Jack Hardy — Lyrics for Bandolier

Copyright © 2002 Jack Hardy Music

  1. The Moon Is Full
  2. Ponderosa
  3. Faded Old Rose
  4. Texas Moon
  5. All the Way to Mexico
  6. Autumn
  7. Andale
  8. Kitty in the Shoeshine Box
  9. Bandolier
  10. Dead Man's Hand
  11. Whom Do You Love
  12. Rodeo
  13. The Roan
  14. Everything's Bigger in Texas
  15. The Singer's Lament

The Moon Is Full

the moon is full, it's just not hungry anymore
it's trying to pull this heart right out that door
you're planning to leave and say so long
you could not be more gone
the moon is full, it's just not hungry anymore

tried to appease that roving appetite
to some its a tease, to some a slice of life
i'm begging please just to change your mind
and please, just come back home
the moon is full, it's just not hungry anymore

started to crave a taste of something new
when all you could take, you took from this old fool
and though i could wait until the cows come home
the dish ran away with spoon
the moon is full, it's just not hungry anymore

    soon it will rise
    that moon it denies
    that it ever once had needs
    that it ever once said please
    beggin' down on its knees...

when the moon is that bold, it smiles with big green eyes
like you swallowed it whole believin' all those lies
you'd offer your soul just to taste anew
the kiss that's now grown cold
the moon is full, it's just not hungry anymore


ponderosa, and pinyon pine,
the high chaparral 'neath the borderline
tryin' hard to lose, tryin' hard to find
horse and a mule way past summertime
this was my world, this was all i knew
barbed wire and blankets and a steel horseshoe
no luck in leavin' ten thousand clues
no one will find or follow you
ponderosa, ponderosa, and pinyon pine

boarded windows, stone fireplace
horse tack on shelving in a cluttered space
not at all a place for calico and lace
not where i thought i'd ever see your face
my father told me this was no life
with the wind so bold and the frost a knife
but no book learning can tell it right
'bout the solitude, 'bout the snowy white
ponderosa, ponderosa and pinyon pine

white the shoulders, black velvet night
unlaced and cold in the flickering light
warm hands fumble with the button eyes
coarse and humble fingers untie
how did you find me, how did you know
with the blizzard blinding, piling up the snow
shack on the edge of this borderline
a crackling fire of resinous pine
ponderosa, ponderosa, and pinyon pine

Faded Old Rose

what is love but a faded old rose 
lost in the leaves of a book 
and what it has known, nobody knows 
if they don't even care to look
    but you are the rose of springtime 
    guarded by all those thorns
    and what do you know of a faded old rose 
    that will never again see the morn

what is love but a faded old crow 
lost in the leaves of the fall 
and what it has known nobody knows 
if they don't even dare heed the call
    but you are the bird of fortune 
    flying south till the spring 
    and what do you know of the faded old crow 
    who's lost all his will to sing

what is love but the faded old snow 
lost in the leaves of the spring, 
and what it has known nobody knows 
lost in the green melting 
    but you are the mighty river 
    flowing down to the sea 
    and what do you know of the faded old snow 
    that has melted to be close to thee

Texas Moon

and the moon was full that night
in the big old texas sky
swayin' in the breeze
with the live oak trees
dancin' heel and toe
music loud and clear
that you'll never hear
on the radio
...fallin' in love with you

and the leather braid flip-flops
and the tie-dyed halter tops
i was mesmerized 
by  your silent eyes
wished it never stop
all the curving lines 
all the swirling wine
turned my heart in knots
...fallin' in  love with you

but there were secrets in your hands
i could not understand
tucked away tattoo
and the scent of you
faded yellow rose
but i'm in love  with you
i will play the fool
that's the way it goes

    the morning light was hard
    the embers black and charred.
    i should have seen right from the start
    you'd go and break my heart 

All the Way to Mexico

as we rode all the way down through texas
eddie, buddy, billy and i
four brothers, five saddles, and one black guitar
six shooters, and tin cans a-flyin'
'cause there's more than one way
to cover the pain
take a shot from the bottle
or shoot up the plains

there were more than seven reasons for going
we counted them over and over again
one dark-skinned woman, four roses, and one black guitar
only KOMA and only one car
and the cook fires were dyin'
at the t-lazy seven
and the tempers were flyin'
for a chance for her heaven

chorus: what the gringo ain't got
        he ain't got no more
        said the girl from mexico
        as she walked out the door
        you can follow me home
        you can follow me to hell
        you can follow 'till hell burns cold
        but i'll never tell
        she went all the way
        he went all the way
        we went all the way to mexico
        just to bring him home

that night that he lost his three fingers
showin' off on the fourth of july
slight of hand with a blasting cap and a black guitar
cursing that woman who would not say why
why she was with me
just tempting the fates
all the way in the back seat
of his olds '88

