Ronny Cox Live

by Ronny Cox

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released January 1, 2004



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Ronny Cox Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Don't Think I'm Coming Back
An ol' rusty nail stole the air from my whitewall tire
A black cat on a ladder crossed the moon
And I counted 13 steps from where you threw my mirror
I don't think I'm comin' back to you

Tried not to notice when you stepped upon that sidewalk crack
It didn't have to mean our love affair was doomed
But you laughed at me, and said I'm too damned superstitious
I don't think I'm comin' back to you

You tossed my lucky boot
You replaced it with that chicken foot
I'm tryin' to figure out exactly when I lost control
A hurricane has wrecked my car, my pool is missing from my back yard
Hell, my dog's even starting to look like Marie Leveau

Now I think about it, since the day that you moved in here
My little parakeet's turned awfully mean and cruel
And just last night my goldfish nailed me with an evil eye
I don't think I'm comin' back to you


Woke up this morning had this awful pain there in my neck
I saw a doll that looked like me danglin' from a noose
You can have my house, I left the keys out in the mailbox
I don't think I'm comin' back...I'm pretty sure I'm not comin' back...
Ain't a chance in hell I'm comin' back to you
Track Name: The Ballad of Larry
Larry is a veteran, I've seen him at the store
Six pack of malt liquor, Prozac of the poor
A can of chili and a can of beans...pack of cigarettes
Four cheap cigars and he writes a check

He climbs in to his van, it's a blue Econoline
And they're both on their last legs, if looks are any sign
There's a flag on the bumper and just to the right
An eagle with a nail file saying "It's time to fight"

You think you've got nothing to give
Look around how people live
Loneliness is poverty
Say hey, say hey to me

I had an old piano, it just didn't belong
A couple of missing keys seemed to be in every song
And even when I had it tuned it didn't sound that good
I was tempted to scrap the guts and burn the wood

So I put it in the paper, a piano for free
If you can haul it you can have it, people came to see
Some folks played "Chop Sticks" or "Heart and Soul"
But they were always hammerin' in that empty hole.

"I hear you got a piano" he said with suspicion
He was shaking from the cold, and probably malnutrition
I said, "Hey Larry, won't you come on in
Can I fix you some coffee?" But he wasn't listening

He went straight to that piano like he'd seen an old friend
He drew his name in the dust, told me where it was made and when
Said "I haven't seen one of these since I was a boy"
And his face was twisted into joy


Well, we talked a few minutes then the coffee was hot
And I said "Hey, Larry, won't you show me what you've got"
He showed me what he had alright, with conviction and soul
He banged the Barrelhouse Blues, baby he rolled like Jelly Roll

He played songs of love and country..."From Sea to Shining Sea"
And not once, not once did I hear a broken key
A broken old piano and a broken old man
Rolled away smokin' in a broken old van

Track Name: Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
I remember Sunday mornings, sittin' on Grandpa's knee
The congregation singing "Rock of Ages, Cleft for me"
The preacher spoke of Heaven, he warned about the fires of Hell
He taught the love of Jesus and drawing life from the living well

Children, let not your life be troubled
By thing you can't do nothin' about
If his eye is on the sparrow
Then He sure won't let you down
We were gathered by the Harpeth River, it was close enough to Jordan for me
When I came up from that water my sins had been set free
Now I stand upon that promise, I'm safe in the Master's hand
And I don't have to worry, I'm gonna see the Promised Land


Singin' Glory Halleluliah, sing it right out loud
If his eye is on the sparrow, then he sure won't let you down
No he sure won't let you down

Track Name: Quintanaroo
The shadow of a ceiling fan sweeps across the floor
He stares at the shutters, stays out of view
So many reasons, he's forgotten them now
But he followed them all to Quintanaroo

He'd kill for a cigarette, the Cuervo is gone
Nowhere to go, nothing to do
So he waits for the chance, slip out with the dawn
But dawn takes forever in Quintanaroo

