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Home of Michael Perry – New York Times Bestselling Author, Humorist, Singer/Songwriter, Amateur Pig Farmer

Tiny Pilot Lyrics

Alice Mayhew Jackson

Alice Mayhew Jackson
Picked herself right up off the floor
One eye was swelling shut
There was a pain in her gut
There was a drunk man weeping by the door

Alice went maybe
Ninety-seven pounds soaking wet
She pushed right past that man
With the bottle in his hand
And said, ‘If you had any sense at all, you’d git.’

chorus

‘Because I have led a good life
And I have been a good wife
And I am through
Entertaining you.’

Alice backed the pickup up
Dropped it into “D” for drive and blew
She left twin black lines
Clear past the cow crossing sign
She put that sorry fool in her rear view

Twelve townships later
After dark, and off-road in some county park
Beneath the seat down on the floor
She pulled a hog-leg .44
Said, ‘Here’s to the cure for broken hearts…’

She raised that pistol high
Said, ‘Sometimes love must die’
Blew the man on the moon
Right out of the sky.

When Alice returned
The sun was just lifting up the dew
He was sitting in a chair
All scrubbed up and combed his hair
Alcohol was sweet in the air

Alice stood before him
That .44 cool against her thigh
She said, ‘T-minus ten,
And I won’t tell you again,
It’s time for you to fly’

Alice has a new man
He moved in after the painters finished up
He ain’t too much to look at
But he’s solid as a rock
He takes her for a ride sometimes at night.

Sometimes in the darkest
Hours when the moon slides out of sight
There’s a drunk man on the phone
He says ‘I’m all alone’
And Alice says ‘I reckon…you’re right.’

Alice Mayhew Jackson
Picked herself right up off the floor…

Undone

Hear the sinner say his prayer
He says God, are you out there?
Wish I may, wish I might
Bust right through in to the light

Wearing just my heart and soul
All dressed up, no place to go
Home sweet home, here comes the sun
Bless this house, I’ve come undone

chorus

Bless my soul, I’ve come undone
I’m like a mad dog on the run
I pick a star and watch it shine, shine, shine
You follow yours, I’ll follow mine

Guess I’m in for a stretch of pain
Probably hear me calling your name
On a cold wind after dark
Blows right through my tattered heart

Cold rain falling on a straight gray line
Drop by drop on hearts like yours and mine

The old man says it’s a dog-eared shame
When making love comes to laying blame
Says he saw the comet fall
He says it burned like alcohol

If They Give You Wings

Do you remember Wyoming?
The Bibles and the songs?
The preaching that rattled our bones?
We ran to the wheat field and fell to the ground
Thunder was rollin’ all around

Takes a sinner like me
To make saint out of you
Pack up your halo and go
Touching is trespass and believing is blind
How did we fall out of time?

chorus

When you die let it be on a journey
If you fall may it be from the sun
If they give you wings where you’re going
Swing low and pick me up.

Hope is a ribbon tied to a snake
Ride every wave until it breaks
I flagged down a gypsy and I gave him my shoes
He said, the road looks good on you

Do not go gentle into that good night
Do not go down without a fight
Don’t look for angels where drunkards will do
Don’t look for me inside of you.

Everclear

Fifteen below and the oak trees are crackin’
Old four-poster, tattered patchwork, and you
That old teakettle is a-rumblin’
Potbelly shakin’ cherry red
I hold you empty as my heart now
Forevermore, evermore, Everclear.

She came in springtime, her hair a-blazin’
Laid me down where the crocus grows
All summer long, barefoot, tan and tumblin’
Loved me best, riverside
I saw that water rolling clear forever
Forevermore, evermore, Everclear

Now tell me boys, have you seen my darlin’
She left me on a cold, cold night
Every star was out and shinin’
Every planet was in line
Fifteen below, forever fallin’
Forevermore, evermore, Everclear

Indiana

I’m fadin’ in Indiana
Sunrise ain’t helpin’ at all
I feel just like an old hat rack
Wooden bones and a cold plaster wall
Bring me the head of Edward Hopper
Bring me his robin’s egg blue
It’s 7 a.m. and I’m losing
Whatever was left of you.

Take me to an old train yard
Turn me loose in the weeds and the rust
I will dream I am an old hobo
Drawing my maps in the dust
I will wait for trains that ain’t comin’
I will flag down the ghost of a hope
Lay my ear on the track and I’ll listen
To the sound of you never comin’ back

Somewhere a flat patch of light
Yellow as an old harvest moon
Lies rectangled on the back porch
Of an old clapboard house
With a room where a woman stands alone

Maybe somewhere there’s a world
Where time just dries on a wall
You can stay just as long as you like
And nothing ever changes at all
Bring me the head of Edward Hopper
Bring me his robin’s egg blue
It’s 7 a.m. and I’m losing
Whatever was left of you.

After Waymore’s Blues

Rolled out of bed this morning
Gave myself the evil eye.
Rolled out of bed this morning
Gave myself the evil eye.
You’re a whole lotta too much woman
And I’m just another guy.

Well it sure is hot for August
Hotter than you thought it’d be.
Yeah it sure is hot for August
Hotter than you dreamed it’d be.
You best put some distance
Between you and me.

I bet you’d like to know
How I came to be this way.
Wouldn’t you just love to know
How I came to be this way.
It’s one part blame my mama
Two parts blame the man who got away.

Well a black cat don’t mean nothin’
But that black dog will run you down.
Yeah a black cat don’t mean nothin’
But that black dog will run you down.
I can hear him out there moanin’
On the darker side of town.

So won’t you choose me out a tombstone
Tell that man how to spell my name.
Won’t you choose me out a tombstone
Tell that man how to spell my name.
No matter if the chisel slips
I’ll be gone just the same.
It’s one part blame my mama
Two parts blame the man who got away.
It’s one part blame my mama
Two parts blame the man who got away.

