Hey Rube

by Al Duvall

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Pressed and released in 2002.

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released March 20, 2016

Jeet Fowler- persussion. Jim Biglan- artwork.

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Al Duvall Brooklyn, New York

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Track Name: On the Corduroy Road
I left Bernardino with a .44 in my hand on an old plank highway across the burning sand, I met with justice and I robbed her blind I'm not a good man but I'm hard to find, way out in the desert in a snakeskin tent where it looks like God forgot to pay the rent, but it suits me finer than anywhere else I goed, on the corduroy road, For supper I catch fried fish in a lake of dust then I'll hit the mining town that went from boom to bust, where nooses and bulletholes pave the streets there's ghost town women underneath the sheets, this last chance tavern gets so damn hot you can drink your beer or watch it turn into a shot and toast the old prospector who blew his mother lode, on the corduroy road, I met a dust bowl beauty at the rain dance Friday night she broke my heart just to drink the tears I cried, but I'm glad I'm living where the pickin's lean with a sack of silver and a full canteen, and when I die don't you bury me just park my carcass in a cactus tree and leave my jerky to the pack rat and horny toad on the corduroy road
Track Name: The Blood of the Hog
I used to roam and ramble on the iron lady from the land of Bunyan down to Little Haiti, I've slept in cars full of cotton and pie and picked the buckshot out of my thigh, I was a bottom scraper and a coffin craver was a Weepy Willie and a sloppy shaver, took a slice of life but I always missed I tell you folks it's all in the wrist, but now I'm washed in the blood of the hog as free as a thief slippin' into the fog, I'm tipping my hat to the three-headed dog I'm washed in the blood of the hog, I've been a donkey breeder and a tater picker I've done cut some timber and I've brewed some liquor, I soaked that devil right out of the corn and plugged the jug with the tip of his horn, I've done some fisticuffin and some fornicatin some demoralizing and caligulatin I've filled the bathtub with gin and cocaine and got a quicky divorce from my brain (chorus)
Track Name: Sally Shaw
Sally Shaw won't you be my squaw and I'll stand pappy for your midnight baby, I will cook and read the good book and I'll go back working at the sawmill maybe, when we were young and all matched up and set to jump the broom I wandered off to see the world and left you at the loom, I crushed your hopes to make my wine while you awaited me, now I've come back home your eyes still shine like a smokehouse key (chorus) Mabel Moore was plump and rich but she's too hard to please and Ophy Drake was hot to trot but the juice ain't worth the squeeze, and Sara from the city sweet honey on bobwire, her heart was just a green pinecone that fizzled in the fire (chorus) I've heard some talk around the porch but I don't care too hard, I'd like to be the mean old dog you chain up in your yard, so I'm kneeling here about half tight to ask you real nice, you look a lot like my third wife and I've only married twice (chorus)
Track Name: When It's Ice Chopping Time in Chippewa Falls
Well they sat the heart of Dixie is so grand, I've enjoyed about as much as I can stand, with the palm trees dripping sweat and the sheets are soaking wet when the sun throws down 100 degrees, folks get jumpy as a skillet full of fleas, the roaches and the lizards think it's swell but to me it's just the sunny side of hell, I needs to freeze my knees in the blizzards and the squalls when it's ice chopping time in Chippewa Falls, there's a cabin up on Lake Superior's shores where there ain't no lace on old man Winter's drawers, got the woodpile in the shed got the shovel and the sled, we rent the place from Uncle Clyde he's a Siamese twin on my father's side, the snow's so deep you dig down to the trees it's cold enough to make hot coffee sneeze, it ain't fit for man nor beast to pay no social calls when it's ice chopping time in Chippewa Falls, I got a hibernatin' mama gonna turn the heat up high, she's a four alarm fire in a whorehouse in July, she wiggle s round in her kimona made of fur, from shin to grin she's wrapped in cloth 'cause you gotta put it on if you wanna take it off, the deerhead on the wall will lick his chops 'cause tonight we're gonna pull out all the stops, that nosy old north wind will be banging on the walls when it's ice chopping time in Chippewa Falls
Track Name: Constable Scott
The bicycle prostitute peddles her wares, the lecher is groping his way down the stairs, the heckler projects a parcel of rot, the have-not hangs by a half-hitch knot, the medical students are robbing a crypt, the slummer awakes manhandled and stripped but Constable Scott's in the usual spot asleep in his cot tonight, the strangler untangles his mangled cravat, the governess poisons the pin in her hat, the pantomime buffalo pulls off a heist, the vandal unveils the mother of Christ, the shoplifter sifts through the gifts in her purse, the creature leaps out from the back of a hearse but Constable Scott has a beer and a shot where the action is not tonight, The rioters retch at the slaughterhouse fire, the bankers and burglars meet to conspire but Constable Scott's unaware of the plot and he don't care a jot tonight
Track Name: Ether Cone
