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"The Thanksgiving Filter"

"The Thanksgiving Filter"


Grandmother's wheelchair is sitting in the corner
We all sure love her, but the little ones avoid her
Cause she's gray-haired and wrinkled and her burden looks heavy
Ninety years of survival can look awful scary
Papa's building something and has since history
But what he's building is still a mystery
It's big and it's twisting and shaped convoluted
It don't have a function but you better salute it
And it will never be finished but I guess that's the point
It just gives him a filter and psychological ointment
He woke up real early but he's late for his appointment
And I sure wish that I had smoked me a joint
It's Thanksgiving and Jesus, I'm thankful
For abundance and bounty and a big tall stiff drink-full
And the love of your mother and the love of mine too
Thanksgiving's almost over and Christmas is soon
Mama is trying to live in the present
Don't let him have a heart attack before I pay off the presents
Granddaddy's gone but she still feels his presence
He tried to call but he didn't leave a message
It's Thanksgiving and Jesus I'm thankful…
So put the food on the table and Papa says a blessing
They're cutting up some turkey and gobbling some dressing
My Aunt's praising Palin and my niece loves Obama
My uncle came to dinner wearing his pajamas
Thank God for the filter that enables some distance
From the screaming and crying and the needs of assistance
You wonder why I drink and curse the holidays
Blessed be my family from 300 miles away
It's Thanksgiving and Jesus I'm thankful…
 
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"The Three Alabama Icons"

"The Three Alabama Icons"


I grew up in north Alabama back in the 1970s when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. I'm speaking, of course, of the three great Alabama icons: George Wallace, Bear Bryant, and Ronnie Van Zant. Now, Ronnie Van Zant wasn't from Alabama, he was from Florida, he was a huge Neil Young fan but in the tradition of Merle Haggard writing Okie From Muskogee to tell his dad's point of view on the hippies in Vietnam, Ronnie felt that the other side of the story should be told. Neil Young always claimed that Sweet Home Alabama was one of his favorite songs and legend has it that he was an honorary pallbearer at Ronnie's funeral, such as the duality of the southern thing.

...and Bear Bryant wore a cool lookin' red checkered hat and won football games, and there's few things more loved in Alabama than football and the men who know how to win at it. So when the Bear would come to town, there would be a parade. Me, I was one of them pussy boys cuz i hated football, so i got a guitar but a guitar was a poor substitute for a football with the girls in my high school. So my band hit the road, and we didn't play no Skynyrd, neither. I came of age rebelling against the music in my high school parking lot. It wasn't until years later after leaving the South for a while that I came to appreciate and understand the whole Skynyrd thing and its misunderstood glory. I left the south and learned how different people's perceptions of the Southern Thing was from what I had seen in my life, which leads us to George Wallace...

...now Wallace was, for all practical purposes, the governor of Alabama from 1962 until 1986. Once when a law prevented him from succeeding himself, he ran his wife Lurleen in his place and she won by a landslide. He's most famous as the beligerant racist voice of the segregationist South, standing in the doorways of schools and waging a war against the federal government that he decried as
hypocritical. Now Wallace started out as a lawyer and a judge with a very progressive and humanitarian track record for a man of his time, but he lost his first bid for governor in
1958 by hedging on the race issue against a man who spoke out against intergration. Wallace ran again in '62 as a staunch segregationist and won big and for the next decade he spoke out loudly. He accused Kennedy and King of being communist and he was constantly on national news representing "the good people" of Alabama.

...and ya know race was only an issue on tv in the house that i grew up in. Wallace was viewed as a man from another time and place, but when i first ventured out of the south I was shocked at how strongly Wallace was associated with Alabama and its people. Racism is a worldwide problem, and it's been like that since the beginning of recorded history and it ain't just white and black, but thanks to George Wallace, it's always a little more conveinent to play it with a Southern accent.

Bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd attempted to show another side of the south, one that certainly exists, but few saw beyond the rebel flag and this applies not only to their critics and detractors but also their fans and followers. So for a while, when Neil Young would come to town, he'd get death threats down in Alabama. Ironically, in 1971, after a particularly racially charged campaign, Wallace began backpeddling and he opened up Alabama politics to minorities at a rate faster than most northern states or the federal government. Wallace spent the rest of his life trying to explain away his racist past and in 1982 he won his last term in office with over 90% of the black vote, such as the duality of the southern thing.

