CHARLIE PARR

 

HoBo

I want my son to have this when I’m dead
It’s a book I always start but I’ve never read
I was born to follow the steps my Dad tread
But if I’d have known that, I’d have fled

Won’t somebody tell me what I’m doing here?
Won’t somebody tell me where I’m going?
Won’t somebody spend a [blank] minute on me?
Pray for a hobo who’s gone wrong

Every day I wake up is a new day
Every song I sing contains a new refrain
And when I see you again, we’ll have changed
And I’ll remember your face but maybe not your name

Won’t somebody tell me what I’m doing here?
Won’t somebody tell me where I’m going?
Won’t somebody spend a [blank] minute on me?
Pray for a hobo who’s gone wrong

Life is made up of long hours
That last about as long as you can breathe
And if you close your eyes and just let it roll on
You’ll wake up and find you’ve missed out on everything

Won’t somebody tell me what I’m doing here?
Won’t somebody tell me where I’m going?
Won’t somebody spend a [blank] minute on me?
Pray for a hobo who’s gone wrong

The woods around my town have no ending
But I don’t really live there. I just don’t
And the lake that’s by my town has no bottom
I know someone who dove in but never came up

Won’t somebody tell me what I’m doing here?
Won’t somebody tell me where I’m going?
Won’t somebody spend a [blank] minute on me?
Pray for a hobo who’s gone wrong

Dog

Dog

Artwork by J. White - Post Pilgrim Art Gallery.

How do you know I don’t have a soul?
You can’t look me in the eye and tell me no
When a soul is a soul is a soul

I’ve been forced down ever since I was just small
Tied in the hall or chained out of doors
When a soul is a soul is a soul

While you claim the bed lifted up off the floor
How do you know I’m not as good as you are?
When a soul is a soul is a soul

You have habits that define your kind
But deny me mine most of the time
And a soul is a soul is a soul

You say that I need to be trained
When I’m only doing what nature demands
And a soul is a soul is a soul

Leave me to sit by the kitchen door
Just to watch it rain and listen to it pour
A soul is a soul is a soul

Rain down the water that created us both
My old man’s soul in this old dog’s coat
A soul is soul is a soul

Salt Water

Salt water has surrounded my home
And it looks like today will be
The day I pack my belongings
And leave where I’m from
Will I ever be back again?

Salt water, up to my door
There’s no one else home
I’m here all alone
Salt water under the eaves
There’s no relief
And I can’t leave

Heavy air has invaded my past
And stolen my family
They’re swirling above me
High in the mist
But I don’t know if I’ll see them again

Salt water, up to my door
There’s no one else home
I’m here all alone
Salt water under the eaves
There’s no relief
And I can’t leave

Poisoned water has threatened my life
And destroyed my neighborhood
My friends are all thirsty
But there’s nothing to drink
Will it rain again, we can’t tell

Salt water, up to my door
There’s no one else home
I’m here all alone
Salt water under the eaves
There’s no relief
And I can’t leave

Fire and smoke are killing my soul
And blocking out all of the light
I can’t see past all the anger and hate
How can I live without any faith?

Salt water, up to my door
There’s no one else home
I’m here all alone
Salt water under the eaves
There’s no relief
And I can’t leave

The road back home has been widened and paved
And it looks like it’s brand new
But there’s something we lost
When we straightened the curves
Did we bury what once brought us ease?

Salt water, up to my door
There’s no one else home
I’m here all alone
Salt water under the eaves
There’s no relief
And I can’t leave

Salt water has surrounded my home
And it looks like today will be
The day I pack my belongings
And leave where I’m from
Will I ever be back again?

LowDown

Lowdown lived down in Memphis town
Walking them streets, up and down
Lowdown he had a place downtown
Where women would come from miles around
And say “Lowdown won’t you dance for awhile”
They’d shake their cans all the while
Lowdown they called him sweetie pie
They called him naughty guy
They called him all the time

I’m never gonna see my home again

Lowdown he liked to dress up fine
He wore his suit and tie
All the time
Lowdown liked his shoes shined right
Every night when he’d get tight
Lowdown he woke up at noon
Walked off the swoon
And hit the saloon

I’m never gonna see my home again

Lowdown had him an Oldsmobile
Had the big mag wheels
Had a bad main seal
Lowdown he was a gamblin man
His cards in his right hand
And his gun in his lap
Lowdown took his friends’ money away
He took that eighty-eight
He took the King’s Highway

I’m never gonna see my home again

Lowdown they found his body now
Far from Memphis town
He was dead on the ground
Lowdown had no family
Had no used-to-be
Had no babies three
Lowdown had no old time hack
Had no Cadillac
Lowdown they buried his body now
Down in Memphis town
But there was no one around to say

I’m never gonna see my home again

Sometimes I’m Alright

I live in a cave
Deep in the woods
In your heart
And it’s hard to leave
And face up to myself
In the light
Outside of your safe darkness

Sometimes I’m alright
Another time it’s hard to tell
Like finding light
In the bottom of the darkest well
But you asked me

I’m a slow moving fire
That burns cool and low
Throws no light
And causes no fear
And is barely there at all
Except in my
Potentiality

Sometimes I’m alright
Another time it’s hard to tell
Like finding light
In the bottom of the darkest well
But you asked me

We all share a soul
A light to light the heart
And it’s hard
When someone douses the flame
But it never goes away
No matter what anyone will say
You will rise
And deserve to do so

Rich Food and Easy Living

Too much rich food has made you soft
All the easy living has made you weak
The time for waiting has gone by
That’s the reason I’ve got to leave

She was 20 when she met him
40 years old when she had to go
He hadn’t noticed her in years
He didn’t notice when she hit the road

She drove out to Big Timber
In the car she had bought for him
And she sold it when she got there
And never thought about it again

Did you get what you wanted
When you dared so close to the edge
And found that the end of the world
Was just the beginning of the next one instead?

