jason tyler burton

Kentuckian

Tracklisting:

  1. High Road to Harlan
  2. Date Night at the Dairy Queen
  3. Fires of ‘88
  4. Easy for Me
  5. Hillbilly’s Lament
  6. Southbound
  7. A New Colossus
  8. Kentucky
  9. The Mayor
  10. Down Home

Lyrics

"Easy for Me"

She was never all that good at math
And that would always make me laugh
But I should have seen it as a sign of what was to come
When she said I was her only one

We met when we were both just pushing 23
Life was all trailer parks and bars
Somehow I survived those twister years
With just petty theft from unlocked cars

Oh, you know life don’t come easy for me
So take it easy on me

I worked a few assembly lines
Making burgers or license plates
Signed my check at the liquor store
Got a bottle of Beam and a little change

Oh, you know change don’t come easy for me
So take it easy on me

When she was drinking boys, she’d get mean
She was at her best on a little weed
One night when she was feeling pretty high
She laughed at me and said goodbye

Sometimes you get stuck when you are down on your luck
And It’s hard then to see the other side
It turns out she was never really something that I loved
She was just another place to hide

Oh, you know love don’t come easy for me
So take it easy on me

Oh, love don’t come easy for me
I said Oh, change don’t come easy for me
I said Oh, you know life don’t come easy for me
So take it easy on me
"A New Colossus"

Me and Dave got off at Midnight from the local sandwich shop
I always drove him home though it wasn’t far to walk
He was a five star running back with college offers rolling in
Afraid to walk home for the color of his skin
The homecoming hero who can’t walk on the streets
Without looking over his shoulder… living in the land of the free

Well Jeff he lost his job when his daddy had the stroke
There was no one left to care that pretty soon they’d both be broke
He was a college graduate who kept staring at those bills
Deciding which to pay for: Insurance, loans, or his daddy’s pills
What kind of a choice does he have in times like these
When it’s so expensive living in the land of the free

Maria worked a double at America’s Value Inn
She was the hard working child of illegal immigrants
And all the tv screens in the rooms she cleaned said they were gonna come take her away
So she’d put her hand on the Gideon’s and oh my Lord she’d pray
What kind of a Christian folk are we
If we won’t let Maria live in the land of the free

So bring me your tired, your poor, and your weak
All our huddled masses are still sleeping in the streets
While all the guys like me we just repeat
“Ain’t it great… living in the land of the free.”

"The High Road to Harlan"

I remember when the floodgates came to Pineville
They keep out the water but another flood came
Poisoning all our sons and daughters
With pills that kill the pain but the misery remains
Oh pills kill the pain but the misery remains

So I took a drive up to Mary Helen
To see the old coal tipple, the names on my family graves
At 85 I’m not making many new memories
Just trying hard not to let these old ones fade
Oh, don’t let the old ones fade

So I’m gonna take the high road to Harlan
Climb up on Pine Mountain boys
I’m gonna cut that chain
And watch the rocks come roll on down through this town
Maybe that’s the only way things’ll ever change (x2)

They say that coal ain’t ever gonna come back
That soon they’ll be no jobs and no work for this whole damned town
We’ll sit and watch the Cumberland River as it carries away
The mountains that the coal company tore down
Oh, that the coal company tore down

So I’m gonna take the high road to Harlan
Climb up on Pine Mountain boys
And breathe that rarefied air
I don’t know how to fix a thing that’s this broken
I only know that the outside world don’t care (x2)

I keep a loaded shotgun by the night stand
I don’t have the pills they want but I’m old and folks might surmise
I don’t have any family left worth counting
And they’re just waiting around for me to die (x2)

So soon I’ll take the high road to Harlan
Climb up on Pine Mountain boys
See the old growth that remains
Reminding me there are things that I still love here
Reminding me there are things we still might save
"The Fires of 88"

