The Whiskey Fund (2006)

Select album to play


Slow Rag Mama

last night, I was afraid to play my Townes CD
I thought he’d sing the songs that were all about me
they gave me three months. I think I’ll take fifteen
I wonder – should I call the folks I used to know?
I guess that everything that I love I gotta let it go
and if it comes back to me, mama, I’m a-dance for sure
It’s a slow rag, mama. Everything in good time
paint your pretty lips and put your little hand in mine
you know the rag, mama. Won’t you take it easy with me?
slow down, mama. Look for something to love
hold it. Squeeze it. Can’t get enough of that slow rag, mama
it’s where you’re supposed to be
this morning, I couldn’t believe it! I saw the girl of my dreams
posing all pretty on the People magazine
look out, mama! I’m hollywood bound
I’m knockin’ on the door with a bouquet for my honey
I couldn’t buy her a cup of coffee because I didn’t have no money
Oh, hollywood mama! It’s such a lonely town
jump track clickety-clack hangin’ at the railway shack
don’t slack don’t crack whatever you do just get it back
unless you kinda figure it’ll come again on the by-and-by
good food ain’t rude eat ‘cause hunger waits for you
big thirst ladies first knock ‘em back before you burst
flavor’s never sweeter than when before you die


1. Slow Rag Mama
Herb & Hanson  

Flanagan Hill

She’s been gone some seven weeks now
And she’s due back any day
I’m just waiting for the snow to stop
To go and meet her train

I think back to walking with her
Picking berries in the Fall
Just strolling along old Blackbird Knob
Listenin’ to the wood thrush call
And it was only just last Summer
We went down to Laurel Creek
And swam in the cool mountain water
Kissin’ each other’s cheek

I remember last December
Lying together in our bed
She whispered words of love into my ear
I believed every lie she said
And then Spring rolled in slowly
With the promise of a new
Just rollin’ in the grass
The sky over head
Gazing in her eyes of blue

And now I’m heading to that station
Down at the foot of Flanagan Hill
The snow has stopped
The sun’s come out
And her train’s due at quarter till

Oh she’d been gone some seven weeks now
And she just got back today
I’d been waiting for the snow to stop
To go and meet her train


2. Flanagan Hill
Herb, Hanson, Samargo  

Candles and Banjos

candles and banjos playing three by night
let you lead me oh and teach me
melodies making right
thanks to the core producing ever more
liquid like it teach
sharing the weather light as a feather
cradled to us each
come on now sun rising at dawn
I’m gonna let you know my friends what is going on
if we just stop a sec and stop this cattle driving
we’ll start living and we’ll stop surviving
don’t stop a-rockin’ there’ll be no blockin’
communicating free
if seen as a rise read between the lies
gonna be running free


3. Candles and Banjos
Herb, Hanson, Wadsworth  

Feelin' So Low

The snow starts to fall
Winter has come
So I fire up the wood
From the chopping this Fall
And I feel the warmth
From the fire so bright
Just wondering where
I went wrong with my life
Seems so many years
Have come and they’ve gone
Livin’ alone
Feelin’ so low

I could die tonight
Ain’t no one would know
Got no friends to call on
Got no place to go
I lay down my head
For what could be the last
And I close my eyes
And I fall asleep fast
Hoping my dreams
Of dying come true
Livin’ alone
Feelin’ so blue

Then I open my eyes
To the dawns early light
Sunbeams of anguish
Creeping into my sight
This day ahead
Lying right out that door
I sing to myself
Lord, I can’t take one more
And I’m singing my song
The only way I know how
Livin’ alone
Feelin’ so low


4. Feelin' So Low
Herb & Hanson  

Old Joe Clark



5. Old Joe Clark
Trad. (Arranged by H&H)  


6. Deep Elum Blues
Trad. (Arranged by H&H)  


this old horn it sounds worn like it done every single morn
since my momma and my daddy skipped town
I’ll sing some songs and play the blues ‘cause I’ve got nothing left to do
‘til supper when that Mississippi sun go down
when she came up to me fell down to my feet
crying “Louis, don’t you leave me alone”
I gotta go I gotta eat but you’re welcome to take a seat
she stepped inside as I went down to the store
running home to beat the rain she was gone before I came
back to find out that she had robbed me of all I own
some times at night laying ‘neath the moonlight
her cries carry on the winds as they groan
Katrina why do you wail and moan
you took my last dollar left me no place to go
Katrina what’s on your mind
maybe I broke her poor heart
she might not have paid me enough mind
maybe she had it in for me from the start
I don’t know
Katrina you were a friend of mine
I can’t sleep I can’t eat but I’m standing on my feet
and I’m wondering what I’m to do now
I’ll play some songs and sing the blues because I’ve got nothing else to do
since Katrina came through my home town
and if she comes back this way what am I supposed to say
she had left me so broke down and lo


7. Katrina
Herb & Hanson  

Poor Man's Dime

It’s a rich man’s world on a poor man’s dime

Working in this factory fourteen hours a day
When I’ll see my baby next I can’t hardly say
Working all these hours but I ain’t got much in pay
My boss says not to worry. I guess he’s doing fine
It’s a rich man’s world on a poor man’s dime

Tryin’ to bum a nickel, tryin’ to bum a ride
Tryin’ to find somebody just to treat this poor boy kind
Gotta get to Denver by the fourth day of July
Probably won’t make it but Lord, I’m gonna try
It’s a rich man’s world on a poor man’s dime

Hopping on that freight train heading for the west
Tryin’ to find that rider that treated me the best
Tryin’ to find that rider who’s better than the rest
I’m asking her to be my bride if she’s got the time
It’s a rich man’s world on a poor man’s dime

