Black River Drifters



This four-lane blacktop, I can drive by feel.
With just these rumblestrips and the devil at my heel.
These endless white lines, lead straight to hell,
Without my girl beside me to break their spell.

The hour’s late but we’ve spent many nights like this:
The music’s playing, Crystal just blew me a kiss.
Once again we’re catching up to the sun.
Yeah, I should rest but I’m still having fun
Wild Rose behind me, I’ll fly the Living Skies home.
This prairie taunts me, but baby, I’m still in control.
Once again I’m catching up to the sun.
Yeah, I should rest but I’m under the gun
Eyelids leaden, I’m about to hit the wall.
One more truckstop, one more bathroom stall.
The sky explodes with the flash of first sun.
Guess I can rest now, the damage is done.
Jacknifed bulldog. Bleedin’ at the wheel.
Seems my girl Crystal and the Devil made a deal.


She’s everywhere I look, and she’s so divine
She’s the heroine in all my books
She’s ubiquitously fine.
More than obsessed, think I’m possessed, she’s in my mind
She got the high cheekbones. She got the ruby lips.
She got the raven hair, she got the sexy walk,
The way she moves those hips.
Oh Jelly Bean, you’re my sweet dream, you make me lose my grip.

She’s in my magazines. She’s on my TV set.
She’s my whole world, she’s the kind of a girl you can never forget!
She’s so damn hot. She makes me sweat!
She’s part Betty Paige. She’s part Joan Jet.
She’s rock and roll and she’s my dirty little pet.
She’ll be my queen. I’ll have her yet!

the way i see it

When I get up in the morning, it’s sometimes half past noon.
Depends on how I’m feeling, sometimes that’s way too soon.
And you presume to judge me. And baby that ain’t right.
Gonna have to share some insight on my life.
You might think that I don’t give a damn about right and wrong.
But you know, the way I see it is, we ain’t here for long.
Mama said, if he were alive, I’d be breaking grandaddy’s heart
What mamma don’t know is back in Grandaddy’s day,
They built men from better parts.

You say that I should see a doctor. You think I’ve gone insane.
You say that I should share my feelings.
You say it might just ease my pain.
But I ain’t hurtin, darlin. Just walk a mile in my shoes.
You may find that, If you got nothing to choose,
You ain’t got nothing to lose.
You got me thinking ‘bout my freedom. Maybe it’s time that I go!
I’m gonna ride the rails today girl, I’m gonna hit the road.
But then again, I’m sleepy. I got his pain in my head.
Girl, you know that I’m a dreamer. Let’s go back to bed!


It’s just a lifestyle, I ain’t afraid of thrills
That ain’t my teeth a chatterin’, My skull is rattlin with pills!

Yeah, there’s a price to pay but I can borrow from my youth,
And it’s a long time ‘fore I gotta face that truth!
The road is long and as tour drags on, I’m tired,
Besides, I like the view from up on this high-wire.
Down near El Paso, some narcs gave me the chase.
Found near a thousand Dexedrine in my guitar case!
But hell, I’m rich and there ain’t nothing I can’t buy.
I don’t mind playin jails but I ain’t doin’ no hard time!

stagger lee

Must have been the early morning. Just before the crack of light
When Staggerlee and Billy DeLions had their big gun fight
Talkin’ ‘bout the bad man, Mean ol’ Staggerlee.
Staggerlee and Billy were playing poker, drinking hard
Staggerlee was losing bad, luck smiled on Billy’s cards
Billy stood to leave, but Stagger said, “no way!”
“You got all my money, we still got some cards to play!”
Billy said you’re broke, Stag. Can’t you see clear through the fog?
Then Staggerlee threw down the keys to his Super-glide Custom
Billy said, “alright, let’s put it all on one last hand,
I’ll give you one last chance to prove that you’re the man.”
Billy had a full house, it was kings over jacks
“Looks like you won’t win you’re money back!”
But Stagger had 3 aces with a fourth one up his sleeve
He laid ‘em down and grabbed the pot
And he made to leave.
Billy got in Stagger’s face, said “look me in the eye!”
“And tell me where you got that ace!” Then Stagger stood to rise.
“I looked you in the eyes, kid. Let me tell you what I see.”
“I see one of us walking outta here. And that one of us is me!”
Drew his 45 as Lady Luck left Billy’s side.
Pulled the trigger, Billy’s eyes went wide!
Billy staggered backwards ‘fore he dropped dead to the floor.
He looked his killer in the eyes.
Said, “what the hell you do that for?”
Stagger said to Billy, as Billy’s lights were going dim,
“If there’s one thing about me kid it’s, I always win!”
“And if you’re playing with the big boys, you gotta bring your gun.
“The bullet is my wild card and your dying says, I won!”

mi casa es su muerte

Bad men in a lion’s den, down in South Ontario
Some heavies down from a prairie town,
Come get the drop on the Big Smoke
Down at the old man’s farm at the end of a dusty road.
The old man, he held out his hand and said,
“Make yourselves at home.”
Come in, sit down, take a load off. I got something to say.
Relax, do a line, get a shine on, it’s just my way.
Mi Casa, su Muerte.

