The Lone Ranger's Farewell

07 Nov 2001

Hasn’t rained for forty days, there’s brush fires in the hills
The kids are racing turtles, the minister’s hooked on pills
They caught me kissing the Sheriff’s daughter, and dragged me out of town
Left me on the side of the road I was trying not to drown

I held my breath as long as I could and when I came up for air
All I saw was an angel perched on a cloud, she smiled and flipped her hair
You’ve been drinking too much, she said with a smile, that stuff will rot your guts
I muttered something about my luck and stumbled off to my truck

The engine wouldn’t start, the carburetor was shot
And that’s when the Lone Ranger rode up and offered me a butt
I said, no thanks, I don’t smoke, I’ll drink to that, says he
I don’t drink neither, says I, but we can take this town by three

When we rode into town the streets were bare, there was not a soul in sight
I reached into my pocket looking for a light
Just then the kid on the saloon roof squeezes off a shot
All hell breaks loose, it was twenty to one, for a while things were hot
And when I turned around to look I saw him lying on the ground
Clutching his chest and straining for breath, Death was hanging around
I said, “My friend, we go way back, but I don’t want you around this man.”
“No hard feelings,” he replied, “there’s more than enough to go around.”

He screamed until his face turned blue then rolled over and went to sleep
The man could not be bought or sold, he had promises to keep
The last words that I heard him say before he let go
Were “I may come and I may go, but I don’t talk of Michelangelo.”

I said, “What do you mean, you don’t talk about him
You talk about God and Love and Heaven and Hell and Death and Sin
You talk of the President and talk of the king, you act like there’s some use for them
And you even dare to claim innocence, but you don’t even know Anias Nin.”

And then as nighttime fell, I stopped and lit a fire
Thunder boomed, lightning split, rain poured from the sky
I headed for the nearest cave, but was stopped by Sheriff Cox
“Where do you think you’re going son, and what have you got inside that box?”

I tried to pass as innocent but the sheriff called my bluff
“That’s the man who kissed my daughter,” he said, “c’mon, let’s string him up!”
They had me all surrounded, there was nowhere I could run
I was dragged down to the County Jail, to be hung at dawn

And as I was swinging there, facing the dawn
I seen a lot of things no one else saw
I saw Elvis in the gutter, Madonna giving birth
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost digging in the dirt
I saw the monster rise up dripping from the sea
George Washington telling lies about that cherry tree
Business suits and fathers running from the gun
What they’re running to is what they’re running from

And as the clouds rolled over me the sky above grew dark
I screamed, “Don’t call me Ishmael, call me Joan of Arc
Don’t call me a survivor, don’t wish you’d died instead
And far above all else, don’t you dare call me dead