Vivian is playing croquet on the lawn it's curious because it's hours 'til the dawn, her dear old daddy's mansion lies in disrepair but Viv lives in oblivion to pain and care, she's all alone with Ethan and his ether cone in sweet and heavy air, she never had rubella or a housemaid's knee but she has that doctor fella over constantly, she calls up to the monkey on the ceiling fan while Ethan sinks his teeth into her drooping hand, he has his way but she is off on holiday in some gray foggy land, now Bruce is treating Vivian to lemon ice it's better he than Ethan and his heathen vice, Ethan corners Bruce and starts the ether drip he wakes up in the crow's nest of a whaling ship, a day or two and Greenland will come into view the ice still on his lip, the vicar wears an ether cone at Easter prayer he bickers with the bishop in his underwear, absinthe makes the mind go wander so they say, but the vapor in the paper is the only way, to keep a wife and bear the jagged shards of life that carve you where they may
Track Name: He Gone Done Gone
We kept in the house a big tomcat 35 pounds of trouble and fat, he'd sleep on our necks and shred our skin smoke our tobacco and guzzle our gin, he'd drag his tail through our dinner plate then stomp on the roof from midnight to eight, so we took him swimming with a bag of rocks now the mice play poker in our old icebox, he done gone, the rats are rassling for our last red bean he done gone, he's a mean old mouser but he gone done gone, remember the shipyard on Bottomless Hill the thought of it makes me shiver, we built all the barges for Barnacle Bill and dragged them to the Round River, he paid you eight hours for a twelve hour day he'd steal your tools then dock your pay, but he closed up shop when the river froze now we're dancing for tourists in colonial clothes, he done gone, we're down there slurping at the government teat he done gone, he's a mean old captain but he gone done gone, The devil took sick was down with the flu said "there's so much work I need to do", so he sprang out of bed and grabbed his broad and created man in the image of God, he showed us the earth and said "break 'er in" we were getting our kicks when the Lord walked in, he patted our heads with a corny frown we cried for our papa but our papa skipped town, he done gone, old devil left us in the hands of God, he done gone, he's a good old devil but he gone done gone
Track Name: Delmarva
Excuse me if I don't reveal my name my mangy hide's been licked by Satan's flame, I bear the grime of felony on my face I'm heading where I won't feel out of place, take me down to Delmarva I miss my scrapplin' shack like a shiverin' larva my cocoon's callin' me back, every oystering starver smiles the whole day through, even the Chesapeake harbor doesn't seem to be blue, if you're a jailhouse barber or offer rifle repair, don't you look any farther there's plenty of jobs to spare, where they're too lazy to bother to wear a sock or a shoe, take me down to Delmarva where people know how to do, you'll pass right through New Jersey if you're lucky, then you take a left in Pennsyltucky, gas her up in West-by-God-Virginia then in to the peninsula
Track Name: For Shame, Captain Charlie
When the county aquarium opens its doors I'm first at the tanks to arrive, where horrible beasts that wash up on our shores are presented more dead than alive, from a small murky tank stares a hateful red eye as I read the inscription I must wonder why, this barnacled octopod carries your name, for shame Captain Charlie, for shame, was your vessel a garbage scow piled up high, did you fly the black flag o'er the waves, did you shanghai your crew and maroon them to die, did you trade in molasses and slaves, did you sneak on a lifeboat in bonnet and gown as your shipmates and passengers slowly went down, what meanness inspired such pitiful fame, for shame Captain Charlie, for shame
Track Name: Closing Time
Put a bullet in the jukebox those love songs make me cry, tell the cowboys squeaking cuechalks to reach up for the sky, all you rumpots from the boondocks lay your billfolds on the bar, get on the floor like dirty dogs 'cause that's just what you are, it's closing time ,raise them high, one last shot then say goodbye to all your friends, this is where your drunken journey ends, You drunkards all are sinners you gamble cheat and fight, while your loved ones wait and wonder what you'll do to them tonight, then you crawl along the gravel to a car you can't control, here's a twelve-gauge cup of coffee to sober up your soul (chorus) guess I'll wind back through the foothills on state road 53, the red sky in the morning looks pretty good to me, little crosses by the highway there's one just for my wife, and some day I'll be even with the drunk who took her life (chorus)
Track Name: Harlem Sunset
I'll take you to a Harlem sunset, a hypodermic through a park bench, families picking rags at midnight, washerwomen in a hop den, ankle deep in mud and rubbish, beggars dressed in broken fruit crates, gnawing on a butcher's apron, an orphan from a pawnshop window, shackled to a fat man's rickshaw, an orgy in a burnt-out streetcar, a barricade of hacked up horseflesh, a bishop in a churchfront clip joint, slips a mickey in the bloodwine, crippled hookers work the breadline, a tavern down below the subway, whisky from a pinetop coffin, fifty cents to take the gaspipe, guttersnipes in bloody top hats, dropping bricks on cursing hunchbacks, fingers poking through a steam grate, why don't you just paint a picture
Track Name: There's Gonna Be a Cockfight
