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This is one of only three songs I have written on this album… (someday the writer’s block I have had since Mary’s death will, perhaps, go away). This story is loosely based on a man from my hometown of Portales, New Mexico. I have taken a great many liberties with the facts.


Grady walked the two miles into town most every day
With his funny jerky gait, it seemed he galloped all the way
With his baseball cap on backwards, he’d sail into the wind
He was always on the outside, we wouldn’t let him in

The boys down at the fillin’ station said that he was touched
He hid a grin behind his hand, he didn’t talk that much
Mama used to say “You kids, leave that poor man alone”
But we’d follow him and giggle, sayin’ “Grady, sing your song”

Grady would dance for a penny
While he sang “Those Oklahoma Hills Where I Was Born”
I carry this picture of old Grady
Even thought it’s getting kind of worn
The edges are raged and torn

Grady roamed the alleys, it made some people mad
Was he peeking in their windows, seeing what they had
Lots of folk were sayin’ they should put that boy away
They thought he was liable to hurt someone someday

I remember the day it happened, I was comin’ home from school
The banker’s baby daughter had fallen in their pool
Grady saw it happen…he climbed the fence and he plunged right in
He saved her life but he gave his…he never learned to swim


I wish you could have seen the funeral they had for old Grady
He even got his picture in the paper
My dad cut it out and gave it to me…said he was a hero


The boys down at the fillin’ station said that he was touched
And he was, by God


from Songs​.​.​. with Repercussions, released January 1, 2009
R. Cox & A. Shambiln (Elk Horn Music / Alamo Music Corp- Hayes Street Music, Inc.-Allen Shamblin Music BMI/ASCAP)



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Ronny Cox Los Angeles, California

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