Sharecropper's Sin

by Stacey Sanders

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1.
I've been runnin' 'round naked in these fields since the day I was born Through the wheat, the barley, the beans, the cotton and corn I'm the prick in your heel that you feel when your stockings are worn I'm the cold north wind, blowin' again Rusted rattling tin, I'm the sharecropper's sin I was raised in the cane and the pain of the oil patch Sweet honeysuckle, sour mash, single batch Behind the barn, jimson weed, sulphur strike of the match I'm the cold north wind, blowin' again Rusted rattling tin, I'm the sharecropper's sin Dancing with the scarecrows 'neath the September skies Collecting souls of sparrows for the puddin' and the pies Suffering slings and arrows and the green bottle flies I'm the cold north wind, time and time and again Rusted rattling tin, I'm the sharecropper's sin I'm the power in the puff of the Red Ryder BB gun Keeping the copperheads, cottontails and coyotes on the run I'm a hundred and ten in the mid-day July sun I'm the cold north wind, blowin' again Rusted rattling tin, I'm the sharecropper's sin Dancing with the scarecrows 'neath the October skies... I'm the hootenanny, croup penny hanging around your neck The hug and a kiss and a squeeze, and the bushel and peck I'm the get drunk, stay out all night, train wreck I'm the cold north wind, blowin' again Rusted rattling tin, I'm the sharecropper's sin Dancing with the scarecrows 'neath the November skies...
2.
I just knocked off the Okarche bank Nobody to blame, nobody to thank Four thousand dollars in a canvas bag Adrenaline, hunger, thrust and drag Ditch my getaway car and take a little trip Single engine stashed on the landing strip Gotta make dust 'for they hear the alarm I ain't doing no time on the prison farm...Hey! Hey! Flying in low over the Cimarron Gotta hide out until the copper's gone Treetop landing in a Piper Cub I was trying to splash down in the Devil's bathtub Branches hung up my landing gear Boot laces wrapped around my ear Two busted legs and a broken arm Now I'll be shoveling shit on the prison farm...Yes, Sir! Ten years of my life in Leavenworth Crushed a strong man and caused rebirth Traded my gun for a brush in hand Now I paint locomotives and scenic land Poured my heart into colored oil Like a farmer tills the red clay soil Found my muse, discovered my charm I ain't ever going back to that prison farm...No way! I need a passport to plan my next move I want to travel to Paris and see the Louvre Presidential pardon then I'll be gone But there's a two hundred fifty thousand dollar bond Circumstantial evidence from the state Now I'm down in Big Mac pounding license plates Didn't murder that man or cause him harm But I'm back here working on this prison farm...Oh, no! Just a chain of happenstance fifty years ago Now I'm hitting I-40 to New Mexico A rare vacation for this ex con But there's a loaded down semi coming head on It's all slow motion when you slam on the brakes Your loves, laurels, regrets and mistakes I looked the Devil in the eye and said, "Pardon my smarm... At least I ain't going back to that prison farm!"...Hell no!
3.
She moans like a freight train 'cause she just got derailed She thinks of Jesus 'cause her old man just got nailed She wails at night 'cause he's looking at eight to ten She moans like a freight train then she yells and screams again She moans like a freight train passing through a sleepy town She prays to Jesus 'cause her old man let her down Diesel and whiskey both just burn the same She moans like a freight train then she weeps and swears his name She's loud like a lonesome locomotive She can't stop no matter how hard she tries The more she hears that broken record The longer she cries and cries and cries She moans like a freight train 'cause she just ran out of track She thinks of Jesus, is He ever coming back She sees her old man behind those cold gray bars She moans like a freight train pulling ninety-five loaded cars She's loud like a lonesome locomotive... That old Katy Clipper ain't got nothing on this girl They both shake the pictures from the wall Engineer blew his whistle when he looked in her window Made his five hundred miles worth the haul She moans like a freight train 'cause she just got derailed She thinks of Jesus and wishes she could get nailed She wails at night 'cause she misses her old man Eight to ten's a long time to be familiar with your own hand She just lies there naked with those thoughts rolling through her mind She moans like a freight train just coming down the line She's loud like a lonesome locomotive...
