Forums » Gillian Welch and David Rawlings "Lyrics"

The Trip

    • 45 posts
    September 20, 2015 4:41 PM PDT

    Whistles blow and people get on trains without knowing where they’re going

    Someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s teacher going down the road

    The body, a handkerchief, and a hatchet from an unspeakable crime

    But there’s no-one waiting for them, there’s no judgment down the line


    Banjos ring and chickens squall and little babies crow

    And the winter leaves and spring unwinds and summer comes again, you know

    Pink is the color of my true love’s dress and black is the color of her heart

    But I could never leave old Virginny and so we never part


    Ebony face, ebony nails, ebony coffin on the rails

    Moving south, C.O.D., going home to mother

    Some said for valor, for glory, for treasure, for pride

    And sometimes brother hates brother



    So take a trip wherever your conscience has to roam

    It’s much too hard to try to live a lie at home


    My boots are cracked with road dirt and asphalt, spit and broken dreams

    Chewing gum and safety pins are what hold me in at the seams

    My pegs are loose, my screws too tightly wound to get in tune

    But I still try sometimes on those golden summer afternoons




    There’s a picture of an old black man in a beaver hat

    He wears a hidden smile and a pair of white spats

    Don’t pretend you didn’t notice his stare

    You’re edgy and sweating and loaded for bear


    The skeletons dance tonight; bring your bottle and your boots

    And your mandolin that Bianca Alatorre tried to shoot

    Ah and what’s a bullet hole or two between friends

    And who can say when the well goes dry or where the story ends




    Hotel lives and hotel wives that come and go with the sheets

    Ah but what’s a marriage if it can’t be held up to kitchen heat

    Once I knew each valley of that beautiful shore

    But I don’t go to the summer fair much any more




    Your harmonica’s blown baby – throw it away

    Your denim shirt is ragged and your dirty collar’s frayed

    I tried to play my horn for you but I couldn’t seem to find a note

    So I picked up pen and paper and this is what I wrote



    This post was edited by gibsongirl at October 19, 2015 11:38 AM PDT
    • Moderator
    • 132 posts
    • 1 posts
    January 15, 2016 2:23 PM PST

    I think the line is "Ah but what's a bullet or two..."