McCall, C. W. - Ghost Town Lyrics

The dance hall is silent and empty
The banjos don't play anymore
The music is only a mem'ry
And the dancing is dust on the floor

Wild flowers cover the ground now
The timbers are streaking with gray
The palace is tumblin' down now
And the dancers have all gone away

Once there was singing
And once there was song
And once there was silver and gold (silver and gold)

The tombstones are weathered and broken
But the last signs of life are still here
The labors of love have been stolen
But the gold was the last souvenir

Once there was laughter
And once there was life
And once there was silver and gold (silver and gold)

The dance hall is silent and empty
The banjos don't play anymore...

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McCall, C. W. Ghost Town Comments
  1. robert neyman

    where is this place?

    Perry Reed

    San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

  2. RE K

    I love hunting ghost towns.. if anyone knows of any in the colorado-new mexico-arizona area, please let me know?

  3. Mark Younger

    You can tell that Chip Davis (Manheim Steamroller) was about to be discovered.

  4. Diana Peterson

    Love this song.

  5. Dave Dennis

    What is really sad is the stories that faded away with these old towns that will never be heard again. I would love to hear the stories.

  6. Tashi Wangchuk

    The number leaves one with a sad feeling of nostalgia.

  7. Brian McLaughlin

    Such a wonderful song, and a testament to this nation's past. A past that is more present than one can expect.

  8. Kristin Wright

    This doesn't sound like the original. Cadence is different.

  9. SufficatingCat

    I've always loved this song

  10. Donald Castleberry

    I always liked ole cw I've got 4 albums down to earth !

    Marc Boulware

    What Are the Name of the Albums?

  11. Fredd Nygård

    Thanks for posting.The Music from C.W.Mcall is a Perfect tribute too the old history of the west and the struggle they must have been trough.

  12. Mr382548

    Looks like Randsburg here in California.

  13. johnny cash

    Thanks I like these songs

  14. Subarban Cowboy

    This is a great song and great pictures did you take them.

    Tobias LaRue

    Subarban Cowboy I think it might be in Alaska but I could be wrong

    Rick Miller

    They are all Colorado.  The San Juans and the ghosttown of Animas Forks.

  15. mackay10

    Thanks for posting this! What a powerful song, and great video.

    Perry Reed

    Thank you.

  16. lisaglynne

    Amazing video. What a treat! Thanks!

    Perry Reed

    Thank you.

  17. UnknownIdaho

    Wow, a CW McCall song I haven't heard before! And he sings! What album is this from?

    Shawn Johns

    I think it can be found on "The Real McCall"


    +Shawn Johns Thanks. I think I want to learn to play this one.

    Tm Kepp

    Cut 5, Album was "Black Bear Road" I had the original vinyl.  The just don't make 'em like they used to.

    Richard Scott

    This version is not the one from "Black Bear Road". I assume it's from the Real McCall album mentioned below.

  18. Richard Delinski

    I'm watching this again. Wife and I were watching videos on YouTube about ghost towns and I remembered this video. It plays fine now. Sorry about my past complaints. Must've been a crummy phone or bad internet connection.

  19. HJ Rhoades

    My favorite is Rocky Mountain September.

    Kristin Wright

    Mine too.

  20. Richard Delinski

    Sorry about that bad comment. I've apologized already. Have you read my other comments about Ghost Town?

  21. Richard Delinski

    Sorry about my bad comment earlier. Somehow the video plays correctly now. This IS a terrific song and cool pics in the video also. Again, sorry about earlier.

  22. Richard Delinski

    I don't know what happened before, but somehow the video is playing correctly on my cell phone. Very sorry about my earlier comments. It IS an AWESOME song!

  23. Ralph Jones

    Terrific video.  Always liked this song.  I think my favorite C.W. McCall tune was There Won't Be no Country Music but Wolf Creek Pass was awesome too. 

  24. Richard Delinski

    I left a comment already. It was a poor comment on a poor video. Perhaps my comment was banned? Oh well, who cares?

  25. Richard Delinski

    Very POOR video. Mainly because:
    I couldn't watch this stupid video,
    I couldn't see no sight or sound,
    Because it was blocked from normal viewers,
    It now means hands are bound!

  26. Mark Shlosberg

    This has always been one of my favorite C.W McCall songs, thanks for posting it.

  27. kim johnson

    nice pic of the house in animas forks... i was scared to go in it when i was younger... i took my family there a few years ago and just seeing it again just as it was 100 years or more ago is just amazing and the view is breath taking... my favorite pic of all.... thanks for posting
    i hope to be moved there in a couple of years myself...

  28. Terry S.

    Nice Job there DesertRat!!!!! I recognize several of those places from our past travels up into the high country!

  29. wyominglost

    Takes me back to the 70's! Huntin ghost towns and listening to CW McCall,with my Dad. Miss ya Dad. RIP.

  30. winkleried

    Thank you for posting the songs and the pictures of the South San Juans. I hiked those mountains back in the mid 80's when i was a teenager and fell in love with the area !

  31. kimberly longman

    You have? Did you feel different like they might be haunted? I'm curious.

