Desperados Waiting for a Train

Album: Old No. 1 (1975)
  • I'd play the Red River Valley
    And he'd sit out in the kitchen and cry
    And run his fingers through seventy years of livin'
    And wonder, "Lord, has ever' well I've drilled run dry?"

    We were friends, me and this old man
    Like desperados waitin' for a train
    Like desperados waitin' for a train

    He's a drifter and a driller of oil wells
    And an old school man of the world
    He let me drive his car
    When he's too drunk to

    And he'd wink and give me money for the girls
    And our lives were 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
    There were old men with beer guts and dominos
    Lying 'bout their lives while they'd played

    And I was just a kid
    They all called his "Sidekick"
    Like desperados waitin' for a train
    Like desperados waitin' for a train

    One day I looked up and he's pushin' eighty
    And there's brown tobacco stains all down his chin
    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
    Like desperados waitin' for a train
    Like desperados waitin' for a train

    A 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 guns are comin' "

    Like desperados waitin' for a train
    Like desperados waitin' for a train
    Like desperados waitin' for a train
    Like desperados waitin' for a train Writer/s: Guy Clark
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Bitsy Kegg from Beaumont TexasJust reminiscing about Jerry Jeff guy Clark and the good old boys
  • Atrost7 from Delhi, California, UsaI just heard another artists version of this song on the radio today. I'm not sure who it was, but it got me thinking about the lyrics & that led me here. I agree with what others say, that the song is about the older man waiting for the end, but I'd like to think there is more to the words. Desperado. A desperado is a desperate & reckless man, usually thought of as one "on the run" a criminal or outlaw. A line to look at is, "desperados waiting for a train" Notice desperados is plural, not just the old man is a desperado waiting for the train.
    Another great line that deserves to be looked at is, "To me he's one of the heroes of this country"
  • Intensity from Cash, TexasMoon (short for "Shoot the Moon") and 42 are domino games. Old folks and us "Sothrons" still play them.
  • David from EnglandDesperados waiting for a train, what is moon and 42?
  • Barfly from Somwhere, MiIf I interpret the song correctly it's about about a young man who has idolized this older man all his life as you aptly pointed out above. But the "desperado waiting for a train" is his the young man seeing the old one as just sitting around with what's left in his life waiting for the inevitable. The "desperado" being the old man and the "the train" being death. As he says at the end: "Yeah, Jack, you know that sum-bitch is coming."
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