The Emigrant Gap Bandit

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this Reno jailhouse today
If you could see what I’ve been through
If you could live where I was raised
If you could step right into my shoes
You wouldn’t be actin’ so amazed

I was born up in the Sierra mountains
In a cabin near a town called Emigrant Gap
At first I loved livin’ there in them woods
But then later I saw it was more of a trap

I did whatever I could to get a ticket there
At eighteen I jumped on a train leavin’town
I found work with a traveling carnival
From early Spring to Fall we’d move around

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this Reno jailhouse today
If you could see what I’ve been through
If you could live where I was raised
If you could step right into my shoes
You wouldn’t be actin’ so amazed

A girl I fell for was the only daughter
Of the Ringmaster who had hired me
That day I laid my eyes on that sweel gal
She was the cutest I ever had seen

Her eyes were wide as her lips hit mine
She thought it was love at first sight
But I got scared and left her behind
Even though I knew it wasn’t right

Then I ended up in some rustic ol’ saloon
Got stuck where everyone drank and drank
The longer I stayed, the more lonely I was
And into depression, I fell & then sank

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this old jailhouse today
If you could see what I’ve been through
If you could live where I was raised
If you could step right into my shoes
You wouldn’t be actin’ so amazed

I fell into a gang of highly skilled bandits
One day we came across a familiar tent
I realized where we were & looked for her
I always hoped I’d know where she went

Then I found her being raped by a man
I grabbed him off her then saw his eyes
He said “Boy what are you doin’ here?”
I got out my pistol which wasn’t so wise

Then I shot that Ringmaster in cold blood
The gang left me there to face my fate
And by the look in her eyes I quickly saw
My heroic deed came a few weeks late

See, If you could step right into my shoes
You would know why I am this way
You would know my complete story
Why I’m in this Reno jailhouse today
You would see I sure deserve to die
Even though my intentions were true
If you could step right into my shoes
You would then know what next I’ll do

You would then know what next I’ll do.

June 25, 2018

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Ballad of Sugar Booger & Ellie Mae

She called him Sugar Booger
‘n he didn’t mind one bit
He wasn’t rich or very poor
He was heavier ‘n not so fit

They got along like best friends
Grew closer with each passing day
Yeah, she called him Sugar Booger
and her name was Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae had golden curly locks, ‘n
sweeter than German Chocolate Cake
She loved housework and lemonade
Stayed busy while she was awake
Sugar Booger drove a Chevy truck
he bought with cash in 1988
before he met dear sweet Ellie Mae
Before they combined their fate

Sugar Booger collected hats & lighters
and Ellie Mae loved to cook
If Ellie Mae wasn’t in the kitchen
She was likely reading a book

She loved romantic Southern Novels
and he watched Bonanza on TV
Whenever they were together
they were where they loved to be

Ellie Mae had golden curly locks n’
sweeter than Loganberry Pie
A typical country girl she was –
She told the truth & never lied
She was faithful to Sugar Booger
even when he was tempted to stray
There’s never been a love like theirs
Sugar Booger and Ellie Mae

They both came into some money
but they didn’t move far away
They liked their eleven-acre property
It was there they wanted to stay

But someone heard of their windfall
And one hot night in mid-July
Sugar Booger ‘n Ellie Mae were murdered
and they never caught that guy

Ellie Mae had golden curly locks ‘n
Sweeter than Loganberry Pie
A typical country girl she was
She told the truth and never lied
She was faithful to her Sugar Booger
Until they died side by side
When the news spread all over town
They all were scared and horrified

For their sweet Ellie Mae
and her dearest beloved, Sugar Booger
They cried and cried and cried….

June 18, 2018

Lyrics Notes: I just loved this popular nickname Southerners give their husbands and I knew I had to write something that included it. A small tale about a sweet country couple who didn’t deserve their grisly fate.

They Might Be Townies

When we’re at Starbucks
Talking about our lives
We’re surrounded by
Husbands and wives

Of people we work with or know
That’s not what concerns me the most
The trouble is, they might be townies
and they’re standing too close

They could be listening to us
And telling their friends & families
What we say in there every day
could get burned into their memories
They could find out all our secrets
Use them against us all over town
They might be townies
who might be writing all of it down

When we’re at Kroger
standing at the checkout line
Don’t tell your stories
Just nod and say you’re fine

They could be collecting info
Not only that, they could be wired
Because they might be townies
and they never will be fired

For recording conversations with non-locals
This could be a Stepford Wives kind of city
Where they want everyone to be the same
You’re out if you’re not athletic or pretty

See,
They could be listening to us
And telling their friends & families
What we say in there every day
could get burned into their memories
They could find out all our secrets
Use them against us all over town
They might be townies
who might be writing all of it down

They might be townies
who might be writing all of it down.

January 3, 2018

With apologies to John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants. Still, I hope you enjoy it and it would be an honor if you wrote the music.

I Know What You Did In High School

I know what you did in High School
I know who you really were
You were filled with gallant bravado
But you were also very immature
You made fun of everyone behind their backs
and you fondled almost all of those girls
I know what you did in High School
You stole my Mom’s freshwater pearls

I know what you did in High School
I know how, where, when & why
I know when you were telling the truth
and when you were telling a lie
I know all about that one night
when everyone in your house went to bed
And how you climbed out the window
I never believed what you said

Told the cops you were at your girlfriend’s place
That was a fabrication, you weren’t with her
‘Cause she and I saw you on Martinelli Street
She had been wondering where you were
I asked her if she wanted me to turn around
She said, “No, let’s not make a scene”
If we did, she said you would have lost your mind
She told me how you were always mean

I know what you did in High School
and all the girls you hurt so bad
Each one of them privately confided in me
They all said you were very sad
One of them was wearing my Mom’s necklace
Then I couldn’t deny what was true
I know what you did in High School
The thief who broke into our house was you

The thief who broke into our house was you.

2016, Revised 2017.

Whistling Dixie in the Dark

Out by where we used to go trout fishing
Beyond the valley, we hiked to get there
As soon as the scent of pine hit our noses
we thought we had no reason to despair

We set up camp and get a small fire going
’cause it would be freezing out by sundown
And we looked up at all the stars in the sky
None of us said we wanted to go back to town

Until we heard something in those woods
that frightened us to death
We couldn’t tell if it was the trees
Making sounds because of the breeze
We laid in our sleeping bags holding our breath

We heard a mountain man whistling Dixie in the dark
It was a mountain man whistling Dixie in the dark

One of us campers mustered up the courage
to yell out to the person by that calm creek
“Stay away from us or we’ll call the Sheriff
you small miner town hillbilly freak”

There was no reply so we’d fall back asleep
Then we were awakened by a piercing shriek
Our fear turned into deep concern for her
So, foolish us, we got up to take a little peek

We ran to where we thought we heard the sound
Not a single person was to be quickly found

Then we heard something in the woods
That scared us right out of our wits
We knew it wasn’t the breeze
causing sounds in the trees
We thought we’d be sliced into little bits

We heard a mountain man whistling Dixie in the dark
An old mountain man was whistling Dixie in the dark

We never went to that campsite to go fishing again
After that none of us cared for camping outside
We heard later another group went there to those woods
and it was discovered they had been attacked & died

But it wasn’t some hillbilly who killed them
A pack of rabid wolves needed to eat
That man we heard whistling in the dark
was likely a ghost who was warning us to retreat

I still hear that mountain man whistling Dixie in the dark
In my dreams, I still hear him whistling Dixie in the dark.

2017