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Cottonwood 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Walkin down the road now and what did I see 
An old black bird in a cottonwood tree 
He called to me softly like a warm summer breeze 
And told me to ask any question that I please 

Chorus 
Tell me oh blackbird oh how can it be 
How can I love a man who won’t marry me? 

Verse 2 
He stared through my eyes for a moment or so 
And finally began to speak when I had turned to go 
The black bird spoke slowly his voice rough and worn 
Come ask me again tomorrow early in the morn 

Verse 3 
Returned to the place we spoke where he said he’d be 
And found him waitin there in the cottonwood tree 
I said dear black bird oh help me understand 
How do you comprehend the mind of a man? 

Verse 4 
The blackbird just laughed and said from all that I’ve seen 
A man’s got his mind set on only one thing 
And as women go there’s one thing I’ve found 
A woman never wants a man who wants to be tied down 

Live Till I Die 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Fell down by the river carrying my pain 
A cold breath of silence I could not explain 
There was a dark sky above, reminded me of rain 
The winds finally broken free danced on the plain 

Verse 2 
I looked to the sky, finally found my feet 
Strangled fears and fortunes, buried them so deep 
I cried out for strength, and promised I’d remain 
Even though my back is broken and torn up again 

Chorus 
Well it’s a long, long way back home from the river deep 
A life filled with sorrow and way too much to think 
Drank all I was given and still I am dry 
Wonder how the hell I’ll ever live till I die 

Verse 3 
The path that was taken was born of regret 
Mercy and salvation haven’t found me yet 
But I’m drawing ever near to the place where I will lay 
The place where I can turn around and finally turn away 

Our Best Days 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
I walked up the road, my two boys out ahead 
Two fishing rods and a rusty box on a trail made of red 
The mountains rise from fields of green and we’re a long way from home 
We carved our stories in the pines and this is what they said 

Chorus 
Well it’s a long road from here until the end 
It’s never a sure thing, what’s up around the bend 
The sun will set and the fish will rise 
And with our weary eyes 
We’ll find that our best days 
Are the ones we have right here 

Verse 2 
Well morning time’s no friend of mine but my boys got their fishing line 
The air is cool and the day is new and they said let’s go 
Down to the freezing Glacier River where them cool waters run 
Over rocks we’ve known all our lives, and memories just begun 

Verse 3 
As years pass I look back on things I might’ve said 
As we talked and laughed and counted stars that flew overhead 
Well the snow fell on Christmas Eve and it’s time to go home 
The soup is warm by the kettle fire and this is what we said 

War Torn 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Around here, in the crumble and the break 
We struggle through our last mistake 
And the trees grow, but give nobody shade 
There’s no one here, everything it’s all disappeared 
And the seasons change without any sound 
No hands touch the cool breeze, the waters or clouds 
And the birds sing a little less than before 
In the quiet of a war-torn American shore 

Chorus 
We hold on to those gone before 
We carry the torch to light distant shores 
The stories we tell of a living hell 
Of lives lost and tears and laughter 

Verse 2 
In our parted ways the bird sings and says 
There’s no going back, there’s no better days 
Than the ones we shared before we cared 
That all of it one day could ever fade away 
The endless smiles, first times and tries 
To hold on to a patchwork life 
The old bar we played, it’s all washed away 
And scattered and broken on far away shores 

Verse 3 
In our older years, after time and tears 
We’ve found a way through trials and fears 
We gather round, with our heads held high 
The pieces we leave to lie scatter out again 

Devil’s on My Side 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
It’s time for me to say goodbye 
It’s time for me to say goodbye 
You tried to take my life and my rusty switchblade knife 
But this time, the devil’s on my side 

Verse 2 
Well I ain’t gonna listen to you cry 
No I ain’t gonna listen to you cry 
But you won’t make a sound when they put you in the ground 
And this time, the devil’s on my side 

Chorus 
Well I love to get real high 
On whiskey, beer, sweet tea and wine 
I’m running up your tail 
They won’t let me back in jail 
And this time, the devil’s on my side 

Verse 3 
Well I’m through with your cheating and your lies 
I’m through with your cheating and your lies 
Can’t say that I feel bad or give a damn for what we had 
But this time, the devil’s on my side 

Hasn’t Happened Yet 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Until the birds forget their singing 
Until the stars no longer shine 
My heart is yours for all the taking 
Until the rivers all run dry 

Verse 2 
Until the winds are no longer blowing 
Until the poets forget their rhyme 
I will call you my little darling 
Until the rivers all run dry 

Chorus 
Well I know one day every sun descends to its final set 
And every stone returns to dust but it hasn’t happened yet 

Verse 3 
Until the light goes out forever 
Until the last tree has petrified 
For you I’d move the mighty mountains 
Until the rivers all run dry 

The Evil I Know 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Well I always did my damnedest lord to earn an honest wage 
The company handed me a line to tow 
Well 6am came early now for near on 15 years 
Till they told me I could pack my things and go 

Verse 2 
Well the rules are stacked against you lord no matter how you try 
You can use your days up dying for the dream 
But I’d rather sell my soul to the devil for a dime 
Than give one minute more to that machine 

Chorus 
So I’m gonna make a bargain with the only thing that’s mine 
Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before 
You know I’ll be on a roll when I offer up my soul 
Cuz working hard ain’t hardly working anymore 

Verse 3 
Well I worked long days and longer nights and never did complain 
I sang my song inside that golden cage 
But the bureaucrats said budget cuts and pushed me out the door 
Gave my empty seat to someone half my age 

Verse 4 
Well as a child growing up they taught me wrong from right 
You know no one wants to walk a turn below 
But it seems to me my options are between a suit and tie 
Or just sticking with the evil that I know 