I finally found my woman but with another man
I don’t know what I did wrong. I did all I can
But she ran away from me and I think I understand
Got two holes in my pocket, always working overtime
It’s a rich man’s world on a poor man’s dime

I’m headed back to the east, guitar on my back
Carrying it from here to there in my gunny sack
If I need so money it picks up the slack
Just singing in these bars at night, pennies for a rhyme
It’s a rich man’s world on a poor man’s dime


8. Poor Man's Dime
Herb & Hanson  


9. Raleigh and Spencer
Trad. (Arranged by H&H)  

Bonnie Lee

I fell in love with a girl named Bonnie Lee
I loved her but she was never kind to me
she could never kindly see just how she was killing me
she came in from the east and I thought she came to me
I loved her but she could never plainly see
she could never plainly see just how she was killing me
come on Bonnie Lee why don’t you come on out with me
I’d love you then perhaps you’d maybe see
perhaps you maybe see just how you’re killing me
I’ll take you to the dance so that everyone can see
just how I love you ‘though you’re never kind to me
it ain’t that hard to see just how you’re killing me
look a little closer ‘cause I wear it on my sleeve
it’s how I love you ‘though you’re never kind to me
you never kindly see just how you’re killing me
oh, Bonnie Lee, I know you’ll never marry me
although I’d love you ‘though you’re never kind to me
you will never kindly see just how you’re killing me


10. Bonnie Lee
Herb & Hanson  


11. Bonnie Lee Breakdown
Herb & Hanson  

The Blood Of John Hill

The night smelled of woodsmoke and trouble was on the rise
William was drinking and being weighed down by the skies
For the rain had been falling all day
Washing his evil trail away
The man he’d been hunting five nights
For stealing the love of his darling wife

It was six nights ago beneath the waning moon
A gunfight broke out just outside of Joseph’s Saloon
Only a few shots went off
Before the sheriff, he stepped in to stop
These men from fulfilling their deed
But William, he cried there on his knees.

For Mary’d been shot in the back as she turned to run
From a bullet that was fired out of the drunkards gun
As William, he rose for revenge
The sheriff, he spoke of his evil sin
He hadn’t been tried for his wrong
But William, he knew he could not wait long

The next morning broke with a crowd gathered round that jail
It seems that the man who shot Mary escaped from his cell
So William he called for his steed
For now he was free to indulge his greed
For the blood of the man named John Hill
A man that in time he was sure to kill

The trail was warm, heading west with the setting sun
William rode fast with a hand always held on his gun
After riding for five days and nights
Finally a town, it came into sight
To William it’s name was not known
Hoping it was the place where the man had flown

As he tied up his horse heading into the local saloon
Feeling so strongly a sense of impending doom
As he sat in the bar that day
A man in the corner, he softly said
A stranger has entered my town
he spoke of his name and William headed down

John Hill he was gambling over at Katie May’s
Thinking he’d run and left all his troubles at bay
He held in his hand two pair
Aces and eights, he was almost there
The dealer laid one more down
The ace of spades, JOhn Hill hit the ground

After traveling for days across this lonesome land
William shot John, fulfilling his Dead Man’s Hand
And his cards, they fell to the floor
William stood watching from the door
His pistol fell from his grasp
MAry’s murder avenged, he could rest at last


12. The Blood of John Hill
Herb & Hanson  

3 & 30 Nights

it’s been 3 and 30 nights since her father said to her
I’m sorry child to leave you but I cannot stay this world
she looked upon her father from the right side of the bed
heard the words he breathed a trembling hand upon her head
listened to and clung to every word that he had said
‘twas the last time she would hear his voice for soon they found him dead
oh daddy, please, won’t you stay a while with me
and once again together we could sail the Northern Seas
oh darling, love and child of mine, if it were up to me
I’d sail with you forever all around the Northern Seas
hold you warm and close to me to fend the Northern Breeze
oh, darling, love and child of mine, if it were up to me
for, lo! the time has come for me to step into the Eve
and a favor I must ask of you before I take my leave
if I deny you this favor would you have to leave me still
this favor you must do for me although against your will
if you deny me this one favor, child, you know I’d love you still
but, if you’re heart is true to mine it’s sure to be fulfilled
my weary face may fade away
my weary voice may grow quiet
oh! child of mine, if you remember none of these
remember well the Northern Seas


13. 3 & 30 Nights
Herb & Hanson  

Anything Unsaid

The highlands are pointing toward tomorrow
Melodies they fill this empty hall
That girl standing next to me undresses
I’m getting ready for The Fall
Gliding along the old fence line
That lonesome barn owl searches for his meal
It’s 5 o’clock out on the west coast
For you and me right now the time is here

All the while looking for their cork screw
Those people standing naked in the rain
Thinking back to all them good times
But I don’t care for anything unsaid

Heavy horses, solitude and serenades
She was stronger than a donkey pulling hard
Drinking dandelion wine and elderberry mead
Walking on by without any regard
Sitting on her wrist, a circle made of turquoise
Laying by her couch, a pair of well worn shoes
Those aching hands reaching to borrow
Just a couple shots of whiskey to put away the blues

Reading stories written by their fathers
Forgetting all about a life full of dread
Trying to remember all those things that never happened
But I don’t care for anything unsaid

Sitting on that barstool close to midnight
Just trying to sing a song stuck in your head
All these passers by shooting me their glances
But I don’;t care for anything unsaid


14. Anything Unsaid
Herb, Hanson, Samargo  


previous next