Mike's Big Book of Songs

New South - The Blue and The Gray

he sings the songs about the blue and the gray
a confederate hippy i suppose you might say
wears a c.s.a. buckle and a pony tail
and for thirty five years he's stayed out of jail
by singing these sad civil war ballads
for snow birds eating shellfish and salads
and tourists and hookers who seem joined at the hip
and the tourists will stiff him
but the whores always tip

he sings the songs about the blue and the gray
and the battle is still raging in bar rooms today
from richmond virginia to mobile l.a.
that's lower alabama not californe-i-a
the lines have been drawn
and the beer has been poured
and we all think we're winning, but who's keeping score
and if you just got here, you came to late
it's all been carved up into real estate

he sings the songs about the blue and the gray
not the black and white 'cause it ain't pretty that way
but he's got a tip jar and if you put a buck in it
he might tell you the truth for two or three minutes
and you'll be transported from the florida sands
there'll be mud on your boots and blood on your hands
and you'll start to think that you made a mistake
and you'll give him five dollars & say
"buddy take a break"

it's an up hill struggle, it's a long hard fight
please tip your bartender and waitress tonight

he sings the songs about the blue and the gray
if his wife wasn't working they'd starve on his pay
and his eldest son thinks his dad is a racist
'cause he plays country music & lets face it
the kid's got a point, the kid might be right
&his dad can remember having the same fight
with his own father all those years ago
the old man saying "boy don't tell me,
'cause you don't know"

he sings the song about the blue and the gray
as the waitress battles through the crowd with a tray
we'll call a cease fire and let the smoke clear
so i can look in your eyes for once without fear
and see you again just for a moment
as my lover and not my opponent
and just when i think this war's at an end
someone'll light up a cigarette
and we'll start it again

it's an up hill struggle and it's a long hard fight
and please tip your bartender and waitress tonight

i sing the songs that go something like this
some folks think i'm some kinda redneck communist
with a hammer and sickle for my rebel flag
but i only got one or two tricks in my bag
it's a five string banjo & a mandolin
and it ain't enough to get me out of this trouble I'm in
but there's one thing i'll say before i take flight
and that's please tip your bartender, goodnight

it's an up hill struggle, it's a long hard fight
please tip your bartender & waitress tonight
please tip your bartender, goodnight

©2002 Mike West

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