...and George Wallace died back in '98 and he's in hell now, not because he's a racist. His track record as a judge and his late life quest for redemption make a good argument for his being, at worst, no worse than most white men of his generation, North or South. Because of his blind ambition
and his hunger for votes, he turned a blind eye to the suffering of black America and he became a pawn in the fight against Civil Rights cause.

...fortunately for him, the devil is also a southerner.
 
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"The Tough Sell"

"The Tough Sell"


She's a beaute, yes sir she is?? said EZ DAN, fifty five, a bad age,
Smelling of Brute from Fabrege' and sweat
EZ DAN don't bathe a lot these days (and why the hell should he anyway?)
She's got a few miles on her, but then again, who don't??
He said with a slight chuckle, the recent Binaca Blast still lingering on his
Breath,
and besides, them's highway miles??

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other
It certainly wasn't the car of my dreams, but the price was right
And EZ DAN assured me the mid 70's were a particularly nice period
For Chrysler products in general
and this one is a Volare'??
And besides, finally having an eight-track means I can play
All them tapes I ain't been able to listen to since high-school

So we stuffed EZ DAN's body in the trunk and hauled ass out of town
But somewhere just past the middle of nowhere the fuel pump blew
And the oil pump too, and the piston rods hurled straight threw the engine
Block
Dropping oil, gasoline, water, and anti-freeze onto the Alabama red clay below

Ain't that a bitch?
I ain't never been lucky with love
 
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"The Weakest Man"

"The Weakest Man"


It's a shame for you to do me the way you did babe
Making me put you down before I was through
You tempted me and tried me and I kept you right beside me
You ruined me for everyone but you
It's easy to love a thing so warm and soothing
That gets you through the night so tenderly
but after all these nights with you all I remember
Is forgetting just how cold your heart could be
Leaving you wont be any harder than walking out the door and leaving town
but I'll be leaving knowing surviving you don't make me stronger
Than the weakest man who ever turned you down
The body in that pretty dress you wore dear
Fit my shaking hand just like a glove
but trembling's for the fearful old and crying
Getting old and sad and scared ain't worth your love
so will you let me go just like I came babe?
Willful clear of mind and free to see
Clear enough to see the others like you
and mindful my will breaks so easily
Leaving you wont be any harder than walking out the door and leaving town
but I'll be leaving knowing surviving you don't make me stronger
Than the weakest man who ever turned you down
 
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"The Wig He Made Her Wear"

"The Wig He Made Her Wear"


It was as open and shut as anything I have seen
He was a pillar of town, his reputation was clean
It was right before Easter in the first week of spring

He didn't show up for service that Wednesday night
The congregation knew something weren't right
Blood on the bed when they opened the door
The preacher was dead on the bedroom floor

And everyone knew there had to be some outside thing
That made this happen
Because they seemed like the perfect family

He'd been shot in the back a day before he was found
His wife and three kids were nowhere around
An Amber Alert was issued in town

Everyone was shocked at the scene of the crime
She'd taken the kids across two state lines
Found her in Orange Beach with the kids in the car
Sent back to Selmer to await her trial for first-degree murder

Was she crazy or just plain old mean
To have gone and done it?
She said she heard the bang and was afraid he'd be mad
And made a run for it

Said, they were having a fight and the gun was a bluff
She didn't pull the trigger it just went off
Said that he berated her about everything
Made her do things that made her feel so ashamed

Nobody at church would ever suspect
Made her dress up slutty before they had sex
In the courtroom that day there was an audible gasp
What they put up on display the locals couldn't quite grasp

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom that day
When the defense pulled out and displayed

Them high-heeled shoes and that wig he made her wear
Reduced her charge to voluntary manslaughter
And I ain't judging either way but she's already out of jail
And it was them high-heeled shoes and that wig he made her wear
 
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"This Fucking Job"

"This Fucking Job"


Workin' this job is a kick in the pants
Workin' this job is like a knife in the back
It ain't gettin' me further than the dump I live in
It ain't gettin' me further than the next paycheck

Workin' this job is like lightin' two fuses
Workin' this job is runnin' out of excuses
It's like a dead-end when a road map is useless
Until I'm dead and there's nothin' to show for my uses

Nobody told me it'd be easy
Or for that matter it'd be so hard
But it's the livin' and the learnin'
It makes the difference, it makes it all worthwhile
Makes it all worthwhile

