Desperados Waiting For A Train

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Guy Clark singing Desperados
Jerry Jeff Walker ~ Desperados
Willie Nelson’s version

Desperados is a true American (Texas) ballad that stands up to time … there are some great stories in the lyrics. Definitely one of my all-time favorites. Guy Clark was a classic Texas singer/songwriter … rŌbert

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Desperados Waiting for a Train” is a song written by Guy Clark and originally recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker for his 1973 album Viva Terlingua.  Clark said that the song is about his grandmother’s boyfriend named Jack who was a grandfather figure to him.

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“Desperados Waiting For The Train”

And I played the Red River Valley 
And he’d sit in the kitchen and cry 
Run his fingers through seventy years of livin’ 
And wonder, “Lord, has every well I’ve drilled gone dry?”
We was friends, me and this old man 
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 

Well, he’s a drifter and a driller of oil wells 
And an old school man of the world 
He taught me how to drive his car when he was too drunk to 
And he’d wink and give me money for the girls 
And our lives was like some old western movie 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 

From the time that I could walk, he’d take me with him 
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe 
And there was old men with beer guts and dominoes 
Lying ’bout their lives while they played 
And I was just a kid, but they all called me “sidekick” 
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 

And one day I looked up and he’s pushin’ eighty 
And has brown tobacco stains all down his chin 
Well, to me, he’s one of the heroes of this country 
So why’s he all dressed up like them old men 
Drinkin’ beer and playin’ Moon and Forty-two 
Just like a desperado waitin’ for a train 
Like a desperado waitin’ for a train 

And then the day before he died I went to see him 
I was grown and he was almost gone
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen 
And sang another verse to that old song 
Come on, Jack, that son-of-a-bitch is comin’ 
We’re desperados waitin’ for a train 
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train

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