Strix the harbinger
guards the exit gate, quizzing all
Who will pass this night?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coal Dust and Lungs

Carnegie Hall 1969. Townes Van Zandt was the new Bob Dylan. It was about this time that Steve Earle stated that, "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." To which Townes replied, I've met Bob Dylan's bodyguards, and if Steve Earle thinks he can stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table, he's sadly mistaken." His song writing may have matured later, certainly became darker and more personal, which I like, but it doesn't seem to be very commercial. This is probably Townes at his peak as a performer, before he had fallen and crashed so many times. The sound is excellent, his voice is strong and his guitar playing is clean and precise. Sorry, I don't have a rendition of Sanitarium Blues - my short coming and your misfortune.
Sanitarium Blues - Townes Van Zandt

The folks, they just can't take no more
Throw you in the back seat, slam the door
No stoppin' as down the road you go
Go not time to lose

Gigantic one way gate ahead
You're thinkin' man I'd as soon be dead
They decided to give you life instead
The sanitarium blues

Big ol' nurse all dressed in white
Slaps you on a table in the middle of the night
Then he straps you down real tight
You're wonderin', what'd I do?

They hose you down, make sure you're clean
Wrap you up in hospital green
Shoot you full of Thorazine
The sanitarium blues

Could be TB or maybe a tumor
Eavesdropping on the doctors, listening to the rumors
Can't see your friends, hear the hum of the wheels
Hey my man, you know how it feels
Like the sanitarium blues

Then upon some sunlit day
They figure there's no need for you to stay
They're pretty sure you can't be cured
So they send you on your merry way

You hit the pavement, hang around
Nobody's on the outside to be found
You're just tryin' to stay above the ground
You start to thinkin', what's the use?
The sanitarium blues




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