Blacksburg

Video

I’m headin’ on down to sweet Virginny, my old banjo in my trunk
I’m headin’ on down to sweet Virginny, my old banjo in my trunk
Gotta get me some of that old time sound, my poor soul’s on a six-day drunk

I might see the ghost of old Dock Boggs, I lost my little sugar baby too
I might see the ghost of old Dock Boggs, I lost my little sugar baby too
You know sometimes it’s hard to believe just what them blues gonna do to you

I drove all night through the rain and the fog, my heart as cold as naked steel
Yes, I drove all night through the rain and the fog, my heart as cold as naked steel
Them white lines tattooed across my face, my fingers glued right to the wheel.

When I pulled into Blacksburg, it was a bitter and a windy morn
When I pulled into Blacksburg, it was a bitter and a windy morn
Much too cold for April and I was wishin’ I’d never been born.

I spied a young boy in a baseball cap, walking so slow on a football field
I spied a young boy in a baseball cap, walking so slow on a football field
Thought I might ask him friendly like where a man like me might find a meal

His tongue said, “Call me Ishmael. Oh man, you better leave me alone.”
His tongue said, “Call me Ishmael. Oh man, you better leave me alone.
I’m burning alive in the fires of hell, I’m a-feeling death down to my bones.”

I watched him closely as he walked away and the trees above us rocked and groaned.
I watched him closely as he walked away and the trees above us rocked and groaned.
I could hear the ghost of old Dock Boggs singing that high and lonesome moan.

I followed that boy through the great gray stones to the place dark secrets are revealed
I followed that boy through the great gray stones to the place dark secrets are revealed
My heart atremble as I tried the door, but every entrance had been sealed

I stood helpless in the howling wind, hearing shots and cries of fear
I stood helpless in the howling wind, hearing shots and cries of fear
Blood and thunder in the misty morn, and the ghost of old Dock Boggs so near.

Kneeling ‘neath a chestnut tree, tears and curses fell like rain
Kneeling ‘neath a chestnut tree, tears and curses fell like rain
I waited there, lord, till the killing stopped and the boy put a bullet in his own brain.

Guess I’ll be leaving Blacksburg, old Dock Boggs gonna be my guide
Guess I’ll be leaving Blacksburg, old Dock Boggs gonna be my guide
Ain’t there no place left for shelter? Ain’t there no place left to hide?

This banjo knows what I don’t know, old Dock Boggs and these steel strings
This banjo knows what I don’t know, old Dock Boggs and these steel strings
Gotta give myself time to listen, till this old banjo grows some wings

4/17/07

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