4.
Some say I'm rotten or just plain mean That I lost my mind when I turned fourteen All because I burned the general store Killed my old man and his dirty whore There ain't shit to do in my hometown Now there's a polecat in the henhouse And the farmer ain't around They locked me up in the crazy house It's a vicious game of cat and mouse Made me work them puzzles and do them drills Ate my weight in goofy pills Like drinking 'shine 'til you think you'll drown Now there's a polecat in the henhouse And the farmer ain't around When I turned eighteen they set me free They just as well have found a hanging tree Pretty pink panties drying on the line Made my hands all itchy, my thoughts all mine I'll be out of Dodge before the sun goes down Now there's a polecat in the henhouse And the farmer ain't around Mrs. Brown flicked the porch light on There was a knock on her door at the break of dawn I was selling encyclopedias That's what I told her, she believed I was She was breathing heavy in her cotton gown Now there's a polecat in the henhouse And the farmer ain't around I heard the hammer then the trigger click The room started spinning and my shirt got slick The stars went dark and the sky went black I woke up tied to the railroad track Now the 4:19 is bearing down There was a polecat in the henhouse But so was Farmer Brown
5.
Cap'n, Cap'n, I'm an old mule teamer looking for passage on your side-wheel steamer I'll work real hard and make you proud, I don't drink too much or cuss too loud I'll earn my keep as I draw my pay, Cap'n, Cap'n, what do you say She's too thin to plow, too thick to drink, with curves and hazards that could drain our sink No time to fret, no time to worry, daylight's burning on the muddy Missouri Welcome aboard, now find your bunk, first fetch the whiskey from the bos'n's trunk Look here, skinner, I only have one rule: if this ship goes down boy, don't sink the mule Cap'n, Cap'n, we've hit us a snag, the bow's a-rising, the stern's a-jag A walnut tree has breached her hull, passengers scattered, the lifeboats are full Water's rushing in, it's about neck-high, Cap'n, Cap'n, the end is nigh She's too thick to drink, too thin to plow, we'll make it to the riverbank somehow Save the women, children and all the supplies, the coffee, gunpowder, beans and rice Your beast of burden must be found, we need help making it to higher ground Look here, skinner, don't lose our best tool, whatever you do boy, don't sink the mule Cap'n, Cap'n, that ain't no hassle, he's tied to a beam down in the forecastle I'll take a deep breath before I go down and pray to the good Lord I don't drown It's bleak and murky but I have my blade, Cap'n, Cap'n, I ain't afraid She's too thin to plow, too thick to drink, I signed a contract in India ink These survivors are in my charge, my heart is heavy, my conscience large Up n down these plains, your mug will be shot, put my name on the line for you, look what I got Spend the rest of your life on a damn barstool, cut him loose skinner, don't sink the mule Cap'n, Cap'n, sorry I dropped the knife, try as I may I couldn't save the mule's life We both struggled as long as we could, old Jack finally gave up the ghost for good He kicked and whimpered then he took his last breath, Cap'n, Cap'n, the mule sank to death She's too thick to drink, too thin to plow, we'll make it to the riverbank somehow Tie a rope around the waist of everybody, get just a little taste of the Big Muddy Your walking papers are drawn and ready, I'll pilot another ship slow and steady As for you skinner, you're an idle fool up shit creek boy, you done sank the mule
6.
She was fat as a toad and they were both broke down, but he wasn't always meth-skinny She remembers a time when they dressed for dinner shined up like a copper penny His name was John, her name is Jill, she'd hate it when he called her Jenny 'Cause Jen was his ex, when there's three rejects ain't no one getting any John laid around and got stoned all the time, which made the gaunt man lazy He called poor Jill every name in the book, which drove her batshit crazy Now the devil is in the details, they get fuzzy and they get hazy But Jill crawled up on me one night, quite frankly, she amazed me You gotta give, you gotta take, you gotta bend, but not break You gots to pick, you gots to choose You gotta walk a mile in each others sensible shoes You gotta bite young tongue, grit your teeth, spread your legs and roll your eyes Between paint by numbers and a masterpiece is the art of compromise Jill's ass got bigger, I mean gigantic, 'nother meaning to "double-wide" We used to play games