Thursday, April 10, 2014

SONGS THAT TELL A STORY # 9: "Riverboat!" by FARON YOUNG, 1959



Albie's Note: In 1959, the "americana story song" was at its peak of popularity, with million sellers from Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Horton inspiring scores of imitations.   This one was a pretty big hit when compared to how forgotten it is today: #4 Country, #83 Pop.

From the pen of song-writing legend Bill Anderson, here is the saga of "RIVERBOAT":


Well, I spent the better part of my life
On a Mississippi riverboat
I used to be known from coast to coast
As the slickest gambler afloat.
I've dealt the cards from Minnesota
To the harbor in New Orleans
I made a lotta big money on the riverboat
I loved a lotta pretty riverboat queens.
Riverboat, riverboat
I love your whistle's wail
I wish I was back on the riverboart
'Stead of in the Memphis jail.


--- Instrumental ---

Oh, a big man got on the riverboat
Our last time in St. Paul
He had a lotta money but his luck went bad
And the riverboat won it all.
He said I dealt from the bottom of the deck
And he pulled a shiny knife
But before that gambler lunged at me
My .44 took his life.
Riverboat, riverboat
I love your whistle's wail
I wish I was back on the riverboart
'Stead of in the Memphis jail.

--- Instrumental ---

Well, they came on the boat and they took me to jail
When we got to Tennessee
A gamblin' man has very few friends
Guess nobody cared for me.
So I might be here for a many long years
But if I ever get out
I'm gonna head straight for that levee
And get me a riverboat headin' south.
Riverboat, riverboat
I love your whistle's wail
I wish I was back on the riverboart
'Stead of in the Memphis jail.
'Stead of in the Memphis jail...



 
 
 
PEACE

2 comments:

Oscar said...

I liked Faron Young and he did a fine job on that one!

Albie The Good said...

OSCAR: Agreed. And that's a great banjo line too by whoever played the session!