July Fling (McKee)

Way down in West Virginia

Down old Route 33

The fog hung heavy, the dash lit dim

You were thumbin' that bottle cap, spittin' advice for free

I had my own direction

A good deal of feel to unload

I stayed for them thrills, turned my wheels

But you can't change lanes on a back dirt road

Well I headed on down, for summer in the mountains

Two beers to Douglas, and I'm done countin'

Later days spent hangin' by a string

Hey there pot, you met my friend kettle

Thought you were off-beat, but Mama knew better

Guess your tune was just a July fling

I'm bound for the still north woods

Where the wide river of your whitewash done froze

Here it comes now, the same old story

Brought to you by the letter, "So it goes"

Well I headed on down...

Red and blue and Jack's here too

The evening's gone and past

First light's gonna sure be whisky-cast

You've been walkin' on a slant

And I can't pull you straight

Water's topped the bridge and it's too late

Water’s topped the bridge and it’s too late

S Bar X (Cushman)

Drivin’ down 25 all the way from Albuquerque

Gas tank is gettin' low and there’s still a long, long way to go

Sand blows in on the dash and I’m also low on cash

Just another big adventure for this lonely desert rose

There’s a lake past T or C sunk soul deep in mystery

Catfish so big that they’ll swallow me down

The dead there leave no clues, I think I lost my walkin’ shoes

You hold me so close, I’m afraid I will drown

We’re gliding ‘round in circles

Hell, but this here ain’t no square dance

He’s got boots that jingle spurs

Maybe he’ll dance me down some romance

Church bells ring in the morn and Our Lady sings a Dylan tune

Cottonwoods have all turned gold behind the S-Bar-X Saloon

There’s goatsheads on my feet, your campfire smells of sweet mesquite

You swing that lasso and it’s time for me to go

We're gliding 'round in circles...

Well I’m off to Silver City even though you say I’m pretty

There’s tequila on the bar and a rattlesnake coiled ‘round my heart

Don’t you know, don’t you know...

A desert rose will go

We're gliding 'round in circles...

There’s tequila on the bar

At the S-Bar-X Saloon

Big Saturday night at the S-Bar-X Saloon

There’s a rattlesnake coiled ‘round my heart  . . . big Saturday night

Union Reenactor (McKee)

I'm a union reenactor, godwillin'

Proud part of the Ohio First

I pack up my blues, head to Chattanoo

But the battles at home are the worst


She don't like my friends or my family

Spends my money, more than I have got

Like in old Virginee, she's Stonewallin' me

And I can't make no sense of the lot


She always walks ten feet behind me

She thinks my old hound dog's a pill

Like a rebel advance, she don't miss a chance

To put her two cents in the till


Joined up with the boys for the weekend

And lord, we put on a good show

When I marched back her way, it ruined her day

Can't get a how-do or hello


Well I'm a union reenactor godwillin'

With my wife, well it's best I play dead

Despite my best pleas, far be it from me

She up and ran oft with a Reb

Destined to Roam (Babij)

Rode a train for twenty days

Traveled on, from miles away

Thought I'd find a place called home

Instead I found I'm destined to roam

Life's journeys twist and turn me round

Make no stops to settle down

The world's too big to just stand still

Gotta travel on, gotta get my fill

So wander on down your own line

We'll meet again when your path meets mine

I've packed my bags and said goodbye

The earth keeps spinning, and so will I

Rode a train...

Officer Aldridge (McKee)

Please Officer Aldridge, you've got to understand

That hay bale ain't gonna push itself 'cross this here federal land

Up to no harm, but up to no good

These panhandle Friday nights will follow you for good


Well I know this isn't Vegas, but you know I ain't John Brown

And ain't it just like the law to run a band of Yankees out of town


Well take me up the Shenandoh', it's the only way to go

Next to that mile long coal train, we’ll ride the C&O

Put me on that Capitol Limited, we’ll shove off on the rail

When I hop off in Knoxville, hike on up that Appalachian Trail


Well I know this isn’t Vegas...


Don’t you think it would be fine

If we made off for that tri-state line

We’re waterbound if we have to

We’ll grab a raft and blaze it blue


Please Officer Aldridge

We weren’t being obscene

I can’t explain how much it means

To keep my Park Service record clean


Please Mr. Aldridge

It’s getting late my friend

You best get on home to your wife

We won’t be out here past two AM


Please Mrs. Aldridge

Could you call your husband off

We’re just a bunch of silly kids

Havin’ a rowdy night in West ‘by God’


Well take me up the Shenandoh’...

Dear Old Whisky (Cushman)

Well he took me up on that mountain pass

Where the mules refused to climb

He left me standing in a one-room cabin

At the mouth of a silver mine

Then he headed on down to that valley town

Said we needed more supplies

But I’m pretty sure he’s got another girl

And he’s gamblin’ while that old moon shines

Chip those rocks on the mountainside

Shovelin’ out that ore

Have mercy, all those whisky bottles

Rattlin' ‘round my floor


Oh, dear old whisky

I’m sending you down the road

I’m packing you on that wagon

Gonna lighten this heavy load

I got an old grey mare gonna haul my gear

Miss Molly she’s rarin’ to go

Day breaks I’m on a steamship

Oh lord let the river flow


When he don’t work, we don’t get paid

Poor Miss Molly don’t get fed

Got an empty flour sack, a few cans of beans

My mama told me there'd be guys like this


Now he’s been gone, for three more weeks

And the boss knows he’s been had

Snow keeps piling up almost 6 feet deep

And some days, I don’t get outta bed


Chip those rocks...

Oh, dear old whisky...