like "Raise The Titanic", "Submarine" and "Torpedo Ride" But trailer trash are prone to panic and thoughts of homicide So she cut off his head 'cause he broke her heart, but what hurt most was her pride You gotta hold your nose, grit your teeth, kneel down and roll your eyes Between paint by numbers and a masterpiece is the art of compromise She put his heart in the freezer, his head in a bag of bones buried in the yard The irony is she lost forty pounds digging, Oklahoma's red clay's hard She sleeps just fine, doesn't dream anymore and holds no ill regard The secret's in the seasoning, but the loving's in the lard You gotta bide your time, grit your teeth, bend over and roll your eyes Between paint by numbers and a masterpiece is the art of compromise
7.
Nightshade 04:31
I love these drunken tourists with their cheap souvenirs They turned my town into a house of horrors long before the Katrina years My name is miss Cecile, I run a hurricane stand I use my family's secret recipe, send you off to Dreamland It's bitch's brew, bittersweet Pairs well with gator tail and chicken feet Witch's stew down in the glade Wing of bat, tongue of toad with just a pinch of nightshade This here's my cousin Roofie, all ham hock and pork loin Dumb as a doorknob, but he's chicory strong, happy as Hell to take your coin Keeps his good eye on you amateurs in your two dollar tee shirt I'm the brains, he's the brawn making sure nobody gets hurt It's bitch's brew, bittersweet Pairs well with gator tail and chicken feet Haitian hoodoo down in the glade Wing of bat, tongue of toad with just a pinch of nightshade Belladonna going to show you the way home The angel's trumpets will be blowin' My ancestors worked the sugar trade Manning the milk stools of the deadly nightshade I love these drunken tourists posing for Polaroids I take their money, shake their hands, pump 'em full of alkaloids My name is miss Cecile, I run a hurricane stand I use my family's secret recipe, send you off to Dreamland It's bitch's brew, bittersweet Pairs well with gator tail and chicken feet A sip or two down in the glade Wing of bat, tongue of toad with just a pinch of nightshade My name is miss Cecile, I run a hurricane stand I use my family's secret recipe, send you off to Dreamland
8.
You be the mortar and I'll be the pestle We'll crush the leaves of green between Cogs merging the gears of time Refined robot routine The clouds hold our tears feed the river whirls the wheel spins the axle Turns the stones mill the bones into grist that makes our bread There is a perfect order to the comfort of our quarter I'm the pestle, you're the mortar, I'm the spindle, you're the thread You be the mortar and I'll be the pestle We'll bump and grind the magic bean Sewing the seed of love and laughter Coming together in this machine The clouds hold our tears feed the river whirls the wheel spins the axle... We will pulverize to powder our original sin Mix it with two beads of sweat that trickle from our skin Dry it in the desert sun then do that thrice again Cup it in our own four hands then throw it to the wind You be the mortar and I'll be the pestle Gently rocking to and fro Bobbing corks out on the ocean Feel the pulsing ebb and flow The clouds hold our tears feed the river whirls the wheel spins the axle... We will pulverize to powder our original sin...
9.
Picnic 04:29
She's hot as a dumpster fire, sharper than razor wire Sounds like an angel choir when she's singing to me Sweet as molasses, sweeter as time passes Not perfect, but her ass is when she shakes it for me She's not Mother Teresa, she ain't that squeaky clean Not Kim Kardashian either, she's somewhere between Love's a picnic in the dirt We fall down, we get hurt We get blood stains on our shirt Love's a picnic in the dirt I'm rough as a cinder block, harder than Plymouth Rock Salty as chicken stock, let me simmer baby, let me simmer I roll like a bowling ball through a Baptist assembly hall After a Saturday pub crawl we're all bowling pins in the end I'm not Joseph Ratzinger, I ain't that squeaky clean Not Charles Manson either, I'm somewhere between Love's a picnic in the rain We get wet but, don't complain Life is short, no time to explain Love's a picnic in the rain We are all just ants a-blazing a trail in a conga line Picking up scattered crumbs of love either lost or left behind The skeins of our lives all come from the same big old ball of twine Woven to form this blanket that we're crawling on at this picnic Sewn-together stitches of time Love's a picnic in the rain We get wet but, don't complain Life is short, no time to explain Love's a picnic in the rain Love's a picnic in the dirt We fall down, we get hurt We get blood stains on our shirt I bring the meat and she brings the dessert