We all wake up to the rooster's crow, would you like to see them laid down low? Friday night there's gonna be a cockfight,so long about daylight down all the pickers come into town (chorus) there's beans and rice there's beer on ice, there's taters and cornbread too, 'cause the ones that get beaten are sure to get eaten, what else can a poor boy do, three wise men wagered their myrrh on the bantam with the poison spur (chorus) I've played dogs against rats, snakes against cats I've even boxed a kangaroo, 'cause my weekly pay's seen better days, what else can a poor boy do, the hens are flapping in the stands crying "rooster don't kill my man" (chorus)
Track Name: Minor Key
We're Key West headed to drink and be bedded and cause a little burning shame, the night is foggy the captain is groggy and Skipper Joe is his name, we heard birds calling some black birds calling "o come and sail to our cay", a sound so eerie so haunting and dreary that the city folk shimmy and sway, and Skipper Joe lies down below, too scared to see that Minor Key, now here's the moral we struck on coral and folks we feared for the worst, a conch shell chorus came rowing out for us, the linen and silver first, the wreckers and divers they grab the survivors they're brought ashore on a raft, with picks and shovels they're hobbled in hovels and work way down in the shaft (chorus) the king and queen are just barely sixteen are in the palm frond palace they play, they throw the traitors to panthers and gators and their mother out in the bay, the king done told her the eighteens and older should set off on the seven seas, the old folks groan but they're sent off alone on a raft made of bread and cheese (chorus)
Track Name: Mendo Shine
If you're traveling north of Frisk and you need a nip when the wind is brisk, across the Mendocino line a feller there makes some pretty good shine, on Murder Ridge you can smell the smoke, it takes ten cords of good dry oak, and fifteen barrels of mountain wine to make one jug of Mendo shine, I'd classify it fairly strong you'll make a noise like a Chinese gong, just one drink make a blind man see, makes a turtle climb a redwood tree, makes a tomcat court a sow, makes a frog fight a gentleman cow, just a dram and you'll pitch a fit, you'll flop and twitch like an earthquake hit (chorus) I put the jug down on the shelf the cupboard slammed all by itself, my house got drunk and climbed the ridge and picked a fight with a covered bridge, I spilled a drop on the graveyard path skulls popped up and started to laugh, give a sip to your darling wife and your kids will be drunk all their life (chorus)
Track Name: Stuck on a Hat Check Girl
I'd set my house on fire for to guide me through the dark and cross a poison river in the belly of a shark just to drown in her reflection in the lake at Luna Park I'm stuck on a hat-check girl, when I'm trudging to the pit she's got me singing sappy songs, when my shovel's getting heavy she makes me feel strong, when I'm reading in my bed she makes a short story long I'm stuck on a hat-check girl, she says she's too young to marry ,so just get it through my head, but she'll gladly be my widow and to call her when I'm dead, so I'll take my shredded heart to make a ribbon for her hair and I'll ask the undertaker for something nice to wear, look up my obituary and you'll find her picture there I'm stuck on a hat-check girl
Track Name: The Hickory Hotel
It's starving time on Livermush Creek a hundred souls all sick and weak, we hoofed it up to New York town where they love seeing hoboes hanging around, we rooted round for a place to flop, found a burnt-out blacksmith shop, went to the park and cut some wood and fixed it up as best we could, but we're doing pretty well at the Hickory Hotel, this city life is kinda rough the dysentery's got the whooping cough, cows in the bedroom pigs in the hall, one man's ceiling is another man's wall, up on the rooftop the corn is high out on the clothesline the meat is dry, the police grabbed my cousin Ruth , said that ain't no privy that's a telephone booth (chorus) Jake is sailing the seven sins in britches made of tater skins, he's under the trucks parked on the street that radiator juice is strong and sweet, big fat possums on the subway track we chase them down and they chase us back, a train ran down my buddy Dave now the possum's in the gravy and Davy's in the grave (chorus) the streets are full of the tired and poor so grab your rifles and bar the door 'cause it's blackout time in New York town and assaults are up when the battery's down.
Track Name: Battlin' Brannigan's Back in Town
They're singing in Sing Sing , calling from the Tombs, climbing their chickenwire flophouse rooms, hey boys what's the noise, Battlin' Brannigan's back in town, he's seven-foot-seven with his head bent down, barbed wire knuckles and a cast iron crown (chorus) he robbed and stole his way across the land, sold beating hearts from off a roadside stand, and taken scalps along the Rio Grande, now he's come home to lend the gang a hand, so Chinatown Charlie Bowery Bob, drop your shovels and join the mob (chorus) he cracks his bat on the old top hat makes upright citizens lie down flat (chorus) he takes the law in his hands to choke and grinds their bones to make his coke (chorus) the streets were taken from us by the cops, then cleaners marching with their brooms and mops, then dandies prancing out of fancy shops, and baby sailors with their lollipops, but sure as the vulture follows the stork the tables'll turn on old New York (chorus)
Track Name: The Neptune Inn
Wandering, weary, haunting the Neptune Inn, rotten ,sinking, broken by wave and wind, soon my decrepit home will fall to the ceaseless tide, is that my love come searching, combing the sands at night, shapeless,empty, never to sleep again, wandering , weary, haunting the Neptune Inn