Steve Earle - The Tennessee Kid Lyrics

On Mardi Gras day the Tennessee kid
Awoke in a puddle
Of his own worst fears
Haunted by the ghost
Of vague remembrance
No corporeal beast he could name
So the kid invoked Lucifer himself
With oaths most grievously discourteous
And charged him submit
Forthwith to atone
At the crossroads
Celebrated in song
Come on
Up jumped the devil
In the middle of the thoroughfare
“Who dares to utter my most secret name?”
He roared
But the kid yielded not so much as an inch
To uncertainty
Steadfast he rejoined the enemy in kind
“old patch then, satan, mephistopheles,
By any other name you ain’t nothin’
Like a rose”
Then he girded his loins for the
Ensuing onslaught
But the devil only shrugged and the kid
Shuddered when he hissed he said
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
The balance comes due someday
Wait just one goddamn minute cried the kid
From the cumberland
You never mention nothin’
‘bout no kinda note
Just said - sign here - it’s just a soul -
You’ll never miss it
I ain’t set foot in a church since I was just
A little ol’ thang
Reckoned I was headed straight to hell
By the highway
No matter how long and how hard
That I prayed
So I might as well learn how to make
This guitar talk
Somebody said ol’ Bob Johnson
Came down this way
Devil say
And the monster raised himself up
To the fullness of his stature
Black wings eclipsing a sanguine
Mississippi moon
Behold behemoth the trampler
Of infidels,
He who sweeps away nations
With a flick of his tail
Theopolis, Agrrippa, Faustus, Paganini
Lurid and long is the tale of my prey
Question not the ironclad bond
Of my surety
Set down here in blood
In your very own hand
And the Tennessee kid cast an eye
On the list where his mark
Was indeed clearly inscribed
And he fell to his knees
But it was too late to pray
And with his very last breath he did say
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
The balance comes due someday

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