  32. GeronimoSamurai

    Check this out too, kind of not related, but its a good song just as well. /watch?v=hqzDqF1VF38

  33. TheAwesomestPossum69

    ive seen all of the buildings in this video

  34. Kev Page

    My version of this from the black bear road album is quite different; both with the singing on the bridges and the backing vocals; must be a different recording.

  35. maramuresplai

    Who did stayed here? And why did they went away? That was so a beautiful town...♥

  36. Keith Kratz

    Very nice, have lsitend to CW. forever and love the Ouray and Silverton areas. Thanks for the video.

  37. n2b8er

    I just love this song. The video really sets it off. Good job.

  38. ms goodlistener

    Great work on this video! Love the song and CW.

  39. girltograndma

    Excellent! Thanks for your sharing! I left Colorado as a young girl, but love it still!

  40. Mr4TeaParty

    Beautiful scenes with the music. Very well done.

  41. hueyconstruct

    Been here.......Use to Live in Salida :-)

  42. mongo731

    Man what a great video! Thank you for the work!

  43. SM4WII

    Really nice photos!

  44. Boondockers

    The one looks like by the alpine tunnel

  45. sekmand

    I wish I could find one for a song CW McCall did called Oregon was also on the Black Bear Road album...

  46. clagwell

    Great Vid.

  47. BolivarBuddy

    Great video! I love it!

  48. sekmand

    I wish someone would do one to Oregon Trail...I really miss that song.

  49. nascargas

    @dozeydollar Bill Fries (CW) was from Colorado...

  50. microbusss

    real cool man Have quite a few of his music on records 8-tracks & CDs

  51. Michael Fender

    what a great video

  52. user208351


    I encourage you to drop a note to Bill and let him know that. If you send anything to have him sign remember to include return postage.

    Bill Fries
    P.O. Box E
    Ouray, CO 81427

    Bill is 82 and we won't have him to much longer. I encourage any one he touched with his music to write and say thanks.

    Fredie Vinson

    I DID IT! I sent him a photo of him performing at Knott's Berry Farm in 1977 (I was THERE) and he sent it back signed To Fredie... Memories are like Starlight....they go on forever..... CW McCall" It nearly brought me to tears....  I'm gonna be in Ouray this coming Sunday (5/21/17) planning on driving to Animas Forks. I wish I could meet him but I couldn't possibly be that lucky.... this is enough. I'm happy beyond words. If you see him please give him my best wishes!

    selena peck

    That's cool. I emailed him a few years ago and asked if he would autograph my copy of his Greatest Hits. I mailed my CD to him, and he signed it and sent it back. I wish I could meet him.

  53. Winonasalibi

    SO underated..... I always tell people how much this guy influence me....
    with the help of his cowriter/arranger Chip Davis who went on to form Mannheim Steamroller, the guy did the unthinkable....
    He esentially melded Progressive Rock and Country music.

  54. user208351

    It is posted and I am working on a slide show for it too.

  55. 19murphy9696

    I agree. I have looked and looked and cannot find "Green River" on YouTube though.

  56. user208351

    @user208351 Typo it should read 2008 not 208. srry

  57. user208351

    Most are around Ouray and on the Alpine Loop. We are losing many of these to time and in 208 we lost the Empire Chief Mill due to snow slides.

    If you want to see the last true spirit of America you better take a trip soon. There are jeep rentals and guides for hire in Ouray.

    If you want to feel true awe for what the settlers had to travel and endure you need to take this trip.

    The town of Ouray is called the Switzerland of America.

  58. Meg Reed

    Thanks. Sort of a labor of love.

  59. Meg Reed

    All of these pics are from Colorado!

  60. xlbyg07

    congrats on a great video,i dont think that you could have done a better job... seeing the over grown and neglected graves hits the bulls eye

  61. Shane Smith

    I love the atmosphere of this recording, goose bump stuff.

  62. user208351

    The song was called The Silverton:
    She was born one mornin on a San Juan summer
    Back in eighteen and eighty and one
    She was a beautiful daughter of the D and R G
    And she weighed about a thousand ton

    Based on the Silverton Narrow Gauge in Durango, Colorado

  63. jonnowds

    Yes, "Green River: is the title, and it's one side two of "Black Bear Road," his first album I think. "Ghost Town" was the last track of side one (spooky way to end a side, no?).

    Is this one of the re-recorded versions from the CD compilation I read about on wiki? It's not the original LP version for sure...

  64. eldorado62

    C.W.McCall also recorded a song (around about this time) called 'The Green'. Not sure if I got the title right, but it was on an LP of his back in, or around 1975. Can't find it on 'You Tube' though, and it's a fantastic song. I thing the LP was just called 'C.W.McCall'. I used to have this album. He also sang a song about a locomotive (track two, side one).
    Does anyone have these two great songs they could download?

  65. fontheking5

    Very nice song and video .

  66. user208351

    I was in Ouray July 2008 and had dinner with Bill (C.W. McCall) his voice is still strong and the words are clear. These old towns and mills are fading away lost to time and weather.

    We lost the Empire Chief Mill and The Torpedo Eclipse Mill due to snow slides in 2008.

    Any one who is interested can write
    Bill Fries; PO Box E, Ouray, CO 81427

    Bill is one heck of a guy and we look forward to seeing him in July.
    He just had his 80th Birth day on November 15.

  67. ashway1929

    A song of Americas west, the way it was.