Skin Your Smokewagon

by Porkchop Express

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1.
The first step I take is for my ma Her kind face and smiling eyes (twenty paces turn and fire) The second step is for my pa How he worked hard all our lives (twenty paces turn and fire) The third step I say a prayer The fourth step I breath the air The fifth step is for sister Joan How she helped to raise me right The sixth step is for brother Tom How we'd laugh and play and fight The seventh is for sweet Renee The eighth is for our wedding day The ninth step is for the night That El Blanco came to town The tenth step is for the day That he shot my family down Eleventh step I wonder why Twelfth step tears fall from my eye Thirteenth step for the vow I made The fourteenth I curse El Blanco’s name The fifteenth step my eyes are dry My resolve is strong once more The sixteenth step is for the years That we've spent to fight this war Seventeenth for the men I lead Eighteenth for the trail of the dead The nineteenth step I brace myself I squint my eyes against the sun. The twentieth step is here at last So I turn and grab my gun.
2.
My Daddy's dueling pistols used to hang upon the wall He said that they'd belong to me when I got strong and tall We'd play around the mountain sides, until the year the well ran dry Still the dueling pistols were hanging on the wall. My daddy and his brothers took up a brand new trade with water, corn and sugar a fortune could be made. They'd sneak through the mountain sides, making stump whiskey by candlelight And daddy fed his family with the money they were paid. One day when my mother and I went in to town we said goodbye to daddy, digging fence posts in the ground Word came down the mountain side, they said that my daddy died Revenuers snuck up and they shot my daddy down. My mother looked to me and said, "Son, you're now a man." she took down the dueling pistols and she put them in my hand "Paint blood on the mountain side, avenge your daddy's death tonight!" I said, "I'll make them suffer, ma, anyway I can." My daddy’s dueling pistols used to hang upon the wall He said they’d belong to me when I got strong and tall.
3.
On the day that he was born the trees all grew their leaves the flowers bloomed and the roosters crowed and the mares all went in heat. Cried so loud he broke the windows out and the geese flew south When the doctor cut his cord he punched him in the mouth His mama looked at him and said, "Boy, you'll be a fright." By the time he turned five he stood 6 foot 4. When he was 10 his beard grew in so long it touched the floor He's hungry as a bear and strong as an ox for breakfast he could eat a thousand bagels and one ton of lox His mama looked at him and said, "Boy I raised you right. You'll be a big man, with a hip cannon, and you bad guys better run and hide." Spent some time on the line, laying down the track He could lift a whole damn train up upon his back Then he stopped the Jenkins gang from robbing the Santé Fe line The town folks made sheriff, well that suited him just fine. He strapped a gun across his waist and he stepped into the light "I'm a big man with a hip cannon And you bad guys better run and hide." Hey listen what I say Don’t get in his way Oh listen what I say He’ll cut you fast and shoot you down if you bring your trouble to town The star they pinned to his chest was bigger than a wagon wheel They said, "boy we need this town cleaned up so do just what you feel." He filled the jail up so fast they had to build another floor the rough town he was born to ain't rough no more The townsfolk looked at him and said we chose our sheriff right "He's a big man, with a hip cannon, and you bad guys better run and hide."
4.
03:18
Before I leave there's just one thing I want you to say I want to hear it before I go away Well I've been crying all night, baby and I want to know Will you miss, will you miss me when I go? Will you miss me when I go? I know I love you more than you love me I know you care, but do you need me desperately Well I'm desperate for you baby, as you well know So will you miss, will you miss me when I go? Well I don't want to get you irritated But your stoicism is so overrated
5.
Davey oh Davey where have you been Davey oh Davey I’ve been a waiting Been waiting for my Davey since he rode away I’ll be going crazy until he comes home to stay Davey oh Davey where have you been Davey oh Davey I’ve been a waiting He told me that he loved me, he told me we would marry Said I had lips so rosey and sweet as huckleberries. Davey oh Davey where have you been Davey oh Davey I’ve been a waiting And a crying Feel like dying For my Davey In the Navy
6.