Well she left Kentucky on the 4th day of July
Fireworks in the rearview, Wyoming in her sights
She put that pedal to the metal as she crossed the Kansas plains
Singing Sweet Lorraine and never leaving the left lane
‘Till she landed in a little mountain town
But no cowboy here could ever tie her down

Because she’s wilder than the fires of ‘88

She was conceived in the back of her daddy’s oldsmobile
Maybe that’s why she only ever felt at home on wheels
She said as soon as I save enough I’m gonna point this car out west
Just like all the rest, she was running from her past
But a new place won’t fix what’s broken in you
Your demons get your forwarded address too

Yeah, and she’s still wilder than the fires of ‘88

And oh… that westward wind
It finds her on the move again

Well her momma named her Delta after her daddy’s ‘88
Told her life can sure be great, but you should always want for more
So they spent every extra dollar on the scratch off lottery
And a little bit of weed, you know it helped her momma see
Now she sells courage at the Silver Dollar Bar
And keeps her suitcase loaded in her car

Because she’ wilder than the fires of 88
Lord keep her wilder than the fires of 88
I love her because she’s wilder than the fires of 88


"Southbound"

My momma died when i was being born, I lost my daddy when i was eight
Some folks say I’m cursed with bad luck, and that I should not trust to fate
But still I learned to roll the dice, went down to Atlantic City
There I rolled em once or twice, and then once or twice too many

Well I’ve been waiting a long long time
For my luck to come around
Now I’m southbound

I went down to Lexington, where I bet on the steeplechase
I met a man who said he’d pay me to run a different kind of race
So I hauled a load down through the gap… everybody knows it’s east to Johnson City
I didn’t know the feds were on my tail, and when it ended it was not pretty

Well I’ve been waiting a long long time
For my luck to come around
Now I’m southbound

I spent two years in a sevier county pen, I thought the bottom i had reached
When i got out I hitched a ride from Pigeon Forge to Cherokee
I won some money playing cards. Thought maybe my luck had turned around
But outside a man he held me up, so I took his gun and I shot him down

Well I’ve been waiting a long long time
For my luck to come around
Now I’m southbound

I stole car and I drove it south, heading for the Georgia Line
I didn’t know these back roads well, but I had a place in mind
I ditched the car at the Tallulah Gorge, they found me standing at the brink
Staring at the water far below… and wondering what my odds might be
The sherif said don’t you do it boy, you know you ain’t no great Wallenda
There ain’t no tightrope across the gap and you gotta know that fall would end ya

But I’ve been waiting a long long time
For my luck to come around….

"A Hillbilly’s Lament"

Let me tell you my story, the only one I ever wrote
Of how I grew up poor in a little town called Ford, and how I learned to vote
My dad worked at the power plant, when the coal trains still rolled in
And the whistle blew him off to work, just to wreck his back again
So he said “who’s gonna stand for the little man… lord lord?”
He cast his vote with pride for the union side.

Well I went to work down at the plant, when I learned college was not for me
And momma stayed at home all day, watching her stories on TV
Where all she saw is what others had, and what they had we had not.
Comparison is the thief of joy, but it’s the only thing we’ve got.
She said “this town, could use a little trickle down… lord lord”
Cast her vote with fear, from all the news she hears.

I still live in the house where I was born, though mom and dad are both gone
And that whistle it no longer blows its shrill and mournful song
Looking around well all I see is just endless poverty
While the people we give power to, look a lot less and less like me.
So what are you going to do, when the world don’t look like you no more
Cast your vote to say “let’s get it back that way… lord lord.”

