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Robert Earl Keen - The Bluegrass Widow (complete Lyrics) (Chord)
Submitter: lmofle (35) on 2/20/04
Month Views: 1 | Total Views: 5,348
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The Bluegrass Widow
By Robert Earl Keen

It’s been five years come this autumn, she remembers well the day
    F                          C             G
The day the fever got him, and took him far away
Far away from always knowing that the love they shared was true
     F                             C             G 
Far away the fiddler’s bowing, the grass forever blue

It was in the dead of winter when her man first caught the chill
       F                                 C            G    
And he said he heard the angels singing “Cabin on the Hill”
Through the springtime he was groaning “The good times are past and gone”
       F                           C                 G 
By the summer she was moaning “Old lover please come home”

        C                                 G
Now she stands out in the midnight in the moonlight all aglow
    C                                  G
She prays to Carter Stanley “Won’t you please tell Bill Monroe
       C                              G
Rather be in some dark hollow or some dark deep shady grove
        F                 C   G
Than to be a bluegrass wido-o-ow

Spoken word break:
I started listening to bluegrass music in Bryan Duckworth’s rust red 1970 Ford 
Maverick. Had an eight track tape deck and an eight track tape of Bill Monroe’s 
Greatest Hits. We used to skip second period chemistry and go over to the 
Shamrock station across the street from the high school and get a case of Texas 
Pride beer. Charge it on my dad’s credit card and get ‘em to write it up as oil 
so dad never knew the difference. Then we’d ride around and drink Texas Pride, 
listen to Bill Monroe. Soon we got to be bluegrass experts. And we’d stop in 
another Shamrock station and get another Texas Pride case, drink that and 
listen to the Stanley Brothers and then we’d go get a tape of Jim and Jesse and 
it was on to the Kentucky Colonels and Mack Wiseman and the New Grass Revival, 
Peter Rowan, and finally I got the brilliant idea one day to take all the 
greatest bluegrass song titles in the world and string ‘em together to make 
this song right here, The Bluegrass Widow. Quite possibly the worst bluegrass 
song ever written. 

I did this in tribute to the Front Porch Boys, which was a bluegrass band I was 
in in College Station, Texas. We were a little four piece band, we played 
weddings and parties and out on the porch and beer joints and one weekend on a 
handful of cheap amphetamines, we decided to go to Crockett, Texas. We entered 
the International Bluegrass Band Competition and took second place. We could 
play faster than anybody in the competition. The other two bands took first and 
third, respectively. I met some friends and went off into the night separated 
from the Front Porch Boys and met back up with them in the cold, gray light of 
dawn, as the bluegrass songs say. They were standing underneath a giant pine 
tree there in Crockett singing the rudest, most grotesque, nastiest bluegrass 
songs you’ve ever heard in your life. I’m talking about the kind of song where 
not only is the character in the song dead by the end of the song, but he’s 
been dismembered as well. And the Front Porch Boys stopped and looked up at me 
just long enough to say, “We’re taking bluegrass music where it’s never been 
before. And we’re not taking you with us ‘cuz you don’t have that high and 
lonesome sound that bluegrass music requires.” Well, I’m not one to fight 
failure. I packed up my stuff and left. The Front Porch Boys broke up three 
days later when they realized I owned the PA system.

“Will you miss me when I’m gone?” were his final words to her
“Darlin’ think of what you’ve done,” then replied his Knoxville girl
And the leaves had started turning when his mind began to fail
Then he broke down in a breakdown, now she wears a long black veil.


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