Workin' this job, there's nothin' left but to hate it
I won't get as far as my daddy made it
It ain't gettin' me farther for all my strivin'
In the dead-end I live on or the piece of shit I'm drivin'

Nobody told me it'd be easy
Or for that matter it'd be so hard
But it's the livin' and the learnin'
It makes the difference, it makes it all worthwhile
Makes it all worthwhile

Sometimes I dream that I had aimed my life in different ways
But there was nothin' to show me a way to get me outta this place
So I just did what my daddy did before me
Only to find the only door I found was closed to me

Workin' this job, I thought it sucked when I had it
Now it is gone and I'm learnin' what that is
I'm tryin' to hang on to the worst of places
But a family can't live on these fast food wages

Nobody told me it'd be easy
Or for that matter it'd be so hard
But it's the livin' and the learnin'
It makes the difference, it makes it all worthwhile
Makes it all worthwhile

Workin' this job
Workin' this job
Workin' this job
 
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"Til He's Dead Or Rising"

"Til He's Dead Or Rising"


When she met him they was teenagers
He was no more than seventeen
She was a little less than all that
but held the bit between her teeth
He was tall and strong and lanky
the fear of Jesus was on her side
He asked her, if she weren’t too busy
might come out for a ride

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

They ran off the great embankment
They flew through the air so far
They landed with a mighty crash
then got crushed by the falling star.

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion
She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

That small crossroads became a city
she was the bell of every ball
Boys would line up to try to ring her
she’s let them line up down her hall
She ran up a life so lavish
somehow those bills would all get paid
Your Daddy worked and never faltered
never forgot the things she said

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

Times change but I still see her disapproval pouring out
She said I ain’t got the gumption to make it
and you ain’t scary enough to turn me around
But I’m hoping you might be game to ride my dream aground
We’ll ride it until it’s dead or makes your mama proud

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion
 
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"Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)"

"Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)"


Stacy was a troubled teen ever since she was twelve. She felt the world close
in on her and thought she needed help. Listening to the radio on a Sunday
night. She heard the preacher calling out to call up on his Help-line. He
sounded so nice, he sounded so inviting, and for a small donation she could
have the Lord Almighty. She told him her story. He told her his thoughts. He
said you better get yourself right in the eyes of God. Too much sex, too
little Jesus.

Satan's made a slave of you, the Lord will set you free! You don't know God from diddly
and you're old enough to breed. The sins of me and you are the reason he did bleed.
Now a word from our sponsor then another troubled teen with...
Too much sex, too little Jesus.

Stop that dope smoking, stop that masturbation! Take the Lord into your heart and stop
that fornication. We're building us an army, gonna knock out Satan. Visa or Mastercard,
our operaters are waiting!
Too much sex, too little Jesus.
Too much sex, too little Jesus.
Too much sex, too little Jesus.
 
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"Tornadoes"

"Tornadoes"


The clouds started forming at five o'clock pm
The funnel clouds touched down
Five miles north of Russellville
Sirens were blowing, clouds spat rain
And as the things came threw, it sounded like a train

"It came without no warning" said Bobbi Jo McLean
She and husband Nolen always loved to watch the rain
It sucked him out the window, he ain't come home again
All she can remember is "It sounded like a train"

Pieces of that truck stop, litter up the highway, I been told
And I hear that missing trucker ended up in Kansas
(or maybe it was Oz).

The Nightmare Tour ended for my band and me
The night all the shit went down
A homecoming concert, the night the tornadoes hit my hometown.
The few who braved the weather were sucked out of the auditorium
I can still remember the sound of their applause in the rain
As it echoed through them storm clouds, I swear, It sounded like a train.
 
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"Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife"

"Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife"


When he reached the gates of heaven
He didn't understand
He knew that folks were coming over
Or was it all a dream?
Was it all a crazy dream?

He saw them playing there before him
What were they doing there?
It felt like home, It must be alright
Or is it just a dream?
Is it just a crazy dream?

Memories replay before him
All the tiny moments of his life
Laying round in bed on a Saturday morning
Two daughters and a wife
Two daughters and a beautiful wife

Meanwhile on Earth his friends came over
Shocked and horrified
Dolls and flowers at the storefront
Everybody cried
Everybody cried and cried

Is there vengeance up in heaven?
Are those things left behind?
Maybe everyday is Saturday morning
Two daughters and a wife
Two daughters and a beautiful wife
Two daughters and a beautiful wife
 
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