Mister I can see that you're afraid I can see you won't do shit Your beady eyes are dilated Your mouth is full of blood and spit Your mind is spinning round You don't know what your gonna do Should you run out of this town Or take what's coming down on you Or will you just stand there and bleed What a choice indeed Just stand there and bleed I know what you need My daddy taught me young how to take a blow hard down He said boy you don't need a gun you just need to stand your ground Because a man who yells and screams ain't the kind you need to mind It's the one who don't say a thing that has iron in his spine Go on and skin that smoke wagon mister Go ahead go ahead go ahead Go on and skin that smoke wagon mister skin it and see what happens to you Your ear may still be burning by the way you've just been treated Your pride may be in ribbons by the way you just retreated You may want to get even and shoot me in the back But you're 10 pounds of coward in a 5 pound bullshit sack
7.
You can't have shade if you don't have trees And you can't learn to run without skinning your knees You can't make bread without yeast to leaven And you can't court your sweetheart in heaven Oh you can't swim a lap in a dry creek bed And you can't think a thought with a hole in your head You can't buy a horse if no one's selling And you can't court your sweetheart in heaven There's no carriage rides, no boxes of chocolates no holding hands or kisses on the lips There's no valentines or gifts so floral when you're up in heaven and she's corporeal Oh you you'll never live to a ripe old age If you're walking round in fits of rage If you love your gal don't be forgetting That you can't court your sweetheart in heaven Oh you can't drink whiskey from an empty bottle And you can't wear a noose and not get throttled You can't count a week without counting seven And you can't court your sweetheart in heaven You can't kick a stump without jamming your toe and you can't lose a fight if you don't even show How you're gonna look there's just no tellin' but you can't court your sweetheart in heaven Your girl won't be around to hug you tight Or in your bed to keep you warm at night No sweet nothings whispered in your ear If you're up in heaven and she's down here Oh you you'll never live to a ripe old age If you're walking round in fits of rage If you love your gal don't be forgetting That you can't court your sweetheart in heaven You can't read a book without opening your eyes You can't milk a bull without gettin' a surprise Some count to ten, you should count eleven Because you can't court your sweetheart in heaven You can't get water if you don't have a well and if you catch a bullet you'll really catch hell Ask John, Kitt, Brian, Sarah, Collin or Kevin You can't court your sweetheart in heaven You may be mad but there's no use to go setting your big irons loose You may be right but no one fails when you holster your guns and cool heads prevail Oh you you'll never live to a ripe old age If you're walking round in fits of rage If you love your gal don't be forgetting You can't court your sweetheart in heaven You can't court your sweetheart in heaven!
8.
03:59
His horse is tall and his pants are tight His soul is black and his hat is white, He's El Blanco. His hair is short and his long whip CRACKS His mustache is shiny from his mustache WAX. He's El Blanco His eyes like flint and hard as diamonds If you seek death you know where to find him. Call El Blanco His knife is sharp his gun is fast Killed two men today, they won't be the last. For El Blanco El Blanco he shines like the sun, from the white clothes he has on But the stench that he has on his breath is death He deals out death like playing cards He'll break a window then eat the shards. Tough El Blanco His hands are quick like a rattle SNAKE He stomps his foot and makes the earth QUAKE. Damn El Blanco El Blanco can never be stopped You can't reason with what can't be stopped You'll have to tempt fate with your gun or run He’s El Blanco
9.
Drinking, smoking and hanging around Walking alone through the bad parts of town Do you every wonder where I am now I'm higher than hell but I'm on my way down Drinking alone is still too much company Honky tonk sweethearts don't interest me Do you wonder where I've been since you set me free I’m killing the pain until the pain kills me Yelling and screaming outside your front door Just another reason you don't want me anymore Drinking, smoking and hanging around Walking alone through the bad parts of town Do you every wonder where I am now I'm higher than hell but I'm on my way down
10.
Rode a thousand miles and my thoughts of your smile keep me warm. When you asked me if I would kiss you didn't have twist my arm Because i love you baby Oh you know I love you baby You’re my huckleberry and we will be together soon The winter wind is cold but my thoughts Of your body is keeping me warm. When you told me you would wait You didn’t know it’d be so long Rode a thousand miles and my thoughts of your smile keep me warm. When you asked me if I would kiss you didn't have twist my arm
11.
