James' Blues

James washed dishes at a barbecue place Fifth Street downtown
He'd get his pay and go next door to drink his money down
I was just getting started playing guitar when I met him there
I'd finish a song he'd clap his hands noone else would but he didn't care

He'd yell out play Whiskey River and I'd play it as best I could
I'd take a break and he'd say, man you're really sounding good
I shook his rough dishwashing hands, he said his name was James
He'd go back to playing that pool every evening the same old thing

He was drinking away every single dollar
I'd play the song that he'd holler
He'd clap his hands and make everybody smile
No wife no kids just a job in Austin
No telling all that drinking cost him
I haven't seen James in awhile

James would ask the bartender for a ride home now and then
He said he lived a few blocks down at the Capitol Inn
The bartender dropped him off but James walked right on past
He didn't quit walking 'til he'd laid down beneath a busy underpass

Chorus

James got drunker than usual and ended up in jail
The owner of the barbecue place came down and paid his bail
But when they got back to the place she said now James I got to let you go
James walked out that door forever and the rest nobody knows

Chorus

(Owen Temple)
© 1997 Owen Temple Music (BMI)