The old general took the floor, he said, here’s what’s going down.
The bad blood between us ain’t not secret as is well known.
We come here to bury the hatchet, gonna talk all this shit out.
But first boys, gotta pull your patches,
Got the orders from down south!
Tempers flared and tensions rose over the words the old man said.
No one knows who fired the first shot, but one man’s lyin there
“We kill one, we kill ‘em all, boys. There ain’t no lookin’ back.”
One by one, at the point of a gun, the Hogtown crew got whacked.
All’s left is to ditch the bodies, the plan’s as clear as glass.
Then 8-miles down the road, well... the plan ran out of gas.
Eight dead and the six that’s left are doin 25 to life.
Beunos noches, mi amigos, the Angels sing on high.

these chains i'm in

When I was a young man, thought I’d roam upon this earth,
Yet here I am a stone’s throw from the place my ma gave birth.
I don’t know if it’s my fault that I’m still standing here,
Or some conspiracy of strangers. But it’s the former that I fear.
You’re a man, don’t be a dreamer. Gotta stay the course I’m on.
You’re a man, don’t show emotion. Gotta prove the world I’m
Strong in the face of danger. Strong if I lose or win.
So why am I so powerless as I flex against these chains I’m in?
I’ll take the high road to nowhere.
My clutch is worn and I’ve been grinding down my gears,
Guage on my dash will read 400,000 soon.
Could have been around the world ten times.
Could have driven to the moon.

You scream, “You can’t do this to me!” As I walk out the door.
At least that’s how it’s played out in my mind each time before.
Now I stare out the window, as the pale sun burns the lawn,
And I dream of greener grass while I imagine being gone.

precious scars

I’ve lain my cards down on the table.
I ain’t got nothing up my sleeve.
While some may seek the bible or the bottle for release.
These scars are the reminder my heart bleeds.
Like every love song I ever wrote,
That bore the cost of one heart broke.
But captured love’s last tear before it dried.
For those friends that meant so much
Who died too young, or just lost touch.
These precious scars, without them, who am I?

The ragged line that lightly traces
My broken heart where it’s been fused.
To relive, or revile it, the choice is mine to choose.
My lover, My enemy, My muse.
Now, as I ponder my reflection,
And the pain and heartache that I’ve known
These wounds are now my armounr, calloused hard as bone.
Touchstones of memories that I own.

the kiss

He sits alone, he don’t need a reason,
To drown himself in drink. It’s the time of the season.
The clock ticks, the bell chimes,
As lovers share a kiss to Auld Lang Syne.
“Close your eyes!” Came a whisper.
The promise of a kiss with a cool velvet shiver.
Soft lips stop time, then all remained was the taste of her red wine.
Am I mad, mister bartender?
Did you see that girl? Where did the night send her?
My good sir, I’m afraid you’re not the first,
To leave my bar with that unquenched thirst!
Gifts got, gifts given. Life without her kiss, ain’t a life worth livin!
The liquor flowed and I don’t know,
How I found this bridge, or how my car was driven!
Step outside and walk to the ledge.
Another shot of whisky, ‘fore I’m over the edge,
To let the cold water cary me down with no trace
I’ll die for the want of feeling her embrace,
Then the wind picked up, just before I went in.
A newspaper flew up and wrapped ‘round my shin.
The headline from 1929 read: “Alderman’s Daughter,
Jumped to Her Death last Night.”
They put it down to her dark disposition,
“A tale of ennui and lonely desperation.”
A soft voice, a cold shiver,
“We can quench our thirst in this icy river.”

old friend

Seems I lost my way again,
Got a couch that I could crash on, my old friend?
She handed me my walking shoes
Yeah, again. I know. I guess I’m born to lose.
She put me on the street, but I’ll get back on my feet
Just can’t afford the hotel bill
And I swear it won’t be long before I’ll be moving on.
And I got a bottle we can kill.

I ain’t gonna lie to you.
She found a bag of powder and a blackened spoon.
I said it was a one time thing,
But you know women - she wasn’t listening.
I haven’t been the best of friends,
But my hand to God, I’m here to make amends.
Broken hearts and bridges burned:
My old friend, I have nowhere else to turn.


Someone please, take this mic from me.
I ain’t got the breath to say a word.
Those of you who know me, and know me well.
That a prayer would leave my lips should seem absurd.
But please just one last sunset from the Bay, Lord.
I should have seen the writing on the wall.
The old crone told my mama, on the day that I was born,
She said that I would meet my maker at a place they call Longhorn.
These big old legs, won’t cary me.
Gonna lie right down here upon this stage.
But don’t come around no, don’t comfort me.
I’m still twice as strong as a man half my age.
An act of bold defiance or denial,
To bargain with the barkeep for one last call?
The old crone told my mama, on the day that I was born,
She said that I would meet my maker at a place they call Longhorn.
He was doing what he loved, that’s what they’ll say.
But I never thought that I’d check out this way.
Those of you who know me, you’ll know this well.
I’ll be seeing you again when I raise Hell!
It’s not the time for misty-eyed regrets now,
The song is done, the curtain’s ‘bout to fall.
The old crone told my mama, on the day that I was born,
She said that I would meet my maker at a place they call Longhorn.

©2018 Black River Drifters