Steve Earle
Copperhead Road

last updated:  19 February 2001

Copperhead Road album cover

Copperhead Road
(Steve Earle)

Well my name's John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only came to town about twice a year
He'd buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
It's before my time but I've been told
He never came back from Copperhead Road

Now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason's Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin' sound
Well the sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin', knew something wasn't right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first,'round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
And I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
I plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
Well the D.E.A.'s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I'm back over there
I learned a thing or two from ol' Charlie don't you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road

Snake Oil
(Steve Earle)

Ladies and gentlemen, attention please
Come in close so everyone can see
I got a tale to tell
A listen don't cost a dime
And if you believe that we're gonna get along just fine

Now I've been travelin' all around
I heard trouble's come to your town
Well I've got a little somethin'
Guaranteed to ease your mind
It's call Snake Oil y'all
It's been around for a long, long time

Say, your crops'll burn if it don't rain soon
Ain't seen a drop since the tenth of June
Well I can open up the sky
People never fear
If you ain't impressed yet, just tell me what you wanna hear

Well you lost your farm so you moved to town
You get a job, they shut the factory down
Now you sit around all day long feelin' sad and blue
You need Snake Oil y'all, tell you what I'm gonna do

I can heal the sick, I can mend the lame
And the blind shall see again, it's all the same

Well ain't your President good to you
Knocked 'em dead in Libya, Grenada too
Now he's taking his show a little further down the line
Well, 'tween me and him people, you're gonna get along just fine

Back To The Wall
(Steve Earle)

Well sometimes in the evenings I start to get that feeling
Like I'm empty inside
I know I'm doin' good now but tonight I'm headed downtown
Down by the riverside

I sit underneath the freeway with an old friend from the old days
And a bottle of wine
Well he used to call me "Big Time", and he knew someday that I'd shine
Said he'd seen all the signs
He said . .

"Keep yourself to yourself
Keep your bedroll dry
And boy you never can tell
What the shadows hide
Keep ene eve on the ground
Pick up whatever you find
'Cause you've got no place to fall
When your back's to the wall"

He's gettin' old and it's showin' when I asked him how it's goin'
He said "I've seen better I guess
I've been rained on, I've been frozen, but this here's the life I've chosen
If it just wasn't for the loneliness"

Now this river suits me to a T. but if you're trying to raise a family
It ain't no place to be
There's a kid down by the dump there, ought to be in grade school somewhere
Now he hangs out with me
And I told him . . ."

Well we finished off the bottle and I told him,"Joe I think I ought to
Be headed uptown"
Well it was late, and I'd been drinkin', drivin' home I got to thinkin'
'Bout what's been going down

Cause they're nervous down on Wall Street, but they're trying to keep it upbeat
Or maybe they just don't care
But down at the river eyes are burnin' cause they feel the tables turnin'
So if you wind up down there . . .

The Devil's Right Hand
(Steve Earle)

About the time that Daddy left to fight the big war
I saw my first pistol in the general store
In the general store, when I was thirteen

Thought it was the finest thing I ever had seen
So l asked if I could have one someday when I grew up
Mama dropped a dozen eggs, she really blew up
She really blew up and I didn't understand
Mama said the pistol is the devil's right hand

The devil's right hand, the devil's right hand
Mama said the pistol is the devil's right hand

My very first pistol was a cap and ball Colt
Shoot as fast as lightnin' but it loads a mite slow
Loads a mite slow and soon I found out
It can get you into trouble but it can't get you out
So then I went and bought myself a Colt 45
Called a peacemaker but I never knew why
Never knew why, I didn't understand
Cause Mama said the pistol is the devil's right hand

Well I get into a card game in a company town
Caught a miner cheating I shot the dog down
Shot the dog down, watched the man fall
Never touched his holster, never had a chance to draw
The trial was in the morning and they drug me out of bed
Asked me how I pleaded, not guilty I said
Not guilty I said, you've got the wrong man
Nothing touched the trigger but the devil's right hand

Johnny Come Lately
(Steve Earle)

I'm an American, boys, and I've come a long way
I was born and bred in the USA
So listen up close, I've get something to say
Boys, I'm buying this round
Well it took a Iittke while but we're in this fight
And we ain't going home 'til we've done what's right
We're gonna drink Camden Town dry tonight
If I have to spend my last pound