My Garden, My Grave 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
There’s a love that I remember 
A louder truth than any words 
But the years that I’ve surrendered 
Make me wish that I’d heard 

Chrous 
The simple things my daddy told me 
Never worry and be brave 
But for my crimes there is no pardon 
Once my garden, now my grave 

Verse 2 
Far too many nights I worried 
My days would end before my time 
Missed so much in such a hurry 
Found me broken, left me blind 

Verse 3 
You can’t erase the page as written 
Or roads I would not take again 
But the winds will blow till all’s forgiven 
And the only pieces that remain 

First Came You 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
There’s nothing left to clutter up my mind 
I slammed the door and left it all behind 
I’ve got this brand new road 
I wanna see how far it goes 
And do the best I can with what I find 

Chorus 
But first came you 
And all the trials that you put me through 
Ups and downs come and go 
And where it ends 
There ain’t no way to know 

Verse 2 
I worked so hard at holding on so fast 
But “supposed to” never really seems to last 
I laid it down, I set it free 
I started taking care of me 
And watched it crumble down into the past 

Verse 3 
Don’t misinterpret lonely for alone 
Or things you learned for things you should’ve known 
I knew I had to take a stand 
And be exactly what I am 
My life is all I’ll ever really own 

One More Day 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Awake again with too much on my mind 
I somehow gotta get to work on time 
I wrecked my head with whiskey and wine 
Morning comes and leaves me behind 

Verse 2 
I try so hard to stay between the lines 
One more day of one day at a time 
I’ll tell the whole damn world I’m doing fine 
And chase it all away one more time 

Chorus 
It’s lonely here and I may never know 
If I’m heaven-sent or stuck down below 
I’ve got a few who’ll miss me I know 
I’m so tired underneath this heavy load 

Verse 3 
I’m headed home but all I got is walls 
The phone rings, but I don’t take the calls 
My back is bent, my voice has grown so small 
I’ve got no truths to tell after all 

Bought & Sold 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Chorus 
Stubborn our obsessions, claiming what we’re owed 
Can’t look past our possessions at anything that’s real 
Blind walk down a dead-end road with only empty smiles 
Immersed in plastic make-believe and told what we should feel 

Verse 1 
Caught in routines so infectious 
Play the game like you’ve been told 
Wasteland years of life so precious 
All your being bought and sold 
Faded memories only sketches 
Good intentions long grown cold 

Verrse 2 
Information inundating 
Time that travels far too fast 
Politicians orchestrating 
Paradise that cannot last 
False religion validating 
Pedestals and stones we’ve cast 

Verse 3 
Defined by all that we can own 
Imprisoned by the things we claim 
For all this time we’ve only known 
Entitlement but never shame 
But when it crumbles we’re alone 
And in the end it ends the same 

What We Do 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Chorus 
First check one, then check the other 
A checkered past of lies untrue 
Oh save ourselves from one another 
Forgive us knowing what we do 

Verse 1 
Oh little girl now stop your crying 
Life’s not what you thought would be 
A baby born and old man dying 
No consequence the in between 

Verse 2 
A thorny rose, a weeping willow 
A wound though healed has scars that show 
Just lay your head upon your pillow 
Remember dreams from long ago 

Verse 3 
Do we know in all we’ve spoken 
What we really mean to say 
We are all together broken 
Searching for a brighter way 

Verse 4 
A few remain who know defiance 
And the art of living free 
When all the sound has gone to silence 
Maybe then the truth we’ll see 

Holding on to Letting Go 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
It’s late and she’s still sleeping 
The radio turned down low 
There’s nobody out here to talk to 
And so many miles to go 
Well I miss my sweet loving family 
My friends, my dog and my home 
And my brother, it seems I don’t know 
How to hold on and still let go 

Chorus 
Well I lay awake wondering where the winding road goes 
I lay awake and wonder all night 
The voice in my head says it ain’t over yet 
But sleep, and it’ll be all right 

Verse 2 
These miles you and I travel 
Are moonlit, ragged and worn 
This time we spend in search of 
Our lives, our love and our home 
Well life, it goes in circles 
We laugh, cry, wander and roam 
And we’re all walking together 
But these miles they’ve left me alone 

Verse 3 
And now the streets are empty 
The day’s done, it’s time to go home 
We’ll join hands as we travel 
We’ll hold on and learn to let go 

Keep on Coming After You 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Verse 1 
Well he said he was gonna win her over 
And she insisted that he’d never do 
But starry-eyed romances never 
Take no for an answer 
He said you’ll be mine before my time is through 

Chorus 
I’m gonna keep on coming after you 
I’m gonna keep on coming after you 
Well you can keep on running 
Lord have mercy, I know what to do 
I’m gonna keep on coming after you 

Verse 2 
Well he said time again he hadn’t wronged her 
But she insisted that he’d been untrue 
Well she said you can hide but know that I’m 
Just two steps behind you 
And you’ll be plenty sorry when I’m through 

Verse 3 
Well he told her that he thought his time was coming 
And she insisted that it wasn’t true 
But she said if I’m wrong and you are gone 
I won’t be long behind you 
Without you here I don’t know what I’d do 

Ain’t Meant to Last 
©2014 Grifters & Shills 

Chorus 
So take my hand brother and let the light shine 
Sing a song with me and stay right here until it’s time 
Everybody takes a different path to find their way 
We may part here but we will meet again another day 

Verse 1 
Looking back, it’s every soul 
Who offers up advice 
You needed something more than me 
And we both paid the price 
Who knew that all the future held 
In store for us was past 
Just because it’s meant to be 
Don’t mean it’s meant to last 

Verse 2 
The life you thought you needed most 
My heart could not allow 
Well home is where the heart is 
But that’s all over now 
Boxes full of memories 
Are scattered on the floor 
A final look, no words are said 
Behind the slamming door