Once it was easy, you could always talk your way out
It didn't matter if what you said was true
Truth and lies are all the same, hell, everything you knew
Don't mean nothing in Quintanaroo

From Lupo's cantina music seeps through the door
And it plays like a movie there in his head
The burning white flash, the look of surprise
The cobblestone street, a river of red


He knows that they'll find him, it's just a matter of time
No one can save you in Quintanaroo
Truth and lies are all the same, hell, everything you knew
Don't mean nothing in Quintanaroo
No one can save you, in Quintanaroo
Track Name: Love Slips Away
I had no doubt, had no fear
Guess that you could call me cavalier
I was playing loose, thought it would stay
Hold on tight, love slips away

Love what you have, you might have naught
Thank your lucky stars for what you've got
One day sunshine, next day rain
Hold on tight, love slips away

Love slips away when you're not watching
All the things you love
Love slips away when you're the only one
You're thinking of

Here's my advice, make it real
Tell the ones you love just how you feel
Don't wait 'til tomorrow, tell 'em today
Hold on tight, love slips away
Track Name: I Don't Know You
You give your hand to me, and then you say hello
An that we met somewhere about three years ago
I claim to recognize, but it's a pack of lies
'Cause I don't know you

You say you got me stoned back at some festival
Then you fell down the hill and lost a testicle
Think I'd remember it, it must have been great shit
'Cause I don't know you

I meet, I'd say, oh, fifity folks a day
With all the singing and playing I do
Each year, I guess, five thousand more or less,
So, no offense, but would you remember you?

You give your hand to me, and then we say goodbye
I clap you on the back and say "Love you...........guy"
And then I think of how we'll meet three years from now
And I won't know you
Track Name: On the Road with Jack
A big ol' lazy gator rests his chin upon a turtle
There's a lonely Mickey freight train on the track
A wren is in the canyon there's a warbler in the myrtle
I'm on the road with Jack
And the miles turn into miles and miles
Texas fades to black
Lost in the words I am lost in the music
I'm on the road with Jack

(Refrain) Ooh, ooh ooh-ooh on the road with Jack
Ooh, ooh ooh-ooh on the road with Jack

A hawk above the field describes a circle
Jack describes the markings on his tail
And how a stellar's jay can for protection
Imitate that melancholy wail
,,,I'm on the road with Jack


Thirty miles of swamp land once you cross that Mississippi
A foggy mist creeps in from everywhere
An old man on his front porch...just a foot above the water
Waves as he fishes from his rocking chair
On that bridge to Baton Rouge....ain't no turning back
New strings tuned and bright we are on our way to Louie's
We're singing there tonight

Ooh, ooh ooh-ooh on the road with Jack

Lost in the words...God, I love the music
I'm on the road with Mary
I'm on the road with Judy
I'm on the road with Mickey
I'm on the road with Jack
Track Name: Sanctuary
Where do you go with a brand new foal?
Ground froze solid 'neathe the blowing snow

Fought off the coyotes, fooled a lion
Got Black Hawk Creek in the back of her mind
Sanctuary, Sanctuary

There's a southside pocket where the rimrock's ending
Cheat grass, water and a sun ascending
If her colt's gonna make it his life's depending
On Sanctuary

Morning breaks pretty on the canyon floor
A place that she's been looking for
She tests the wind until she's sure
It's Sanctuary

Track Name: Mamihlapinatapei
They both swear they met by chance
He liked the band, she liked to dance
They were in love at their first glance

All that summer, no matter what they did
You could always see them with her hand in his
They almost said it once, but God forbid

Funny how the patterns of our well-laid plans
Tangle our way
Scared that we'd unravel if we said the words
We never say Mamihlapinatapei

We can't say what's in our hearts
Our minds keep saying "Is this smart?"
But our eyes ask "Can't we start?"