The man on the television
Says an angel has got my back.
Yeah the man on the television
Says an angel has got my back – right.
Last time I seen that angel
He was off the pace and fading fast.
It’s one part blame my momma
Two parts blame the man who got away.
It’s one part blame my mama
Two parts blame the man who got away.

Edge of Town

Standing at the edge of town
Listen to the big rigs hammer down
Light up and hope to hell
This old world keeps spinning around
‘til the break of dawn
I’ll be gone.

I still recall your face
Turning up to mine
My God how far we fall
In our own sweet time
It’s a thin dark line
Left behind

chorus

We got hearts, busted one by one
Spirits on the run
On the run
From the sun

Sometimes I search for truth
In the face of the moon
It climbs up behind the pines
Then it breaks on through
Silvers up the dark
With the light

Dirty little secret is
Everybody dies alone
Only a fool believes
In a word like home
I’m passing through
How ’bout you?

842 Miles

842 miles to the foot of your bed
I sink to my knees like a pilgrim
And bow down my head
Your breath is my breath, it’s all
In the rise and the fall.
My boots are all scuffed and my heart is a tumbledown wreck
I’m an old-school sinner
In need of a crust of your bread
They say Jesus loves sinners it’s true
But the devil does too.

chorus

Will you join me in a circle?
Will you join me in a song?
Will you go that last mile with me?
It’d be good
To have you along.

842 miles to get to your side
I’m the man on the moon in a boat
And I’m fightin’ the tide
I’m Jonah swimming laps in the whale
‘Til the wind fills my sail.
These stars in my crown are for real but the diamonds are fake
I’ve been known to push on the pull door
And my trains all run late
But that’s me and my feet you hear on your stairs
Have we got a prayer?

Somewhere South of Sunday

Somewhere east of Tuesday
Figured you were gone
I heard that train a-rollin’ and a trains don’t turn around
Picked up my little pieces
And I laid them in a line
Somewhere south of Sunday I’ll be fine

Somewhere west of worthless
Double-dipped and overdrawn
I stuck the key into the lock and I snapped the dang thing off
I hung it out and I strung it out
And I blendered up my mind
Somewhere south of Sunday I’ll be fine

Oh you picture-perfect queen
Pitching picture-perfect scenes
Having had enough of that
Drop the gas and strike the match
Start backin’ away!

Somewhere north of nothin’
Cryin’ in my beer
I sucked it up, and I stomped it down and I blew right through your town
You heard I got my crazy
Stuck in overdrive
But somewhere south of Sunday I’ll be fine

Sweet Edge of Time

She was a West Sampson girl
With sweet auburn curls
She rode a speckled gray horse
She called Flicka, of course
One day after school
She said I like you
And when the clover is heavy with dew
I’m gonna come riding on through
And I said, well if you do
I’ll be waiting in the trees with the moon.

I will wait in the pines
‘til the sweet edge of time
I will wait in the pines
‘til the sweet edge of time
…sweet edge of time

Where are you West Sampson girl?
With the gray in your curls?
The old man in the mirror
He ain’t talkin’ to me
I rode off at sunrise that day
A man is born to betray
But if you come riding on through
I’ll be waiting in the trees with the moon.

Cissy Moan

I’m rollin’ out of Jackson on a Sunday afternoon
I couldn’t leave too fast, I couldn’t leave too soon
Cissy took to drinkin’, Cissy took to talkin’ mean
Cissy when she’s drinkin, do beat all you ever seen

Over there in Oxford lived a man named Larry Brown
Larry had a big bad love and he wrote that bad boy down
Cigarettes and whiskey and a fire in his eye
Cissy loved Larry but Larry up and died

And Cissy moans…

I am not a southern boy I’m Yankee born and raised
I cut for Mississippi when the last levee caved
I was lookin’ for employment paying hard cold cash
There was rumors of such business haulin’ Mayor Nagin’s trash

I run into Cissy on my way down 55
She was readin’ Joe in some all-night dive
I said I know Barry Hannah and she said you are my man
I said Yonder Stands Your Orphan and she jumped right in my van.

And Cissy moans…

We lost a week in a Super 8 outside of Picayune
Livin’ off each other and a needle and a spoon
Cissy read me Dirty Work between the liquor runs
We burned the time up doin’ things we shouldn’t oughta done

Cissy learned to read in the Rankin County jail
Got busted in Lemuria, she orders books by mail
She says she dreams of Tula as if it was her home
She says she dreams of Larry typing all alone.

And Cissy moans…

Paging Mayor Ray
I’ll come another day
Cissy’s up in smoke
Northbound
For Rowan Oak

Don’t never love a woman who has loved a man of fire
You’ll be easy in the evening she’ll be hummin’ like a wire
Cissy what you doin’ here, Jackson is your home
Cissy’s in the graveyard digging William Faulkner’s bones

Tiny Pilot

Hello tiny pilot
Can you read me, tiny pilot?
Can you see the North Star where you are?
Are you the blue light blinking?
Tiny pilot
Can you circle ‘round again?

Tell me little farmer’s son
Can you see your daddy tilling?
Somewhere between the rumble
Of the diesel and the smoke
Is the sound of the plow
Rollin’ the loam
Rollin’ the loam

Tell me little mother’s son
Do you see her there?
Kneeling on the ground
Between the tall corn
And a county road
Brushing at the headstone
Smoothing the dirt
Lilacs gone to seed
Somewhere the song of a bird
What’s that she heard?
Lonesome drone
Way up high
On the fade…

Oh this short, sharp life
Oh this thousand days
Oh that shiny airplane
Fading over the curve
Of the earth…