Paul Dougherty

Lyrics – River Pearl

Paul Dougherty River Pearl

The 2014 release   River Pearl

River Pearl

Music & Lyrics Paul Dougherty

Black rust rolled from the mine downwind, a low rumbling in the air
A heat as thick as a Bowie knife, and a song played at the County Fair
An ode to an Irish seafarer, pickled in whisky, made of rawhide
Like tobacco drying in deserted fields, and the fire raining from the sky

Jesse, a soldier, young and in love, and a father on the run
He wrote his love Marie a letter about him holding his first son
The times were hard and fortunes changed, after three years in the war
Yanks burned the town on Sherman’s March, shot the County Brass Band Corps

Ch
Signs of the Holy Glory, the sins of the father blow through the reeds
The hills are filled with the blood of laughter, from Savannah to the tip of Tennessee
And the home you once thought you’d never leave

Jesse deserted near Cedartown, hid out in the backwater trees
Spread innards of a raccoon on his tracks, slept with his pistol on his knees
The hunting dogs and Calvary Guard riding half a day behind
Licking off their chops like rabid wolves about a man hanging from the line

Marie lay in a one room shack, all the cornfields had been burned down
While the Yanks all had their way with her, with a baby lying on the ground
The night blew long and was black as coal, as she gathered up her things
Wrapped the baby in a brown feed sack, howled a lullaby as she sang

Ch
Signs of the Holy Glory, the sins of the father blow through the reeds
The hills are filled with the blood of laughter, from Savannah to the tip of Tennessee
And the girl you once thought you’d never leave

Tried on the Louisiana border, not far from the river Pearl
Where he had sowed the earth and planted seed, and had promised to love a girl
With the Hanging Judge and the jury dressed in the same colored uniform
In the cotton fields stood a makeshift court that had doubled as a barn

Jesse was bone, crows accompanied him, his body hanging from a tree
While Marie lay in a tub of blood, her wrists slashed from her gnawing teeth
They brought back the body of the boy and they laid it with the girl
And the baby rested between the two and the earth of the river Pearl

Ch
Signs of the Holy Glory, the sins of the father blow through the reeds
The hills are filled with the sweet hereafter, from Savannah to the tip of Tennessee
Beneath the dirt you once thought you’d never leave

 

©White Man’s Basketball 2013

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Paul Dougherty