When I Was a Cowboy
I was a cowboy, back in the alley.
Me and my six-gun kept law on the prairie
I remember my first horse well, he was lean but a fast one
We travelled miles together, till he got stolen.
And the sheriff said get early to bed
And always keep your hat screwed on real tight
Case you get in a fight.
Well that’s one of the tricks that you must employ
If you wanna be a cowboy.
I travelled far from home,
even jumped freight trains
Threw stones in the ocean,
slept out in the cold rain.
It was down in some southern town,
and the music was playing
And the people were talking so loud,
they heard no words I was saying.
I dreamed of a mountain,
with one lonesome rider
He was ragged and tattered,
but he carried a sabre.
And all through the canyon
you could hear his bones rattle.
He was dead on a dying horse
and he was tied to the saddle.
I was a cowboy, out on the prairie.
Life sure is easier, back home in the alley.
In my country garden, underneath the mountain
With the dead nettles growing all around the door
Early every morning the sun comes up the mountain
Setting in the sea in the evening once more.
Taking water from the brook, wondering who it was that took
The stones from the mountain, who built his cottage here.
Two up and two down, miles from the nearest town
I wonder who he was though the reason why is clear.
Take a bunch of nettles and add a little water
Drawn from the stream running outside the door
Leave it for a month or two, then bottle it and drink the brew
Then watch the suns go down in the sea once more.
Take in wood to build a fire, could you really get much higher
Than standing in the doorway with a glass of nettle wine?
My lady beside me, the mountain behind me
Before me the sea and the red skyline.
SylviaSylvia, does it help if I say I feel for you?And I think it was the one about the tulipsThat did it - that did it. Oh and isn't it a shameYou had to go through so much pain To help someone that you never knew.Sylvia, it doesn’t help if I say I've been down tooBut there’s always been someone I could turn toWhy not you - why not you?And though seldom they could shareIt was knowing they were there that pulled me through.It seems there are a fewWho can say it for the manyAnd maybe one or twoWho can say it for the fewAnd one of them was you.Sylvia, don't get me wrong if I say I see through youAnd before my colours turn darker than blueOh what can I do- what can I do?Oh it just seems so unfair that through sadness and despairYou help someone that you never knew.It seems there's one or twoWho can say it for the fewAnd maybe just a fewWho can say it for the manyBut that can't help you any.Sylvia, it doesn't help if I say I've been down tooBut before my colours turn darker than blue.Oh what can I do- what can I do?Oh and isn't it a crime that you lose out every timeAnd help someone that you never knew.
Me and my brother returned to the water I saw a pike that was two feet long. Two small magicians, each with a jam jar Cast spells on the water with hazel twig wands.Countryboys catch tadpoles, dive into water Made shy by their laughter, we wandered down stream And summer rolled o’er us with no complications ’Cept thinking of Mama sometimes in dreams.Stand by the drawbridge, waiting for barges Waiting around for smiles from the man. Lifting the bridge whilst watching the horses Dragging the slow boats up the canal.I do remember the times but no number After the day, but before evening comes Waiting for castles and kettles with roses Painted on barges that sailed into the sun.Oh, see the river run, that was by man begunOpen the locks, let the boats sail on, Taking their castles and kettles with roses With summers of childhood leaving smiles on the man.
Standing Down in New York Town
Hey, buddy, can you spare me some change? Me and my lady trying to get back to Detroit They’re ripping off the customers and tearing the buildings down. The ship seems to be sinking, and everyone’s moving out.But maybe it’s just the way I feel For some have been so kind Maybe it’s just that I’m far from home And you, and you and you, been on my mindFaces in the curtains whilst the sirens were screaming Disturbing the dreaming that I had without sleep Hustlers on the block taking every cent I got So it’s dollars for the barman to give my mind some ease.ChorusSomeone has bled an angry slogan on the wall Just across the street from my luxury hotel And the letters are so big that from close up you cannot read them But I’m high up in my room and I can read them very well.ChorusHopalong, the Bowery Boys, and all my cowboy heroes Saturday morning picture memories floating in the air “Give my regards to Broadway,” said a grey-faced statue Who was obviously stoned to be standing in that square.Chorus