November 9, 2016, I heard the news on the TV
So I walked that old trestle bridge down to the banks of Otter Creek
Sat in the sun with my fishing pole, now all I’ve got to do is wait
It won’t be long, ‘till a fish is on, and my country will be great
Like in them olden days… like in them golden days… long gone
"The Mayor "
(The Tragedy of Rodney Tucker)

Well they call me The Mayor, I preside over this yard
And one or two stray dogs, who don’t wander too far
Somebody painted it black, on my trailer of blue
So as your mayor I promise, I can drink more whiskey than you

I keep me an office, at this convenience store porch
And for anyone who will listen, this is where I hold court
I will tell you my theories, there ain’t much else to do
But I’d bet you one thing, I can drink more whiskey than you

But as I get older
I learn that all that matters is time
And I wasted all mine

I had me a wife once, maybe that’s hard to believe
Back when I thought about working, and had a few more of my teeth
That wasn’t meant to be funny. I’m just telling you true
And I bet you one thing, I can drink more whiskey than you
But as I get older
I learn all that matters is time
And I wasted all mine

It gets cold and it gets lonely, down in these hollers so deep
And I stumbled in my stupor, to fill the kerosene heat
Turns out that was the last thing, that I’d ever pour
And I’ll bet you one thing, I won’t be cold anymore
Well the flames they shot high, through the Red River Gorge
I wasted all my time, don’t go wasting all yours
Yeah I wasted all my time
I’ll waste no more of yours

"Date Night at the Dairy Queen"
(This sad state)

We’ve got two first baptist churches and three dollar stores
And down by the empty Walmart they’re building one more
In this town you’ve never heard of
You can’t get any further from free
But it’s where I come from and you ain’t gonna take that from me

Well our daddys worked the coal mines and mommas served the lord
Back when the coal company owned the one grocery store
In this town you’ve never heard of
Get off the parkway and head east
Where folks from the city call us a bunch of backwards in-breeds

So why then did they steal our culture and try to sell it back to us
80 dollar flannel shirts and so called country music
In this town you’ve never heard of, we know how to live just like kings
On disability checks, and date night at the Dairy Queen

But oh Lord… oh Lord I’m so tired
Of bouncing between
Pride and Despair
For this sad state of affairs

Well we grow our own veggies, make our own amphetamines
But our number one cash crop, is crushed hopes and dreams
In this town you’ve never heard of, we say go off and get your degree
But come home on the weekends, because you know that you never can leave

And oh… To tell you the truth
There’s no place I’d rather be
Than here in these trees
In this town you’ve never heard of
Where you can’t get any further from free
"Down Home"

May you be kind, to those who are not your kind
And don’t listen to anybody whose gospel leaves room for hate
You know loving your enemies is written in the good book
The one you claim to follow boy, too little, but not too late

Maybe we all just need a little time in the trees
Blow up your TV and turn off your phone
And we’ll sit real still until we’ve had our fill
Because there’s nothing like feeling down home

There’s nothing like the feeling (x3)
Of down home
So if your life is unappealing and you need a little healing
Go on spend a little time
Down home

May you be kind even when you’re speaking your mind
Lord knows everybody has got to speak their mind these days
Any point that is worth making can still be made while being kind
So come down from your cross man and I’ll come down from mine

Maybe we all just need a little time at the creek
Stop pointing fingers, buddy throw me a bone
Pass the bottle until, we’ve all had our fill
Because there’s nothing like the feeling of down home

There’s nothing like the feeling (x3)
Of down home
So if you’re sick with frustration at the state of your nation
Go on spend a little time down home
Yeah if you’re in a consternation and you need a quick vacation
Go on spend a little time down home

"Kentucky"

(by Keith Anderson)

I lived in the same house in Kentucky for 23 years
I was born there and I was raised there
Unlike the others, bred from fear
But I’m not going back
No I’m never going back
Once I leave… if i ever leave
Old Kentucky

My mother, she was born here
She grew up… right outside of town
And my father, he was born here
He was raised in that dark and bloody ground
But i’m not going back
No i’m never going back
Once I leave…. If I ever leave
Old Kentucky

I’ve got aunts and I’ve got uncles
I’ve got 33 cousins
And I’ve got grandmothers, too
I’ve got chores, I’ve got time
And these hands they should be mine
But they still….still belong to you

And I’m not going back
No I’m never going back
Once I leave…. If I ever leave
Old Kentucky