10.
I was a Desert Strike baby conceived in 1964 But the Mojave Desert was no place to start a war So they packed 'em up and shipped 'em out Courtesy of good old Uncle Sam Their next destination some country called Vietnam He's government issue Daddy's got the G.I. blues Mama's crying during the nightly news He was never a sailor, just a worn out soldier from the war So when the wind left his sails he said, "What am I fighting for?" Blue as a tattooed anchor, especially when the waves got high He bounced me on his knees then he tossed me up in the sky He's government issue... Napalm and Cronkite, claymores and kryptonite Trippin' through the jungle just catching a buzz Foxtrot. Uniform. Charlie. Kilo. Echo. Delta up Was what it was
11.
I've spent my life waiting on women and planes Who cracks the whip and who holds the reins Regretting things I know I shouldn't have done Im sleeping on a bench in the old bus station Choking on pride and tired of waiting On the next Greyhound on a Detroit red-eye run We tried to work it out, for a while it worked just fine Til a union got involved and she held up a picket sign We tried to work it out, for a while it worked just fine Til our factory closed its doors and shut down our assembly line We didn't run out of love, we just ran out of time Since Detroit Diesel burned to the ground Somebody turned out the lights and we all left town On a concrete ribbon, blue skies in our sights Reminiscent of the dust bowl days Cars broke down on all the freeways With murderous crowds screaming about their rights They tried to work things out, for a while things worked just fine Til a union got involved and they held up a picket sign They tried to work things out, for a while things worked just fine Til our factory closed its doors and shut down our assembly line We didn't run out of parts, we just ran out of time Now there's more vacant houses than homeless people A box on every corner with a cross and a steeple Hypocrites in dresses, suits and ties Thumping a book full of lies and fables Contradictions and turning tables Prestidigitation right before our eyes They tried to work me out, for a while I worked just fine Til Jesus got involved and he held up a picket sign They tried to work me out, for a while I worked just fine Til the churches closed their doors and shut down their assembly line It never really was about love, just money and their time I've spent my life waiting on women and planes Who cracks the whip and who holds the reins Regretting things I wish I never said
12.
Witness 04:49
The road is so clumsy these days I won't pretend to understand her ways I don't expect you to get what I mean I was the only witness at the scene I'm drivin' through life, a blown-out front tire No direction, no desire A tightrope made of concertina wire Drivin' through life, a blown-out front tire The earth just tilted three more degrees Brother that's why I'm weak in the knees I've pressed rewind in my rear view mirror Hoping to find my conscience clearer I'm drivin' through life, a blown-out front tire No direction, no desire A balancing act on concertina wire Drivin' through life, a blown-out front tire My wager's laid, my penance paid No masquerade, no baracade No dragon slayed, no welcome-home parade My execution's stayed and my bed is made You're free to what you want to believe Keep it locked inside or wear a tattoo sleeve There will always be more stones to cast Baby, let me be your iconoclast I'm drivin' through life, a blown-out front tire No direction, no desire Such a delicate pose on concertina wire Drivin' through life, a blown-out front tire The road is so clumsy these days I won't pretend to understand her ways It's lonesome, contrary and mean Three miles west on highway fifteen I don't expect you to get what I mean I was the only witness at the scene

credits

released January 8, 2015

THANK YOU
Dave Skinner ~ for choosing the right notes
Kay Sanders ~ for choosing the right words
Dallas & Carol Morris ~ for stories and inspiration
Bruce & Patty Olson, Charlene Parnell ~ for photo locations

Recorded at Skinner Audio ~ Enid, OK 2/1/12 - 9/18/14
Recording, mixing and fixing ~ Dave Skinner
Production ~ Stacey Sanders and Dave Skinner
Photography ~ Shane Scribner
Design ~ Riley Jantzen

Dedicated to the memory of
John Sanders, Tom Parnell and Jack Gardner

All songs written by Stacey Sanders
Copyright 2014 Stacey Sanders

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