My best friend’s been, that old brown jug

Yeah the whisky tastes just fine

It’s so sweet and smooth, it lightens up my mood

You can tell my Maker I’ll be fine

For now I see, it’s time to leave

I’m gonna hike on down out of these hills

A brighter place to live, Miss Molly take me there

Don’t need no finery, don’t need no frills

No more rocks on the mountainside

No more shoveling ore

And you won’t find no whisky bottles

Rattlin' ‘round my floor


Oh, dear old whisky...

Regional Uplift (McKee)

Old tires, leave em for a dollar

Til they fill up, this whole damn holler

A bottle full, a bottle a day

Who measures out, their shots of hard liquor anyway

Hard up, rack and ruin,

Hand of spades to dig out soon


The river wears a bank a day

But our old bed has dried up any-


Way past the amends this time

You get yours and I'll be fine

Let this whole house just wash away

Put under by the TVA


Put me on the next train if you're inclined

There's cheap land, cheap hands over in Carolina

Leave my good intentions at the fall line

Old man’s grave turnin' over should’ve been the first sign


A confluence, is more than water

It's a blind rush, new branch put on'er

Daylight saved, and then came autumn

Another heat, in the race to the bottom


If you post up, get that woodchuck

Well we might fall on better luck


Can't settle up with just two bits

I care more than I might admit, no-


Way past the amends this time…


Put me on the next train...


Well one won't hurt but two will sting

Three strikes there goes my wedding ring

I hate to bail, but they'll guarantee

No dregs of home left here for me


Just pour one out and and strum a tune

Our front line took to the back room

You can join your boys upstate

I'll be riding with the eastbound freight


Put me on the next train if you're inclined

There's cheap land, cheap hands over in Carolina

Let’s done give the big man what he wanted

A few more bodies off this mountain

But they still haunt it

Upside Down (Babij)

I was runnin’ right to ya

Baby, I thought I knew ya

You were walkin’ right past me

Said your fire would outlast me


I was ready to take you

Wasn’t tryin’ to make you

You had different ideas

How the wind would just free us


It’s same old sound

Turning up-side down

Tell me where will it send us

And can anyone mend us

You were already flowing

Don’t know where you were going


So I let the wind hold me

Pick me up and unfold me

You were off in the distance

With your stubborn persistence


It's the same old sound...

Baby, I thought I knew ya

I could shine my light through ya

You were never there with me

You weren’t trying to get me


I keep hoping to find you

If I could sneak up behind you

Would you tell me you chose me

If that’s where the wind blows me?

It's the same old sound...

Until It Takes (McKee)


Well ain’t heard tell you’re back in town

Those blow-hard winds that brought you ‘round

A sweet North Country walk-about

Well hats off boys, let’s roll it out


Winter was a long affair

Hard up, flat out and goin’ nowhere

I found myself in a new backseat

Then you show up, rinse and repeat


Well you can man my griddle

I’ll pretend I ain’t awake

And we can bill this show put on

And love until it breaks


Beer me that there glass of wine

That’s two eye-rolls and one punch line

Give you a piece of my damn mind

And give until it takes

Well can a man still get by

The mill’s closed up, the well’s bone dry

This worn out girl can’t take you back

Go on and find your next smokestack


Well you can man my griddle…


When I look back on all my pride

The shots were fired from all sides

I pick my banjo up and sing

Oh hell what will this next round bring


Well you can man my griddle...

Permanent Vacation (Babij)

Bossman said don't come to work tomorrow

Or the next day, or the day after that

I said, should I come in the following week?

He laughed and shook his head, said, now what's the point in that?

Whaddya know, I'm on permanent vacation

Whaddya know, I ain't got no place to be

Whaddya know, I sleep all day

I play my music all night, yeah, that's how it ought to be

Yeah, a paycheck was nice, but they got that unemployment

And ramen noodles sure taste good enough to me

I don't need no fancy clothes 'cause I never leave the house

My friends come by and bring me booze for free

Whaddya know...

Well, life's too short to spend it in a cubicle

Staring at a screen 'til your eyes turn to glass

There's songs to be written and stages to be played

So, thank you, Mr. Bossman, for that kick in the ass

Whaddya know...

Bossman said don't come to work tomorrow

Or the next day, or the day after that...

Ain't Got Grace (McKee)

Well I've been given six Our Fathers

Three Hail Mary's, who'll damn well bother

Just trying to be a good wife and daughter

Ain't got grace for six Our Fathers


Ain't got grace (for six Our Fathers)

Ain't got grace (for six Our Fathers)

His rosary drowns in this backwater

Ain't got grace (for six Our Fathers)


Well we've been courting for six rounds

Not much choosin' in this town

He spun me up to lock it down

We’ve been courting for six rounds

Ain't got grace...


He's been waiting for six pours

Hey barkeep, can he get some more

Sir, he too sees that rising floor

But he's been waiting for six pours


Ain't got grace...


Well I've been married for six days

No mystery to his means and ways

He deals his licks then kneels and prays

Down and married for six days

Can't keep on I must confess

They've hanged a gal 'round here for less

And I'm assigned to sit and feel so blessed...


Well I've been walking for six weeks

I let out while my good man sleep'd

Tell Joseph, Peter, tell the priest

I'll be walking til it keeps

Ain't got grace...

Ain’t got grace...

Gibbous Moon (Cushman)

It's a Gibbous moon

Will it set too soon

And leave me all alone tonight

Inside this cabin room?

It's a blue elephant

Up on my wall

Underneath the Tree of Life

That looks over us all

I'd like to ride an elephant!

It's a field of strawberries

And they're gettin' ripe

I bet they're digging 

That old moon tonight

I'd like to have some strawberries!

It's almost time

It's almost full

You almost told me something

That could change the world

I wish I'd heard you...

It's a gibbous moon, will it set too soon...