crossin' borders is never easy
even when you know who to pay
one fine-tooled saddle, four roses, and one black guitar
then they look the other way
count the fingers that dangle
where that saddle had been
but i gave up on counting
that night she gave up on men


autumn was a fatal time
autumn was a friend of mine
autumn was my last hope 
to hold out 'till christmas time
autumn with her bright red hair
autumn with her icy stare
turned her back on the evening news
in a way that said she didn't care

chorus: take the greyhound
        take it out of town
        take it down the highway
        where you might have turned around
        dig your fingernails into the naugahyde
        let the countryside
        slide into another time
        another town, another season
        (another place, another reason to love autumn)

autumn lit a cigarette
said it's not the time to quit
ashes on the bed sheets
the remote control and the tv set
autumn licked the envelope
said it was our only hope
the dim light slowly fading
down to the glow of the marlboro

autumn was a clean white sheet
covering all but the feet
static on the radio
the ice bucket in the road
here's to what  i thought was best
here's to your last request
here's to how creation
evolved into a holy mess


wondering how you'll spend the night
on a threadbare couch again
thinkin' 'bout this travlin' life
on a road that never ends
in a small north texas town
far from home and all alone
cattle yards and coal trains drown
the only sounds you call your own

chorus: you will leave no trace at all
        if you go or if you stay
        ghostly caballeros call

wondering if you'll stay the night
will she take you home at last
late night barroom, bedroom eyes
inviting you to break your fast
all those times you've said before
i can't go there anymore
as the loneliness gnaws inside
past the moment to decide

wondering if you'll last the night
rolling coal trains never end
grasp the red-draw communion wine
as if it was your long lost friend
on the railroad right-of-way
kicking cinders down the track
dawn is just a step away
now you know you can't go back

Kitty in the Shoeshine Box

don't much care if the neighbors they stare
in the middle of the deep boondocks
the doors ain't plumb, and the windows ain't square
and the clock never quite tick-tocks
    and the foxy's in the henhouse
    and the bunny's in the garden
    and the mousie's built a nest in the socks
but how can you take life seriously
when the kitty's in the shoeshine box

daddy had the same pair of boots last year
shine'em up and tie those knots
though they might be a little bit worse for wear
dancin' jigs until the music stops
    so put the music in the fiddle
    and the whistle and the bones
    'til this old house just rocks
but how can you take life seriously
when the kitty's in the shoeshine box

chorus: oh my, i almost died
        jumped off a cliff ( bridge) (ledge)
        but i learned to fly
        lordy, lordy, lordy, life's frown is wide
        but gonna land in a big soft smile

that man who fell asleep with his old boots on
doesn't look a bit  like me
'cept the smile of the child looks vaguely familiar
enough to jar your memory--
    like the smile of a child 
    running dog wild
    the only black sheep in the flock
but how can you take life seriously
when the kitty's in the shoeshine box


bandolier you are clear to the border
but I fear you are not coming back
when you ride 'long the ridge, 'long that box canyon ditch
as far as the old railroad track

they're moving the troops by that railroad
and the gatling guns have been oiled
and the dust has been mixed with the blood, soil, and ticks
but his bandage is pure white and boiled

and you know where that train stops for water
for those are the rules of the game
and the lanterns that stand made of old tin cans
show the glint of his teeth in a frame

you have thirty shells left for your rifle
and the one in the chamber has a name
there's no clean way to die that the women won't cry
when it spreads in a dark ruby stain

and the years have created this border
forced to finish what they started down here
so you're going off half-cocked with your safety unlocked
and the froth of a full bandolier…bandolier

and the years've not been kind to you either
though kind's not a word that you pack
'long with words like revenge, anger, and stench
you can shoot but you know they'll shoot back

and you put down your spare horse this morning
and one's not enough for the chase
when they head for the smoke when those boxcars unload
and you know that they well know your face

then it's kill and be killed in your turn
for the devil's dismal stock of returns
you've been down to the crossroads to sell your soul
but he weren't buyin' what you had to burn

where are those that you rode with your young days
spanish johnny and diamond jim, that gringo, 
they've grown bitter and drunk and given up their guns
and they never once called you amigo

you used to have to take four shots of mescal
and say prayers to saint clare out of fear
so how can you be so happy in a dirty serape
with a grimy old bandolier…bandolier

