THE BLACK BUTTE BLUES

Long before Black Butte was home to the Black Butte Center for Railroad
Culture, actually not more than thirty years ago, it was a major railroad
junction with as many as twenty five to thirty trains a day coming through.

The tracks separated at that point from the line through the Sacramento River
Canyon, with one leg going northwest toward Weed and Montague and then
up over the Siskiyous into Oregon. The other leg went northeast to
Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Railroad cars destined for three different directions were often staged and
switched on the many spur tracks at Black Butte. For the Hobo, it was a
waypoint to change trains or to catch some sleep on solid ground and to eat a
campfire meal. If somebody had a guitar, maybe there would be some music.

In the summertime, Black Butte was hot, dry, and windy. In the winter, Black
Butte was cold, snowy, and windy. It was The Life if you were a Hobo but it
was not always a comfortable life.

This song was written to reflect what it meant to be a Hobo, stuck at Black
Butte while waiting for The Next Train to Somewhere.

 

THE BLACK BUTTE BLUES
by RadioActive Ron

I got the Black Butte blues,
I got the Black Butte blues.
I got the Black Butte blues
and its got its hold on me.


I had a good woman
but she took leave of me.
She said Black Butte was
no place for to be.

She caught the south freight,
she said good bye to me.
She said Black Butte was
no place for to be.

I got the Black Butte blues,
I got the Black Butte blues.
I got the Black Butte blues
and its got its hold on me.


Some day that dark train
gonna come for me.
Take me to the Big Sky
and set my body free.

It's coming soon,
coming just for me.
I hear that lonesome whistle
and it's coming for me.

I got the Black Butte blues,
I got the Black Butte blues.
I got the Black Butte blues
and its got its hold on me.


Black Butte just ain't
no place to be.
That cold assed wind
cuts right through me.

Only broken souls
share a camp in the trees.
Black Butte sure ain't
no fuckin' place to be.

I got the Black Butte blues,
I got the Black Butte blues.
I got the Black Butte blues
and its got its hold on me.


How I got here
is way beyond me.
How I leave here
is to set my soul free.

This ain't a place
for one to just play.
I wish I'd stayed
on the train that day.

I got the Black Butte blues,
I got the Black Butte blues.
I got the Black Butte blues
and its got its hold on me.


It's late at night
fire and drink warm me.
The demons sing my song
'this ain't no place to be'.

Some day I'll be gone
to that depot in the sky.
Where Hobos are welcome
and they always stay dry.

I got the Black Butte blues,
I got the Black Butte blues.
I got the Black Butte blues
and its got its hold on me.

(copyright 2012 Ronald Angle)

 

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