rodeo rider

on a busted up county fairground
we're a small congregation but proud
it's family reunion on a Saturday night
a place where the lessons of life turn out right
be good to your mama, don't spit on the table
stop and give thanks as much as you're able
leave cussing and whiskey for cleaning the stable
and don't trust a horse when he's out for your blood

it's trail dust, brain damage, and cold draft beer
standing tall with a hat full of fear
god save the rodeo rider

there's a hitch to the way he walks in
he's back on the circuit again
his heart's in the ring, he's passed up his prime
lord knows being cowboys don't pay overtime
his ribs have all healed and his blood stopped leaking
he's a father of five with a plain way of speaking
a volunteer fireman and a methodist deacon
with an eight second outlook on the mystery of life

it's trail dust, brain damage, and cold draft beer
standing tall with a hat full of fear
god save the rodeo rider
Track Name: Justine
she's been crying again
one touch away and she's round the bend
no matter what I say
She'll run home and she'll love him again
in the corner of the place
she's looking drowned in love and filling up on grace
and all she wants from me tonight is a friendly hand

now we're pigs in heat
we all going drinking down Lincoln Street
we stay around to beg
when the trail goes cold, Lord it gets cold
last round and drinks are free
all the peaches rotten at the bottom of the tree
it can drive you crazy and you won't come back

i'm wishing once on whiskey
twice on a broken spell
i don't trust my wounded heart
to keep me out of hell
i'm not dead but I ain't living
you can find me in between
by the light that shines on Carroll and Justine

well I woke up in hell
it might have been Memphis, for all I could tell
they let me come in out of the rain
where it was warm and they didn't ever close
i'm not much for looking at
five-foot-nine in a tall black hat
but when the light goes out
i don't look too bad at all

i'm wishing once on whiskey
twice on a broken spell
i don't trust my wounded heart
that's how folks get to hell
i'm not dead but I ain't living
you can find me in between
By the light that shines on Carroll and Justine
Track Name: Kosse, TX
city city, girl, it's such a pity
no time to lick your wounds little kitty
your days are full of emptiness
burning bridges backward to the start
left it all hanging with my hat and my heart
mama bake a pie I'm coming home

please have no expectations
forgive me my transgression
i need a little time with my friend

you're gonna miss me so love me now
I'm gonna leave you and I'll tell you how
a six-string's a ticket on a midnight train
making money just doesn't pay
i eat what I kill at the end of the day
the sun goes down and I feel fine

please have no expectations
forgive me my transgression
i need a little time with my friend

i only carry the things i must
to walk the roads of gravel and dust
a man only needs a name and two good hands
city, city, girl, it's such a pity
no time to lick your wounds little kitty
your nights are full of loneliness

please have no expectations
forgive me my transgression
i need a little time with my friend
Track Name: Mourning Song
he seeks his solace
cause he looked into her eyes
he sings his song now
cause he could not see her cry

the beast from the darkness
one million different smiles
the beast lays her down now
he knows it all the while


i'll sing my song to silence
i'll scream it to the skies
can we save our savior
before our savior dies


he holds her gently
his hands are bloody and torn
he shouts to the heavens
it's futile but we mourn

he buried his love
in winter's bitter rain
he waits for the springtime
will we see his love again


i'll sing my song to silence
i'll scream it to the skies
can we save our savior
before our savior dies
Track Name: Wrecking Trains
they say Jimmy Darby wrecked a train last night
it was the Fort Jackson ten twenty-four
no survivors were found, but there weren't many folks around
nobody rides that line anymore (praise the Lord)
nobody rides that line anymore

i'm burning coal in the falling snow
and there ain't no turning back now when I go
Lord above, I send my love
wrecking trains on the only road I know

they say Jimmy Darby took a drink last night
of some white-label Winn-Dixie shine
he said "when I go, that whistle's gonna blow.
they'll weep for me up and down the line (Lord, Lord)
they'll weep for me up and down the line."

i'm burning coal in the falling snow
and there ain't no turning back now when I go
Lord above, I send my love
Wrecking trains on the only road I know

they say Jimmy Darby wrote a letter last night
it was a strange kind of suicide line
he said "my body's bound for hell, so honey hear me well
i'll take as many with me as I can (Lord, Lord)
i'll take as many with me as I can."