I want your blood cause mine's gone cold And my heart ain't got the fight I want your soul cause mine's gone old Won't be no dawn to break this night If you recall just what was done What set us down such wayward roads Let it whisper from your gun Remind me how this story's told I want your blood to paint my lead As I speed your soul to hell I cannot feel unknown regret My story's done, no more to tell When I see you now old friend No fury stokes this dying flame Just the cold that leads the end And I know you feel the same We stand alone for one last time Our shots sing out across the fields Recall a start to end this line The cold embrace as vengeance yields I want your blood to paint my lead I want to speed your soul to hell This last regret, what was not said My story's done, its yours to tell Ain't got no blood to paint my lead I pray God speed my soul to hell
12.
These bar lights are lower than a casket But your bright eyes still shimmer from the sun How can you smell so sweet, when everybody here Is filled with dark desires and never ending, raging fear. This small town is empty as your promise That you'd stay with me til the end of time The windows are all shuttered and the eyes are all closed They bump into each other, while you sit so composed. The locomotive writes your goodbye letter in the air I hug your pillow close to me so I can smell your hair Let me go to hell the way I want to Go to hell the way I want to You can't save me from the things I do Let me go to hell the way I want to My shame is burning hotter than the desert There's only one way this is going to end If I looked into a mirror, it'd probably be fatal this self-destructive fervor has me under the table By stops and starts my bottle digs a hole for me to fill If I could pull the goddamn cards, but I never will Let me go to hell the way I want to Go to hell the way I want to You can't save me from the things I do Let me go to hell the way I want. You can't save me. You can't save me You can't save me from the things I do Let me go to hell the way I want to
13.
Whiskey on the bar, and you underground It's been slow since you were laid low So I'll have another round I'd ask you how you felt but you can't make a sound Whiskey on the bar, and you underground Look at that, a Siamese cat, running round my feet He looks at me so hopefully that I'll give him something to eat I ain't fed myself there, puss For about a week Look at that, a Siamese cat, running 'round my feet. When you spend half your life with one thing on your mind Then you're done, the last race run you're left with lots of time. So I'm hitched to this bar stool drinking whiskey, beer and wine When you spend half your life with one thing on your mind I can still see your face as your life poured out The savage tear in your breast My parting gift to you When your bones were lowered down My dreams when down there too Whiskey on the bar and you underground Life is slow since I laid you low So I'll have another round I'd ask you how you felt about it But we'd both agree With you down there, and me up here you feel a lot like me.
14.
Going down the railway station Going down now Going down to meet my woman One last time Gonna take her on down Main Street Where the folks can see That a woman from the right part of town Could love a dog like me I couldn't love you any more than I done and I know you feel the same I'm your huckle bearer now and forever You were waiting there for me I know, and I knew when the right time came I'm your huckle bearer together for the world to see He asked you for your hand that day I saw your eyes You told him you'd be his one true love I saw your lies You wanted me that much was clear You never had to say a word I made it quick I made it last forever Down by the station, no one heard I was yours but I took too long, killing time can't ease my mind I'm your huckle bearer now and forever I learned a lot of evil ways on the road, I used them all to make your new love cry I'm your huckle bearer together for the world to see I'm your huckle bearer now and forever don't you worry no more on me I'll be hunted until we're together in heaven

about

Skin Your Smokewagon started out as a song writing exercise. Songs came from scraps of Western movie dialogue. From song titles that made us laugh. From small bit of ukulele strumming or guitar finger picking.

Gradually a narrative thread arose. Stories about the view from opposite sides of the tracks; moments of joy and laughter; tragic accidents; revenge; loss; good guys and bad guys; love; and the hopelessness that comes when you get what's coming for you.

We pulled every thread we could grab out of the quilt of Americana music and old West story telling. When we wove them back together again we found ourselves with a garment that fit just fine.

credits

released June 28, 2018

John Brunn - Guitar, Lap Steel
Collin Conoley - Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin
Brian Hamilton - Guitar
Kevin Kalahikii - Bass, Ukulele
Kitt Thompson - Vocals, Drums

Recorded and mixed by Giovanni Moro

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Porkchop Express San Francisco, California

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