When I first got to London it was pourin' down rain
Met a Iittle girl in the field canteen
Painted her name on the nose of my plane
Six more missions I'm gene
Well I asked if I could stay and she said that I might
Then the warden came around yelling "turn out the lights"
Death rainin' out of the London night
We made love 'til dawn

But when Johnny Come Lately comes marching home
With a chest full of medals and a G.l. loan
They'll be waitin' at the station down in San Antone
When Johnny comes marching home

MY P-47 is a pretty good ship
And she took a round coming cross the Channel last trip
I was thinking 'bout my baby and letting her rip
Always got me through so far
Well they can ship me all over this great big world
But I'll never find nothing like my North End girl
I'm taking her home whh me one day, sir
Soon as we win this war

Now my granddaddy sang me this song
Told me about Londen when the Blitz was on
How he married Grandma and brought her back home
A hero throughout his land
Now I'm standing on a runway in San Diego
A couple Purple Hearts and I move a little slow
There's nobody here, maybe nobody knows
About a place called Vietnam

Even When I'm Blue
(Steve Earle)

I've always heard that love is blind
But I know that there's another kind
Shines like a beacon in the night
And holds up in the morning light

Cause in mv dreams she travels with me when I run
And in my dreams she takes my hand
When I make my stand but morning always comes
And I know it's too good to be true
She loves me even when I'm blue

No one can say that I ain't tried
I keep on searching far and wide
And I know she's out there somewhere now
I'm gonna track her down somehow

You Belong To Me
(Steve Earle)

Lately I've been feeling a little uneasy so I run straight home to you
It's been cold as hell and you just can't tell what a girl might do
I made a whole lot of promises baby, but none of my dreams came true
And it's you that paid and I'm so afraid that I'm losing you

But you belong to me
You belong to me
you beleng to me, me, baby, me

Now your mama said you could do better than me, baby I know that's true
But you believed me instead. every word I said, and I did too

But every day's a Iittle bit harder out there no matter what I do
Well I could carry the world on my shoulders girl long as I got you

But you belong to me
You belong to me
you beleng to me, me, baby, me

But you belong to me
You belong to me
you beleng to me, me, baby, me

Well my shining armour is rusted and worn
There's a heart inside here entrusted and sworn to you
Just tell me baby what I need to do
I can win you over again if you want me to

But you belong to me
You beleng to me, me, baby, me

Waiting On You
(Steve Earle, Richard Bennett)

Here comes the night, day brings no light
For wrong or right I'm here waiting on you
Words cut too deep, old ghosts won't sleep
But they'll never keep me from waiting on you

Breathing out, breathing in
Holding out, giving in
Doing with or without
For a lifetime, just a lifetime

I can't let go, I wait for you
Till hell goes cold, I'll wait for you
You're all I know and I wait for you

Breathing out, breathing in
Holding out, giving in
Doing with or without waiting on you

Don't show it all, walk on, walk tall
Behind this wall I'm still waiting on you

Once You Love
(Steve Earle, Larry Crane)

A long time ago there lived a man
He had the world in the palm of his hand
Sultans and kings beat a path to his door
He had everything but he still wanted more
One day in spring came a lady so fair
He'd never looked on a beauty so rare
But he didn't trust her so he locked her away
And his gold lost its luster when love died that day

Once you love, once you trust it
Once you give your soul is bare
One false move and you know you're busted
Once you love you care

I knew an old man who lived all alone
In a sad Iittle house at the end of the road
He sat on the front porch in an old rocking chair
And everyone swore he'd gone crazy down there
But no one comes near so how could they know
He lost someone dear to him once long ago
He remembers the laughter and he still tastes the tears
And he still calls her name out after all of these years

You can keep it all inside
You can run but you can't hide
When you think it's safe outside
Look behind you, love will find you

Nothing But A Child
(Steve Earle)

Once upon a time in a far off land
Wise men saw a sign and set out aross the sand
Songs of praise to sing, they travelled day and night
Precious gifts to bring, guided by the light
They chased a brand new star, ever towards the west
Across the mountains far, but when it came to rest
They scarce believed their eyes, they'd come so many miles
And the miracle they prized was nothing but a child

Nothing but a child could wash these tears away
Or guide a weary world into the light of day
And nothing but a child could help erase these miles
So once again we all can be children for awhile

Now all around the world, in every Iittle town
Everyday is heard a precious little sound
And every mother kind and every father proud
Looks down in awe to find another chance allowed

© 2003-2007 Clint Harris  ( – All Rights Reserved
© 1995-2003 Lisa Kemper  – All Rights Reserved

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