They were married yesterday
Two lovers danced the night away
Words could never touch what their eyes convey
No, words can't touch what their eyes say

10, When I Go (D. Carter)

Come lonely hunter, chieftain and king
I will fly like a falcon when I go
Bear me, my brother, under your wing
I will strike, fell, like lightning when I go
I will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war
A twisting pillar, spun of dust and blood, up from the prairie floor
I will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow
And the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory
When I go

Spring spirit dancer, nimble and thin
I will leap like coyote when I go
Tireless entrancer, lend me your skin
I will run like the gray wolf
When I go

I will climb the rise at daybreak, I will kiss the sky at noon
Raise my yearning voice at midnight to my mother in the moon
I will make the lay of long defeat and draw the chorus slow
I'll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listening
When I go

And when the sun comes, trumpet from his red house in the east
He will find a standing stone where long I chanted my release
He will send his morning messenger to strike the hammer blow
I will crumble down uncountable in showers of crimson rubies
When I go

Sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn
I will rattle like dry leaves when I go
Stand in the mist where my fire used to burn
I will camp on the night breeze when I go

And should you glimpse my wandering form out on the borderline
Between death and resurrection and the council of the pines
Do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so
All your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the sky beside me
When I go
Track Name: Hot Water Cornbread
You need two cups of cornbread, finely ground
Make sure it's white when they mill it
And then some oil, about an inch deep
Real hot, but not smokin' in the skillet
Four spoons of flour, a teaspoon of salt
Then you pour from that whistlin' pot
Two cups of boiling water
Be careful, don't you spill it

Now comes the tricky part, you gotta add the water
To all that dry stuff you got
And the only way to do it is to put our hands in it
Do it quickly, 'cause it's hot
Drop 'em in the skillet when they're round
Turn 'em over once they're brown
Feeds four hungry people, and that's a lot

Hot water cornbreat, my grandma's cornbread
I see her in the kitchen, oh, I miss her so
I hear my grandma saying "Bless my soul"

It takes me back to childhood Sunday mornings
Grandma singing in some mystery key
I hear my daddy saying "Rise and shine, you lazy cowboy"
Someone's in there cooking up a special treat for us to eat
And I know just what he's talking about so I jump out of bed
It's gotta be my grandma's sweet cornbreat


Now I ain't had any hot water cornbread since I I grew up and moved away
'Cause the doctors nowaways say if you eat that fried stuff
There's gonna be hell to pay
Well, I guess they're right but here's what I think
If you spend your life trying to be in the pink
You don't really live any longer, it just seems that way

My grandma used to say "Bless my soul"
Track Name: Flies on the Butter
Old tin roof, leaves in the gutter
A hole in the scren door big as your fist
Flies on the butter

Mamaw makin' sugar cookies, we were watchin' cartoons
Heard her holler from the kitchen "Which one of you young'uns
Wants to lick the spoon?"

Yellow Jackets on a watermelon, honeysuckle in the air
Daddy turnin' on the sprinkler as kids runnin' through it
In our underwear

Old dog nappin' on the front porch, his ears just a twitchin'
Fall asleep on Grandaddy's lap to the sound
Of his pocket watch tickin'

Oh, oh it doesn't feel like it was all that long ago
Oh, oh you can dream about it every now and then
But you can't go home again

Me and my best friend Rickey set up a backyard camp
Stole one of Mama's mason jars, poked holes in the lid and
Made a firefly lamp

Me and Jenny Monroe sneaking down by the river
I'm still haunted by the kiss I was
Too scared to give her


There's a blacktop road, faded yellow center line
It can take you back to a place, but it can't take you
Back in time


Old tin roof, leaves in the gutter
A hole in the scren door big as your fist
Flies on the butter
Track Name: Good Night Irene
Last Saturday night I got married
Me and my wife settled down
Now me and my wife are parted
Gona take a little stroll downtown

Irene, goodnight, Irene, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

Stop rambling, stop your gambling
Stop staying out late at night
Go home to your wife and family
Stay there by the fireside bright


Sometimes she sleeps in pajamas
Sometimes she sleeps in a gown
But when they are both in the laundry
Irene is the talk of the town

....That's when I come around