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VAN ZANDT, Townes


RAKE

I used to wake and run with the moon

I lived like a rake and a young man

I covered my lovers with flowers and wounds

My laughter the devil would frighten

The sun she would come and beat me back down

But every cruel day had it's nightfall

I'd welcome the stars with wine and guitars

Full of fire and forgetful


My body was sharp the dark air clean

And outrage my joyful companion

Whisperin' women how sweet did they seem

Kneelin' for me to command them

And time was like water but I was the sea

I'd have never noticed it passin'

Except for the turnin' of night into day

And the turnin' of day into cursin'

You look at me now, and don't think I don't know

What all your eyes are a sayin'

Does he want us to believe these ravings and lies

They're just tricks that his brains been a playin'?

A lover of women he can't hardly stand

He trembles he's bent and he's broken

I've fallen it's true but I say unto you

Hold your tongues until after I've spoken


Our Mother the Mountain

My lover comes to me with a rose on her bosom

The moon's dancin' purple

All through her black hair

And a ladies-in-waiting she stands 'neath my window

And the sun will rise soon

On the false and the fair

Sing a-too a-loor-a-lie-o

She tells me she comes from my mother the mountain

Her skin fits her tightly

And her lips do not lie

She silently slips from her throat a medallion

Slowly she twirls it

In front of my eyes

Sing a-too a-loor-a-lie-o


I watch her, I love her, I long for to touch her

The satin she's wearin'

Is shimmering blue

Outside my window her ladies are sleeping

My dogs a gone hunting

The howling is through

Sing a-too a-loor-a-lie-o

So I reach for her hand and her eyes turn to poison

And her hair turns to splinters,

And her flesh turns to brine

She leaps across the room, she stands in the window

And screams that my first-born

Will surely be blind

Sing a-too a-loor-a-lie-o

Then she throws herself out to the black of the nightfall

She's parted her lips

But she makes not a sound

I fly down the stairway, and I run to the garden

No trace of my true love

Is there to be found

Sing a-too a-loor-a-lie-o

So walk these hills lightly, and watch who you're lovin'

By mother the mountain

I swear that it's true

And love not a woman with hair black as midnight

And a dress made of satin

All shimmering blue

Sing a-too a-loor-a-lie-o

Oh my lover comes to me with a rose on her bosom

The moon's dancing purple all through her black hair

And a lady's in waiting, she'll stand 'neath my window

And the sun will rise soon on the false and the fair


Black Crow Blues

Oh babe, don't lie lonesome after I'm gone

Don't mourn your young life away

Just lower me down with a prayer and a song

Just 'fore the breaking of day

Just 'fore the breaking of day

Well, it's a life worth the living but we all gotta die

All your crying can't do me no good

Just lower me down with a quick sad goodbye

Pour in the black Texas mud

Pour in the black Texas mud

It's a hard road you're travelin', you can't walk it alone

Find a big man to stand beside you

Take him down to the river, show him my bones

Tell him there lies a friend I once knew

There lies a friend I once knew

Well, the black crow's a-screaming, the yellow sun's warm

And the grass tumbles tall down the hill

There's a cold wind building, it's bringin' a storm

When the call of the black crow goes still

When the call of the black crow goes still


Big Country blues

Well, I been up the Mississippi to the Manitoba line

I've been downstream to the Gulf of Mexico

Followed the sun out west to Californ

And there just ain't no place left for me to go

Spent a lonesome month in Maine and a year in Louisian

Packed my bags and hit the Westward Trail

Rambled down through Texas 'til I came to El Paso

Spent a week in a stinkin' Juarez jail

Well, I rambled through Nevada gamblin' most of my life away

I headed north when I heard Dakota call

Well, I stayed until the Northers came rollin' down the line

I headed south when summer turned to fall

I've been north and east, south where the cotton grows

And out in the west where the sun forever shines

Well, I've bent my back for a dollar a day in a Texas sugar field

Labored in a Minnesota mine

Well, I've seen your hungry babies scream, I watched their mamas cry

Seen a worn out prostitute beg for a dime

I've seen men come out of gutters ready to give their lives away

For a slug at a lousy bottle of rot gut wine

I've been up the Mississippi to the Manitoba line

Downstream to the Gulf of Mexico

Followed the sun out west to Californ

And there just ain't no place left for me to go

Well, there just ain't no place left for me to go