Dead Man's Hand

deadwood, south dakota has one claim to fame
an overturned table and a deadly cardgame
you better believe it when your chips are down
take it or leave it or get out of town

drew a nine of diamonds and an eight of spades
let yourself be fooled by a pair of black aces
your hand on the bottle so you did not hear her
your eye on the table instead of the mirror

chorus: dead man's hand, prayin' all be'jesus
        hat in your hand, this whole life is fleetin'
        but your old grin's as wide as the whole rio grande
        kept all your winnins in an old coffee can
        one step ahead of the revenue man
        one card short of a dead man's hand

got an ex-wife livin' in deadwood now
wish I could tell her I am sorry about
bein' too young, bein'on the run
bein' in a game where I ain't never won

so never sit with your back to the door
or put your hand on a bible, don't ever keep score
don't owe any money to the company store
or take up with women from baltimore

wild bill hickok and calamity jane
are buried together, now ain't that quaint
two twenty dollar gold pieces where their eyes used to be
not much of a target if you're askin' me

Whom Do You Love

whom do you love
whom do you love
why is it so hard to say
one day you're mine
the next day so blind
as if love could be just blown away
a full flowered field and an apple tree yield
were fine as the summer was long
but a chill on the wind, and the clouds gathering
say perhaps I have stayed here too long

as a matter of course
i saddled my horse
rode into the town one fine night
scrubbed off the dirt 
bought a new shirt
headed down where the lights were so  bright
a fine western tune, after a turn or two
she turned and she kissed me so hard
and the cards were all stacked when we wandered out back
where the night was so clear and so starred

a full flowered dress
is no more or less
the same colors as the leaves of fall
one day they're here 
the next disappear
'til there's nothing here left at all
black against gray as the bare branches sway
time to move on the old timers say
i untied my horse took the road to the north
did not turn to look back or delay
(repeat first verse)


somewhere down the road 
'tween the treadmarks and the load
is the sound of the tires, it's a sound I know
    hangin'on to the rodeo

tumbleweed and wanderlust
wandering is what you must
an endless dance of touch and go
    hangin' on to the rodeo

    shiny leather and pointed toe
    I remember my first go
    fallin'off did not take long
    gonna die with the same boots on

deep ravines crack the land
forcing us to trust a bridge
'til the motion and dust come welling up
    drowns the sounds of the rodeo

parched throat and empty tin
glassy water on the horizon
a mirage that fades just like the show
    hangin' on to the rodeo

The Roan

rode into utah, out of grand junction
rode through where the painted rock bleeds
rode into the bold, red dying sun
so long, i won't miss your heat

i was tracking this roan through the cold-hearted desert
the half-moon face down in the fire
i opened a can to the memory of that red mane
flames licking what was aching and tired

she won't take the bit,  she won't take the bridle
too scared, and too skittish for the ring
she bolts when the rope closes on the cattle
won't be soothed when this old cowboy sings

chorus: they try to break this wild, unruly mare
        but i would take you far from away from there

last time i saw her, she had broken her halter
broke free from the geldings and the wire,
thrown off the scent, thrown off the trail
thrown off all constraints to desire

you say you loved the desert, you loved how it glistened
in the half-light of the new dawning day
how it chased all the dark sharp-pointed edges
that were haunted by your past escapades

hope springs eternal in the mind of the cowboy
who won't let a sleeping dog lie
for a good horse'll do that--know when it's cornered
then break for the wide open skies

rode into utah, out of grand junction
knowing she'd thrown better men than i
through salt flats, salt lakes, and salty wet stubble
it's a good thing that cowboys don't cry

Everything's Bigger in Texas

forktail sittin' in a live oak tree 
i come all the way to texas, he won't sing for me 
just sits there scolding, has it in for me 
too much corona you get lime disease 

Chorus: everything's bigger in texas 
        it's known the whole world over 
        everything's bigger in texas 
        including this dang hangover 

the biggest damn storm swept me off my feet
or was it the senoritas 
the biggest blue moon, the biggest bazooms
did i mention the blue margaritas

what's the star to the left of the moon i see 
did i mention i was pleased to meetcha 
it's god's own cocktail barb-ba-kee 
did you try those blue margaritas 

    there used to be a bridge to this song 
    it got washed away in the deluge 
    two by two just me and you 
    just seeking for some refuge
    but texas songs go on too long 
    till the tears well up in a flood
    and drink that strong, and up till dawn 
    and dust turns into mud 

it never fails that things get stale 
and the soft gets hard and the hard get soft 
heads or tails, it's the end of the trail 
and the true stay blue and the lost stay lost

The Singer's Lament

so long, so long
gonna say good-bye
bird winging along
in the woad-blue sky
in the crack of the dawn
i will slip on by
don't need to wake no one
no one will cry

all the leaves have gone
since i last was here
don't sing the same songs
that we did last year
got a big new car
and a tv screen
no need to shorten the dark
with the likes of me

but i might shorten the road
with a story or two
what the frost might show
if you dig right through
something buried inside
it's you own sweet song
in the blink of an eye
so long, so long


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