i'm burning coal in the falling snow
and there ain't no turning back now when I go
Lord above, I send my love
wrecking trains on the only road I know

they say Jimmy Darby drowned his wife last night
she was his beauty and his lover and his friend
he said "i don't know if your crime only happened in my mind
but we're all bound to answer in the end (little sister)
we're all bound to answer in the end."

i'm burning coal in the falling snow
and there ain't no turning back now when I go
Lord above, I send my love
wrecking trains on the only road I know
Track Name: Amarillo By Proxy
hey man
can you sing my song?
you have one thousand hits
but all i need is one
hey, can you sing my song?

i said hey there buddy
can you sing my song?
it will live on after you
and i are dead and gone
all i need is one

George Strait and I
we go back a while
one time I had a beer
with Willie, Townes and Lyle
i told a joke and they all laughed and smiled
(they all laughed and smiled)

hey there buddy
can you play my guitar?
i am stuck here in the crowd
but it can be a star
can you play my guitar?

hey man
please play my guitar
let the light shine off the top
in your big encore
hey, just let it be a star

George Strait and I
we go back a while
one time I had a beer
with Willie, Townes and Lyle
i told a joke and they all laughed and smiled
(they all laughed and smiled)

hey there buddy
have you heard my brother Ry?
when he starts singing
all the cowgirls start to cry
listen to my brother Ry

hey there man
have you heard my brother Ry?
let him join the band
there'll be a cowgirl for every guy
i need a cowgirl that's mine

George Strait and I
we go back a while
one time I had a beer
with Willie, Townes and Lyle
i told a joke and they all laughed and smiled*
(they all laughed and smiled)



*i was the joke (and they all laughed and smiled)
Track Name: Radio Sweethearts
broke your heart to keep mine company
and I thought you would speak no more of me
i'm glad I was wrong, by the end of your song
i was gone, gone, gone but I won't be for long

it was a long time, a long time coming
it was the wrong time but that don't mean nothing
i laughed at your cigarettes and burned all your jokes
but cuddling your knees is what I miss the most
i said cuddling your knees is what I miss the most

i've taken in vain all your beauty and pain
like lovers and radio sweethearts will do
i'll keep busting windows and pissing on walls
til the day I forget all about you

when your heart aches, at least you feel something
when your neck breaks, I hope you feel nothing
come hold me and whisper a curse on my pride
when a reason to love me is too hard to find

it's dark now in this whiskey
you're still singing and I'm getting misty
i'm the last of a kind you won't see anymore
just another young cowboy in a gentleman's war
just another gunslinger in a gentleman's war

i've taken in vain all your beauty and pain
like lovers and radio sweethearts will do
i'll keep busting windows and pissing on walls
til the day I forget all about you
Track Name: Roadside Grave
mercy mercy, bless my hide
one more cowboy's gone and died
hail of bullets, trophy kill
buried on lonesome legend's hill
when i make my final shout
and my daylight's all run out
i want a place i can feel the light
and sleep by the sound of the road at night

highway music, southbound train
nothing grows on a roadside grave
no more heartache, no more pain
nothing grows on a roadside grave

i met a man in a county cell
drank his life right down the well
poured out grief on the one he loved
choked on rye and the taste of mud
when he had no more to say
i guess he passed away
but i've none some when they've been bled
ain't got the sense to fall down dead

highway music, southbound train
nothing grows on a roadside grave
no more heartache, no more pain
nothing grows on a roadside grave

feet on fire and a worried mind
long for things i left behind
reckless words i can't control
restless curse of a traveling soul
on the day i jump the wall
dig a hole right where i fall
i'll see heaven if i get saved
and rest my bones in a roadside grave

highway music, southbound train
nothing grows on a roadside grave
no more heartache, no more pain
nothing grows on a roadside grave
Track Name: Rain & Lightning
the rain and the lightning been a comfort to me
i walk in the dark and i keep myself free

now any devil will cross you for a sweet piece of heaven
it takes one to damn you and your heart can hold seven
i keep my soul like an unwelcome guest
a buck and a quarter would buy you the rest

the rain and the lightning been a comfort to me
i walk in the dark and i keep myself free

now saint jude and belial go walking at night
there's one needs killing and there's one needs a ride
keep yourself loaded and you won't need to cry
take your hand off the trigger and kiss me goodbye

the rain and the lightning been a comfort to me
i walk in the dark and i keep myself free