Thursday, June 06, 2013


Previously unreleased, having not made the cut for "Blood on the Tracks", this almost seems to be a sister piece to ""Shelter From the Storm". Lyrically, this seems to be more personal, and I love the tenderness in the last lines, a tenderness for something that seemed to have gone so wrong and took a long time to resolve. Its so rich I can't single out a favorite verse.
I've lived this song more than once now.

Everything went from bad to worse, money never changed a thing,

Death kept followin', trackin' us down, at least I heard your bluebird sing.
Now somebody's got to show their hand, time is an enemy,
I know you're long gone,
I guess it must be up to me.

If I'd thought about it I never would've done it, I guess I would've let it slide,
If I'd paid attention to what others were thinkin', the heart inside me would've died.
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,
Someone had to reach for the risin' star,
I guess it was up to me.

Oh, the Union Central is pullin' out, the orchids are in bloom,
I've only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume.
In fourteen months I've only smiled once and I didn't do it consciously,
Somebody's got to find your trail,
I guess it's gonna be up to me.

It was like a revelation when you betrayed me with your touch,
I'd just about convinced myself nothin' had changed that much.
The old Rounder in the iron mask, he slipped me the master key,
Somebody had to unlock your heart,
He said it was up to me.

Well, I watched you slowly disappear down into the officers' club,
I would've followed you in the door but I didn't have a ticket stub.
So I waited all night 'til the break of day, hopin' one of us could get free,
When the dawn came over the river bridge,
I knew it was up to me.

Oh, the only decent thing I did when I worked as a postal clerk
Was to haul your picture down off the wall near the cage where I used to work.
Was I a fool or not to protect your real identity?
You looked a little burned out, my friend,
I thought it might be up to me.

I met somebody face to face, I had to remove my hat.
She's everything I need in love but I can't be swayed by that.
It frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be.
But she ain't gonna make a move,
I guess it must be up to me.

Now we heard the Sermon on the Mount and I knew it was too complex,
It didn't amount to anything more than what the broken glass reflects.
When you bite off more than you can chew you gotta pay the penalty,
Somebody's got to tell the tale,
I guess it must be up to me.

Dupree came in pimpin' tonight to the Thunderbird Cafe,
Crystal wanted to talk to him, I had to look the other way.
Now I just can't rest without your love, I need your company.
You ain't gonna cross the line,
I guess it must be up to me.

There's a note left in the bottle, you can give it to Estelle,
She's the one you been wond'rin' about, but there's really nothin' much to tell.
We both heard voices for a while, now the rest is history,
Somebody's got to cry some tears,
I guess it must be up to me.

So go on, boys, play your hands, life is a pantomime,
The ringleaders from the county seat say you don't have all that much time.
And the girl with me behind the shades, she ain't my property,
One of us has got to hit the road,
I guess it must be up to me.

If we never meet again, baby, remember me,
How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody.
And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free,
No one else could play that tune,
You know it was up to me.


goatman said...

The boy surely could spin a yarn. Thanks:

bulletholes said...

You know you got some good material for an album when you cut a song like that. "Blood on the Tracks" really is a masterpiece.

bulletholes said...

Oh, Hi Goatman!