She left Montana the next summer
Looking to find another way
Making a path through the Badlands
That’ll lead her to the light of day

Too much rich food has made you soft
All the easy living has made you weak
The time for waiting has gone by
That’s the reason I’ve got to leave

I Ain’t Dead Yet

When I go down that funeral road
Baby I’ll be dressed up fine
With a brand new suit and tie
Like I never could afford when I was alive

Well I ain’t dead yet
Lemme wear that suit right now
No one can see it
When I’m locked in that box
Underneath the ground
I ain’t dead yet
Gimme my flowers now

When I go down that funeral road
There’s gonna be a big old band
And there gonna play all my favorite songs
While they plant me in the sand

Well I ain’t dead yet
Lemme hear that music now
I sure can’t hear it
When I’m locked in that box
Underneath the ground
I ain’t dead yet
Gimme my flowers now

When I go down that funeral road
Everybody’s gonna have nice things to say
Gonna say “he was a good egg”
Even if they didn’t feel that way

Well I ain’t dead yet
You can tell me what you think right now
You can’t look me in the eye
When I’m locked in that box
Underneath the ground
I ain’t dead yet
Gimme my flowers now

When I go down that funeral road
There’s gonna be flowers everywhere
All my friends will send some
Just to show each other how much they cared

Well I ain’t dead yet
Lemme have them flowers right now
I can’t smell em so good
When I’m locked in that box
Underneath the ground
I ain’t dead yet
Gimme my flowers now

Boiling Down Silas

In the summer when he was young, Silas traveled with his family to another town
And his Dad found work at a grocery store and his Mom cleaned houses with the lady next door
And they enrolled Silas in a new grade school, and there they were while Silas grew

Silas he grew into a rowdy boy on his bike, all over town he would ride
And most of the time he was all alone, his only friend lived on the other side of town
But they’d get together every Saturday, to see what kind of hell they could raise

One long day at the end of July, Silas held his Mother’s hand while she cried
His Dad had been called back to the Golden Shore, she said “Silas, he can’t come home no more”

Now Silas he was an only child, and he never ever left his Mother’s side
He lived in the room of a rowdy boy, even though he’s 45
Things look the same as they did when he was 12, and there they were til her time ran out

In the winter in the freezing cold, they couldn’t bury his Mom because the ground was too hard
So Silas went home and he lay on his bed and his feet hung out way over the edge
And he could feel his Mother’s hand in his, and his Dad’s voice drifted into his ears

What does it mean to be an orphan now? When he’s not a child and his clock is running down?
Who’s to blame when he doesn’t know which way to turn? His head it ached and his stomach burned
And he tossed and he turned and he could never rest, and there he was until the very end

Another Dog

Down at the end of the driveway you hear old Ranger bark
Barking at that gang of cars going riding in the dark

Ranger oh Ranger how far can you go before old Gary tracks you down and brings you back once more?

Ranger’s in the chickens or chasing the neighbor cat
Or rolling in the field mud as happy as he can get

Ranger oh Ranger will you ever get away? Old Gary’ll track you down and bring you back again

Gary tracks him with his pickup and a fancy cell phone
To find old Ranger on another farm where he sure ain’t alone

Ranger oh Ranger how far can you go before old Gary tracks you down and brings you back once more?

He’s running because no one at home want’s to be part of his pack
Gary only owns him, he’s never had Ranger’s back

Ranger oh Ranger will you ever get away? Old Gary’ll track you down and bring you back again

He’ll run until he’s too old, or they make a stronger fence
Or he’ll die a free dog on a county road, in a fatal accident

Ranger oh Ranger how far can you go before old Gary tracks you down and brings you back once more?

And where will your home be, if you ever escape his grasp?
Trampin’ through this wide old world, wherever your free heart’s at

Peaceful Valley

I signed a lease on a place near the bus stop but then I haven’t left the place since
I got 3 TVs and a bunch of coffee pots, there’s just no reason to go out no more

I ain’t gonna get up this morning
And I’m never gonna throw anything away again
Time’ll come when I’m gonna need all of it
And I’m sure not getting out of bed today

If anybody stops by I’ll cut out all the lights
And hide in the can until they go away
I got 5 phones but none of em is hooked up
And I wouldn’t answer them if they were

I ain’t gonna get up this morning
And I’m never gonna throw anything away again
Time’ll come when I’m gonna need all of it
And I’m sure not getting out of bed today

I got a broken lamp with a broken shade
Got a broken mower with a rusty blade
Pizza boxes piled to the roof
Newspapers from 1982
Busted toasters I found in the trash
Picture frames with broken glass
Family photos of people I don’t know
Dried up plants that’ll never grow
I just can’t let it go

There’s a ‘72 Datsun where the guest bed was
I guess that means you ain’t spending the night
The landlord stops by but he seems real confused
I think he’s trying to throw me out

I ain’t gonna get up this morning
And I’m never gonna throw anything away again
Time’ll come when I’m gonna need all of it
And I’m sure not getting out of bed today

There’s a radio in every room, they’re all tuned to the news
I keep myself very well informed
The county’s coming by, to clean out all my stuff
And make me live with a roommate in Peaceful Valley
So I barricaded the door and covered up all the windows
And made a blanket fort behind the fridge

I ain’t gonna get up this morning
And I’m never gonna throw anything away again
Time’ll come when I’m gonna need all of it
And I’m sure not getting out of bed today