Oh Steubenville

It was the Summer before I started freshman year
I was invited to go on a week-long religious retreat
Thought it was neat that my church sponsored me
Maybe Jesus Christ was who I would meet

A small group including my best friend and me
Got on that jet plane and flew through the sky
And we ended up at a college campus in Ohio
It was then, when I discovered my own why

It was bright green
and it was fun
It was peaceful all around
And I loved
When we sang
I’d close my eyes
And hear the sweet harmony
I knew right then and there
On that glorious grassy hill
I’d remember those moments spent
In Steubenville, Oh, Steubenville…

Met a tall girl there who I really liked a lot
She had bright blue-green eyes and a pixie cut
Her name was Tracy, she was from Toronto, Canada
She held my hand tight and I hoped it was love

We kept in touch by mail after we both got home
But we slowly stopped writing letters as much
And when I started my awkward Freshman year
I started longing for another young girl’s touch

Who I had seen
In PE class
And I saw her
At every Sunday mass
And as we sang
I’d close my eyes
And hear the sweet harmony
I knew right then and there
It gave me a familiar thrill
It was like when I was with my friends
In Steubenville, Oh, Steubenville

It was on a December night out on the road
When he decided to pull over to take a nap
See, he’d been driving all night with a load
And in an instant, something fell into his lap

He was distracted and the ice hit his tires
He swerved, his truck wound upside down
I was asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral
So I flew out there to our humble hometown

We all wore black
I hurt inside
His Dad and Mom
and his little sister cried
But as we sang in harmony
I knew right then and there
I’d find comfort and always will
cherish all those memories we made
In Steubenville, Oh, Steubenville

It was the Summer before my Freshman year
I was invited to attend a week-long religious retreat
Thought it was neat that my church sponsored me
Maybe Jesus Christ was who I would meet
in Steubenville… Oh, Steubenville.

August 5, 2018

Lyrics Notes: In these lyrics, I explore the time I went to a Charismatic Youth Group Conference in Steubenville with a small group of High Schoolers and our Youth Group leaders. In this case, I wanted to add in a couple things. I fell for this girl there from Canada and that was pretty neat but I wanted to add something into the story that kinda brings it all together and the only thing I thought of was to add in a death of someone who went with us. This is a character but it has someone I deeply relate to… and it does reframe what happened on that trip but the idea is still the same and I look to move people and find common themes for people to relate to. It’s kind of a Christian “growing up song.” It is supposed to prompt the listener maybe into calling that person who impacted your life when you were young. Life is too short to not reach out to people who are special to you.

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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

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.

Here, Take My Bike

She was frantically runnin’ late
To work early in the mornin’
And she couldn’t find her keys
I said, “You can’t take the truck,
The tank is almost on empty
And needs some antifreeze.”

She was in a mess,
Wasn’t wearing a dress
So, I told her with a smile
She could take my Harley
I handed her a helmet
And said, “You’ll arrive in style.”

Chorus
And I wish I knew before she left home
That was the last time I’d see her face
Or I would have taken her instead
You can’t ride on ice like you’re in a race
I miss her smile and her sweet olive eyes
She knew exactly what I liked
Now she’s buried six feet under
All ‘cause I said, “Here, take my bike.”

The coroner told me privately
When he got there to the scene
He couldn’t find her at first
He saw the twisted bike
The hardly dented Peterbilt
And I expected the worst

He found her in a muddy ditch
Her body was missing the head
They found it across the street
Her ribcage was punctured
Her arms and legs were dangling
Barbed wire wrapped her bloody feet

Bridge
The moral of the story, the lesson I learned
Is if you don’t think twice before you decide
Someone might die, someone could get hurt
All ‘cause I suggested the wrong thing
Think ’bout this tale of that poor female
She’s the reason why I wrote this song to sing

Chorus
How I wish I knew before she left home
That was the last time I’d see her face
Or I would have taken her instead
You can’t ride on ice like you’re in a race
I miss her smile and her sweet olive eyes
She knew exactly what I liked
Now she’s buried six feet under
All ‘cause I said, “Here, take my bike.”

All ‘cause I said, “Here, take my bike.”

March 15, 2018